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How to bid for turf spraying??

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by jgrs7, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. jgrs7

    jgrs7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    ok man thanks.. this is where im confused the other guy says charge 45 bucks for 3k sq ft and you say charge that for 6k sq ft? haha
  2. Scottypoo

    Scottypoo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    7 k at $46 is our minimum price to show up at the property Even if it is only 3k. If the property is more than 7k, that is when you start using a slightly smaller multiplier. (For example, use .0062 instead of .0067.)
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. jgrs7

    jgrs7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    ok man thanks for the info... when you put in different chemicals in the tank do you wash it out after every differnt app if you have to change chem?? all these chemicals kinda have me confused
  4. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,749

    There are no cliff notes for what you are looking to learn. This site is great but you still need to crack a book and get out there and learn from experience. Some of you questions will be answered when you study and sit for your license

    Pricing is always evolving. You can't compare actual prices from one area of the country to another, the best you will get is a starting point. You need to figure out your costs and market. You have gotten more info in this thread than most get.
  5. Bryn

    Bryn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    I posted thie about three years ago at http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=277341 but here it is again.

    This question gets asked a lot, how much to charge for a service. I don’t have a complete answer, but I hope this is a start. This is an imaginary Fert & Squirt company. In this company you work 40hours/week, 52weeks of the year, so a total of 2080 hours are worked

    I’m sure there are some things I have forgotten to include, so some of your guys who have been in business a while can chime in. This is not perfect, and is very conservative.

    Lets start with your investment. Whether you borrow the money from a bank, friend or rich relative, or loan it from your own savings, you need start up money. Lets start with $20,000 which will buy you the following.

    Truck $10,000
    Spreader(Lesco) $500
    Backpack $150
    200g Tank $3,000

    Total of $13,650, but you need to add a computer $400, Fax/Copier $400, Stationary $500, advertisements $2,050 for a total of $17,000. You have $3,000 to spend on Fert/Herb supplies. You have spent your initial investment of $20,000. Now my father always said that the first year of business you lose money, the second you break even, and the third you make money, lets hope he is right.

    Lets look at the $20,000 investment. If you borrowed the money, the bank will want interest, as well as principal payment each month over maybe 5 years. For simplicity, we are going to assume you have a line of credit, or you borrowed it from yourself. If you borrowed the money from yourself, you have now changed that moneys income stream, to your ability as an entrepreneur to generate income. If you had left it in the mutual fund, it could have returned 10% interest, so each year that initial investment is not making you $2,000, so you should consider adding that to your cost per hour. I will explain. If you borrowed as a line of credit at 10%, then you need to pay the bank $2,000/year interest, so why not pay yourself.
    That truck and equipment also needs to be replaced in the future, so now is a good time to start putting something away. Your accountant can help you on the depreciation of equipment for tax purposes, but for us, we will just consider that the life of the equipment is 5years, so in 5 years we will need to spend another $20,000. I know the equipment expense was only $13,650 but we do have inflation, and you want a nicer truck next time around. So we need to find $4,000/year to put away. Also this can be used in a true emergency such as a truck motor or transmission replacement. Remember it has to be paid back, and should only be used in an emergency.

    So straight away we have to find $2,000 interest, and $4,000 savings per year, which equates to $6,000 total, or $2.89/hr. That is $6,000/2080.

    Lets look at truck expense: You drive you truck 100 miles/day, at 15miles/gallon which equals 6.66 gallons of fuel/day with a gallon of fuel at $2.50/gallon. So total yearly driven miles is 26,000 miles/year which is $16.67/day in gas, or $2.08/hr. Oil change every 6,000miles, at total mileage driven 26,000miles, equates to 4.3 oil changes, at $30/oil change, equals $130/yr, or $0.06/hr. Don’t forget tires at $400/yr, or $0.20/hr, and transmission & other maintenance of $530/yr, or $0.25/hr. Insurance is $1000.

