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The Cost of Traveling

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by capetan, May 20, 2008.

  1. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    especially this year.......
    i have been getting calls to cut and trim properties, about anywhere from 10 to 20 miles from home, so round trip 20-40 miles, and i am trying to grow my lawn service side of my landscaping business...
    the thing is the cost in time and money to do a property is ridiculous....
    before i even start cutting it cost me $8 to $12 just in gas to get there and back, plus 30 to 50 minutes to drive there and back, so say i just charge $10 for my time to drive 50 minutes for a job (that seems fair right),
    thats $22 before i even start cutting, and normally charge about $35 for a 1/4 acre cut, so thats
    $57 to cut a quarter acre (gas, drive time, and cut about 90 to 100 minutes) , customer thinks the price is outrageous (which it is ), and says no, i have been telling customers my cost would be less if i had more work in your neighborhood, so it would cover my drive time and gas.......


    obviously if i had a few of these cuts in the same neighborhood the cost would go down significantly....... its tough to grow a lawn business when, i cant offer a competitive price if i have to drive more than 5 miles from my house
    my question is how do you guys make money when you have to travel more than 5 miles and you have no other lawns in that area ? do you just not charge for the gas and time to get there? :confused::confused::confused: and :confused:
  2. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    what i do is if i have one yard way out of the way is put flyer's out in that part of town. every few weeks on my off time. in one part of town i was driving 38 miles to do one lawn every other week . small lawn can't charge a whole lot.now a few months later i have 9 lawns in the same part of town. now it is worth the drive. just relax and it will come to you if you are willing to work hard for it..
  3. Lawn Neophyte

    Lawn Neophyte LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    Well pizza delivery charges $1.50 to $2.00 for gas.

    I charge $3 to $4 for vehicle gas round trip (not including gas for mower and equipment).
  4. rachael24

    rachael24 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    What are the gas prices in Florida now? And do these numbers change with prices?
  5. Lawn Neophyte

    Lawn Neophyte LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    Gas prices in FL are $3.79 per gallon.
  6. Wayne's Lawn Service

    Wayne's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    You may want to consider calculating your total cost per hour of operation including anticipated fuel cost. In our market, we have had several clients recently ask if we had a fuel charge and what they are. Many contractors are stating lower mowing cost and adding significant fuel surcharges. I think the consumer is wising up to that process.

    Although calculating cost per hour is not the easiest thing to accomplish, I have found that after the first couple years of rising fuel prices that we had to sit back and try to anticipate fuel cost and build that into our cost per hour of operation and adjust it accordingly if we needed to. Our clientele has appreciated the fact that we are in the minority of vendors that have not added an additional fuel charge. It's not that we are scared to charge it, it is simply that we have anticipated the cost and calculated it into our cost per hour.

    Yes fuel is expensive, but what this fuel problem is really doing is helping the entire lawn & landscape industry take a closer look at how we price our jobs.
  7. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,641

    went through this today with a customer.....after I broke everything down to him he understood

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