hedge trimming

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by mggreen, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. clallen03

    clallen03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 511

    So you are saying if you are trimming shrubs for an hour you are only going to charge $25. I can see why all of your customers like this. We trim a 10 foot long 3 foot tall hedge in 5 min and make $25 and we sell them on a pine straw application at the same time.

    I dont know your market but there is no way you can make a living with rates like that. If you work 8 hours a day trimming shrubs you made a whopping $200, then you have to pay for disposal. Just something to think about. You know your market better then I do.
     
  2. barefootlawnsandlandscape

    barefootlawnsandlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 296

    Jlawn,

    You're cutting yourself, (and probably the shrubs you are trimming), short. $25/manhr with free haul off you should be covered up with work!
     
  3. nozzlehead

    nozzlehead LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 28

    I'm new to a lot of this. Do most of you bid by the shrub such as yardatwork mentioned or use an hourly rate? Another question, I have a customer who is going to want some major cutting on some really overgrown stuff, he has a couple burning bushes that are out of hand, should I wait until they start to bloom or do it earlier?
     
  4. david shumaker

    david shumaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 721

    You're right about the pine straw beds....they are a pain. I've got one customer that has pine straw. I have to put tarps around the shrubs to catch the clippings. At least with mulch you can rake out some of the clippings. Pine straw gets all messed up if you try to rake it.
     
  5. david shumaker

    david shumaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 721

    Right. If it's a "high end" customer, I would use sharp hand shears if the customer is willing to pay for the extra time it takes.
     
  6. david shumaker

    david shumaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 721

    I estimate how long the job will take and charge a flat rate. For example if I think it will take 2 hours and charge $40.00 an hour, I tell the customer $80.00 for the job instead of $40.00 an hour. They usually don't know how long it will take and if I tell them I charge $40.00 an hour they sometimes think I am crazy and charge too much.

    It will take some time to get good at estimating how long it will take and still you will not get it exact everytime.

    If overgrown shrubs need pruning back alot (radical pruning), I do it at the end of February or early March so you get new growth in the spring. This applies to most plants that are hard to kill. On Azaleas, I wait until right after the blooms fall before pruning.
     
  7. nozzlehead

    nozzlehead LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 28

    Thanks Dave. Hope ya have a good season!
     
  8. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    $25 per man hour is way to cheap. We get a $100 hr for a two man crew and charge a debris removal fee on top of that. I have been thinking about raising our rate even higher. We are so busy all year doing shrubs we don't have much time to do anything else.
     
  9. barnes

    barnes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    how to price 776 shrubs
     
  10. jlawnman

    jlawnman LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 171

    25 per man per hour, minumum 2 hours. I usually never prune alone. Always at least myself and a helper. I do not pay for disposal. I have 3 disposal options. 1. Customers know that the bill will be cheaper if I don't have to haul away... many of them allow me to dispose in the woods behind their house. 2. I have a customer that love to have weekend parties with bond fires... I maintain his property for free in trade for him taking all my yard debris. This is where all the trees and large bushes end up. 3. If I stuff the debris in bags, my trash guys will take away anything for a 12 pack of beer... I had 2 couches, an end table, old refrig, and about 45 55gal bags of junk.... The trash guys backed the truck to the pile and loaded it all up for a case of beer... It's just another way we can "stick it to the man" I'm not every going to pay the big bucks for disposal...
     

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