hourly rates?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawns By Randy, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Lawns By Randy

    Lawns By Randy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    how do you guys charge when you charge by the hour? do you go by a certain formula? or do you have a set rate? I have heard at least a $1 a minute this seems a little much to me ?:confused:
  2. EDEN77

    EDEN77 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    You'll find not everyone agrees about anything in this business. I charge each customer an agreed rate for his/her lawn. For any and all work besides mowing, I charge a $30.00/hour rate, and a small mark-up for materials, and a fee for dumping (environmental removal). A lot of landscapers charge $60.00/hour or more. If I thought my customers would or could pay that, I'd charge that. With the customers I have, if I charged $60.00/hour, I'd be living under a bridge in no time. You should get plenty of posts on this one.
  3. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,781

    I have our company in the range of $30 ish / man hour. Sometimes I even think that gets a little steep when I send bills out. Others will do it alot less - ex. in my area we have 3 guys who charge 10/ hour. I know it, they know, people know. I don't go after that work.

    On the other hand there is 1 compnay that charges out at $65 / hour. They seem to stay business.

    Your going to get alot of responce about this.
  4. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    After watching, posting, etc. for a few years now, I have finally come up with a formula that would seem to be fair to the customer and LCO.

    Charge $1 per hr. per inch of mowing width. IE> A 60" commercial mower gets $60 per hr. (IMO - the $ per minute is mostly advocated by those running 60" ZTR's) - A guy running a 21" pusher is at $21 per hr. and has $800 invested, and the guy running the 60" commercial is at $60 per hr. with $8000 invested. The end result is this. Take identical yards. 1. The guy running the pusher (21") takes 3 hrs. - total $63. The guy with the 60" takes 1 hr. $60. Same lawn, same price, different equipment - Customer gets a fair job for about $60 either way.

    How does that sound to all the gurues out there.
  5. PLS-Tx

    PLS-Tx LawnSite Silver Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 2,385

    Sounds good, unless I'm the guy using the 21" push. :eek:
  6. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    Well, It could be based a bit on the bell curve they talk about in statistics. Maybe the rates could be $1.50 per inch up to 21", Then $1.25 for the 32-36" Then $1 48-72", then $.90 for the wams
  7. Duck Dodger

    Duck Dodger LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    That sounds pretty good unless you have a nicer mower that cost more than 8k for a 48" deck. Itry to get 60 with my walker but we bag as well. That is by far the best general idea I have come across, good idea.
  8. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Every time I have a service type person come to my house with a bucket of hand tools and and mini 4 cylinder almost-a-pickup-truck, to fix something, and I get a bill that is usually in the $100 to $150 per hour range,and he's out of my house in 15 minutes, I raise my prices the next season. I swear people in the green industry just don't get it. We show up with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment to mow grannies lawn and some of us gag on charging in excess of $30 an hour?...or whatever the number is...

    There is one gaping hole in how too many people in this business arrive at their billing fees.....and that is for all the time NOT on someone's property that has to be accounted for in order to sustain the business..including but not limited to : equip maintenance, accounting, marketing, contracts, repairs, and on and on the list goes. You say "oh I'll just take care of that stuff in my spare time"...really? Let's pretend for a moment that God smiles on you and your business and you become the busiest mowing contractor in your town. So busy in fact that you have to hire multiple crews for maintenance. In addition, theres no way YOU can do all the accounting, repairs, etc because there are not enough hours in a day to get it all done...so....you HIRE or outsource some of this support work and you PAY for those services. Not uncommon at all for a larger company. One would assume you would INCLUDE these costs in your fee structures. The logic should be the same for a smaller business as well.

    I know for a fact that most of the smaller operators in my area suffer from this " golly gee last month I was makin' $10 an hour drivin a beer truck and now I'm rakin' in $30 an hour mowin grannies lawn" mindset.

    Too many in this business have only "bought a job" by buying commercial equipment and thinking they are " in business". Being in business means running it like every other business... and that means knowing the true costs of operations and billing for them accordingly
  9. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    I think most of the posts on this site may talk "Pulling into grannies yard for $35", but that is a job that takes 10 minutes if they have as you say Thousands of dollars worth of equipment, so in essence, I think most LCO's that are well set up with the big stuff are or "should be" in the $60 and above per hour catagory. My JD tractors (2) with my wife on one and me on one generate over the course of the whole year $150 or so per tack hr. That includes trimming, as I carry a trimmer on a rack, and do any spot trimming I need to do with the tractor idling (diesel)
  10. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    The market value in my area is 30-35 per man hour for mowing. Last year I was averaging 60 per man hour mowing.

    To get the market value of 30 pmh I would have to be extremely slow...or extremely cheap.

    For landscaping, I was charging $45 an hour, plus markup on materials.

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