Labor rate , what do you pay ?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Wright48, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,107

    well yes, even you did so, you would eventually go out of business for lack of business right?

    one job I almost got last year went for 52k, I was 57k… everyone was around 55-60 ish…. these guys 109k…WTF!

    This happened every time I see a bid opening… the sky is the limit! woohoo!

    so you would think they would go out of business because they don't have any work? Right?

    But they do.

    How do they get it?
    I'm thinking they chose their prices by throwing a hatchet at a dart board to pick a number.
  2. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    We have a company around here like that and they are the largest one. I don't get it. Snow plowing they charged 100 for a quicky down and back on a 300ft drive. Took less than 10 min of their time. Some of my rates ate begininng to be like that, but only for property management companies where I know the job is super short term and I am always on the phone putting out some fire.
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  3. JohnnyRocker

    JohnnyRocker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    You pay well.
    This seems to be the root of what separates awesome lawn companies....and the rest.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    The starting pay has a lot to do with where you are. Here in Eastern Carolina, $10 an hour will have your phone ringing off the hook with people looking for that good paying job. Up in Maryland where I came from, $10 an hour won't even get you one call. You can buy a older 3 bed/2 bath house on 1/4 acre for $125k give or take here in Eastern Carolina. In Maryland the same house costs twice as much money. House rentals run the same way.

    It's all about what it costs to live. Almost every one of these people are only looking for a job because they have to. They have bills to pay. They have no real expectations of ever having a million dollars. If you have bills that require you to have a job that pays $15 an hour, truthfully, why would you work for $10 an hour? If you c an pay your bills on $10 an hour, why not take the job.

    You see, you guys all think you set the wages. You DON"T. The wages are set by the local economy. If you don't pay enough money, then you will have high employee turnover or even difficulty finding help. If your wages are right then your employees will tend to hang around longer.

    Guys in high cost of living areas will ALWAYS pay more money. But you guys shouldn't look down on the lower cost area's wages. It's just the market setting the wages.
  5. Joshuakwhit

    Joshuakwhit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 247

    Well said, thank you for sharing. My wife and I are up late discussing an employee right now, trying to decide to give him another chance or let him go. Tough decision.
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  6. lawnandsnowguy

    lawnandsnowguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    didn't read the whole thread...

    I pay 10-20 dollars / hour, depending on the worker. I prefer young, strong, guys with lots of energy and ambition, and so I pay them the best. I want to pay all my guys a living wage. That means if they want they will have enough money to rent their own place AND not go hungry. I want guys who I can trust, believe in me and the company, and want to be apart of the company and to stay and see it grow. But it's also performance based pay so if you're not cutting the mustard anytime before your probationary period is up (3 months), you're done. I will also offer other incentives, rewards, raises, or recognition to my helpers too.
  7. crgstvrs

    crgstvrs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    It really comes down to the quality of person being hired. There are those if you pay them 18 hr. they will work enough to get them by, and come up with excuses why they cant be there daily. Same reason, former brick laying business owner, told me he would never pay anyone till after days work Friday, if he paid them at lunch so they could get checks cashed only about half would show back up. Now of course you can cut them loose but then you are trapped in a circle of finding employees that do good work.
  8. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    I find the best labor fresh out of prison, they're crazy happy over $8 an hour and they will work their tails off for it, you do kind of have to keep an eye on them thou, most require rides and like to be treated somewhat as a 7 year old would... On another note I don't get how these companies manage to rake in 5-10 times what I can barely get away with either.

    I have suspected this may have something to do with it.
  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,107

    all these dudes that come to work for you will have in their minds what they need to make a week.

    $/hr don't mean **** to them.

    They think weekly paycheck.

    If you don't give them what they need, they find ways to take it…. lagging on jobs to make OT, picking up side work on you, reserving energy to work a night job.

    Either way, paying 8-11 an hour because "that's all you can afford" costs you more money in the long run. Pay higher, hire guys that will work for the higher wage.
    The other guys will apply… learn quickly who is who.
  10. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,556

    I pay a guy 12/hour who literally only mows.

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