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Leaf removal Pricing in my area?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by S3Scooter, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. S3Scooter

    S3Scooter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    Here is what I did last year, and most of the time I lost my a**. I charged by estimating the man hour, and always under estimated. Do I tell them that I charge by the man hour, and then when the job is done then I total it up. Or do I over estimate, and when the job is done in less time charge them less. I know that the amount of the equiptment and people on the job effects your price per man hour. I was estimating $35-$45 an hour using

    1 backpack blower
    1 walkbehind (not purchased yet.)
    1 hand held
    10'x7' dump trailer Boxed, and outfitted with a Billy Goat 20 HP Briggs.
    Myself, and one other guy may be 2 on big jobs.

    A friend of mine suggested that I shoud charge atleast $50 a man hour, and estimate every job at 8 hours.

    Any suggestions would be great.
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    I've moved over to a per cleanup/monthly cleanup fee for the residents. So far its one of the best things we've ever done. We used to charge 'per man hour'. Therefore, I went back into the system for three years and totaled all of the man-hours for that particular account. I then averaged it and charged my hourly fee. I then broke that number down into 4 equal monthly payment.

    As far as the one-time jobs I wouldn't give your per-hour price. Most people baulk at it..."your charging what to get rid of that", "you are how much per hour", etc. What they don't realize is that I have a $1,500 push blower, a $7k dump trailer, a $2k leaf loader, and over a $1k in backpack blowers.

    It seems as if you realize that you have underestimated those jobs. You should have learned from that (like we all have) and be able to better estimate the next one. When you underestimate it how much to you undercut yourself? 10%, 30%??? If you know that number than apply that number to your estimates so you can have a more accurate one.
  3. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    BTW, I think that that is just ridiculous.:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Does $50/hr even even cover your expenses? If so, great...if not you are going to lose even more if you underestimate
  4. mosmgras

    mosmgras LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 270

    I quote by the job at $65 per man hour. I try to over estimate the job some so that I'm left with a little 'surplus' time. I even things up on the invoice. I agree with LB1234. Most people don't realize what costs are involved in doing the simplest of things. I show up at a leaf removal job with $10k in equipment not including my truck. Granted, I can't pay for all of that on one job however, I have to pay for some it along with a little profit. If I can't get $65 per man hour, I'll stay at home. I may be broke, but at least I won't be tired.
  5. ozd12005

    ozd12005 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    I charge by the hour plus disposal fee's

    MJRLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I also charge per-hour, and that is $40.00, I have little grass to cut when I start leaf removal and so it works for me but then I enjoy it. So if you want just the money then over charge and reduce when your done, or do a flat rate. Just enjoy waht your doing

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