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changed my leaf method- now mulching, how should I change my price

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by clydesdale, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. clydesdale

    clydesdale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    Last year I was charging 60/hr for myself. A cleanup that took 3hrs last year with a helper took me only 2.5hr by myself this year. So how do I charge? One thought is just charge a little less this year because last year I carted the leaves away. Or I can try a new rate of 75/hr. Bottom line is I am much faster. I stepped up to a 60 TT with mulching equip, a 13hp force blower, and A redmax backpack 7001. This is a trade up from a 52 scag belt, 16 year old 11hp giant vac blower and 16 year old echo blower. Before you gripe, the 16 year old equip is perfectly maintained and works as good as the day I bought it. They are now my back up pieces. So I invested a lot in equip and I dont want to pass that on to the customer at a discount.
  2. MattsMowing3535

    MattsMowing3535 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 385

    Well I would say atleast 80 dollers an hour. Not only does that new equipment work faster. It makes it look much better and cleaner. I would figure out what it all cost you and what you need to charge to pay it off and have enough extra money to take home for winter!
  3. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    I was going to start a similar thread..... make sure you charge what you did last year. We need to benefit from being more efficient, not the customer.

    Alot of people have bought BIG backpacp blowers recently, and will get the job done quicker. That time savings and $$$ should go into our pockets.
  4. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,873

    Since your equipment cost have gone up your price should not go down.
  5. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    1/2 acre lawn gets cut with a 60" ztr and is priced at $75.00 The same lawn gets cut with a 21" mower and the price is $75.00 of course because the end result is the same no matter what you cut it with. Does it work the same way with leaves?
    A 1/2 acre lawn with leaves gets done with all the latest equipment bells and whistles costs $200.00 The same lawn done using only rakes and the cost is $200.00?
    I have yet to find a customer that cares what I cut the lawn with as long as it is cut and looks good when I am done. We have some big equipment and we still try to price all our jobs keeping in mind how long it would take the homeowner or someone else with home owner equipment. Sometimes we have to remind our customers how much our equipment costs and the cost of doing business.
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    That's basically what I was saying in my other thread.
    Never go backwards on pricing.

    Besides, there is more equipment cost involved in mulching.


    Bottom line though, what I was getting at in my other thread was that more guys doing leaves 100% the conventional way could really use to learn new methods and hold their old pricing schemes.

    There are almost no places you can't do much more efficently on a weekly basis by mulching. The most likely exception being accounts where the dust involved would create complaints.
  7. Jnamo

    Jnamo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    You upgrade equipment to make more money by being faster/better. This equals more $ to you, not a savings for anyone. Keep the extra cash, charge more, make more...
  8. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,844

    Don't lower your price! Keep in mind mulching with your Turf Tracer will shorten it's life. Mulching really beats a machine up. You should save your xtra earned cash for a shorter replacement interval of the machine.
    PS don't those 60inch Turf Tracers mulch awesome!:drinkup:

    PROFESSORRAIN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    I am sure your operating expense wasn't lowered because you don't have help, you do have a full time payment.:drinkup:
  10. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,010

    Sorry to go against th grain but you need to charge less, as you said yourself you are now mulching, meaning you are doing less work, reguardless of the new machines.

    Taking all the leaves away is a higher quality job and should cost the customer more, if you were undercharging in previous years for a premium service than that is a different topic.

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