full time vs part time

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by A+ Lawncare, May 4, 2005.

  1. A+ Lawncare

    A+ Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    i'm thinkin of making my LCO part time and pick up full time work from another LCO to be apart of their crew..... this is My story

    right now i am mowing about 20 1/2 acre lots which i get roughly about $35 each, so thats about $700.... it takes me about 35hrs or more a week solo from start to finish.... but what i'm thinking about doing in the next few weeks is to buy an 48'' exmark w/b replacing my torro 21'' mower....

    i figure with the 48'' w/b it will take only about 16-20hrs a week to mow 20 1/2acre lots.....

    i want to work these jobs in the afternoons and on the weekends.... and pick up about 24-30hrs of work from another LCO as an helper on their crew.... so i'll have a fixed income to count on from week to week....

    i figure from working for another LCO i can make about $240 a week.... which in about 10weeks would generate me about $2,400 enough to buy a basic (fixed, belt) 48'' w/b...

    with the $700 a week i make already i could bank about $500-600 of it after taxes and insurance.... and pocket about $5-6k this summer and have the w/b paid for.....

    is this a good idea? what should i expect/ major difference of being an helper for another LCO and working alone.... do you think if i worked for some1 else i'de be treated like their biotch? ;)
  2. A+ Lawncare

    A+ Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    whats the average pay rate as an labor for most LCO.... trying to get somewhat of an idea what a full time labor makes......
  3. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    Since you're still young and trying to build a business, it is probably a good idea to work with an experienced LCO so that you can gain some knowledge about the business.

    However, if you plan on keeping the 20 current accounts I would invest in a good Hydro WB with at least a 52 inch deck. That should decrease the amount of time it will take to service those accounts.

    The lawn company that hires you will probably want you to work 8-10 hours per day, and at least 5 days per week. That won't leave you a lot of time to work on your own lawns. You're going to have to be very fast when it comes to doing those accounts, so a large WB or even a ZTR will help you make better use of your time. If you did 4 of the 1/2 acre lawns everyday with a 52, it will take at least another 2 hours after you have finished the day with your employer.

    I don't know what the hourly rates are in your area, but here in Florida, most LCO's start their lawn guys at $8-$8.50 per hour.
  4. MacPhersonlawn

    MacPhersonlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    How can you gross $700 per week and bank $600 per week after taxes and insurance? If I gross 700 per week I'm lucky to take home $300 per week before taxes. Insurance (all of it) costs me almost $3000 per year.

    How do you do it?

    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,150

    Your plan sounds great in theory but here are some things to think about: When peak work hits in the middle of the summer the company you are working for will want you for longer hours and many more days. Being part time in landscaping is rare because your out on the road. Some customers don't want their property mowed on the weekend because it is their time off and don't want distractions and want to be in the yard not sucking dust from a mower. Also what if it rains a whole week except for 1 day how are you going to get your accounts done. And last but I think most important, your trying to grow your business right? Well if more accounts come in and you can't take them because you don't have enough time your limiting yourself and next summer you will be in the same boat.
    My 2 cents is think about a part time night job or weekend job, that way your weekdays are free. I understand working for a landscape company would work good along with yours but do you really wanna go bust you but off for another company and get paid crap and then be burnt out and make your customers suffer? Just some thoughts to think about.
    Side note, I am in the same boat as you I picked up a 1 weekday and week end maintenance job for an Elderly living home, I know my schedule so I can plan my companies work week around it.

    Also a very good idea to pick up the bigger deck over a 21". Check out Toro and Exmark I think they both have a financing program till May 31 where no payments no Interest till January 06. With something like that you can get a good walk behind and not have to worry about paying till next year.
    Either way sorry for the long winded post and GOOD LUCK
  6. lwcmattlifter

    lwcmattlifter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 859

    Are you sure you want to work for another LCO? After 10 hours of trimming and running a blower do you really want to mow for 2 more hours. You are going to get burned out fast if you do that. If you want a 2nd job, see if there are any power equipment places or auto parts stores that are hiring part time. They may even give you a discount on equipment. BTW you are a little off on your taxes. You should figure to cough up 30-40% to the gov.
  7. A+ Lawncare

    A+ Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    lwcmattlifter, as in auto parts stores do you mean a store like NAPA?

    my friend just got a job there on sat. during the school semester, he gets $7 an hr.... i was thinkin of at least $8 or 9 an hr..... i think those type of places are dead end payin jobs..

    workin for another LCO would give me the experience i need, you can never stop learnin in anything you do...
  8. A+ Lawncare

    A+ Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    how many of you guys actually worked for some1 else b4 taking the leap and goin out and working for uselves, and how long did ya work for that company in order to feel comfrotable and starting your own full time gig?
  9. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    Somebody can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe according to the State of the Industry report that came out in Lawn & Landscape magazine the past spring (or last fall, whichever, the last publication of the report) was between $42-$48 per man hour. It all depended on what area of the country you were located.
  10. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    wow thats alot! My accountant told me to play it safe put aside 25% and he said its normally less. Where did you get 30-40%? Just wondering, maybe I should call him back up and ask if he was positive about setting 25% aside.

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