Solo Op's...What do you earn?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Surf'n'Turf, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. Surf'n'Turf

    Surf'n'Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    OK, I've seen the arguments of solo LCO's vs. those with crews and employees. Curious as to what a good, well organized solo guy that does maintenance work could potentially earn. Be honest and brag if you like but please don't turn this into a hate thread. My guesstimate is max. around 75k after overhead and before taxes based on avg. of $500.00-$600.00 per day 200 days out of the year.
  2. DistLawns

    DistLawns LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 120

    Your bout right, I got about 50 accts, mostly resi's, few commercial, bring home about 50,000. But I don't work all day long, theres plenty of room for me to grow, which is what i'm trying to do
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Just mowing solo, $75K would be a stretch, but totally possible. I'd say a comfortable range would be $50-65K/yr.

    Add in snow plowing and you could easily do 6 figures.

    The problem is the amount of work you could cram in THIS time of year. This and the fall are your limiting factors. I have had ZERO rain days (days unable to mow due to rain) this season as of yet. Any other year I'm swamped and cutting like crazy to keep up between the rains.

    Lots of variables. Biggest of which is your area. And what rates your able to charge.
  4. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    Last year (2005) I grossed $143,998.05.

    This was $10k in firewood sales, about $20k in snowplowing, and about $113k in lawn maintenance.

    I don't do any landscaping, other than small (less than $1000) jobs for my current accounts.

    I maintain roughly 38 accounts per year, 15 of which I plow as well.

    The 15 that I plow, they are on a set fee yearly, the other 23 I maintain in the summer, they are all on contract as well.

    Last year I my net was right around $50k.

    Out of those expenses I spent roughly $15,000 on fuel.
    $6,000 on fertilizer.
    $1,500 on misc. landscape supplies.
    $8,500 on 2 new Boss snowplows.
    $14,500 on a 2001 Toro 11' WAM.
    $2,000 on cell phone bill.
    $11,000 on a trade difference between a 2002 Dodge Ram against a new 2005 Dodge Ram

    Those were the bigger purchases. I only threw in the landscape supply part to show that I wasn't padding my gross with reimbursements for landscape supplies.

    I've also got a 2003 Dodge Ram that's my backup truck.

    It's long hours to gross $113k in a 6 month growing season here in MN, but it's doable.
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    but for how long? longevity is the question.
  6. Surf'n'Turf

    Surf'n'Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    Man22, those are greats #'s for a solo guy.
    I see your point bobbyg. Only so long you can carry on and sustain at a fast pace. Invest your $ so it makes $ so you can slow down over the years. Too many vehicles to do this to list.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Pardon me, but exactly how are you going to get 500-600 / day sustained, day after day?

    Please explain this to me, I'd really like to know how you guys do this on rainy days and in the 95+ degree temps of July and August.

    Then again, this same bs was going around last year on this forum but funny things is, not a one of those guys is here now.

    Guess they all thought that if you gross 1.2k a week in spring that it is like that year-round. If that is what you think, you will have a rude awakening come end of June as you continue to cut grass in the HEAT and turning the turf first yellow and then brown like a fool (btw, brown grass is DEAD grass). Some customers will be ignorant and may love your suggestion of restoring their whole lawn in september, but the ones who are not ignorant will not be very happy.
  8. OMG

    OMG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 275

    Keep in mind though, you would have netted alot more without the equipment upgrades.

    Good luck to you.
  9. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 720

    . . . Well when it's hot, you gut it out. Been in 90's for the last 2 weeks. It was 100 here Monday and 98 Tuesday . . . and it's only April. It's 95 + from Mid-May into October down here. If we stopped mowing and fertilizing because of the heat nothing would get done all summer long.

    That's when we earn the money; the new start-ups are gone by Memorial Day.
  10. Surf'n'Turf

    Surf'n'Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    Topsites....Is it possible that as a solo man you can make a high one day and a low the next and it averages out? You seem to have all the answers, so the forum is yours....

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