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How can someone cut 29.8 acres for $250.00 a week???

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Tim03, May 23, 2006.

  1. Tim03

    Tim03 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    Hello all

    As you can tell by my question and my post count, I am very new to all of this. In fact I don't have any equipment, or have mowed anyones grass.

    I have been reading here the past couple of weeks to learn from people who make a living out of the business.

    My full time place of employment is basically like a Super Walmart, with a Gas Station. They have 29.8 acres of grass that is cut every week.

    I have worked there many years and Brickman has a truck out there maybe once or twice a month cutting but lately its mostly the same white Ford truck pulling a white enclosed trailer.

    Three guys operate out of the truck, all riding mowers, a Scag and two John Deeres I believe. I can't sit back during work and clock them but I think it takes them 4 to 5 hours to finish the job. They use blowers and trimmers, they leave the job usually looking pretty good but if there is trash in the lawn sometimes they mow through it and shredded paper and plastic bags are in the lawn.

    Last week my boss told me they only get $250.00 a cut and even he commented that wasn't good money.

    We have six other stores in the Indianapolis area, I am going to assume that Brickman has a contract with my store and at least the 6 others, most likely all of the stores in the state, if not the whole company, which would be around 175 stores in five states, plus a couple of huge DCs and the main office. But from what I have learned here, anyway you look at it this job doesn't seem profitable.

    Here is the basic math I am looking at. $250.00 divided by 4.5 hours = $55.55 an hour. Now divide that by 3 and you get $18.50 an hour for each mower running.

    The crew that was out a couple days ago wasn't Brickman, so some crew is doing this even less than the $250.00 Brickman gets? This crew has nice equipment. The truck is an F250 extended cab, not new but well kept, that enclosed trailer also appeared to have the usual equipment a full time pro would have although I only had a quick look from a distance.

    Maybe I still have a ways to go understanding this business but it seems to me that once you pay the employees, taxes, gas, maintenance on truck and equipment and insurance there really isn't much left over. Oh yeah, the crew fueled the equipment at the gas station paying the same street prices average drivers pay.

    So what do y'all think? What am I missing? Is the way I am looking at the math wrong? Would you take this job?
  2. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    It sounds like you learned and see first hand what a low baller is. That's about all it is.
  3. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    Don't believe everything you hear!

    Thats my motto.
  4. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    that is true and anyway

    $55 an hour there could be one boss not there who is paying 3 workers 10 an hour

    or one guy is the owner and he is bringing in 35 an hour with 2 employees
    everyone on the site says 1 dollar a minute gross so 55 dollars in 60 minutes is close enough and im sure when the grass slows down growing they will be in and out in a lot less time and probably make enough of hedge trimming, chemicals etc etc
  5. Tim03

    Tim03 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164


    I don't understand, my boss isn't lying to me about how much is being paid per week. The way our company runs is that the maintenance for each store comes out of that particular stores budget even though a contract may cover several stores.
  6. 29 Palms Property Management

    29 Palms Property Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    That is very hard to believe. Either it's not true or they are low-balling big time. If they're low-balling, they're desperate. I wouldn't touch it for anything close to that! More power to them if they're happy with that!
  7. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    Basically it means what it means. If "The Brickman Group" is involved then, believe me they are making money somewhere in the deal.

    Dont beleive everything you hear!
  8. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    30 acres of grass? at a walmart? I'm surprised they haven't paved it.
  9. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 677

    So they are getting $250/week x 52weeks= $13,000 How many cuts per yr are they averaging in Indiana? Let's say you average aprox 28 cuts per season. $13,000/28 full weeks of cutting is $464.28/cut Does this sound a little more reasonalble?? I would bet Brickman has an Iron tight contract and I would bet your store is paying a weekly fee to the headquarters for 52 full weeks. The same on Residentials instead of someone getting a $800 bill one month its spread over 10 months or you can break it down to weekly if it makes you feel better!!!
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Most of the commercial guys run around 30-35 per hour- and yes they get it all year round so that helps even it out. They run a very low overhead and a max efficiency

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