How do you calculate equipment costs

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Pingui, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Pingui

    Pingui LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hey guys, I'm new at this, so please, be gentle. I run a small landscape maintenance company, I do mowing, trimming, fertilizing and things like that. No hardscape of any king and minimal planting. The equipment in my small arsenal is basically a truck, a trailer, a zero turn mower, walk behind mower and small equipment such as trimmers and blowers. When I estimate a job, I estimate the number of hours that it'll take, and the materials I will need (fertilizers, pesticide, etc). Add my markup and voila, the customer has a price. I never include any cost for equipment use... Because I don't know how to do that!!! How do I know what it costs me to run my mower, or use the trailer per hour? I know how much gas I use, but that's about it. My equipment is in very good condition, so maintenance costs are minimal. Any advice?
  2. Lighthouse Lawncare

    Lighthouse Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I was given a spreadsheet with a great breakdown. I do not remember from whom I received it. I can not attach a spreadsheet here so if you want I can email it to you.
  3. Tropical Gardens

    Tropical Gardens LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Lighthouse..If you wouldn't mind sending me an attachment of your spreadsheet as well, I would appreciate it. I have relatively good estimating systems in place, yet would like to see if I am calculating properly. Thanks
  4. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

  5. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    dang, think that was the wrong one. there was one i got a while back from a thread.. it was really good. can't find it.
  6. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    You are probably going to be around 12 an hour operating costs for a zero turn, 3 an hour for trimmers and other handhelds.
  7. Pingui

    Pingui LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks, lighthouse. You can email it to
  8. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Keep track of all the money you spend and the hours that you worked. You will then have your hourly costs.

    As you record your costs keep them separate with a running total. This way you can see how much money you spent on fuel for your equipment. Then get the hourly costs.

    Same with maintenance. Record oil, filters, plugs, line. Then you can get hourly maintenance costs.

    Then you need to factor in replacement truck, trailer, mower, hand helds, then new equipment to expand the services that you offer, into your hourly cost.

    Truck costs $35,000. Average truck life 10 years. You work 40 hour week, for 35 weeks = 1,400 hours x 10 years. That comes to $2.50 hour truck cost.

    Right off the bat you have a $2.50 hr cost.

    Then a $10,000 mower that will last 10 years. Another $.72 hr.

    License, insurance, advertising, all have to be factored in.

    You know that you will have to buy 2 sets of tires for the truck and the trailer before you buy a new truck and trailer then those costs have to be factored into you hourly costs.

    Takes time to learn costs. One reason you do not know for sure if you will need two sets of tires or three sets.

    Then as I have pointed out costs there will always be other costs that you did not realize. Then costs that you underestimated.

    You will get a handle on your costs though it takes time.

    What is left over is your net/salary. It becomes a sad day when you thought you were clearing $30 a hour until your real costs are learnt.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  9. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    I believe I've also read in a book some basic numbers for different equipment. Maybe the E-myth for landscapers? But that is all going to be VERY generic and most likely out of date. Mowers purchased even 5 years ago have a different owning expense than new ones do.
  10. Jessefloyd1

    Jessefloyd1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Lighthouse if you wouldn't mind sending me the spredsheet also my email is:
    Posted via Mobile Device

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