aerating worth it?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by redsoxvin, May 3, 2006.

  1. redsoxvin

    redsoxvin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    im 15 and i get my license in the fall, so thats why i was thinking of this. what if i rent an aerater during the week for the non weekend price. line up a bunch of people ahead of time. get like 50-100 bucks a pop, make a $1000 in a week., how does that sound. what about pricing, how much should i charge? also, how much would it cost to rent the machine? im guessing like 150 for mon. to thurs.?
  2. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,707

    around here it costs $90/day for renting an aerating, it doens't take too long to do and you could have one busy day doing 10 customers. this would be your best bet, but if you have never used an aerator before, then make sure you try it on your lawn first, and read the manual. what kind of equipment do you have? i can recomend some very good low cost tow-behind aeraters. i'm, currently 16 and am getting my license next week, i use a tow behind aerater and could easily get 10, 1.5 acre properties in a day. the key is schedule all of your clients close by.

    P.S. how big are the props? my min is $70 for aerating
  3. grassmanak

    grassmanak LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 792

    70 dollars for aerating that seems high, i charged 25.00 for aerating for new customers, can do around 15 in a easy day, and rental was 66.00 for the day, ive seen a couple of cardboard signs taped on light poles that said 20.00 aerating.
  4. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,707

    the average lawn is at least 1.5 acres around here
  5. Killswitch

    Killswitch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    I wouldn't even start the aerator and shut it off for 20 dollars.

  6. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    No.... your prices are real low. Not that it's your fault but somebody in your area really set the bar low on aerating. Why would anyone offer a service cheaper then what the customer could do it for themselves. Your minimum should be slightly higher then the rental of an aerator and that should be for under 5,000 sq ft. Aerating is a lot harder then mowing and your prices are more in line for mowing.

    Around here the legitimate companies charge $15-$20 per 1,000 sq ft with a $60 minimum. Not that we don't have a few low priced guys here. A friend of mine was quoted $40 for a 13k lawn while I was at $195 and Scott's quoted $215.
  7. METRO 36

    METRO 36 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I git 15 per thousand, will give a discount for lawns over 15k for existing customers then i will aerate for 12 per thousand square feet, 25.oo is low unless thats the going rate in your area. but on average in my area its 10-15 per thousand.

    and yes it is profitable i probaly make more money in the spring aerating than i make mowing the first month of the season, matter of fact i know i do
  8. S3Scooter

    S3Scooter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    Just did one to day. 13,000k, $13 per1000, it took me less than an hour. I own the machine (Classen TA-26) payup good $$$. If I had to rent it It would cost me $75 for 4 hours, or $110 for 24 hrs. I would have to take it for 24hrs. from where I am to the rental house, with the fuel their and back. Minimal profit. If your going to rent, have at least 5 or 6 jobs lined up, and your profit should be good. I have only had a call for three this season, and they were not close together, so rental would have been out of the question. Do you have a ride on tractor? If so maybe look in to a tow behind unit, they are more affordable, and that way you can have it on hand for when your customer asks for it. They don't do as good of a job as the commercial units, but it will get you started, and you can save up and upgrade later.

    If you rent one though, I agree that you should try it out on your lawn first. They are a lot to handle, about 200-300lbs. when the drum is full, and they pack quite a kick. Watch out for underground utilities, sprinkler systems, and hills. They recommend that you call Miss Utility before using one.

    Hope I didn't ramble to much, Just wanted to make sure you had enough info to get started. Good luck brother.

  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Whaaaa ?

    I mean are y'all sure we're talking the same thing here? Because to me, aerating is about the hardest job there is in lawncare, besides maybe hauling loads and loads of brush with a tarp. Price-wise I charge cost of cutting + 10 for starters but once we get over 1/2 acre, the price hauls way ahead of cutting all the way to $100 for a full acre lot and that's still cheap!

    Is it worth it? Well it more than doubles the germination rate of seed, and at a cost of $100 / 50 pounds of seed, if I aerate for an extra 50 dollars then that is a lot cheaper than putting down another 50 pounds of seed at $100.

    Are your lots that small or are you guys using bs aerators? I use a Classen Ta-26 walk-behind 5hp till-driven machine and the solid axle ain't no joke in the turns, that thing wears me out. Now my lots are mostly 1/4 acre and up and I can do an acre in 2 hours solid but it wears me out nice, I might can do two acre lots in a day but that's all she wrote. As for 1/4 acre or smaller lots, maybe 4 or 5, 6 max by myself, that aerator is some piece of work. I might can do a few more, but not if I intend on working the next day lol.

    Still, 4-6 lots anywhere from 45 - 75 or so means 200 - 300 / day and it doesn't take all that long, but a grand in a weekend? Not with no walk-behind solid axle, I just don't see it. Now if you can rent the split-drive...

    As for tow-behind aerators, those of you who use it may argue and I'll keep my mouth shut if you have acre+ lots (like 2+ acres) because I won't argue at that point but for smaller lots (acre and smaller) the walk-behind aerator does a far better job. It always does a better job, but on really big lots I can't see doing it with that kind of machine, is why I'd agree then.
  10. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    You think aerating is hard?? I've only done it a couple times at my own house using a HD rental, but it seemed pretty easy and heck that was years ago, I was probably 15 or 16 the first time I ever did it.

    But I'm gonna buy a tow behind and sell the hell out of aerating this year!!!

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