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mowing / labor rates

Darryl G

Inactive
That really depends on your area, what your overhead is, what you need to make and what the market will bear. I don't think anyone can really answer that question for you. Personally, I won't do anything for under $45 per hour and my lawns start at $40 per cut. People here are probably going to jump all over you for asking that. So I suggest you go to the "just starting out" section I think it's called and do some reading over there.

Good luck.
 

Lawnut101

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
West Bend WI
It's really a trial and error type of a deal. Seeing what your market can bare vs. what you need to get is a tricky thing to do sometimes. Start by figuring out all your costs, and you get your overhead, plus profit, plus your direct expenses like fuel and such. You can start out by figuring your break even. Then work up from there. For example, if your break even is $15/hr (just an example) then you can't charge that amount and expect to make money. You will probably in reality, actually lose it, because nothing goes exactly as planned. Plus you should be in business to make a profit. Another piece of advice, your profit margin may be different for each job as well as your overall hourly rate.

Hope this helps.
 

Landscraper1

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Southeastern Ma.
Try not to give a customer an hourly rate. Always price the job. Figure how many man hours it would take to do the job and multiply by a rate you have set for that type of work.

If it's a job that you only need hand tools for(weeding,mulching, etc.): $35
If some equipment is needed(Trimming,pruning,blowing) : $40
For mowing: $45
Then add on for any debris you need to dispose of. Also consider you travel time and add on an hourly rate for any heavy equipment you might need (Bobcat,Mini-Ex,Chipper)

Hopefully these rates will help as a base. Every area is different. 20 miles north from my base, the rates would be about 25% higher.
 

outdoorsmanjw

LawnSite Member
A friend on mine told me that he worked for a company around here and about 30 a hour was the norm. Howevery I belive it would be easy to get a $30 lawn and get in done in 20-25 minutes for every thing. I myself am just starting out going part time this year I will not work for nothing under $45 a hour my goal is to make $55 per hour.
 

Darryl G

Inactive
Just keep in mind that as far as mowing goes, assuming you are mowing for a fixed rate per mow, your actual rate per hour can vary considerably during different parts of the mowing season and even different years. In the spring and early summer, you may be making $40/hr on average due to lush growth, whereas in the middle of summer you may be making $75/hr. The key is having equipment and procedures that allow you to deal with peak growth effectively without it taking forever.

Personally, I prefer to do add on maintenance-type work for my regular customers on a time and material basis. I will give them an estimate, but they are billed actually costs based on how long it takes and the materials actually used. I figure that 5 minutes of breaks per hour is reasonable. Anything more than that I deduct from my time. Hourly rates can scare people though, because they don't realize how productive you can be. Virtually all my spring and fall cleanups are done hourly. I also mark my materials up to retail prices or in the case where I can't get them at wholesale, I add 15% to 20% to my cost.
 
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