Man Hour $ vs employee $

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by wanabe, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. wanabe

    wanabe LawnSite Senior Member
    from So. IL
    Posts: 943

    Just a quick poll, but what do you charge and what do you pay per hour? My ex boss was charging $35 and paying $13.00 with no ins, vac, 401k, ect. Employees had 3-7 years exp, and all could work as the forman(had the skills). I thought it was out of line?
     
  2. mslawn

    mslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from LA
    Posts: 483

    Just how was it out of line?
     
  3. MOWEMJEFF

    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    once he pays for equipment, taxes, insurance hes most likely making less per hour off you then your making off him.
     
  4. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,233

    Keep in mind the biggest profit killer of all , non billable work hrs. Loading trucks, driving , downtime because of down equitment.foreman talking to the customer while the crew hangs in the street smoking butts telling whhore stories and war stories.
     
  5. MOWEMJEFF

    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    That might be the one thing I miss since I went solo.
     
  6. wanabe

    wanabe LawnSite Senior Member
    from So. IL
    Posts: 943

    All the equipment was billed seperate. This was a landscape operation, and the only things we did not charge extra for was the stuff like shovels, rakes, ect. The skidloader, tractor, dump trucks, ect was all charged at $55-70 per hour. The company also made money on the material, and the faster we worked, the more they made. And we were not allowed breaks, or to stop at the gas station for snacks, so we did not wast time. We often loaded/unloaed on our own time before/after work. I just thought 50% of the per hour charge was a little more reasonable(with no benifits)?
     
  7. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Depends upon how profitable you want to be.
    My crews are all on with-holdings, workers comp, full uniform re-reimbursement, plus I have all of the remaining operational overhead to deal with.
    What you mentioned does not seem out of line to me at all, if anything it seems a bit low.
    The one aspect I will not allow is loading/equipment prep off of the clock - everyone logs in each day with my secretary then proceeds to prep for that day. I have timed what a typical load out should take, the crews know this so they don't stand around jacking off.
    Additionally, I will not negotiate a job or service with a crew laying idle - poor business ethic and completely avoidable.
     
  8. MOWEMJEFF

    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    If he gave you 15$/hour that would cost him WAY more. For all the taxes you get taken out of your check, he has to match. For every $1000 you make he has to pay around 3% for insurance. So if he payed you half or 17.50/hour it would be costing him around $22-$23/hour. Then you factor in drive time, time spent in the shop, overtime when hes still charging the customer the same price. In Maine Foreman are lucky to get much more then $13/hour, let alone the labors. A seasoned vet might get $12 if they're lucky. And your boss is probably either working 80-100 hour weeks so he still needs to pay himself, or else he has to pay accounts, managers, and other people to do the work for him for big bucks.
     
  9. wanabe

    wanabe LawnSite Senior Member
    from So. IL
    Posts: 943

    There was no overtime paid, even though we worked it. I understand the whole tax thing, and the workers comp, which is not that expensive(I checked into that). Almost 0 shop time, most weeks it was zero. This was no maintance operation. I could chage oil in about everything in 2 hours and we only did that every 7-8 months. Trucks were dropped off for maintance. That was it for shop time. As far as drive time, most of the time I just drove to the job, and several other employees did so also. The clock did not start until the trucks arrived at the job. Only went to the shop on days that there was a lot to load, or nobody was able to drive a truck. Owner was working out of a shop that was family owned=no rent=no cost. So there is no overhead there. And we did not have uniforms provided. And the two trucks that we had were used more for personal use than business use. The employee truck/100% company was 34 years old. Yes, 34 years old! So $35x6 employees=$210 per hour, or $1680 per 8 hr day. Plus all the material markup. Wages =$624 per day($13x8), x3%tax=$18.72 per day, work comp $24 per day. And we never used over $75 a day for fuel in the trucks, as 95% of the work was within a 10 mile area from the home shop. I still think there was alittle more room for some more $ per hour. 50 percent of the employees left this year, and all are now making over $13 per hour starting, and all have full benifits.
     
  10. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 2,994

    So quit and go where the others went. You sound like a whiner that your boss probably wouldn't mind losing.
     

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