Sometimes I think Lawncare is a Hobby

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by larryinalabama, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,009

    I hop in the truck this morning and listen to the exhaust leak that Im wating for the off season to fix. The cost will likley be 300$ to 400$.
    So I get to the 2 houses that I service on Wednsday, pull the mower off the truck, all while looking at the soon to be bald tires and know the mower will need over 500$ worth of stuff to get another year out of her.
    I then proceed to edge, I had to struggle to get the edger coupled onto the Stihl Kombi because its about worn out, get it hooked up but the pos kombi wont start.
    So off to the Stihl Store and 380$ and over an hour later Im finally working.
    Everything went smooth after that, then I get a call from my neighbor wanting to use my mini excavator so the feller he hired to cut his grass to replace me could put a new water main line in.

    At least I do enyoy this business.

    Posts: 1,343

    Sounds like a normal day for us as well!
    Your not alone, chin up and keep moving forward. Good luck.
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  3. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Only two accounts a day? no wonder your struggling, I remember when I was there myself, just a year or so ago. We do 8-9 a day now and struggle to keep up.
  4. B-2 Lawncare

    B-2 Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 263

    I am right there in that boat with you, glad I am not alone lol.
  5. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,069

    I know what you mean, got a list of repairs for equipment building. I did have an ex-employee call last week wanting me to loan him some equipment, no sir.
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  6. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    I started my day airing up my rear drivers side tire just so I could drive without causing a blowout. It has a nail stuck in it that I haven't had a chance to take care of... thus the slow leak I gotta keep an eye on. Everything else was going alright up until my 5th account when a shoulder strap on my blower broke. Also while I was at that house, I ran over and broke a sprinkler that I didn't have a replacement for on hand. Just another day in paradise.
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  7. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Looks like a new set of tires and shocks for my truck over the winter, probably go ahead with new tires on the trailer too. Yep the list is building.
  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Sheesh man that's terrible! Beats wrenching anyday though!
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  9. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    It is very difficult to run full overhead recovery.

    I do have my excel spread sheet set up

    I have my large assets
    Large Mower
    All that is added up and divided by 10,000 hours or 5 years of use
    I add a percentage for taxes, insurance and repairs plus inflation.

    I do the same for small equipment but over 6,000 hours or 3 years.

    This is simplified but you get the idea. It gives me a hourly cost.

    I do a monthly cost for my shop, utilities, and various adminstrative cost.

    I then project this cost over 12 month and divide by my mowing season... Residential is 9 months and commercial is 12 month. I then come up with an hourly cost.

    I have my labor, I add burden to it. I then add all this up add my markup and I now have an hourly rate.

    You have to build this rate for yourself with your cost. You also have to realize you will not be 100% productive so recapturing all the cost is hard.

    Some times you do not get full rate on your jobs but some overhead recovery is better than none cause the cost do not stop kust because you do not have work.

    For me, residential mowing does not really make a profit but it helps fill in holes in the schedule, it does pay for OH and as such it helps. Residental also generates other work that is profitable.
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Two front tires on the NPR 2 months ago, two more tires two weeks ago, medical card at $100 each, vehicle inspection $75....gas/diesel...that's the killer right there.
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