Hourly Charge

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by germann, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. germann

    germann LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 259

    I see the wildest figures when the discussion turns to your price per hour. Folks, if you mow a lawn in 30 min and charge $30, you tecnically are making $60 per hr, but-

    One man crews have much higher overhead on their dollar per hour. Realistic figures are 2-3 men.
    Drive time is part of life. If you are like us, you can make $60- per hour on job, get home, and find your average is $30 per hour for the whole day.
    Many major companies-read lawn and landscape-charge way less than people on this site claim to.

    My point is we need to be viewing our charges on how much we can make in an average 8hr work day, not some inflated one lawn figure. Being professional means charging professionally. If you can make 80-90 dollars an hour, as some claim, for every worker 8-9 hrs every day, there is a problem.

    ------It would Be interesting if you would post your average hourly charge for a full day of work. State the size of your crew, the hours it is out of your shop, and how much they earn per hour for this period
  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937


    I picked a day in my book from June 6th (Friday) of this year.

    8 lawns (5 stops) grossing $578

    Garage to garage in 9hrs and 45 minutes.

    Minus out my 1/2 hr (usually less) lunch at the greasy spoon. Thats then 9.25hrs.

    Thats roughly $62.50/hr for the day.

    Sure thats one of my "better" route days, but others come in from $53 to $65/hr DAILY average. A lot depends on how much the grass grew, trimming full or quickie, etc.

    If you want unreal numbers, ask for some single lawn times. Gate down till gate up.
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I beleive nothing i hear about prices. I posted an example a while back you may want to search for. The threads are Northern Pricing, and Pricing?????.
    You hear so much about a dollar a minute, then people say, thats for when you are actually working, or thats for the crew. This makes this formula useless, because everyone's drive time, down time, dump time, ect is different. And we all have different size crews.
    Your in KY, so lets say you cut 35 weeks a year (i dont know if its right, but just use it for an example). You work 50 hours a week. If you make what I make, and i will say it $30. You will gross $52,500 alone, with 2 workers $103,000.
    Now lets say you make the fabled dollar a min, work alone 35 weeks a year with 17 weeks of vacation. You make $105,000 alone, or with one employee $210,000.
    I just dont beleive with one employee you can make an average of 4038 per week, takiing 17 weeks a year off.
    2 employees, lots here have 2, $315,000 gross, and we still work everyday doing this....... doesnt make sence. If i am grossing that, I hire a crew leader, buy a boat, get a fishing pole.............. PS I dont evan fish!!!!
  4. A1 Grass

    A1 Grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 330

    The area I work in is CRAMMED with guys who'll work cheap. Lotsa scrubs and trunk-slammers. I usually work pretty quickly and I take about 45 min to do a $35 yard (1/8 acre?). I guess it comes out to a little over $46 per hr. However I probably get about $30 per hour for cleanup work - mostly because of the competition. I am NOT unhappy with those wages, comparatively. San Antonio is notoriously a LOW-WAGE town.
  5. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    All I can say is I wished there where was a market here for $35 lawns for 45 minutes of work ! I would love to have about 50 lawns at $25 for 45 minutes work ! I read the stuff people post on this site all the time and 90% of them could not compete here with those rates ! We are real lucky if you can get $30 an hour gross or $300 for a 11 to 12 hour day with drive time ! Most of the time it is about $25 per hour if we are lucky ! Also everyone on this site who uses these big walkbehinds 32" and up could not do many properties here because most of the properties here are only accessable with 21" mowers ! Two of the landscapers here have ZTR's and one only uses it on 3 properties 4 hours per week ! Not real cost effective is it ! I am getting to the point where I almost have enough larger properties that I could justify a 36" or maybe a 48" but the big properties are split between 6 of us here ! A guy needs about 10 to 12 of these year around commercial properties at this areas rates to even consider a ZTR ! I am close to getting enough to justify the costs ! OOPS I got side tracked ! SORRY ! If I averaged every hour I put into my business I would probably be around $18 to $20 per hour !
  6. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 965

    I have a cul-de-sac with 4 houses. It takes 2 of us 1 1/2 hours to do. $40, $40, $40, an $50 respectively. We unload once.

    I have another street that has 6 houses on it(small street) $40, $40, $40, $40, $40, an $30 respectively that takes 2 people 2 1/2 hours to do. We unload once.

    Be efficient and find ways to maintain quality but work faster. The price will come....
  7. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I have accounts like that too, were talking average though, not great accounts. You do have more than ten accounts dont you?
  8. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    Ok, well since you are soooooo positive it is impossible to make $1 per minute, and you know it's all just a tall tale. Here is a typical Tuesday for a 2 man crew. Tuesdays are all smaller houses, and are in 3 joining towns.

    2 guys starting at 8:00am, and getting back at 3:00pm. Completed 26 houses at a total of $810. I am not sure how long of a lunch they took that day, they did not write it in.

    So let's see.... thats 7 hours or 14 man hours, at $115.71 per hour. If we break that down even further, that would work out to be $1.93 per minute. Now if my rates are at $60.00 per man hour, and I am only off by $30.03 based on those numbers. If I take off ONLY 15 minutes for lunch, which I know they usually take 30-35 minutes. I am STILL at my rates per man, actually even higher.

    Maybe in your neck of the woods it's only a fable, but up here it's reality. As far as you guys not believing anything you read... I'm really not asking you too, and really makes no difference to me. I just wouldn't be calling anyone a lier, if you weren't 100% ABSOLUTELY positive. :cool:
  9. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    I'm sorry to hear that.

    Actually, I don't believe you! :D
  10. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Well that is pretty good. Thats an average of 16 minutes per lawn, with drive time. Those 3 towns must be pretty close together. Are those all just mow and go? I didnt call anyone a liar, just seems like the truth is stretched a bit here quite often. My rate is figured from 6 am jan 1 to 6 pm dec 31. I can give my own example similar to yours, but I am saying look at the entire year.

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