Hourly charge

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by buddhaman, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. buddhaman

    buddhaman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    Just curious what others charge per hour, whether is is mowing, landscaping, edging or whatever. Want to make sure I'm competitive and not "lowballing".
    Thanks Guys and Gals.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    The hourly rate is merely what we earn after we finish a job in x amount of time which depends how much we got paid but it is not a true or accurate estimating tool. Of course you'd want to finish a job as quickly as possible, but if I'm getting paid by the hour, why not take all day, see what I'm saying...

    For estimating, it is better to use certain guides that give you the actual price for what the job is worth, this is far more accurate and then it doesn't matter how long it takes, so to speak.

    What I mean is, mowing an acre lot around here goes for about 60 dollars. Now that is the price of an acre lot, whether it takes me an hour or 3 days, an acre lot is worth about 60 dollars regardless of how long it takes. That way, it remains competitive for both the customer and the company, if someone with a 21" takes 3-4 hours then 60 dollars is still fair money because a 21" doesn't cost as much as a commercial 4-footer so there is less overhead. Of course, it takes money to earn money, but...

    So, find some pricing guides (they're around here, you gotta look) and you will be far closer to hitting the nail on the head.
  3. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    The only one who can answer your question is you by knowing your expenses and deciding what you need to make a profit. In our area you'll be damn lucky to get 25 dollars for a large lawn. Guys are mowing for ten dollars and up and there's probably 25-35 yard services in an area of 21,000 plus people. You can scream lowballer all you want and that doesn't change what prices an area will bear. We've tried to raise the scale and we lose out to others everytime. Just that simple.
  4. $45/hr. labor rate. That's for one man and a hand tool. It's cheap. It's meant to appear cheap. Kind of a price leader.
    Mowing is my business. I won't mow by the hour. ONLY "by the job". That way when I get better and faster on the job it's to my benefit.
    I don't really care to get faster filling holes or picking up litter. I billed one client for 10 hours of litter pick up this spring. My "tool" was a stick with a nail in the end.
    What I try to earn per hour is of no relavence as my overhead is much different. It seems to me like most guys with one ztr try to gross $60/hr.

    I havn't seen anyone price themselves "by the hour" unless it's junk jobs. I mean how could you? Would that be with a mower? Empty handed?

  5. buddhaman

    buddhaman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    When you price by the job, you still have to have an estimated time it will take. I was just wondering how other people charge. I have some customers complain I'm too expensive and other comment that I am very reasonable. Other LCO's complain I'm too cheap. Just curious what an average going rate was per hour.
  6. jwscroll

    jwscroll LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    We generally charge 25-35 per man hour. This is for Turf & Ornamental maintenance. Prices depend on the terrain and level of detail. I personally like to use this to do estimates, but on top of that price you have to take into account any other expenses that the property may require and factor those into your total price.
  7. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    Most of the posts on this thread are exactly right - A job (example 1 acre = $60 in your area) is going to be rewarded to the person that is in the ball park figure of what the market bears in your area, and it may go to a person bidding more than a lowballer, if that person presents a case as to quality, consistancy, and timeliness.

    I expect my mowers to make $1.25 per inch per hr. for the first 20 inches of width. (Example - first 21 inches of mower width should make $25 per hr.)

    I expect my mowers to make $1.00 per inch from 21 to 60 inches (That is 40 inches = $40)

    I expect my mowers to make $.60 per inch from 61 to 100 inches (That is 40 inches = $24)

    I expect my mowers to make $.40 per inch over 100 inches

    I have a 90" setup which should do $25(first 20") + $40(next 40") + $18(last 30") = $83 per hr. for that mower, and it does in fact do that.

    I have a 114" setup which should and does make $25(first 20") + $40(next 40") + $24(next 40") + $5.60(last 14 inches) = $94.60/hr.

    These hourly income rates are the result of the setup. My bidding is probably in the middle of the pack when all LCO's in our area are considered, and my bids are bid according to the size of the property with things like curbs, and difficult rough terrain taken into consideration. I think I do a pretty good job showing our clients that we are timely, consistant in trimming everything everytime, and just plain do quality work.

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