Lawn Care Forum banner
1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Started mowing in the early 1970's. Mowed for 12 years than had to give it up due to job responsibilities, got promoted in the Police Department.

Son and I started up again in 2000 when I retired. We live in a very wealthy area, supposedly the 3rd richest in the country. Hunterdon County New Jersey. However, our best paying lawn right now is 2 1/2 acres for $55.

I continously read how guys are getting $65 and up per acre. We haven't been able to do that. As a matter of fact each year we lose a couple customers because other LCO's under cut us by a couple of dollars. Getting discouraging. We provide reliable good service but can't get any where near that $65 per acre.

Anyone have any suggestions. We have never, and never will take another LCO's lawn by undercutting him in price. As a matter of fact the only time we take another lawn is if the LCO goes out of business or moves.

I envy those of you that are getting the price you should be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,476 Posts
Not real sure what to tell ya Don. I'm 10 minutes north of you in Clinton. Actually, I don't price by the acreage...only by how long it takes us. And I DO get $65 an hour for straight mowing. Presently we're mowing in Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset, and Northampton Counties. Like you, I don't low ball and only get new business by referral or if someone drops out of the game.

BTW, I think I saw you once. You have a Scag Z by chance?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Just a suggestion, but we have the same problem around here. The larger the property gets in the wealthier areas, the people don't like to pay a reasonable price compared to smaller properties. You might want to look into smaller props which will pay a higher fee per minute on site. Just clump a bunch together in the same area. I've got some 2-3k props which pay $30 for 20-25 minutes work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,691 Posts
Take a good hard look at the demographics in NJ and you will see why. The fact is high wage earners are moving out of NJ at a high rate. That in and of itself is a bad thing. Even worse is super low wage earners are moving into NJ at almost twice the rate that the high wage earners are leaving. You can figure the rest out for yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,476 Posts
Originally posted by Richard Martin
Take a good hard look at the demographics in NJ and you will see why. The fact is high wage earners are moving out of NJ at a high rate. That in and of itself is a bad thing. Even worse is super low wage earners are moving into NJ at almost twice the rate that the high wage earners are leaving. You can figure the rest out for yourself.
Richard I am not disputing your information but am curious as to where you are getting it. Or is this heresay and/or opinion?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
955 Posts
I don't get $65 an acre either, but I don't price by the acre. Some of my stops are up over 100.00 an hr. I think the thing is that alota guys talk about what they get an acre, to alota guys an acre is a big lawn when most of thier properties are 1/4- 3/4 of a acre. To us around here, a big lawn is 10 acres.

It's also not hard for a few idiots to ruin the pricing a a certian town. 55.00 for 2 acres seems realy low though.

Richard Martin- I'm also curious as to where that info is coming from because it sure dosn't seem to be the case in my area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
I have found that you get more money from the average homes and 12000 sq ft lawns then you do out of the high end stuff with the lare yards. The ones with the huge houses tend to worlk for ther mortgage payment where as the average homes have a litle money to play with. I get $55 for some properties that are only 12 or 15 K. I don't really look at home much per acre but more at the per hour rate. I average anywhere from $55-$125 per hour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
Pardon me if I am wrong, and I have been wrong many times, but I think you have seen a lot of posts saying $65 per hr.

I think every area of the country has their rates. What I mean by that is that in SE. Iowa, a 10K yard brings $25. If you mow it with a push (21 inch lawnboy) and it takes 1/2 hr, you have just made $50 per hr. If you mow it with a 9 1/2 foot mower (Pic below) and it takes 12 minutes, you have just made $125 per hr.

I mow a 6 acre John Deere Dealership - have to mow around a lot of equipment and lines of mowers that are for sale etc, and it takes 1 hr. 10 minutes, and I get $110 to mow it. Am I doing OK-I think so - I am solo - one machine.

My fee schedual is as follows. -
$15 per acre - (if it is 1.1 acres, it is $30)
$20 unload fee - this pays for truck, unload time etc.
therefore, the Jd dealership is 6 x 15 = $90 + 20= $110.

On the small yards, I have a minimum of $15 + $20 unload = $35.
and if they are over one acre, just add 15 per acre.

