1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, in the Franchising forum.

    Dismiss Notice

hedge trimming pricing

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by jbgarrison6, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. jbgarrison6

    jbgarrison6 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I've hade some clients ask me to trim their shrubs, but I don't have the equipment nor do I know how to price. I plan on making this a service to them next year, but would like to know how some of you price, I know it varies form region to region, but a general idea would be greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
  2. BigGreen1

    BigGreen1 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 297


    I cannot recommend a gas trimmer enough. I had a few customers without outside electric and bought a Kawasaki trimmer on a whim. Great decision. I charge $50 an hour. I also have a Yard Shark shredder to help downsize the mess.

  3. jbgarrison6

    jbgarrison6 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Great, thanks Tim!
  4. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Here's a long winded answer that might help you.

    Figure out what your labour cost is per hour (what do you want to pay yourself as a gross wage per hour?) and to that add your hourly overhead, return on investment and profit.

    For example, Here I know that if I have an employee earning 18 dollars an hour, I also have to add about 27 percent to this cost to cover mandatory employer contributions to the unemployment insurance, workers compensation and Canada pension plan. This also includes money that will be required throughout the year to pay for statutory holidays and at the end of the year...holiday pay.

    Let's say I've also invested alot of training and mentoring for this fictitional employee and I want to retain him and grow my company. I want to keep him a happy employee.

    So, included in this extra 27 percent is an employee medical/dental plan.

    Currently I am only employing a few workers (recession cut backs) My companies overhead has been figured out for the entire year, and that cost is divided amongst all of the employees and the amount of hours they work in a year.

    Taking the 18 dollar base pay, plus the 27 percent mandatory payments to government and the medical/dental plan, and along with that add what I need to earn an hour per employee to pay for the companies overhead....I know that the breakeven point per hour for my company is $31 an hour per employee.

    This is before I add on a return on my investment of equipment and any profit.

    If I have more employees, then I can divide the yearly overhead better to arrive at a lower break even point. This is how large companies can bid so low.

    The other thing to think of is "what is the average being charged by your competition?"

    Your overhead is every-thing in the year that you have to spend to run your business. Rent, electricity, gas, business insurance, truck and trialer insurance, licenses, computers, compensation insurance, night school courses, office supplies ectcetera.

    Then, figure out what your return on investment for a new saw is. Let's say it will last you two years before you have to replace it.

    You don't want to have to pay for a new one out of your pocket again. Have all of your clients pay into the "new saw account" now. This is your R.O.I. or Return on Investment.

    Figure this out the same as how you did the business yearly overhead. Two years to replace the saw that cost, say $500 dollars.... with perhaps 1850 working hours per year So, you have 3700 hours of labour over two years to pay back to the "new saw account"

    3700 hours divided by 500 dollars is 13 cents an hour.

    Some people charge double on their return on investment, so their original investment is being paid off now, and the same amount of money is also being saved for a new saw.

    I now know that I need 31.13 or more just to cover my company costs and pay my 18 dollar an hour employee.

    The next part is figuring out your profit. For this you really have to decide how much risk is involved? For example: what percentage of plants might die after an installation? What tools might be broken? How difficult is the job?

    Profit can also be influenced by local conditions, what others are charging, the recession.

    In conclusion....I can get away with charging 35 an hour per employee. I know that my market can handle this.

    Buying a saw is a great investment for you.
  5. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    A better question would to state the plant type that makes up the hedge, how many feet can be trimmed in an hour, when is the best time and wrong time to cut that type of hedge.

    This way knowing your costs you can figure out what to charge and advise the customer when is the best time to cut that hedge.
  6. Dave does lawns

    Dave does lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    I will admit that I had to reread many parts of this due to too many beers after work today, very informative to someone asking "how and what to charge".
  7. W&Wlawncare

    W&Wlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    I rented a gas hedge trimmer from my local tool rental before I bought mine. Like 25$ for the day or 20$ for 4 hrs. It might be something to consider since you can sorta demo one before you buy and buy yourself some time before dropping $400 on one
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. StihlBR600

    StihlBR600 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    I dont understand when people ask how to charge for something like hedge trimming. I mean just look at how many shrubs and bushes there are and how big they are and ask yourself how long it will take and how much money you want to make. pretty simple. Renting hedge trimmers is the dumbest thing ive ever heard of. By the time you pay the rental fee and time and gas driving there to pick them up and drop them off you could have just taken that money and paid for half of a new pair lol. Theyre not that expensive just look on craigslist for a used pair of kawasakis or Redmax for like $200. All you need is hedge trimmers a blower and a garbage can.
  9. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Because without knowing how long they can wind up charging to little or bidding to high and lose the job.

    The most important thing to ask the time it takes so they then can run with their own costs to get a fair price.
  10. StihlBR600

    StihlBR600 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    Hes not bidding they are his customers most likley residential. Just quote the job what you think is fair for you and see how it ends up. How are you ever gonna be able to quote jobs if your afraid to try and do it yourself? just do it and learn from it

Share This Page