oleandar trimming??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cl&l c.c. Tx, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. cl&l c.c. Tx

    cl&l c.c. Tx LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Hello everyone!

    I have a few questions about pricing a job I just got trimming oleandars. This is my first post on lawnsite, however I have been reading the posts on here for about a month and I have already learned alot. It seems to me one of the most important things to NOT do is to under bid a job, so here's what the job entails. There are 18 bushes that range from about 17' to 20' high, and they are pretty thick. The customers wants them trimmed down to about 5' high. I have one person who will be helping me on the job and I will be paying him $8 an hour. I think the job will probably take between 3 to 5 hours to complete between the 2 of us. I don't have to haul the trimmings anywhere, the customer is taking care of that himself. My drive time is only about 15 minutes each way.So I was wondering what you guys would price this job at?Oh yeah one more thing the customer is a friend of mine who has done me numerous favors for me in the past so I want to give him a good deal, but I don't want to screw myself in the process. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I hope I provided enough imformation. Thanx !!
     
  2. jim dailey

    jim dailey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 614

    If he is a great friend, and has done you some favors..........do him a favor. Only charge him for your helper's labor and something small for your expenses for the day. Throw your labor for the job out the window. And let him know this. Money should never come between friends. After all, you are a business man. Sometimes, in business, you have to SPEND money to MAKE money. It will only hurt for a short time. Just keep thinking of the favors he has done for you.
     
  3. cl&l c.c. Tx

    cl&l c.c. Tx LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Thanks for the advice Jim. I guess should explain my situation a bit more. My friend owns a business here in town and usually gives me about a 20% discount on all of my purchases (which I don't purchase things very much or very often). The problem I have is I'm not sure how much I should charge for this job even if it was for a regular customer. I mainly do just yard maintenace(mow, trim, edge....), and I'm new to all of this anyway. I think I bid pretty well on my maintenance jobs, but I have no idea how much I should charge on this trim job. So if anyone could let me know approx. what you would charge atleast I would have a ballpark figure and work from there.
     
  4. RonB

    RonB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 429

    Not knowing what an oleander was I googled them. Looks like a bush that can grow into a tree and it's poisonous. Eating 30-40 leaves can kill a horse.

    If their 20' and you're cutting them to 5' about all that's going to be left are sticks, right? Why not chainsaw them? Shouldn't take long at all. Ask the guy if $100 sounds fair and if not then him what's a fair price .. if he says like $50, then come back with, how about $60 .. ? Moving 15' of debris would be the bigger chore imo.

    Oh and tell him not to chomp on the leaves. ha
     
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,314

    Usually can't/shouldn't chain saw these, use loppers. It will take around 15 minutes on each one so your time est. is pretty good. AT $100 you will learn that you won't want to do it again....hard stuff unless you can get completely around them.
     
  6. cl&l c.c. Tx

    cl&l c.c. Tx LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Yeah I didn't think i could use a chainsaw, the limbs are pretty soft and would probably just get chewed up with the saw. I think I will quote my friend $175, if it was anyone else probably $250. Do you guys think this is a fair amount?
     
  7. cl&l c.c. Tx

    cl&l c.c. Tx LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    oh yeah and yes they are easilly accessable from all sides
     
  8. dtelawncare

    dtelawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    I have read up on those plants before. Using a chainsaw will cause the dust to fly into your face. Burning them and breathing it will cause major irritation. The saw may cause the same effect. The price seems ok. You may want to chek it out to make sure the Oleander can handle that much taken off at once. May be fine, but make sure.
     
  9. RonB

    RonB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 429

    You're right about the dust and smoke. I went back and found a better photo and read more. At first I thought they were more like a crepe myrtle but see the branches aren't that thick.

    Also read that cutting more than a third off could shock the plant.
     
  10. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    It really wont be as hard of a job as it sounds. And dont worry about shocking the plant by taking too much off. I had one in my yard I wanted to get rid of and after trying to pull it out with a 4wheel drive truck and have it not budge at all I cut it below the ground, cut x's in the stump, cut the main roots I could see and doused it with roundup, covered it with dirt and sodded the area. A couple years later there is a 30 foot olyander in that spot. You wont hurt it.
     

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