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Hourly Rate and Mower Size


LawnSite Bronze Member
West, GA
Another recent post had me thinking about hourly rate.

Perhaps I'm looking at this incorrectly but this is what a long time LCO told my son and I a few years ago. Almost everyone starts out with something smaller, like a 21",32 or 36" walk behind or residential Rider. The production is not nearly what a pro can do with commercial equipment. So when you price think about what the price per job should be with a good, fast, 36" walk behind and use that as your gage for estimating time and labor. In a year or two when you step up to better, bigger, faster equipment and can cut your time down 50% don't lower your prices just because you spend 1/2 the time on the job.
If you have invested in a high dollar ZT or fast walk behind you should treat it more like heavy equipment and your hourly rate should be double what the kid down the street is charging for doing the job with a 21". It may take him 2 1/2 hours and you 30min. If the kid beats your price and does the job for $40 and you are quoting $50, the kid is taking in $16 per hour. Overall if the Pro LCO is getting $50 for the job. The pro should be seeing nearly $100 per hour for the same job. I know there are many other factors with cost, but I'm not going to participate in the race to the bottom this year. I plan to leave the equipment on the trailer or sell it to the laid off entrepreneur and let him sweat his guts out for nothing. That better equipment should be producing more dollars per hour, not more jobs for the same dollar.