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Storm Cleanup - What would you charge?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by outsourced, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. outsourced

    outsourced LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    I showed up today at my largest account and they had been nailed by a thunderstorm Tuesday night. Its about 15 acres and lots of huge trees. Anyway, there were limbs down everywhere and 4 or 5 trees also had big limbs broken and hanging. Called the secretary who takes care of the property (owner lives in Europe for the last 5 years) and she told me to clean it all up and charge her "whatever". I was sweating getting off my cutting schedule at this point and was working solo today. So I busted butt hard on the chainsaw for 7.5 hours and cleaned it all up and had to climb 3 trees to get hangers. When complete I had my 16' trailer stuffed with limbs and every bit of 10 feet high. So here is my question: I don't really do much storm cleanup and never do tree work by the hour. Since I was alone and had a schedule to make up I pushed harder than I normally would ever expect someone to work. No breaks for anything but water. To top it all off it was 95 degrees in the shade and very humid. So what is a fair price? I was thinking 50 an hour, my wife says 60. I think that any of the trees crews I know would have bid it at 7 or 8 hundred. All input is appreciated. Also, in our county you cant burn and dump fee is $95 for a 16' trailer. However, I can take it out to my father-in-law's property the next county over and dump it in his burn-pile. Any rule of thumb on whether you would pocket the dump fee, or pass all or some of that savings to the customer?
  2. Mancinioldhorse

    Mancinioldhorse LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Well I don't know what you normally charge per hour for service's but what I do is if it's a service i normally provide i charge my normal rate...but if it's something out of the ordinary, that will not only be difficult, but will change your schedules as well as your employees, I charge AT LEAST $20.00 per hour over and above my normal hourly rate. Now the dump fee is something else...if you are charging them for a dump fee but keeping the money thats not something I'd do...but it's your call...what I would do is make sure you charge for time and gas no matter how you handle it. I normally charge 43.50 per hour..so i'd charge 63.50 minimum. and don't forget to add the extra time for the hauling and dumping.
  3. ToroLandscaper

    ToroLandscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    If you got 50.00 a hour and you worked for 7.5 hours AND you charged $95.00 for haul off that would come out to be only $420.00 and if you really busted your A$$ all day you know thats not worth it i would charge what the local tree service would. 420.00 dollars is not enough at all go way higher. And i dont know about the person owning all this but by the little bit i do know about the person it seems they are pretty well off.....they live in Europe AND have there own secutary.
  4. lwcmattlifter

    lwcmattlifter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 859

    You can't price gouge someone bases on the social or income status, it's illegal. Because this is more like specialty/emergency work you should charge 1.5 times your normal rate. I think you should charge 8 hours at $75 plus your dump fee. You should be charging for your time to dump and fuel cost in addition to the dump price.
  5. shepoutside

    shepoutside LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,205

    I agree, 75 is fair, and add time to unload your trailer too. Maybe charge 10 hours, and no dump fee, or you 8 plus dump fee. You charge to get rid of the debris, how and where you do that is your business.
  6. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,458

    You did the work of a tree company, plus, I am sure you did a much better clean up. If the customer had hired a tree company you would have had to charge for cleaning up behind them.

    Charge tree company rates, charge mileage for your vehicle and charge for the dump. That's fair, because the customer received a good job and no additional charges were required. Another plus for the customer is the job was completed in a timely manner with no vehicular damage to the turf.

  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    All I am gonna say is $50 per hour is way low. $60 per hour is a little better. I wouldn't have even thought about it for less than $75 and probably wouldn't have done it for less than $100.

    Remember you are selling convience not grass cutting (or whatever the service happens to be). Obviously, don't charge $10,000. But she did say just do it. Before and after pics may have been a good idea, but I would say $800 minimum plus dump charge. I get $75 for that and our dump is free for yard waste.
  8. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,458

    Precision is correct because he has been there and done that. Storm clean up @ 100 per hour is about right. It goes for much more than that in Florida after a hurricane.

    Pensacola, Florida
  9. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Don't sell yourself short.. $750 sonds like a fair price for the job, then add fifty bucks or so for the haul to your inlaw's and torch the stuff..

    I'd say that'd be good for a days work..

    Just for the record, after storms, if the debris was on a house, that number would be signifigantly more...
  10. outsourced

    outsourced LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Thanks for all the help! I ended charging 550 and next time will be more. It looked great even though nobody will see it but deer and turkey. LOL

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