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Flat rate or Per Job for Fall Cleanups

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by FinalCut05, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. FinalCut05

    FinalCut05 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    This is my first year in the business and fall is coming soon. I was wondering if I should stick with a hourly rate, say $25 per hour or do a per job estimate? Most of my accounts have a good amount of trees and im not sure how to bid them. Should I charge extra if they want them bagged over just mowed over? Just some general insight on what you guys think. Also I love this web site, I dont know how I would of made it this far without it.

    Tony :blob3:
  2. radracer

    radracer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    I am curious about this myself.
  3. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    Usually in my experience customers want leaves GONE! when doing a fall clean up. We charge per man hour with a minimum of 2 guys and 1 hour. I'm not going out in 40-50 degree rainy weather for peanuts. It can be very profitable but its a lot of hard work! You may want to rethink the $25.00/hr.
  4. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    $25 is way to low in my opinion. I'm thinking more like $35-40 an hour PLUS disposal. Now I have almost free disposal(free dump site or pay someone to suck up leaves at curb and pay a minimal dump fee. But my dump fee will be at least $25 and thats just for small jobs. I use to price jobs by looking at it and got my ass burned to many times and ended up working for about $25 an hour no disposal. Thats terrible IMO. So now hourly rate inless I know exactly how long it will take. Oh yea I'm 19 and live at home and dont have to pay for many things besides community college and food and there no way in hell I could charge $25 an hour and survive. Maybe Im spoiled IDK but $25 an hour????! Were using $500 blowers 5k mowers and use of leave vacs and labor and 2.50 for a gallon of gas. Then minus a beutiful 1/3 to uncle sam. I pay no insurance and its rough out there with just charging 35 and hour. but I would charge hourly just up it a bit.
  5. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Always charge by the hour. When I worked for another company it was 60 dollars an hour for 2 guys, that was 3 years ago though. I charge 35-40 depending on what i feel, if the leaves are all wet and i'm going to bust my arse then i'll charge 40 (this is for just me).
  6. ince8728

    ince8728 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    i charge between 60 & 70/hr w/a $5/hr fuel surcharge. Thats w/out disposal, we dump at the curb. Disposal is a flexable price.
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Does anyone charge per man hr? I see rates from $25-$70 but no mention of man hrs.
    I would suggest that you start out in your area at around $55 per man hr so 2 guys $110 an hr 3 guys $165 an hr.
    But the above rates are only good if your cost are less and they provide you with enough profit to stay in busines
  8. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    Are you solo and work by-yourself? Leaves are dirty work, and in the fall the weather can further exasperate things.If your work alone,charge by the hour,and as the wise old olderthandirt :D Has advised,with employees charge by the man hours.
    How much to charge?Only you can firgure out what your costs are,and charge a rate you can make money with.
  9. mister_snowplow

    mister_snowplow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    I'm solo, second year of leaf removal. I think $25 per hour is way too low. I charge at the least $45 an hour. With gas and dump fee it comes out to be about $60 an hour.
  10. FinalCut05

    FinalCut05 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Thanks for all of the replies. I'm going to go with $45 a hour for cleanups plus $15-$20 for a disposal fee. Of course, the disposal fee will vary on the amount of leaves. I'm gonna see how this works and offer it to all my clients plus do some flyering. For the leaves, Should I blow them into rows and mow and bag them or blow them into piles and tarp them back to the truck? By the way I do work solo. My overhead is pretty low, all of my equipment and my truck is paid off. Hopefully if I make enough I wont have to work in the winter. Thanks, :drinkup:

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