Here is a pic of the monster mowing machine -


Plant Tire Vehicle Wheel Tree
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
Yeah Flex, I think I would charge $20 to unload that as well..:eek:

FanS, it depends on your customers. If they are loyal to you, then it is not a problem. If a customer drops you for someone mowin for beer money, then you really dont want them anyway. Find the customers that want reliable, quality service. Become buddies with them, an they will want to keep you around.

I have had several guys try to lowball me, but who in thier right mind is gonna kick a buddy to the curb an hire someone they dont even know.

I talk with all my customers all the time, an try to find something in common with them. When I do.......It seals the deal. When I cant find something in common with them, like the elderly for example, I charm them.. Haven't lost one client to a lowballer yet.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
Originally posted by Richard Martin
Take a good hard look at the demographics in NJ and you will see why. The fact is high wage earners are moving out of NJ at a high rate. That in and of itself is a bad thing. Even worse is super low wage earners are moving into NJ at almost twice the rate that the high wage earners are leaving. You can figure the rest out for yourself.
Gees Rich, maybe the Kennedy's and Tyson's are moving out of NJ, but the people buying houses that start at well over $600,000 are moving in like gangbusters.

I'm only PT and I have many a day I'm clearing $60/hour including drive time and gas. Also, snowplowing is also grossing $200+ an hour.
DP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
Originally posted by FatherandSon
Started mowing in the early 1970's. Mowed for 12 years than had to give it up due to job responsibilities, got promoted in the Police Department.

Son and I started up again in 2000 when I retired. We live in a very wealthy area, supposedly the 3rd richest in the country. Hunterdon County New Jersey. However, our best paying lawn right now is 2 1/2 acres for $55.

Something must be wrong. Hillsboro is big money. I'd work for BurgerKing if I made $55 for 2 1/2 acres. Even Bobby from New Brunswick is making more than you guys.
Like Ron, you should be much closer to $65/hour on the job less drive time. You should be able to get at least $50 per acre with trimming.
DP...... Basking Ridge
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,691 Posts
Here is another one. BTW, you can take this information for what you think it's worth. I don't live in New Jersey and I only use it for getting to New York City. I'm sure it has it's beautiful areas but it's getting a little too crowded for my tastes.

http://www.fairus.org/Research/Research.cfm?ID=1535&c=9

I also only posted here because I have found that when successful LCOs start having problems there is usually a reason for it and it usually comes down to demographics. A few months back another LCO in western NC reported customers were dropping like flies and he couldn't figure out why. A quick check of employment rates and the real estate market showed people were being laid off like crazy and there was a glut of houses for sale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I would'nt change your rates but a little at a time on your regulars, however just bring your price up on newcomers, it is hard but sometimes if you can't get profit out of somebody walk away
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Originally posted by Richard Martin
BTW, you can take this information for what you think it's worth. I don't live in New Jersey and I only use it for getting to New York City. I'm sure it has it's beautiful areas but it's getting a little too crowded for my tastes.
Interesting... I agree that NJ is becoming very crowded.... I also live in the flemington area. You cant buy a new construction home for less than 600K right now in our area(at least I havent seen any) Not to mention property taxes are about 2.5% of the selling value of these new homes. I just cant see how low wage earners can be moving into these homes.....

I cut a few lawns on the side and get about 40 for .9 acre lot. I havent timed it but I dont think it takes anymore than 1/2 hour with the new Toro Z500 60"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
955 Posts
Richard- Those stats. the way I see them are showing things more in terms of the bigger cities such as Jersey city, newark, trenton, camdem and such. They are not haveing as much of a direct impact on suburban and ruaral New Jersey. The town I live in, prolly about 50% of the property is large estates ranging from 2-17 million dlollars. The average home starts around 400k and it's not uncommon to see normal houses in regular neighborhoods on 1/2 acre go for 800k. Believe me maybe certian parts of new jersey people with money are moving but they're not all leaving.

people have money here, alot of them are cheap and living beyond thier means (just like everywhere else) but if you find the right people they will spend the money and they have plenty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Father and son. It is the same way down in miss. The other guys sure likes to make $15 to 25.00 per yard. I don't unload my equipment less than $50.00 per lawn.. If it is 1acre or more i get 60.00 or more.. But you still have those guys around here say they can do it cheaper.. But where are these guys in the winter.
I am like you i do not under cut my business and under cut these low bidders...
I try to stay with the small lawns it pays more:

Hey Flex-Deck,,, Did you build that mower.
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top