Mowing prices

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by workaholic, Dec 25, 2003.

  1. workaholic

    workaholic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    Every one that mows lawns for a living, parttime full time or for a hobby must charge 25.00 and up. If you do not have a standard price its not worth your time. Most of us pay anywhere from 300.00 to 900.00 for a 21'' mower 250.00 to 500.00 for a trimmer 150.00 to 500.00 for a blower fuel, oil pickup, dumptruck, car trailior or whatever you use I can go on and on and on but the bottom line is most lawn and landscapers are in high demand today and if a product or service is in high demand what does that tell you? DO i have to explan? just say you have 5 customers on the same street and you figure Ill only charge them 10.00 dollars each and say it takes you ten minutes to do each yard so you made 50.00 in 50 minutes now subtract your trimmer, mower blower truck and trailior depreciation $3.00 for mower, $1.50 for trimmer $1.50 FOR BLOWER STRING TRIMMER LINE THAT was used and this subtration should be used on every lawn you mow oh yeah lets not forget about the fuel you used so 50.00 - 6.00 on each yard and thats not including fuel in your truck to get there and to the next area or home so in reality you made 20.00 for 50 minutes not including loading and unloading. like i said i can go on and on about cost. so you can stick a $1.00 a minute up someones ass cause it dont work like that you might think so but your wrong so next time you go bid a lawn think again long and hard before you sale yourself short I know I have been there.
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    may want to re-figure your depreciation. At your rate my mower would last about 6 months. So your saying you make what? $100, $200 per hour?
  3. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    some people are just idiots
  4. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    Another one you forgot is insurance. Insurance made a considerable jump in price last year and is projected to do it again for 2004. So those of you underbidding your work please reconsider. We already have enough trouble pulling a decent profit while dealing with the rising gas prices, which in turn affects everything all the way down to the replacement parts on equipment. Also take into consideration that our market isn't keeping up with inflation. $25/yard is what people were paying 6 years ago. Why is that still being charged today? Of course we all know the answer to that question, but change needs to be made.
  5. craigs lawncare

    craigs lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    Workaholic, I get your point, I really do. :)
    I am not looking to flame or insult you but, as lawnman scott suggested, you are, shall we say a bit aggressive on your depreciation estimates.
    $1.50 for trimmer line on one 10 minute lawn? :confused: $6.00 for fuel on each 10 minute yard? You must have meant all five lawns. Even that estimate would be a little high. I dont know how much your gas is per gallon but where I live its about $1.50. :confused:
    Man... you better re-think your formula for pricing lawns over a little bit more.
    As work_it said, I believe insurance is now the biggest albatross we have to contend with.
    I do get your point and there is no way I charge only $10 for any lawn, no-matter how small it is.

    Craig :)
  6. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    Agree too, like what you're doing but agressive. Here is what I had expense wise for the year on mowing based on me mowing 2,000 lawns per year by my self for those things listed $5.08 for a $25 lawn. I am trying to eliminate $.50 of that this year by getting rid of my storage unit and building my own.
  7. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,112

    I don't get it. Are these prices this way everywhere but here? We do almost 300 residential lawns a week. Most of them are small (less than 3000 sq ft of turf). The average price for these are $15.00. It's not that we are working cheap, it is that we have to be competitive. Every spring my customers call with a handful of flyers showing prices from $10 and up. I know for a fact that if I stuck with a minimum of even $20, I would lose 75% or more of my clients. The LCO business is very heavy in this area. If I do a search within 20 miles or so, I will get a list of over 800 companies. I have always said that there was no money in cutting grass. It is just a service we need to provide. Our money is made on snow, plain and simple. I wish I could get decent money for these lawn accounts. Granted, on some larger lawns and in the more pricey subs we are getting $40 & up cuts. It is really kind of crazy. The cost of having a lawn cut has only gone up a few dollars in this area in the last 20 years. The $15 lawns were $12 back in 85. It is crazy. On the one hand, my insurance is cheap. For what it costs me for plowing ins., my agent writes in the lawn maint portion for an additional $75 a year. I run all older trucks but new equipment. I don't know. Sometimes I look at some of these postings and just scratch my head. I don't know if it is us (LCOs) or the consumer. This area just sucks. There is plenty of work, but it doesn't pay anything. I have always been the one explaining that you are paying for quality and it's not about the price. How do I compete with hundreds of LCOs working out of their homes, no ins., low ball pricing, and still giving quality service? I know there are some hacks out there, but for the most part... everyone does a good job. Where is the selling point? I have gotten myself into a frenzy this morning.. I will stop ranting..
  8. craigs lawncare

