1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Equipment Cost Per Hour

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by godjwood, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. godjwood

    godjwood LawnSite Member
    from RI
    Messages: 137


    I am in the process of breaking down my entire company to figure out the costs of everything per hour.

    So far I have calculated out a mower (based it off a wright stander) operation cost per hour, and two cycle equipment cost per hour (tried to average out blowers, hedge trimmers, trimmers).

    I got my operation cost for a wright stander was $12 and change per hour and two cycle equipment was $7 and change per hour. My model is to buy new equipment, sell before needs repairs, but take into account maintenance costs and time. I read someone else calculated $8/hr for a mower so I just wanted to run this stuff by you guys:

    Wright Mower
    Purchase Price $8,000.00
    Resale Price $4,000.00
    Hours Used 1,000
    Blades $240.00 1 new set per 250 hours
    Grease $80.00 1 tube/25 hrs
    Oil Changes $230.00 2 quarts/50 hours plus 3.50 oil filter
    Gas $5,400.00 about 1.5 GPH
    Maint Labor $2,400.00 1 hr per 25 hrs @60/hr
    Cost Per Hour $12.35

    2 Cycle Equipment
    Purchase Price $500.00
    Resale Price $250.00
    Hours Used 700 25 hrs/wk, 7 months
    Two Cycle Oil $307.62 1 gal/128 oz in a gallon*2.5 oz per gallon mix *.5 gal/hr * 700 hours used
    Gas $1,260.00 .5 gal/hr
    Maint Labor $3,500.00 5 mins/hr
    Cost Per Hour $7.60
  2. fastlane

    fastlane LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    How did you get the $60 an hour for maint. Was it done at a dealer?
  3. SouthSide Cutter

    SouthSide Cutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,331

    Sounds high to me. Lets say on the mower, if you put 800hrs on it thats 9000 dollars. That would more than buy a new one with trade and service it for the 800hrs.
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    Interesting post, I guess most of my handhelds are inexpensive to operate, my shindawia blower is over 10 years old and still operates fine. My Stilh combi is over 3 years and runs like it did new.

    Another way too look at is my blower is 10 years old and it cost me 400$ Other than fuel I have not spent a penny on it . It burns about 1 quart of fuel an hour.
    So thats 40$ per year (and shrinking as years pass) less than 4$ per month around .13 or .14$ day mabey 4 to 5 cents per hour. Fuel and mix roughfley 4$ per gallon or 1 $ per quart. So the cost per hour of that unit is less than 1.25$ per hour.

    Main mower 3 years old at the cost of 4000$, thats say 1400$ per year or say 120$ per month or 4$ per day. I realize this is somewhat flawed because the mower doesnt usually run on Sunday. It burns about half a gallon of fuel per hour thats 1.75$, 1 dollar per hour covers maintance blades and repairs, at 600 hours Iv not spent 600$ maintaining the machine. I would say 5$ per hour would cover the mower.

    My box truck is the biggest expense at 11 mpg, I usually burn 100$ per week in fuel.

    No doubt lawncare is a expensive businees to operate.
  5. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,350

    250hrs for a set of blades is really high. I am averaging 45 to 50 hrs per set before the lift portion wears away (sandy soils around my area). This was a wet year also. 2 yrs ago I was happy with 40 to 45 hrs before they are worn out.

    Maintence labor you may want to figure what your average cost of labor is, if you have a employee do it instead of $60/hr. Remember you are figureing costs.
  6. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,350

    What mower/engine combo runs .5gal/hr? You send it cost $4000 so it's not a 21". My 48" w/b is .9gal/hr or so.
  7. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I'm a relatively small operator, and I realize everyone's situation is slightly different, but other than with my first Z, which I used 4 seasons, I've been trading every 2 years, so I'm always in warranty. I average around 700 hours per machine during that time period. I think your depreciation is a bit optimistic, based on my observations, however, it may be possible a Wright has a higher resale, at least in your area of the country. It has been costing me an average of $6 to $7 per hour depreciation, based on two year usage. If you put a few more hours on a machine in a year, those figures might drop slightly, but my dealer told me that 1,000 hours seems to kind of be barrier, I guess like 100,000 miles is on a used vehicle. Most people in the market for used are looking for something with less hours, so I'm assuming that at over 1,000 hours, the price starts to go down.

    I also would have an issue with the maintenance figures, as I don't see 4 hours labor per 100 hours, unless you include time changing blades, scraping the deck, etc, and surely you or an employee would take care of those things at a cost of far less than $60 per hour.

    Overall, though, I think your figures are very close on the mower, you just arrived at them in a different manner than I would have.

    Honestly, I think you are way high in the estimate on handhelds, on average, but it is better to be too high than too low. Kudos to you for actually trying to figure all this out. Way too many ignore the costs until they realize the equipment is worn out and the bank account is empty.
  8. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    I agree with moturkey, better too be too high than low. But your figures for handhelds are high.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,968

    Your numbers look a little high, but my expense might be higher. What I did was fill everything up on monday and keep up with my hours on the machine and gas used for the week. I did it for a few weeks and took an average. Mower might be close but I think my 2 cycle stuff was lower. You maintenance numbers are high unless you take your stuff to the dealer every few months for a complete tune up. A tube of grease should last a long time, but I don't know how many zerks a wright has. At $60/hr I assume that's for a dealer, but you are figureing about 1 hr per week of maintenance. I think thats high, at least at the beginning. As the mower ages it might be right if you include parts.

    Don't forget insurance on your equipment. Good job for figureing in replacement cost.

    There is a guy up here who sells a profit cd that I bought a few years ago. It was pretty standare but did have spreadsheets to enter in all the info and it would figure out your cost per hour for mowers, handhelds, truck, etc.

    I looked back and my hustler ztr was around 13/hr and my handhelds (2 trimmers, 1 edger, and 2 blowers) came out to around 4-5/hr. I've been lucky and my stuff has held up pretty well. Those numbers were a little old and not sure what the gas price was used.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011

Share This Page