What do you guys make

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by BeautifulBlooms, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    After taking into accoutn all my drive time, fertilzer costs, herbicide costs, time to apply fert and pesticides. I made $70 per hour doing fert and weed control. Have any of you ever analyzed it down to the dollar per hour you earned?

    My concern is I am making too much per hour to still be competitive. I am goign to be reworking my program this year for less fert as I think I had too much N in the program and my P was criticized so I am looking and removing the P from the applications. I also know costs are going way up this year so I was wondering if anyone else had analyzed how much they made per hour at fert and weed control.

    Of course you cannot account for equipment etc (but thats what the overhead which formulates your actual hourly rate), but I am using a backpack sprayer, lesco spreader, chevy silverado 1500 and thats it.
     
  2. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,846

    Jumping in here to get things going -- I would allow about 35% at most for most LCO's regarding salary expense, but that's just my opinion. If you work long hours, you might expect more. Depends what your overhead is. Hope this helps.:usflag:

     
  3. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    My normal hourly rate is $45 per hour for landscaping and such, but fertilizing we charge using a method of a minimum trip charge of $35 plus a $ amount per 1000 square feet for application charges and then we also mark up our fert 25%. So in the end if you add up the money i brought in from all fert and weed control contracts ($5000) and subtract out the cost of fertilizer and herbicide for the year ($1000). Then analyzing the time put into application of said fert and weed control including my travel time to and from these properties (57 hours of labor) = $70 per hour.

    I understand there is overhead and that is what I use to come to my normal hourly rate of $45, but fert and weed control is different because you cannot charge the same amount for everything. There is probably a wash in overhead of fert and weed control (less equipment and more travel costs) versus landscaping (more equipment costs, less travel costs).
     
  4. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    I think at 70 per hr your just fine for the area mike.
     
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,904

    You are ahead of me. I got about $69 per hour. (before expenses.)
     
  6. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    by before expenses do you mean your overhead like your truck and everythign else and your labor cost?

    and does before expenses include your fert and herbicide costs?
     
  7. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    I only have about 50 properties for w&f but they are schools, condo's and office buildings w/ about 10 houses and last year was our first year doing fert in house and we were seeing $175 per hr with the perma green spreader.

    Mike I would just look at what your charging per 1k + your trip charge and say well for a 6k sqft lawn iam charging '''''$50.00"""" and then minus 1/2 a bag etc..... The way i figured was an average per round so our 1st round takes 40 man hrs divided by $7,000= 175 gross minus the 1 pallet and $400 for the momentum fx2 one tank of gas $75 dep. of PG spreader $10 per hr so a rough idea of $5225/40=$130 NET
     
  8. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    before you figure that net amout....be sure you add in insurance costs,(Ie. truck insurance, liability insurance, health insurance) office operation costs (ie. stamps, envelopes...use a printer? then add toner costs, electric costs, paper costs, use a phone?...that cost as well) depreciation costs, Where do you store the fert (rent of shop costs) or do you pick up as needed from vendor (then its travel time costs and that tank of gas might really be two tanks?)

    One NEEDS to know all costs before one talks about the NET
     
  9. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    Yea just trying to get closer to a net cost than i made $100 for that job. I have not broken it down much further since I started doing fert after i already had shops and trucks so nothing changed for me except the purchase of a PG and 1 emp. ferts for one week or so instead of working with the const. crew. Storage i have at least 2000 sqft of shop space that was never used so we stack it there. so rough net $100 i am not sure i am the owner and pay others to tell me what i am making and what i need to charge, So i will ask them tomorrow when i get to the office
     
  10. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    I know about using overhead for formulating hourly rates, and I have already done that but in the end I brought in $70 per hour for each hour of fert and weed control. Which means I made an extra $25 per hour than I needed to cover my overhead (My normal rate is $45 per hour)

    My fert and weed control is no more expensive of an operation to run than my landscape maintenance side of things so I can consider my normal hourly rate as the minimum I would liek to achieve. I was able to make $25 more than my normal hourly rate so I think I did ok. I am just wondering if that is going to keep me from beign competitive.

    Lawnsrus I have a minimum visit fee of $35 plus the fertilizer. I went that low because I wanted to make sure I was able to pick up some jobs as I am also a fairly new business. I plan on doubling my property accounts this year( from 13 last year to 25 this year) which I think is reasonable.
    I also saw you have an enclosed trailer for sale on craigslist. Why dont you need that trailer anymore? I think it is a little too big for me however, we are probabyl looking for a 12 or 16 foot trailer.
     

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