    craigs lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    Maybe if you can, you should try picking up larger lawns like factories and businesses.
    Anyone with a Craftsman push mower can and will mow yards for $10 per cut. However, not everyone can or will put money down on an $8000+ Z to mow the larger businesses. Businesses require insurance for their own liability concerns. This sets apart the men from the boys.
    Its nice to have residential lawns as well, I personally have about 50/50. But, once you get into the non-residential side of it, things start to brighten up a bit. At least they did for me. This allowed me to keep my profitable lawns and dump the cheapskates. :D
    At the beginning of the mowing season, I always show all of my customers a copy of my liability insurance! This is a very important selling point. It en-grains the notion into their head for future leverage when you do increase their price. So when you increase them to $20 or whatever, if they say, "I have had dozens of flyer's with guys who will mow my yard for $10." Just ask them if they have shown you their proof of insurance.
    In this day and age of the lawyer, this statement speaks for itself :D

  9. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,112

    I may have led you off in the wong direction. Only about 25% of my work is residential. I run one 3 man crew for residentials. The rest is all commercial. For years I have always kept to myself. Most of my trucks aren't lettered and follow no fleet simularities. I did this for several reasons. Nobody pays any attention to the "little guy". They don't see my name in front of them all the time. I don't have to worry about my competition seeing that I am getting bigger and wanting to steal my accounts. I can slip in and out of jobs and nobody gives me a second look. The only units that are lettered are the residential rigs. I do this in hopes of aquiring new jobs at stops where I am already working. Most of my residential stops are at least 3 homes and as many as 9. This is the only way to be efficient. I still make money on the residentials, just not as much as I would like. I have a great reputation with my commercial customers. Most of them pay me a little more because of the service I provide. I am not refering to the lawn either. It's all about the plowing. I have picked up most of my good commercial lawns through doing the snow. I only give priority with the snow to the customers that also have the lawn done by us. It works out well.. I was only ranting about the residential prices before. I get good money for the commercial jobs, so that's not even an issue.
  10. workaholic

    workaholic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    No Im not saying I make 100.00 per hour and no I do not need to refigure my depreciation. look 5 yards side by side at 25.00 each and just say Im using 1 man (myself) IT takes 20 minutes to get to job site using my truck and trailor < cost now I unload equit. <cost fuel up equit. < cost . now if I only charged the first customer 10.00 for his lawn I LOST MONEY. NOW I must recoup my loss so I figure I will make 40.00 on the next 4 yards. this is where you must subtract so much for equitment its called depreciation (on every lawn that you do) MINE IS 6.00 REMEMBER THESE LAWNS ARE 5000 SQ. FT AND im using 21" mower trimmer and blower so 6.00 subtracted from each yard = WHAT? 24.00 SO 24.00 subtracted from 40.00 is16.00 and I didnt includ insurances my point is you must charge a standard rate. ( I PERSONALLY DONT CARE WHAT YOU CHARGE just trying to help in understanding your costs associated in this business like i said a dollar a minute u can go stick that up someones ass because its false and I am referring to other threads when i say that .you obviously dont take your operating cost in to consideration or you dont know any better and if you disagree so be it continue to bust your ass for pennys.... same goes for eagle boy scout..

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