Hourly Rate Per Man

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by spitfire3416, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. spitfire3416

    spitfire3416 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 522

    I know this topic has been discussed before on this site but I just had to bring it back up. I currently charge $70 per man per hour. If I cut a lawn that takes me 30 minutes by myself I'm going to charge them $30-35. Now when I do leaves, hedge trimming, mulch.. whatever. I charge the same rate, maybe even more. I was just talking with a guy today who does this part time and he charges the same for lawns at $70 an hour. He gets between $25-35 for a lot of 1/4 acre lots so again consistent with the hourly rate. However, when he does leaves he charges $70 an hour with two guys, so essentially $35 per man per hour. Huh??

    Am I the crazy one here or do a lot of other people do this also?
     
  2. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,055

    I get around 70-115 a hour for leaves solo. I do have one monster that I'm embarrassed to say that I do for $35 a hour at 65 hours. I'm in rural va.
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  3. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,477

    I charge the same I do as mowing which is 60-70. Casey, doing 65 hours of leaf clean-up is mind boggling to me. What a monster nightmare of a project!
     
  4. JonLawn

    JonLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    $35x65 is a good chunk of change but I know what you are saying - $60x65 would be better. I have found that I can google street view a property and get a sense of what that house/that neighborhood/that property will pay per hour. Just had a guy that asked for a quote by email and said "what do you generally charge for something like this" - red flag for a cheapskate.
     
  5. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,055

    It haunts me in my sleep sometimes! I've talked about the job on here before but here is some info for you. 5 acre lot in the woods front half gets cleaned twice, 500 plus bushes, leaves get sucked up and dumped on the curb to pickup, I put in 65 hours her fulltime hand puts in 25 hours, and no it's not worth the money! I told her that I probably wouldn't do it again after I finished last year because I had plans on during curbside pickups in the county but I never found a dump truck I liked. So she called in the summer to see if I would and like a dumbass I said yes. Luckily my wife and brother helped me do the front the first time this year and we got it done in a day.
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  6. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    You can ask anything you want, no need to be shy now, the sky's the limit.
    Getting a customer to agree to it, that's usually where I run into resistance.
     
  7. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 831

    $60 to $70 pmh on lawns is about right in my area. Unfortunately $35 to $40 pmh is about the top end on leaf removal, crazy to me since it is more rigorous work but that seems to be about what our market can handle. Sure I know a few LCO that charge more for leaf removal and a few less. IMO leaf removal should run $200 pmh - kidding, but you know what I mean.
     
  8. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    In later years I found myself adjusting the hourly rate depending on the equipment being used, the idea being that I get paid the same regardless so now it's a matter of covering costs and the higher the cost of the equipment and its maintenance, the higher the rate.

    For example, a br600 costs $550.
    A 13hp pushblower on the other hand, $1300.
    Therefore I usually get $25 pmh for backpack blowers, but $30 for the pushblower.
    Equipment that costs twice as much doesn't get twice the pmh due to most of the cost goes into covering the truck, the insurance, taxes, and everything else.
    Don't forget the fuel for the backpack costs 50 cents more per gallon (due to it's mix).
    It takes a long time to nail it all down just right.

    Oddly enough...
    The pushblower gets almost twice as much done as the br600.
    The $8000 Z I can nail $50 pmh pretty easy...
    Yet the $4000 walk behind I can get right about $35 pmh and no more.
    And I still get north of $60 pmh with a 22 year old, thousand dollar core aerator...

    So no matter how I figure it, I can't ever seem to get it all just perfect either.
    Seems like, I get as much as I can get away with somedays.
     
  9. JonLawn

    JonLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    Herler, that is exactly what I've been wondering. You say you charge more for a push blower per hour than a backpack. But do you actually or do you just charge per job and the push blower finishes the job quicker and thus the hourly rate is higher?

    Someone on here said that they can charge $100 plus for leaf pickup. Is that with a jet engine?
     
  10. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,055

    Yes you can charge a $100 a hour for leaf jobs solo. Right area, right equipment, right pricing and method of doing the job. Most of my clients call me ahead of season to make sure they are on my list. No advertising and I get my rate and might be able to charge more if I tried. My min is $200 per cleanup except one I do for $175. Most even tip me on top of what I charge!! These are wealthy clients that I only do leaves for. All are super nice except the monster job.
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