Employee Wages

Mello Living

LawnSite Member
Location
Burlington NC
@spitfire3416

I apologize for the hard headed employee/slave comment. When you really get down to brass tacks, it is what this society really treats most employees as. Expendable persons.

Straight off the bat I don't care what the state says, the fed says or the labor market says about hourly wages or a yearly take. I have no contracts with those entities. I always tell them stay the he!! out of my private doings.

What if I told you each of my hired help starts at 65k a year? That is lawn maintenance and winter maintenance. Can you learn to run a trimmer, learn a stander, a backpack blower? How about a shovel, a snow blower, a tractor with a broom or blower? Okay, starting wage is 65k a year. If each chunk of your help can produce double or triple their take home, then they deserve high reimbursement. Plus a lot of other perks. Guarantee no one in this country or state pays a line trimmer that well.

The help being shown they are as vaulable as any other human worker brings great rewards for themselves and the benefit of the community and buisness also. I want them to be the best they can be. Pay them to do so. Why can't a mowing company keep help for 25-30 years? A career? Why not. They should be able to afford a healthy and comfortable lifestyle. They should be able to retire after 25-30 years. It can be done. It is being done. Run the show they way it can be run and the possibilities are endless.
"What if I told you each of my hired help starts at 65k a year?" I am sure you don't want me to reply . Some on here know my answer . I am going to do something I rarely do . ...... crickets lol
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
@spitfire3416

I apologize for the hard headed employee/slave comment. When you really get down to brass tacks, it is what this society really treats most employees as. Expendable persons.

Straight off the bat I don't care what the state says, the fed says or the labor market says about hourly wages or a yearly take. I have no contracts with those entities. I always tell them stay the he!! out of my private doings.

What if I told you each of my hired help starts at 65k a year? That is lawn maintenance and winter maintenance. Can you learn to run a trimmer, learn a stander, a backpack blower? How about a shovel, a snow blower, a tractor with a broom or blower? Okay, starting wage is 65k a year. If each chunk of your help can produce double or triple their take home, then they deserve high reimbursement. Plus a lot of other perks. Guarantee no one in this country or state pays a line trimmer that well.

The help being shown they are as vaulable as any other human worker brings great rewards for themselves and the benefit of the community and buisness also. I want them to be the best they can be. Pay them to do so. Why can't a mowing company keep help for 25-30 years? A career? Why not. They should be able to afford a healthy and comfortable lifestyle. They should be able to retire after 25-30 years. It can be done. It is being done. Run the show they way it can be run and the possibilities are endless.
So do you start your unskilled labor hires at 65K/yr or were you just making a hypothetical to illustrate your point?
 

honestlou

LawnSite Member
Location
Beavercreek, OH
Good luck competing with the government to let people sit at home and collect a salary. Finding someone dependable that is also willing to work is much tougher in todays environment. You will have a hard time replacing him with an equivalent worker.
 

Grnsthcs10

LawnSite Member
Location
Canada
Good luck competing with the government to let people sit at home and collect a salary. Finding someone dependable that is also willing to work is much tougher in todays environment. You will have a hard time replacing him with an equivalent worker.
Worked for other companies before I started mine. I've seen maybe 100 different workers (landscaping,lawn care,roofing). I'd say about 10 of them were actually good and reliable workers and about 6-7 were really hard workers hustling every day..now those few have their own businesses. And that was precovid..Can't imagine now!
 

vernon lawn

LawnSite Member
Location
NJ
I have a one man crew operating for lawn maintenance and he does 95 lawns per week. I've been paying him $20 per hour for the past 2 years. He's been fantastic. Great worker. I was about to raise his pay to $23 per hour but he just pulled me aside today and told me he wants to be making $26-28 per hour. I was kind of floored by this as I thought $23-24 was the current top pay in our area. I think he might have been searching for other jobs recently because he mentioned a specific local company by name that supposedly pays those rates. I have no idea if they actually do or not. That's just what he told me. Honestly, I don't want to lose him. I feel like I can't. In my 10 years in business I've never had a worker that works at the pace he does. Plus finding guys right now is next to impossible. He's grossing me $3800 per week just on the lawn maintenance end which takes about 40 hours per week. Then I have him do other landscaping jobs Friday and Saturday. So it's not like he's not making me money but the wages just seem to be sky rocketing lately. I remember 4 years ago I could easily hire a guy for $18-20 per hour and now its like if you're not paying them close to $30 per hour you can't get anyone in the door.

What is everyone else paying their foreman?
You have a lot of great replies here breaking down numbers for you. I think it honestly comes down to not being to critical. Times are changing all around us, business in all directions are in a unique situation between labor and product costs. This is a second source of income for you so in my opinion your employee has the upper hand right now. It really comes down to all of us raising our rates. Most numbers have been stagnant for too long in the industry and if you are a legit business than you know the costs of Insurance and relative costs. Raise all your rates $5. Everything around us is going up on average 25% so I don't think 12.5% increase is out of line. Pay him the $25 per hour and go from there. Keep in mind, this employee is only one pick up truck, one trailer and one mower away from competing with you? I know, they all think it's greener on the other side.
 

kemco

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Memphis TN
Your solo guy is mowing 16 to 19 yards per day? That's impressive!

The solution is to raise your mowing prices and give him a hefty raise ($30/hr). That's what we are doing and nobody is even batting an eye at a $5 to $10 per mow price increase. How people are still charging $35 to $40 per mow is beyond me.... unless they live in a poverty area.

So if raise your prices by $7.50 on average, you just increased your daily income by $135 (or $725/week). That more than enough gives you the wealth to pay your guy his raise + more.
I know I know old thread old post but we raised prices last year pretty much a buck or two across the board and got push back. But I think only lost 3 or so customers put of 200+ mow clients. This year it's going to be much more pit of necessity. But heck I still can't pay my best mow guy anything near $30hr because he is too slow.
 

Mudly

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
OH
You realize that’s $45/hr on overtime PLUS payroll matching that’s $56.25 an hour he has to pay
What’s he charging his customers, $60?
That’s just a giant no to OT
If the guy gets paid $30/hr for 40 hours that $1200

if he’s working 60 or more hours a week
At $23 that’s $1610 so he’s actually going to make considerably less per week at $30 an hour than he does at 23
He simply can’t have that guy at that rate any OT
That’s why people at that pay range become supervisors on salary not working in the field hourly
Youre not taking home less money, thats a myth. Youre paying more taxes but youre take home is still greater. There is nothing wrong with a lawncare guy making that kind of salary.
 

kemco

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Memphis TN
I couldn't pay it but more power to the company that can for a lawn care guy. Or gal. Rule of thumb would be that you'd need to be billing about 2.5x that amoint so the said person would need to produce an average of $160 per hour. Yeah I'm sure a few people in this world could do that every hour for 8 hours in lawn care. Being serious. But it wpnt be your average hire.
 

kemco

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Memphis TN
But yeah I'd pay $50 a hour for anyone that can bill out $1200 per 8 hour day in lawn care for that one person. This person would be hired yesterday.
 

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