$1 a minute is a myth !

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mikes Lawn Landscape, May 22, 2004.

  1. Mikes Lawn Landscape

    Mikes Lawn Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 458

    I figure you guys will have some fun with this one.:D

    This week was about as productive as I can get ! Maybe I could increase productivity by 10%.

    We worked 45 hours with a 2 man crew that is 90 man hours assuming 5 hours drive time (Which is probably high) we had 80 man hours on property and I will tell you I did not gross $4800 this week.

    Well Mike your prices are too low. Nope I'm at or above what the market will bear.

    You need a bigger mower. Nope I'm running a 52" Z which is perfect for my properties.

    Your route is not tight. That could be but assume I could cut my windshield time down to 1 hour that still puts me well below $1.00 a minute.

    Well MIke what did you gross ? Not gonna tell ya but is was not $1.00 a minute

    So I will say it again $1.00 per minute per man minute is a myth:D
  2. Show-Me Lawn Care

    Show-Me Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    $1 per minute is a myth in my area of Southwest MO also, at least for mowing.
  3. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    I'm at about $47 an hour after drive time with the w/b and sulky. That is a consistent number. I hope with my new Z to get it about $50. I'd say on the right properties with the right price & machine ya could hit $60/hr.
  4. MDSR

    MDSR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Charging by the square foot or even by the minute isn't necessarily a myth, but rarely accurate unless you have everything down so tight, so organized, and so efficient that the word "perfection" comes to mind. It all comes down to your time....that's what you are selling.....know fixed and variable costs and what you need to profit and you will always be fine.
  5. Mikes Lawn Landscape

    Mikes Lawn Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 458

    Is that by yourself or with a helper ? There is a big difference
  6. edrenckh

    edrenckh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    I can tell you this, when I am at the customers house, I get AT LEAST $1 a min.

    I use a 52" WB and solo.

    That doesn't iclude drive time, sharpening blades, books, oil changes, etc......
  7. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    Here is the way i look at it. Now, im not a business guru and i dont know my numbers that well but, i charge the customers approx. 1$ per minute. Drive time is an expense to me. So the trick is to see how many minutes i can keep they guys out of the truck. Most of our route is with houses that are like 1 and two minutes away. Sometimes it is like 5 minutes. You may not gross 1$ per minute for the entire time you were at work and i can understand that. I am just happy having money after paying guys and bills. Then i still get to be out there doing the job i LOVE.
  8. Mikes Lawn Landscape

    Mikes Lawn Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 458

    So in a 40 hour week your grossing $2400 consistently SOLO or $86,400 a year SOLO based on 36 weeks. Thats pretty darn good just for mowing !
  9. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    I always base my charge on at least $1.25 - $2.00 per minute for the time I spend on a property for myself and a helper (two men). We can do a $30 property easily in 15-20 minutes or less. That includes the trimming, blowing and some require a little push mowing too.

    I have never figured my per minute rate to include drive time, but if I would calculate that into the total, it would guess it still should come out somewhere around $50 - $70 an hour. I just looked at a typical week and for that week it averaged $80 per hour (gross) for the 31 hours we worked.

    Of course the properties will vary, but top quality, fast, well maintained machinery is very essential to achieving the highest revenue.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I talked to a slightly mentally challenged fellow late Friday who told me he was mowing a two acre property for $45. He told me he really did it fast and it took him two hours.

    So far this year he hasn't sharpened his blade on his riding mower because he doesn't know how to remove it, let alone how to go about sharpening it. I tried to explain to him that the blade tip had to remain sharp in order to cut properly. He said no one ever told him that.

    The point is that there are all kinds of people mowing today, with all different types of equipment and levels of readiness. I told this fellow to raise his rate on that property by $10. He said he was thinking about doing that next year. I told him to do it on Monday.... because he would still be cheap and not have to worry about losing the customer.
  10. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,120


    I struggle to gross a dollar a minute with a two man crew.

    If you're coming anywhere close to a dollar a minute, per man, you're doing very well.

    I figure in an 11 hour day, I can gross $600 with a two man crew. That's on a very tight route too. That 11 hours includes hooking up the trailer in the morning, gassing up the truck and equipment, lunch and parking the trailer in the mini-storage unit at the end of the day.

    I've known the dollar a minute thing was a myth for a while now. At least in our area where 1/2 to 3/4 of the LCO's are mexican owned. Our only advantage is that people want to do business with people they can communicate with. If a guy only wants his lawn mowed, it's not a tremendous advantage.

    DFW Area Landscaper

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