Employee wages

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hudsonhawk, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. hudsonhawk

    hudsonhawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Looking over last years numbers. I put out alot more in wages last year than the year before with only modest increases in profit. I need to tighten something up!! Wondering what you guys pay your workers per hour? I have been paying my foreman $12 and other worker $9 (first year for both of them). Is that too high or am I about in line?
     
  2. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    That's about right. You can't go backwards with a employee wage. I wouldn't look there, I'd look at what you charge to cut a lawn with 3 guys working.
     
  3. hudsonhawk

    hudsonhawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    I will be starting with new employees this season. Assuming they dont have much experience, what would you start them at?
     
  4. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    What happened to the other two guys? You should be trying to hold on to guys if they are working out OK. I'd be at what you already said. $9-12hr. Who wants to work their butt off in the sweltering heat for $300 a week (if you're working 40hrs a week)? I know I don't. I make more in two days then I did in a week turning wrenches!
     
  5. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,770

    Location will determine alot of where your wages are. I struggle with this as well. I had a kid/guy for for us off and on - he helped this year with snow removal -shovel crew. I usually pay my guys more for snow cuzz its balls to the wall - alot of accounts, commerical, residential drives, alot of uptown businesses with walks only, steps, etc. Anyway - he is at $10 $8.50 during summer, he wanted $15 or forget it. I said thanks but c ya. Now this person is always on a phone, never goes down the list, never wants to drive, there are even times when I show up - crossing paths - I help out he is sitting in passenger seat sleeping cuz he's tired. I told him the other day, our local grocery store is hiring - starting min wage - he said good at least he can slack off there.
     
  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    The question you should really be asking is what % of your revenue was paid to labor, and what are others %, and what is the industry average. You also need to be comparing apples to apples. A maint only company that is just selling labor will have a higher labor % than a design build company that purchases lots of product to put in the ground. This should overcome the regional differences in wages. I would be curious to know what those %'s are myself. My goal for next year I believe will be 30% labor average. I am still working on how to make that happen. I was way over that last year.
     
  7. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,647

    Around here guys with no experience start at $10/hr which is fair. When
    I was a foreman for a company I was making $14/hr. I have a buddy who runs a mowing crew and last I heard he was getting $17/hr. Another buddy who works for the same outfit ran a landscape crew and he was getting over $20/hr.
     
  8. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,746

    I've found just like many things you get what you pay for. Pay higher wages and maybe you will find more qualified workers. I won't hire anyone without some sort of past history working in our industry.
     
  9. bj1bmx

    bj1bmx LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 76

    i pay my brother $17 an hour to run the lawn crew in NJ. he drives the truck and rides/pushes the mower. he has been with me for 6 years.

    the other helper(s) uses the weed wacker. these guys have been with me for 3+ years. they get $15 an hour.

    all of this is on the books and is a huge expenses relative to gross income when you factor in workers comp, payroll taxes, etc. but it has given me the time to pursue another full time job. i completely trust these guys and would not be able to pay anyone less for the same service...

    you can start guys at $10-12 an hour around here but they're not going to last more than a season. the work is too hard for the wages..
     
  10. CUSTOMLAWN10

    CUSTOMLAWN10 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    Istart at $7.50 per hour for high school/inexperianced/seasonal, but i use sales incentives to increase bonus packages for increases sales. My highest paid guy in maintnencace makes 15.00, but there are criterea for that. Chem lic, cdl, equipment expeirance, certification etc.

    Higer paid employees only get back what they put in. I, like everyone, else is looking for longterm people who make our business their highest priorty, so make there job a personal, spiritual, fulfilling experiance.
     

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