How much does it cost to cut a lawn?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by curlawngreen, Sep 16, 2001.

  1. GLM

    GLM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    I don't get out of the truck for less than $25 now, thats my minumum. The basic charge is one dolar per minute cut trim and blow most of my lawns are in the $30 to $50 range with some larger. This price is for a "36 mower my perminute price goes up with deck size. Don't under price yourself. You have to figure your time to get to that small lawns unload, work and reload every thing.
  2. Grapevine

    Grapevine LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    I make an estimate on how long I think it would take to mow this particular lawn with a 21" handmower. If I think it will take me 1.5 hours, then I will charge approx, $50.00 rounded off at $35.00 per hour. *(I think most people like the numbers rounded off, instead of 52.50 you say $50.00) Now we run walkers and obviously it's gonna take alot less than 1.5 hours to mow that lawn, but the machine itself is $9200.00 and if it takes me 15 minutes to mow, so be it. It may seem odd, but it seems to work for me. Ps, I don't think I even own a handmower.
    Also while we're at it, does anyone ask a potential customer what they were paying *(provided they had a lawn service) the last company they had ? Just curious on the ethics of it.
  3. curlawngreen

    curlawngreen Banned
    Messages: 309

    LGF, Do you know how much it costs to do those 6 in row?Just simple questions.

    Edited by Eric ELM

    Those numbers alphanumerically spelled out words that nobody wants to hear, here.

  4. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    Thats a tuffie. But lets see

    61" Chariot purches price $7000.00 will last 2000 hours 3.50
    echo trimmer 320.00 with tax 300 + hours 3.00
    blades for mower 1.00
    line for trimmer 1.00
    insurence $580 per year part time so lets say 1.00
    gas for mower $1.65 per gal 1.5 gph 2.50
    gas for trimmer $2.15 per gal .50
    maintance and repairs ??? 3.50
    totel $15.00

    Thats my cost for equipment not counting truck, wages or taxes.
    Did I miss anything?

    so if I gross around the $50.00 per hour figure with a helper Ill be doing ok I usually to do more though.

    Is that what you wanted?

  5. curlawngreen

    curlawngreen Banned
    Messages: 309

    Yes I think things like these will help myself and others understand why we charge and pay our help what we do.
    Thanks. Tim
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    the only way to truly find the cost per hour is take all of your expenses from the previous year and divide by the number of hours worked. this can be done on a cash basis, figuring payments for equipment and trucks plus all other cash expenses to get your" net operating cost" or figure your deprieciation and interest separately to figure your"actual cost" per hour. If you cant figure how many hours you worked, take a look at your machine hours and try to figure what you put on them, and work from there. most lawn guys I know may work 40-60 hours per week, but thier mower only sees 20 hours of duty if they are a one man show.

    I did a post where I figured erics operating cost on that 3500 hour dixie he had, and since it was exclusive of taxes and insurance, truck, advertisin, storage costs, and labor, it really only showed his ownership cost of the machine.

    most of us would freak to know that our actual overall operating cost, driven down to the hours we are actually on the jobsite, are probably in the 20-25 dollar range. you gotta be charging 35-50 per man hour to make any real bucks in this business. Dave g
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    My cost per lawn is $11.58 as solo. With helper that goes us a bit.
  8. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    That is the average lot size here (80x125). I charge 20.00 to cut, edge, trim and blow. That is what my peticular market will bear for that size property.
  9. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    All things being equal, I come up with $249/month for a lawn that size. Most of my yards in the area are 3000 sq. ft. or smaller so my formula lends itself to profit on smaller properties. There's always as much time spent on edging, trimming, and cleanup in my area as there is in mowing, so if a lawn takes me 30 minutes to cut, it tends to take me an hour to complete. A lawn that size would probably take me an hour and a half to two hours each visit with a 36" mower, stick edger, trimmer, and backpack blower. That time figures that the lawn is growing reasonably most of the time, which is a fair constant in the mild climate I live in (considering the lawn is irrigated and fertilized regularly and properly).

    It seems that most operations on here charge a minimum (20-35/cut) so they charge a lot more for smaller lawns than I do and a lot less for larger lawns. I've always found that strange, but that's a different topic...

  10. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 961

    Like David says, you really need to back track to the previous year to get any numbers which mean anything.

    I approximate my costs are averaging around $18.00 / hr - not including any labor.

    Labor has to come from what you want to net per year working in this business. Then figure out how many billable or production hours per year you can get depending on your climate.

    Then put a margin on it for the business itself to make money.

    Add all this in and most people are gonna be between $35.00 - 65.00 per hour.

    I think the best way is figuring monthly per 12 months - is how I do my bids now, I don't show a per cut price anymore.


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