how much per day?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green boy1, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. green boy1

    green boy1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    How much $$$ do u guys spend per day basis to run ur business like: gas for the machines incl. trimmers and blowers, truck, trimer line, lunch, ice, water, taxes and all the minor things. Just to have and Idea of how much I'm gonna be needing to charge this next season.

    Thanks in advance for any help, and by the way I was looking around and didn't find nothing about this question on the search section so if the answer was there somewhere sorry.:hammerhead:
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    omg it varies, it's hardly per day anyway... I fuel once / week, I buy stuff when I need it and usually enough to last a while... Some months I spend several thousand, other months a few hundred (as the extremes go).

    I'd say the least is 40-60 a week for fuel, the most I've ever spent in one day is 3 thousand (for a mower), so again, it's hard to average but over a year's time I spend about 1/3 of gross deposits so if I deposit 30k, I'd spend 10k that year easy (and it's going to get spent if I have to find ways to spend it LOL), so then I work 250 or so days / year (I think), so that makes it $40 / day...?
  3. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    I easily fill my truck up once a week, if not every 5 or 6 days. Of course, it's my personal vehicle and I use it for getting to my full time job and other stuff. With the price of gas, that's 60-75 bucks depending on how empty it is.

    At this point, I really only need to fill the mowers once a week, though they are never very low, and about 1-2 gal per week for the trimmer/blower/brushcutter.

    With the warm weather, I generally grab one or two bags of ice every day for the cooler at a buck and a half each.

    Drinks, eh mabye 15-25 bucks a week depending on what I buy.

    Lunch, sometimes I pack my own, sometimes I buy it, sometimes I don't eat lunch.

    Of course, I don't have enough work to keep me busy full time yet, so I figure those costs will easily double(if not triple) when my account list grows.
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Do your own virtual company and do your own estimate. What I spend will have little to do with what you will spend.

    Start by doing a budget, decide on what equipment you will buy, how many years it will last, how much you expect to spend on maint, fuel etc. Then figure in the replacement cost. Then divide that by the hours you expect to operate the machine. This will give you an hourly cost. Now do that for every thing you will use, equipment, hand tools, vehicles, trailers, everything. This will give you an idea at least a jumping off point. Then you track actual costs and hone your budget.

    Simple example:
    Rake cost 8.00 will last 11 weeks, 4-days use per week probably 3.5 hours per day
    3.5 hours x 4 days = 14 hours per week x 11 weeks =154 hours.
    no maintenance, no fuel, so 8.00 cost, divided by 154 hours of use ( life of tool) cost to operate, less labor, just over .05 per hour.

    I realize this is an ultra simple example and it is a lot of work to figure all that stuff out but if it were easy everyone would be doing it.

    Rodfather seems to have a lot of these numbers readily available from Quick books. You might reach out to him but you need to ask a better question. Like what is your operating cost for a 60" Z or whatever piece of equipment you would expect to operate. Ask a better question get a better answer.

    This is just the field part, you still have to figure everything else and build that into the number of hours you expect to operat to come up with that magical hourly rate number and it will change with every new employee and crew added. Hope you like math.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    For maintenance only I got to around 12.00 per hour on a truck with close to 80 hours of time in and around 72 hours of income producing production.
    Just a few ideas-- mowers were figured at 100 hours per HP as a life.
    Trimmers and edgers went 2 years on the books- about 45min on a tank of gas,
    Never ran out of gas in the mowers so less than 5 gal per day in the W/B
    The Z was close on long run days so about 1.5 gal an hour.

    The fixed costs are the hardest to fig. as they will change per hour (go down the more you work).
    Ins. --$800.00 per year- at 40 hours per week for 38 weeks is 1520 hours or $0.52 per hour of production
    If you plan to work 1 truck to the max use 80 hours as you production base.
    In the above case that would work out to $0.26 per hour. See where we are going. You need to do this with every idem you use to run the business.

    NEVER DO THIS--- "my stuff is paid for"---
    A lot of the new guys will say that, but there is no such thing. How you finance your equipment (read pay for it) has nothing to do with the fact that if it is used in the production of income it needs to be paid for out of that income. If you use OPM to buy equipment than you need to "pay" monthly. If you pay cash up front than you need to "save" monthly so you can replace when needed.

    Even the discussion of not having the interest is meaningless as than you need to figure the cost of money compared to not having the cash.

    Do a search on -- COSTS--- DIRECT COSTS--- INDIRECT COSTS-- OVERHEAD-- EQUIPMENT COSTS-- EQUIPMENT LIFE. You should get a much better feel for what you need to plan for.

    Hope this helps

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Have to ask-- where are you
  7. green boy1

    green boy1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Thanks to all for ur help i this topic.

    im really concern about making better decisions than the one time ago costme a lot of $$$$$ so I really appreciate all ur help guys thanks again.:drinkup:
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It is a lot about studying your past mistakes, and doing things over in such a way that it costs you a lot less...

    For example, I too used to buy a bag of ice / day... Man that stuff gets expensive!!! It's a dollar a bag! Nowadays, I buy 32.ounce Gatorade bottles and freeze them (leave in fridge for at least 24 hours), then stick in the cooler once it is a solid block of ice. Then at the end of the day, empty out the contents of gatorade into the cooler itself, refill with water and put back in freezer (you'll need 5-6 of these so as to keep a rotation going, so that it also keeps your cooler water cold).

    Starter rope is a buck a foot at the dealers, but I order mine mail order and it's 100 feet for 11 bucks (like 11 cents a foot), and so on... Stuff like that... You review what is costing you, then you find ways to do things cheaper.
    You got to operate on a shoestring budget, or you will not survive.
    Think cheapness, dollar store, big lots, and wholesale / on sale (at least 30% off msrp).

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