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Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by robert fling, Mar 5, 2002.
In my opinion cleanups are the nastiest jobs in lawn maintenance therefor we price it accordingly.
I'm glad nobody took offense at my question because the way I worded it, you could have. I'm going to start looking around, maybe waste some gas tomorrow to see what I can find. You know,...if you saved the leaves from the fall and went around at night in the spring......it's a wonder how I've managed to stay out of jail. LOL
You are getting $75.00- $95.00 per man hour???!!!! i gotta move my company from my part of Jersey to where u are ROD!!!!!!!
Heard that Bryan, come on, come on!!!
How do you explain to your customers that $75-95 per hour is appropriate for each laborer. Is there something else figured into that price like dump fees or unloading all the crap you are cleaning up, or do you just stand there straight faced and tell a customer that for one man with no equipment (you charge accordingly when you use that) $75-95 is the going rate. I'm not calling you a liar, I just can't imagine a customer that would pay $1200-$1520 for two laborers to spend an 8 hour day cleaning up their property.
I have found that the majority of maintenance companies do not want to do this work in my area and as such every year we charge more and more, worrying that we might hit the maximum, and people continue to pay it without even hesitating....We charge what I would consider a lot but if you look at it compared to other services why should cleanups be a loss leader. Nothing in my book is work loosing money to gain the customer. Too many times in the beginning we have been burned with that approach.
I am a little dismayed as well. Personally, I don't understand how any rational person would pay that. And I am not sure I believe anyone does. Unless there's just something I don't get. Like, maybe the nearest yard debris drop off is 100 miles away and it costs $75 a yard to dump yard debris or something. Or maybe worker's comp in NJ is like $10 per hour worked. Or maybe liablility insurance is 10 times as much as it is here. I don't know....
All I know is that no matter how good you are, how good of a reputation you have, how fast you can work, you'd hardly EVER get a job charging those rates around here. Not for maintainance work like clean-ups.
I do agree with Nebraska, we have increased our price a little each year for clean-ups, to the point where we now make good money at them. And people still keep paying us to do them. But I am also aware that I don't land quite as high of a percentage of bids as I used to also. And I know for a fact I'd land less than 5% of them if I charged what rodfather says he charges.
If you look back, the $75-$95 per hour rate we charge is for running the mowers and vacuums. The vacs are on my 3, 72" Toro Groundsmasters . They vac up a lot of leaves at one time.
I did look back and you state that you are able to get almost $100/hr per man. I also bill my equipment used as laborers when they take the place of another person on the job, but im only able to get about half what your getting.
I have charged some pretty steep rates for certain services but I have NEVER come close to this figure per man hour!!! Can you elaborate as to how your able to sell services this high, apparently Ive overlooked some marketing techniques or just not found out how to be as savvy a contractor as you are.
A couple of things to take into consideration are (1) I charge $75 - $95 per hour for using the big Toros with vacuums. These are expensive machines (Toro estimates it costs me $20 - $25 per hour expense, which includes replacement cost) to just run the machines. Add in another $15-$20 per hour what I pay my men. Now add in insurance, workmans comp., travel time and everything else and that's why I charge that rate.
Secondly, I'm fortunate to work in some very affluent areas with some very large estates. One of my clients house is 22,000 square feet on 23 acres. Maybe it's not so much "marketing" savvy (though it helps), but selling my services in the right area sure does help.