How is it that most have a $35 min but yet an acre is $40 to maybe $50 if your lucky

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grnbld, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. grnbld

    grnbld LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    How is it that most have a $35 min but yet an acre is $40 to maybe $50 if your lucky. That makes no sense to me. Your better off doing more small yards at $35 - $40.

    Not being a Jerk here but how and why do some companies do this? We are killing our own industry. I can't mathematically make the numbers work. Is there something I don't know or doing something wrong.

    No other company or industry has this expensive of equipment and charges so little.

    Auto-mechanic for example, 10k in tools and tool box yet he is at least $75 per hr.
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    (I think you're in the wrong forum)
    If not, you're in the Lawn Maintenance & Renovation Forum, so what are you talking about, aeration I assume?
    $35-$50 / acre for aeration will put you in the poorhouse really quick!

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    when i was a mechanic my tool box alone was almost 10k with everything it was closer to 50k. if you are a self employed mechanic your looking at 100-150k.
  4. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I have a $50 minimum, yet I have 1 account where I'm charging $25-ish / acre.

    Here's the deal.

    I'm set up to do large properties. I've got a 48" wb, a 60" ZTR, a 72" ZTR and a 43 hp Kubota tractor to pull a 15' Tri-deck mower.

    If joe-blow calls me up to do his residential yard, sure, I can do it, but it's going to cost him $50. You've got to figure in the cost of windshield time as well.

    The $25-ish / acre is an entire school district, about 80 acres of turf.

    Today we mowed 50 acres of it in 4 hours, I had my dad running my tractor, I on the 60" mower and another friend on the 72" mower. No trimming, it's VERY late in the season here and we could get by without doing any.

    Now, this account HAD been down to about $15 / acre, but in the 6 years I've had it, I've gotten it up to $25. Believe me, I'm really profiting NO money, but the check basically pays all my bills for equipment at $6400 / month, whether it rains or not.

    This year we had 5 weeks straight of no mow, plus we only mowed 2 times in the month of October.

    Next year is the last year on this contract, but this winter I'm hoping to get the contract renewed at another 10% increase???

    There's 2-3-4 other companies that are cheaper than me, but they aren't set up to do the project. We can mow the senior high in one day, plus trimming with just 2 guys.

    We can mow the other 4 schools in 1 day with 2 guys, plus the trimming, but that's a long long day.

    With this account, I feel it's my community responsibility to help out the local school. I know there's many people that don't feel this way, but if I can get all of my expenses paid, plus a little walking around money, I'd rather more money (albeit not that much) go back to the schools' operating budget.

    Yes, I make 2-3 times more money per acre on my commercial accounts, but this makes me feel good. I've been in business for 19 years now, and as long as I'm not low bid (try to keep 2-3 under me) and I'm not losing money on an account, then I'm feeling good.

    As far as your comment about amount of equipment, I just got done doing an equipment list for the bank Sat. night, and I've got $132k worth of equipment, not counting my 3 trucks. So yes, it does add up, but that's why we work, right??
  5. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    im sure that is the mowing price..

    things are bad around here, more then most will admit...

    i lost a 3.5 acre job i was charging 90 for to a licensed company for 40 bucks...

    yes small lawns are more profitable and i activly seek them , and let the low ballers with the homeowner ztr have the 2 and 3 acre jobs that they charge nothing for....and will kill there machines in a season..... survival of the fittest
  6. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    That is exactly why I base my whole setup on mowing small lawns. You don't need the $8000 mowers and your hourly rate is great, especially if you have a tight route. You can have 4 quarter acre lots on the same street and get 35-40 each which is around $150 for 1 acre of mowing.
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    One other thing I wanted to add, but ran out on the time to be able to edit, is that, as with most topics on here, it depends on your market.

    Where I'm at, 50%+ of the houses are on 1+ acres, unless you're RIGHT in town.

    I don't have large large towns where I'm at, so now that market is even smaller.
  8. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    things vary WIDELY......
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    It's pretty simple really. Not every area can only get $40 to $50 an acre. I had a job where I moved from that paid $70 an acre.

    Where I live now is even less than $40 an acre. That's why I don't even bother trying to get those kinds of jobs. I stick to the small, 1/2 acre and less, sized jobs. BTW, my minimum in MD was $30 and I've lowered it to $25 here in NC.
  10. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    who is $40 bucks an acre?! were $65 an acre here. if your chargin 40 an acre, your not buildin your biz very good...

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