I know about the $1 a minute, but...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by christoff, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. christoff

    christoff LawnSite Member
    Posts: 139

    ok, does this make sense.

    $1 when using equipment, what about how much for raking leafs for an hour and taking away the leafs? Or how much for raking leafs for an hour and not taking away leafs?

    My question for you guys is this. When using equipment, does it matter which piece of equipment your using? For example, your use a backpack blower for an hour, do you still charge $1 minute? Heres my plan, please please please give me feedback.

    $1 a minute when using any kind of power equipment. = $60 / hour
    .4166 cents a minute when raking, clean out beds, anything that you do without power equipment. = $25 + dumping fees ( say for dumping leafs at the dump ).
    Do you guys charge any less if the person is willing to keep the garden waste?
    I need a price guide for my self to go by.

  2. clydesdale

    clydesdale LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 388

    I have the same question. How much per hour for a one man operation to do a leaf cleanup? This includes a 11hp giant vac, echo bp, rakes tarps and trailer for leaf removal if needed.
  3. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    You're making too much of this 1$ a minute thing. Find an hourly labor rate you can effectively sell. I might charge 1$ minute (or more) to service a two-acre property with a 60" ZTR, taking anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to finish up...does that mean the guy with a 21" is going to price it at twice my number because it takes him three or four hours to do the same job? No, of course not. All you can do is work within the price structure in your area. You have to make the most of the equipment you've got and accept less of an hourly until you become more efficient. However, at that point...DO NOT pass the savings along to the customer! I revisit accounts year after year and it (generally) takes me less time because my equipment and experience have made me more efficient. I can do more volume and make more money. If anything, I charge more.
  4. T Edwards

    T Edwards LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    You guys need to know your costs/hr before you start charging customers x/hr. How do you know you're turning a profit? It's usually better to quote by the job and not by the hour. You'll land more jobs this way and don't worry about what equipment your using/not using. Even if the big stuff is on the trailer the rakes and gloves and tarps wear out. Pay close attention to your expenses and you will know how much to charge your customers.

    Best of luck

  5. Fvstringpicker

    Fvstringpicker LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,603

    From my point of view, the amount you can charge ,and keep the work, is driven by market forces in your area. Here, a $40 residential lawn is 1/4 - 1/2 acre lot. What I hope to do is bid the market and do the work in sufficient time to produce $1.00/min. Additionally, when figuring your costs, separate your cost between fixed cost (insurance, property tax, licenses, interest) and variable cost (fuel, supplies, etc.) If you can get a handle on variable cost per hour, you can tell how much your per hour charge is contributing to fixed cost, (cost that are there no matter what you do) and profit and accordingly, help you with the bid process by knowing how much of your rate is ate up by variable cost.
  6. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    Here's what you need to realize. If you own your business and own tools, you have a same # of hours to work per year and should have the same overhead. I will use myself as an example since it is easier. For leaf cleanup, I have a F-350 dump with loader. I tow a 6x12 enclosed trailer with a 52" Tiger Cub with 300 gal. bagger. Now figuring that I have $30,000+ in equipment that I have sitting there, I don't care if it is being used or not, it is there and it has a replacement period varying from 2-8 years. In addition I have a house to pay, food, ins, etc, etc.

    Basically, just because someone's lawn dosen't need all that equipment, dosen't mean that you don't have to pay for the equipment or maintain it or etc. b/e it didn't get used on the last lawn. Basically, your business has so much that it needs to bring in for you, employees per hour and if it is not met, you lose, go broke, whatever. This is why I charge (X) amt for using all or none of what I bring with me a lawn and not (X,Y,Z) depending on if I'm raking, blowing, mowing, vacuuming (exceptions on that if only vacuuming).

    Another way to look at is that if I have all this equipment and at the end of the day I work 10 hours, I have to charge you my hourly rate for having all this there. Is it fair to the customer that dosen't need it, sometimes not. But then again, should you be the one to make less just because you weren't using your equipment that is idle for the day sitting there. In a perfect world, for them to get what if perfectly fair and right, they should hire someone with two legs and two arms for toolsn and that is it, not high powered machinery that costs thousands and thousands of $$$.
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    we base rates on equipment used.
    we have our base labor rate. we will use this when using hand tools
    then we will add equipment charges .
    out labor rates run in the neighbor hood of $35.00/hr unskilled, 45/hr skilled, $65 hr for me or other foreman, irrigation repair, pool repair, chemical apps.
    $85.00/hr consultation

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