Is there a formula to lawn cutting?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by willjones, Mar 9, 2007.


    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,259

    i dont know anyone that gets $56 for less than a half acre.
  2. mow2nd

    mow2nd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 603

    Back in the day, my dad said you used to charge a half a cent a sq. ft.

    example = .005 X 5,000 sq ft = $25

    I personally have never used that formula, I guess just being around the business for so long, I mostly eye ball it.
  3. Fox Lawn & Garden

    Fox Lawn & Garden LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    $215 an acre?
    Sounds steep.
  4. mow2nd

    mow2nd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 603

    I'm just tellin ya what he told me a long time back. Of course back then there wasnt that many people in the business. My Dad started his business in 1972
  5. garrettlawn

    garrettlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    I wish my 05 ram i had got 15 city empty. I got a wopping 11.5-12 on a good day. But it was lifted and had 35's and 20's probably didn't help much.

  6. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,505

    Size matters, but what really matters to me most is time.

    Some large lawns go quick, some small lawns take forever due to trimming, obstacles, thick grass or whatever. I try to bill $400 per day in mowing, working solo. How I get there is hard to describe. It could be 7 expensive lawns, or it could be 10 cheap lawns. In my town, an average lawn is 15 or 20K sq/ft., and average charge for that size would be $50. So I have a 52 inch ZTR to deal with my market. Some guys around here only want to do smaller lawns with a walk-behind. And I bet they make as much or more than me if they want to.

    A minimum charge of $25 is very aggressive, especially in eastern Mass. My minimum is $35, and I am out in the sticks.
  7. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    I set my minimum at $32.50 this season. I have 2 lawns that I grandfathered in because they have been with me so long and 1 is a family friend. One of them literally takes me 10 minutes, $20 (the friend), and the other takes me 15 minutes, $25. I just can't see going below $32.50 any more though.
  8. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    werent you $35 last year??
  9. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 798

    I was thinking the same thing.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    As for formula, I look it up on county records and with experience, I'm usually 98% sure I got the lot size right in my mind, because anyone can claim this is 20k or 40k square feet, I want to know size for a fact. You can also use the mower to measure by how long it takes (i.e.: if it takes me 40-45 minutes to cut, it's likely an acre) thou I use this last method mostly to confirm my math.

    If you're getting 55 per half acre and you don't feel that is enough, perhaps you need a 48" deck Wb and start cutting in high gear, I hardly get $55 for a full acre but my 48's git'r done in 40-45 minutes, the Z in 30 (and that's double cut, these commercial mowers can MOVE but deck size makes the biggest impact, I'd have to guess you got a 3-foot or smaller deck).
    Via simple math, a 36" deck will be 25% slower than a 48"... So instead of 45 minutes, it takes an hour.

    On another note, I can't wait to test out my new 15hp Kohler, I finally figured out how to increase rpm's as far as I want to LOL
    That engine really revs now, too bad the older '05 Kohler got broke in at the lower rpm, pos.

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