Need help bidding on severe hedge trimming

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by thuglife, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. thuglife

    thuglife LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I am trying to bid on trimming a pittosporum hedge down. It's about 10 feet tall, and it needs to be trimmed down to to 4 feet. The hedge is up against a building and it needs to be cut 18 inches away from the building. It's approximately a 100 feet long stretch. I also need to haul the debris off. I work alone. I am thinking I should charge $35 an hour. I think it will take me 8 hours of chainsaw and lopping and 8 hours of loading and clean up. Tomorrow I am going to get prices on a couple of places I can dump the brush. Any suggestions?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653


    The magic formula?
    Take the new Lco's estimate, and double it:
    Hours: 8 + 8 = 16 x $35 = $560 x 2 = $1,120

    And now you're on the money.

    Because I can tell you one thing: 2-4 hours of chainsaw work = 8 - 16 hours of loading and hauling.
    Thus, 8 hours of chainsaw work = 24-32 hours of loading and hauling...
    But in this case, I suspect 4 hours of chainsaw work would do it, then tack on 16 hours of loading and hauling, likely at least four 6x12 trailer loads (maybe 2-3, but think 4) and this is where the money goes: the loading and hauling.

    You'll likely be there at least 2 full days but more like a good portion of a third day as well, I wouldn't touch it for any less than 900 but see, I have to pay $40 / load to dump as well, so 4 x 40 = 160 + 900 = 1060...

  3. cl&l c.c. Tx

    cl&l c.c. Tx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Yeah $35.00 an hour is to cheap, even here in corpus. I charge $50.00 an hour minimum.
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    In my area that would go for around 150 and they would find someone to do it for that! (Not this boy)! I agree with topsites on estimating. Whatever time you think it will take, double it. I have lost my arse more times than I care to remember on these jobs. The hauling off/cleaning up is what will bust your butt. If you get it, make it worth your while or let it pass.
  5. thesargent

    thesargent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    how wide is it?
  6. thuglife

    thuglife LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I appreciate the input. The hedge is 5 to 6 feet wide and the plants seem to be planted 2 feet off the building.
  7. fairview

    fairview LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 6

    Work smarter; not harder. Sub it out to a company that has the labor, equipment (specifically a chipper), charge 10% more than the sub and move on to a more profitable, less labor intensive job. You will be glad you did.
  8. Cochran

    Cochran LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3


    Know this post is late, but just some advice from a landscaper in the Corpus area--for clean-up like you were discussing I charge $25/manhour (2 guys = $50/hour) If it's a one man job, it's $40/hour. For a clean-up, people won't pay more than that, but for builds or installs they'll give up the $50 that No Rush mentioned. Yeah, like one post said, it can be done for $150--but if they wanted to pay that, they could get a high school kid or a guy from the corner. Most people know that a company will charge more than an individual. Charge what you feel--use the formula given in this thread. I figure my time plus 10% and usually hit right on where I want to be, but I've been bidding different aspects of landscape for a while now.....

    Also, as far as a place to dump in Corpus--your best bet is the landfill! Usually $25-$35/truck or trailer load for brush or trash--regardless how much (usually). Sometimes they'll go higher or lower depending on who's working that day.....

    Also, when estimating for hauling brush figure your time there too--at least 1 1/2hr per load. The landfill runs at a much slower pace than the rest of us and you will be very frustrated if you don't!
  9. Accu-cut Lawn Care

    Accu-cut Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,206

    If there is a lot of debris that needs to be hauled out, you may want to think about employing a tree service that has a chipper truck. Then, all you will need to do is stack up the debris in a couple of easy to get to piles. I paid about $100 to have 2 huge piles of trimmings picked up last week. If I were to have done it on my own, it would have filled up my 16' trailer at least 10 times.
  10. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,505

    These guys are right, if you insist on taking this job, sub it out. The hardest part is not the cutting and lopping. The worst part is all the hauling! Especially if you have to pay to dispose, my county charges 57$ a ton to dump brush and hedges are heavy. Bid big and you will probably get it. Most guys hate hedges with a passion, me for one.:usflag: :usflag: :usflag:
    ericg likes this.

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