    Ins $0.48/hr
    Milage $2.08/hr
    Oil $0.06
    Tires $0.20
    Main $0.25

    Lets look at wages. Working 2080hrs/year at $10/hr, you are going to make $20,800, a lot of America live at this level, but it is difficult, and generally you need a partner to supplement that income. So we are going to make life a little easier, and say $13/hr, which is $27,040/yr. Don’t forget to take out 6.2% for Social Security, and 1.45% Medicare, as well as your federal take, lets say !0%. so you have $1,676SS, $392.08MC and $2704Tax, and just for a kick in the teeth for trying to go it alone, the government will ask you to add an extra SS and MC for being self employed. See if you are an employer, you have to match your employees SS & MC, and as you employ yourself, they expect you to do the same. So Take home Pay is $27,040 - $1,676 - $392.08 - $2704 = $22267.44, or $10.71/hr take home. If you live in a state with State Income tax, this might be even lower.

    Now the you have paid yourself, lets look at how much it cost you. $27,040, + $1,676 + $392.08 = $29,108.08 or $13.99/hr. Now you also might need to add State and Federal unemployment taxes, and other state taxes. So lets be on the safe side and say that your total liability for wages is $20/hr.
    Business liability Insurance I’m going to say is $1,000/yr, which is $0.48/hr
    Cell phone expense is $100/month, $1,200/yr, or $0.58/hr

    Lets add this all up.
    Investment $2.89/hr
    Ins Truck $0.48/hr
    Gas Truck $2.08/hr
    Oil $0.06/hr
    Tires $0.20/hr
    Maintenance $0.25/hr
    Wages $20.00/hr
    Liability Ins $0.48/hr
    Cell Phone $0.58/hr
    TOTAL = $27.02/hr

    So before you even start, you need to be making $27.02/hr. Which means you need $56,201.60/yr. Removing your investment, you still need $50,190.40, which means you need $24.13/hr. This is all before you start adding cost of Fert/Squirt, and other costs.

    Lets assume you have a six step program that costs you $1.96/1000sqft. This program has dimension, herb three times, granular fert . And you can apply at 1000sqft/min, wages are $20/hr, travel time is 10mins, with ten mins load/unload, and five mins paper work for a toal time of 25minutes, so using this equation gives us the cost/1000sqft.


    If you enter 5000sqft, you should get a cost of $19.80, with a $10 for wages. Total time is 30mins. If you do one 5000sqft property/hr, you will need to charge a minimum of $27.02 + $9.80 = $36.82

    This does not include any gloves, uniforms, postage, envelopes, advertising for next year, truck lettering, discounts for the elderly, retreats etc.

    Now this is a fictional company, but with some real numbers.

    Hope it helps.
  6. jgrs7

    jgrs7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    yea man, that helped a lot.. thanks for that. thats exactly what i was looking for.

    also thanks for all you guys time and trying to help me.. i know newbs can get annoying but im justy trying to learn a little more before jumping into it... if anyone else has any more advice im listening..
  7. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 898

    You need to be bringing in about 60 dollars -after your materials are taken out -per hour if you are solo. This should cover your other expensive and allow for some investment. All this is assuming a busy schedule.
  8. tlc28

    tlc28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    I will add one quick thing that has helped us alot. We get 10% down when contract is signed. Then discount that money throughout the year. Example 5 treatment per season total $500.00 amount do at signing $50.00. 1st bill $10.00 discount 2nd bill $10.00 discount ... ect. This will weed out the customers that cancel after the first treatment.
  9. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    It may be best if you work for another company for a year or two and learn, at the minimum, the simple basics of what chemicals are used before going out on your own.

    As turfhokie said, many of your questions will be answered once you crack open a book, read it and study for your license. I know you said you did a search, but you need to do more searches.
  10. gb187

    gb187 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I'm in Ga. I charge 8 per 1000 roughly. I usually start at 45. The problem is there are several variables. 1 a buttload of competition or should I say others spraying and me haha. 2 I ain't losing a job over 5 bucks. I may be treating at a 1.5 million dollar house but some will change over 5 bucks trust me. 3 I mow also so I don't want some jerk passing the buck ie he's mowing to low bla bla so I give a package deal. By the way if you only spray don't throw the maintenance guy under the bus. 4 dont be cheap and water down trying to stretch it or do a splash and dash. These are just a few. Trust me when I started I lost a lot of sleep especially during times you run stuff containing 2 4 d. I read earlier this is a skilled labor I agree 100%. The biggest pointer I can give is learn what different types of damage are, diagnosis is crucial for treatment.:usflag:

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