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Brown Bed Edger

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by larryinalabama, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    Just received my new edger last week. The machine is a real tank. Im just curious of how I can justify charging 60$ to use it when it can do about 100' per minute, I mean I can do a house in less than 5 minutes.
    Im thinking of offering a areation bed shaping special for 110$.
    Also has anyone used the stump rotor on one of these macnines? Seems it might be a worthwhile investment.
  2. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    I got to talking about this same thing with my local mulch supplier/landscaper who I also rent a bed edger from. He told me he uses it on the job, the business rents it from him for say $40, so he charges the client $80 total. Makes since. Just because you made a smart investment in a machine that does the job quick, doesn't mean you shouldn't charge a good amount for it.
  3. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    Thats cool I will offer to bed edge for an additional 60$ on mulch jobs.

    People dont mind paying for work, but in and out in 7-8 minutes can be hard to justify.
  4. The mayor

    The mayor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    Don't feel bad for working smarter. I had one client who couldn't believe I could charge $150.00 for pulling out his basketball hoop out of the ground in 30 seconds with my skid loader. He thought it would have taken longer. He said as a doctor he doesn't charge that much. My reply...sounds like you made the wrong career choice.
    I think he would have rather seen me there with a shovel.
    Tell your client they could rent a bed edger haul it do it themselfs and still be behind. Bottom line...you bought the machine to make more money. Don't feel bad. If the work looks great when you are done you should not feel guilty of what gets charged.
  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    Its not my feelings that Im worried about, I really like to make money, the faster the better.
    When I had my auto repair shop I paid 3500 for a scan tool and had to spent 800 per yera to update it. Now some repairs could be done in a matter of minutes, so sometimes telling a customer the bill is 100 makes them mad. Then they tend to spread rumors that your a rip off. I dont want to repeat that senerio in this business, its not that I feel bad about making quick money.
  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    bumping up for more imput
  7. PMLawns

    PMLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    As a question from a newbie.....where would you dispose of sod that was cut? Would you simply kick it over in beds, spray it with roundup, and call it a day? Are all your beds straight? Are you cutting to keep a proportionate distance to new growth, at a proper depth to both allow you less mulch or even grade with ground upon completion? 100' in 60 seconds? .........Less throttle.... maybe... more... finesse @ $1 a linear foot....less it's over 300ft...then discount, $75 a truckload for removal otherwise bag and place at front of property. (they never choose that option)............again as a newbie..just my 2 cents!!
  8. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    The machine leaves a nice row of pulverized dirt that is eaisly raked into the bed. Now for a new bed or expanding a existing bed I get out the sod cutter and then run the bed shaper, I can eaisly give a quote for that. And can also eaisly quote for a mulch job.

    The thing Im concerned ablut is if I get a call just for bed edging, say the customer has 300ft, Im done in less than 5 minutes and go ask for my 75$, while the job is defentaly worth 75 the customer is thinking he got riped off. I just dont want a reputation that I rip people off. Sure I would love to make 75$ in 5 minutes, Im not comminust. The area I serve is not that big so my name is very improtant.
  9. GRT

    GRT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    You have to amortize your machine over time in addition to labor. A spade doesnt cost as much as a bed edger. You want to create an ROI (return on investment) on your machine, which is different than labor. My run of thumb is that I like to recoop my investment in 2 years. I then forecast how much I'll use my machine, and divide it out by # of hours and that becomes my hourly machine rate. I then add my hourly machine rate to my labor rate and charge that. So if you charge $40 per labor hour, and your hourly machine rate is $35, you're perfectly within reason.
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    Thanks for the reply. Im sure the machine will pay for itself, its already been a big help on my weekley accounts.
    Part of my business is Im a rental yard on wheels, If a rental yard charges 45$ for a machine I cahrge 60 with a operator. The problem Im having is the bed edger is really too fast, Its is really hard to justify 60-75$ for 5 minutes of work.
    The only solution I can come up with is to run the little tiller to clean and rake the dirt the edger makes and freshen up the mulch.

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