Charge by travel time or mileage?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassrootsinab, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. grassrootsinab

    grassrootsinab LawnSite Member
    from up here
    Messages: 215

    Got a call yesterday for an acreage about 20 miles from where I'm at. I was just wondering how you guys charge for travel time. Do you charge a mileage fee (e.g. $0.40/km) or do you just bill your time? I have an idea about what I'm going to do but just wanted to see what others are doing.

    Greg Miller likes this.
  2. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    I tell them they're out of my service range and I can't help them, but thanks for calling.

    For what I'd have to charge to make that trip worthwhile, they'd never pay it.
  3. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    If your in a high traffic area you would be better off trying to charge by time. If rural area just go by mileage. 20 miles aint that far for me to go. I go 40 miles just to get to one service area but I get a full days work there within 3 miles once I get there. you pay the price being rural but we make it up with things like no dump fees and no equipment storage fees and such.

    JOEWOOD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146


    I charge for the distance traveled!
    ppl don't understand Traffic Problems.

    Joe... :waving:
    Greg Miller likes this.
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Exactly what we do. If I was a customer, I wouldn't want to pay a companies travel time. In my mind, I would just say, "I need to hire someone who is located closer to us."
    Greg Miller likes this.
  6. grassrootsinab

    grassrootsinab LawnSite Member
    from up here
    Messages: 215

    I tried to tell her that it was a long way out of my way to go and that they should find someone closer. She said she wasn't happy and would be willing to pay me to come out (even travel time at $30/hr) I figure I've got an hr's travel with my trailer and wimpy Chevy (only a 305) but if she's willing to pay...I'm willing to take the money. Also it is all rural driving so traffic isn't a problem...only problem now may be with flooding...I know some guys don't want to hear it but we've had over 9" in the last 16 days.
    Greg Miller likes this.
  7. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    Base your quote on the job itself. Each job will have a price range, just quote close to the top of that range and you should be fine. An extra $30 should handle the longer drive, shouldn't it?
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    If you've already made the deal then fine. If not you need to charge however much money you would make in that same time cutting grass. The thing is if you are riding in your truck you are not cutting grass. If you had a job right across the street from your house that paid $45 an hour for 2 hours ($90 total) and one that took a half hour to get to that pays $45, takes an hour to cut and then another half hour to get back from you have lost $15 because you only charged $30 for an hour travel time.

    If you really need the work then do it for $30 but if you don't need the work...
    Greg Miller likes this.
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i get alot of work thru the real estate company. sometimes there is travel time involved. it is usually a property to just mow until it's sold, commonly 1-2 months tops. i add it to my route on whichever day we are closest, then try to figure "how many lawns could i do in this time frame". like today for example, the house was located about 10 min away from my first sat morning stop. 10 min there, 10 min back. the property was a $40 cut. i figured 20 min would have bought me another $30 lawn. so, i charged $70. i never turn the work down from the real estate company, i need them to know they can count on me. but, i charge accordingly
    Greg Miller likes this.
  10. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Ding ding ding... we have a winner.

    I "try" to charge $75 / hour from when I leave my house, one way.

    I have a Wal-Mart that I do, about 40 miles from my house, that I charged an extra $1,500 for the year ($75 x 20 mowings) for drive time.

    The reason I only charge one way, is because I've got work that I do on the way back, but each of those accounts are charged drive time too, one way, from my house, how long it took to drive to the property the first time I went to bid it.

    The reason I put "try" in quotes, is because I too am somewhat rural, about 30 miles north of St. Paul, MN, but have to skirt the edge of the city to get to the Wal-Mart. Usually I'm going against traffic when I put it on the schedule, but there's times when there's an accident, or construction, or whatever, which may take me an hour + to get there.

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