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Need Reassurance

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ProImage, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. ProImage

    ProImage LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Sorry for this post, I know leaf pricing has been talked about a lot but I need some reassurance. I am solo and I just did a residence that took me 6 hours to do. I finished the leaves but the owner wants me to remove the piles of branches and I will do one last cut. I am thinking of charging $50/hr for the leaves/branches. Owner said to do it and send the bill (w/out knowing the price). Too much? Any guys in Jersey, what do you think?
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,193

    You need to let them know what the price is going to be.......you apparently have some concern so get it out of the way.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Price it based on your own level of experience, the amount of work, and last but not least your comfort zone.

    I just got done with a 2 hour leaf and grass-cutting job for which I billed $120, but then I have a 10hp pushblower that clears at least 4x the debris any backpack blower can do... It would've took at least 3-4 maybe even 5-6 hours with a backpack, but for the same amount of work, how can anyone charge more or base it by the hour?

    I understand hourly is how it works out, but I can't just charge whatever, say I go in with a little leaf rake and a tarp and it takes me all day to clean that same yard, what do I do... Charge $400?

    In the end I also know I might lose a customer over it, even thou I felt the price was (finally) right. This is my 5th leaf season, that same yard has taken considerably longer than 2 hours before, with the same equipment, but 2-3 years ago I only charged $40 / hour, so while I earn more per hour, the total sum is comparable (I just hate it when they time me and act all shocked nowadays lol).

    As an example, back in those days I'd go through tank after tank of fuel on the 2-cyclers...
    Today I did a small yard before the $120 one, charged $50 for that, all with the backpack.
    The $120 yard I used the pushblower but also the backpack, and while I refilled the pushblower once, the backpack ran low but never out, and the pushblower has a good amount of fuel left in it.

    My first year, I got $30 pmh with the pushblower... The experience gained over the next several hundred leaf jobs taught me how to do it right, the first time, everytime... So now it takes less time, thus I earn more / hour.
    So I think it boils down to that.
  4. ProImage

    ProImage LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Thanks ed2Hess and topsites. I used a backpack for all the edges and beds, then a 6hp little wonder and had to rake and tarp it to bring it out to the road. Ton of leaves in the back and had to get through a 40" gate.
  5. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    anywhere from $40-$60/hour is fine so youre on the money + removal fee
  6. JoeFireman

    JoeFireman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I'm solo too and have been doing this 20 years (part time) I think 50 an hour is fair but please dont tell your client that just bill him. Where in NJ?
  7. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    6 hours of labor x $50 per hour = $300.00
    $50 per hour (removal) x time to remove debris = x

    $300 + removal price x = total to be billed
  8. ProImage

    ProImage LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Thanks DBL, JoeFireman and Williams. JoeFireman I'm in Colts Neck, Monmouth Cty. DBL and Williams where I am we only have to put out to the road most towns by me pick up the leaves and I try to schedule my clean-ups around tthe time they will come so as to not have the leaves sitting on the lawns and kill it. Thank you all for the input.
  9. JRS Landscaping

    JRS Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 817

    i get 35 $ per man hour + doubled dump fees in north jersey
  10. JoeFireman

    JoeFireman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    There killing me with all this rain (NJ) Cant put them out every week like the old days.

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