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Fall Cleanup Pricing

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by lmlawn, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. lmlawn

    lmlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    can anyone chime in on how much they charge per man hour for fall cleanups.

    also how do you charge when you are still cutting and picking leaves up but not a full cleanup.

    any info is appreciated
  2. gebby

    gebby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    I charge 60.00 per man hour on average. Thats my goal and sometimes I get over that. For my regular customers that let me continue to cut their grass every week. I don't charge extra for leaves. I bag these customers already so no big deal. It works out well for all of us. Leaves get done every week so, no big clean up at the end of the year. Nothing un-expected for them or me. I sometimes have people stop me to see what I charge. Those that understand let me do the work and are very happy with the prices as we don't tease our work. We get in and out pretty quick. Those that don't understand can't get away from me fast enough.
  3. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Your fall clean-up rate really should be no different than your rate for regular mowing. The reason why fall clean-ups are more expensive to the customer is that they take longer to complete.

    Say your hourly rate is $60 (for the convenience of that particular number). Property "A" takes 40 minutes to mow during the regular season, so you charge $40 to mow that property weekly. Now that same property "A" takes you two and a half hours to complete a fall clean-up on, so using your $60/hour rate that you normally charge, the price would be $150. Now of course if you have any dump fees associated with disposing of the extra debris, then you will need to add that to your end price.

    But really what I'm getting at is that your hourly rate shouldn't change just because it is a fall clean-up and not just a regular mowing job. I can't think of anyone who charges $50/hour during the normal mowing season and then raise their rate to $75/hour in the fall.

    Personally, no one can really tell you a good rate to charge. Lots of people use the $1/minute "rule" as a rule of thumb to get an idea of what they should charge. Personally, I believe that your rate is very dependant on your own company. Depending on your equipment and costs associated with your business and the amount of profit you would like to make, you need to figure out your own rate. I could tell you that $50/hour is a good rate, but maybe you are running a full size ztr, leaf loader, a couple blowers and have a helper/employee...that $50/hour isn't going to cut it. Your costs could be upwards of $40/hour or more, which would leave you to clear $10/hour before taxes, I don't know about you but I am not okay with just making $10/hour from my own business that I work my a** off running efficiently.
  4. ringahding

    ringahding LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    YES! What you said. DON'T sell yourself short. Dealerships, plumbers, lawyers, the tax-man, etc. DON'T ...Why would you?
  5. lmlawn

    lmlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    @Mowerbrad.....i understand of doing it that way and that was the debate my wife and I were having, she was saying the same as you but wasn't including dump fees, fuel etc.

    I thought there was a round number that most companies use per hour.

    your theory of $60 for a cut weekly, and if the cleanup is 2.5 hours than the cleanup charge would only be $150.....i think thats alittle cheap for a cleanup. no?
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I charge 45$ a man hour. That is with minimal equipment. Hauling costs/handling are figured in the final bill also.

    The big debate is this. If you are a mowing company, or the client you have to do leaves for is one of your weekly mowing clients, then it's going to be harder to charger per hour to do a cleanup. Most of the clients would balk at that style of charge.

    If you are like me, in which most, if not all my accounts aren't weekly clients, so it's easier for me to charge what I normally do for any hourly type of work.

  7. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    We charge $60-$75/man hour depending on the property. If they are regular clients the charge is less than a one time cleanup.
  8. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    But what makes your costs go up so much during the fall? If you use a ztr and bagging system during the normal mowing season and for your fall clean-ups, your costs shouldn't increase at all to run that piece of machinary.

    Now, I did say that any extra fees need to be added on to the bill. If you have any dump fees associated with disposing of the debris, that needs to be added on extra to the bill. If you have increased drive time, either the job is farther away from your normal service area or you have to make an extra trip to your dump site, then a fuel surcharge should be added to the bill.

    So again I use the $150 clean-up price that I used in my previous post. Now, if you have a $25 fee to dump the leaves and this job also requires you to make an extra trip to your dump site you may charge $25 to cover the extra fuel and time involved. So that job would actually be billed out at $200...$150 based on your time involved on the job and $50 in added fees.

    I just don't see why your hourly rate should increase just because its the fall?
  9. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I charge a penny per leaf.

    You have to know your business and I wouldn't feel comfortable using your pricing so why in the world would you use mine. You may get a general idea of what others do here but in reality you will be selling your self short of you don't know what it takes for you to cover your costs and make a priofit. That advice is free from me and it applies to all aspects of the lawn care industry.
  10. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,385

    I charge by the job not by hour. Ive gotten pretty good at giving accurate estimates. I usually end up in the 55-90 dollar range :) depends on a few things.

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