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$10 an acre, you've GOT to be kidding!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KirbysLawn, Aug 4, 2000.

  1. AGG Lawn Maintenance

    AGG Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    from Elberon
    Messages: 422

    $10.00 an acre!!! Two thumbs down. =( He must live at the place he cuts for free. Then maybe you have a deal. We charge about $40.00 an acre around here. The markets tight so its hard to get more. But to get less easy, he would get all the jobs in my area. The question is would he be able to keep them? Travis AG&G Lawn Maintenance "Where quality and reliable service counts"
  2. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    "Oh, well Mr. Scrub is still cheaper she says. If Mr.Scrub would adhere to the rules like most of us it would be amazing what we could charge for our services."

    Being lower priced does not make one automatically a scrub. It makes one competitive. Are they a scrub because they have more productive equipment? Lower overhead? Maybe this guy uses a second hand wide area mower which has been paid for the past fifteen years. Maybe this guy didnt just drop $40k for a shiny new powersmoke and is still using his 23-year old Chevy.

    You compete when you can; otherwise you try to take a lesson from it so next time around maybe you will be allowed to belly up to the bar.
  3. One man with no other equipment (lawn) other than an old pickup and trailer, could make up to $40 an hour at $10 per acre with a 72" Toro or Jacobson groundsmaster, bought for a grand from a local golf course.
  4. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,822

    Lawnguy, you gone off the deep end on this one. Bigger, faster equipment NEVER EVER should mean you charge alot less money than the going job price. Penalising yourself in this way so that you make less profit than you could have is just plain ********. I didn't drop my prices when I got my lazer. Even though it knocked 20 min of most jobs. Damn thing drinks gas like crazy. The parts on it are expensive. The engine is still going to just run so many hours. Whe i give a job price the faster I do it the better for me. Every hour of every day spent working should be maxed out in the profit capabilities. Or you are just cheating yourself. Which is stupid. Take for example this eye surgeon I saw on the news. The going rate is 5000$$ for the new eye surgery. He is doing an operation every 10 minutes. All day long!! 20 patients waiting on him at all times. Think he cut the going rate because he was doing the job faster or voluminous? Hell no he doesn't. I guess be cause he is a doctor and much smarter than the 10$ an acre goober.
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    " Penalising yourself in this way so that you make less profit than you could have is just plain ********."

    As an example, your expenses work out to, say $40 an hour, My expenses work out to $10 an hour, you mow the 7 acres in three hours with your $7000 Lazer and charge $150 I mow the 7 acres in two hours with my $1000 groundsmaster for $70 I just made $50 profit you made $30. Actually, you made nothing, cuz your higher overhead cost you the bid while my family eats steak tonight.

    In my neck of the woods, its called "competition". Its why some live and prosper and why some wither on the vine.

    Hop in, Charles, the waters fine.

    [Edited by thelawnguy on 08-06-2000 at 07:04 PM]
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,822

    Lawnguy, my lazer will still be running and in good repair and paid for. When your ground master is in being repaired or in the ground. And if I don't get that job at my price. I move onto the next one. Bill ,do you really have to cut your prices that drasticly to get work? My regular customers keep me busy and I try to fit in new work. But there is no reason at this point for me to cut the going rate at this point. i have read where you have alot of business too. So why try cut your prices when you don't have too? If I miss a bid it doesnt mean that I am going to be idle for a minute.
  7. little green guy

    little green guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 955

    Hey Lawnguy are you realy serious? I mean why work for less when you can get more money for the same work. It's people like you that are bringing this industry down (please don't take that as a personal attack). We need to be getting more money not less. The whole piont of lower overhead is to make more profit. If you have a lower overhead then why not take advantage of it and make more profit bycharging the same as the guys with the high overhead. To me competitive dosn't mean you have to charge less. I do quality work and have a good rep. but people know i'm not cheap either but they are willingto pay because of the quality of my work and if they arn't I don't want to work for them.
  8. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    The bottom line is this. People who have low overheads have the OPTION to bid what they want on a job. This doesn't mean that EVERY job they bid on, is going to be 'lowballed' or "scrub bidded" or whatever you want to call it.

    But let's face it. When you (You meaning anyone out there, not anyone in particular) are driving around with a $35,000 truck, $25,000 in financed equipment, you don't have many choices. You HAVE to be the highest bidder out there. And I bet it gets darn frustrating when you bid on a job that you want, and are told by the customer, "Holy moses, you are way overpriced".) Your bid might be $60.00 a cut. But Mr. LowOverhead bid $45.00. Now Mrs. Customer couldn't care less when she looks down the driveway and sees your shiny new truck. She goes with Mr. LowOverhead, because quite frankly she doesn't care that you need to make your truck payment. So of course I can understand why some of you on this forum seem to get offended by the person who has the CHOICE to bid what they choose.

    Let's use us as an example. Two years ago we were wondering what we were going to do about a truck. We just could not see buying a brand new truck for this type of business. I am the type of person who wants things to look good. And I knew I would be heartbroken when the shiny truck began to get all scratched up and beat up from work.
    But every used truck dealer was selling garbage! Beat up pieces of crap that were way over priced. I thought we would NEVER find something that suited us.

    But persistence paid off. We found an individual that was looking to sell his 1985 4 WD automatic Dodge Truck.

    Can still remember the conversation. It was on a Sunday and it was in the middle of the Steelers game.

    "Hi, I'm calling about the truck I see you have listed in the paper. I need to know what kind of condition you consider this truck to be in."

    He proceeds to say, "My name is Tom and I guarantee that you haven't seen a 1985 truck that looks better. Come out and take a look at it. I'll be here all afternoon."

    "Sorry Tom, can't do that. We're in the middle of watching the Steelers game. Aren't you watching it?"

    "No, I don't watch football, but I'm telling you this will be worth your drive."

    "Tom, you wouldn't believe how many times we have heard that. Anyways, you are asking more for that 1985 than Kelly's Blue Book says you should."

    "Come look at it and you'll see why."

    So, desperate as we were, we took the drive out there. We were totally shocked when we saw the truck. It had 71,000 original miles, the paint SHONE, the interior was squeaky clean, no rust (a major problem in the north), and it had great power and pick up, along with a brand new bedliner.
    This guy was driving it about 3,000 miles a year!!

    So two years ago we bought our USED FOURTEEN year old truck for $5300.00. Paid for in cash.

    What have we replaced on it? Got rid of the Cooper tires, oh please, replaced the left cv joint, new radiator, and the water pump. All done by Matt himself.

    I wish I had a scanner so I could post pics of this truck. I am more than proud of it.

    So not everyone has to be the highest bidder. Some people have OPTIONS.


  9. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    There is a 14' farm swather for sale for $450 about 20 miles from me, I could buy it and cut 10 acres real quick and still make money at $100 per cut. I think we need a little more info on the type of property and the quality of cut that the customers expects before we cut apart this price.
  10. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    Sub work out to him.

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