By the hour???

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by paul, Aug 5, 2001.

  1. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    I have seen it said here many times, "We are in the hourly labor market!"
    So after spending so time with my attorney, I noticed some thing that he does, he charges by the quarter hr even for a 5 minute phone calls. I know this is standard practice but do we?

    I see posts all the time about charging so much per hr say $35 to $50. but I don't think alot of you have my labor rates, we just had an increase on operators they now are getting another $2.35 per hr! Try to figure that in your bid that you did last fall!

    And how many of you are so good at figuring your hrs out on a job? Some of you can see what they look like before you start but me? No way! Only thing I see is the plans, most times I don't even see the job site until the week before the job!

    Looking around the country I note that a good salary is $100K a year, here we have about 34 to 35 weeks a year to work so you would need to make about $80 per hr to gross that at 40 hrs per week! Wondering just how many of you are doing that? I can tell if you only run one crew and figuring your work by the hr your not getting anywhere near that! Think about it??

    Ok venting done:)
  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    Those equip opperators are killing you huh? ;) Hope their worth it. So I assume you hire union? For any particular reason that helps you?

    Sorry to be so nosey, just curious as usual.

    $2.35 raise is mighty nice on their end. Thats putting them up to what in Chicago?

    I talked with a lot of guys back home and the average rates were

    Landscape construction equip (small loaders, backhoes, trenchers, skid steers, sweepers) were getting $25 avg.

    Normal construction equip - (Grader, loader, scraper, pavers, rollers, etc) were getting between $35 and $40 avg.

    And the crane operators were pulling in up to $65 an hour, and yest, that was working for someone else!

    Can't wait! ;)
  3. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    You got it, not cheap by any means but have to have them to do the work:) Look to see them making $50 per hr in 5 years with bennies!
  4. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    Paul, we'll work out a good deal in 2017 for my skills! ;)

    Seriously though, its a great skill to have, and its tougher than it looks to get good at a few different pieces of equipment.

    Some are worth the money and more, and some I wouldn't hire to run a snow shovel! :)

    And some as good as me can even run a keyboard enough to hit 1500 posts on LS!! ;)

    Good Luck Paul, I'm sure we'll dicuss this in aol chat sooner or later
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

  6. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Kris, not all do we have a few scabs aroud that pay less than "Book" rates they do get caught but not offen most times they just Doctor their books!
  7. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,932

    This is one reason I only do sod, drip and irrigation for the residentials within 15 to 30 miles of my house. I know how much time it's going to take to bore\shoot a pipe under a 20ft driveway. I know how long it's going to take me and a crew of 2 to lay out 1500 sq.yds of sod. Drip installs, hour rate for me and my worker plus parts.

    I could if I wanted get into more serious landscaping, but chose not to for many reason. The biggest reason is the amount of capital that would be needed to invest in various equipment that would be needed.

    I could not compete against the established all (landscape) contractors in my are.

    I know that what your talking about is killing people if they don't have a cost of labor increase written into their contract. Except for companies that work on municipal or state jobs, most of the companies only hold to their bids for no longer than 60 days of submittal. Myself, I only hold to my bid amount for 30 days. I site the cost of gasoline as one example. We saw an over .30+ in a months time.


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