labor rate

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by jrlandscaping781, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. jrlandscaping781

    jrlandscaping781 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Hello all...I do some landscape work part-time right now with the hopes to go fulltime in the future. Most of the work is done by me. I just wanted to confirm that my hourly labor costs are in the ball park. I realize that pricing will vary in different parts of the country, along with differences in overhead cost, but I feel that we all need to communicate and keep the pricing up where it should be for the professional results that the customer is looking for. I don't want to be one of those guys lowballing. So as an example, if I am just doing manual (grunt work) labor (weeding, raking, etc) I figure $30 hr. If using some type of small equipment (rototiller, mower, etc) I figure $45. And last if I am using my JD 4310 (brush-hogging, harley raking, etc) I figure $60 hr. This sound reasonable?
  2. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    I would go a little higher for work with the John Deere, maybe $75 or $80. You have to factor wear and tear on a truck and trailer to haul it as well as the tractor and attachment. I used to do landscape work in East Lansing as a solo operator. It was a pretty low paying market due to all of the unemployed UAW people around there doing under the table work.
  3. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    Atleast make $60 an hour as a minimum
  4. Armadillolawncare

    Armadillolawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    I don't do anything for less then 40 per hour. Hand weeding which I think is a pita I charge 60-75 per hour.
  5. yamadooski

    yamadooski LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    I charge 85.00 for manual labor.
    Why do guys short change yourself?
    When I take my Chevy to the dealer they charge 90.00hr.
    I take my street bike to the cycle shop and he charges 80.00hr.
    Dont tell me they all have overhead, I have overhead too. Its called a mortgage, insurance, health insurance, ect.

    I make 80.00 per hour mowing why on earth would I do manual labor for less?
    I even tell my customers that.
  6. laylow1994

    laylow1994 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    yea i dont do anything less than $45 hour.....
  7. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    You charge $85 per man hour or are you referring to just yourself?
  8. yamadooski

    yamadooski LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    Yes I'm referring to just myself. When you go to a car dealership how many mechanics work on your car? Does that mechanic get paid 90.00 hr?
    NO he does not.
    Whether or not you are using equipment you still have overhead. Your truck, mower, rent, insurance, gas, etc comes out of that cheap labor rate.
    After you deduct all such expenses, you are at 20.00 per hour for some of you that charge lets say 45.00 hr. Why not go get a job at 20.00 hr somewhere's else?
    It would be allot easier life.
    This is why I enjoy the finer things in life, such as nice house (very nice too)

    Hey "laylow" Im in Brandon too, why such cheap labor rate?

    The only reason I charge the way I do is cause I know how to run a business.
    I would venture to say that 95% of people doing lawn care don't have a clue how to run a business. That is why you see prices all over the place.

    I also believe that this is the dumbest business in the entire country. I have never met more uneducated people in my entire life.
    Just take this website for instance. Look at everyone on here telling the entire world how much we make, how to do this and that.
    I see people on here that don't have a clue as to what they are doing. So they come here and ask.
    When I started my company and didn't know how to do something, I figured it myself!.
    And all of you complain every year about lowballers. Gee whiz. If I was Joe blow and did a Google search and found this place and saw how much everyone was bragging about how much they make and saw the support I could get, I would start a lawn business too.
    Man some of you give away such great secrets of the industry that all of your competition in your own cities can see and now have an equal advantage.

    That is one thing I don't do is tell everyone and the world how to do something.
    I get lawn guys all the time asking me how in the world I do so many yards myself. 148 as of right now. How can I do that many? I'm educated and think things through myself instead of coming on website like this and having it handed to me. What is learned by doing that?
  9. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    So you are going to advise us how to run a successful business, when you don't even have employees? Get real man. I can see making $60-$85 an hour if you are the one doing it, but trying to get that w/ employees is a different story. Your man hours start from the second your employees(or yourself in this case) load the equipment up and fuel everything to the time they get home. That is how I calculate how much I get per man hour.... b/c that is what I have to pay. I have to pay for the time behind the windshield.

    The bragging one is you... your the one that claims to make $85 a man hour and enjoy the finer things in life and live in "very nice house." And there is nothing wrong w/ that, but you are the one that has something to learn... because you are the one busting your ass everyday and not delegating the workload.

    I am not saying you have anything to learn from me, b/c I have not gotten to the point where my business will completely run w/o out me... I just don't have to do the physical work.
  10. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,522

    My base rate is $65 per hour per man. Hand weeding, having to work around dog poop, or things which I deem to be a PITA, my rate goes up accordingly.

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