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Parking Lot Sweeping Rates

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Turf Dancer, Jun 1, 2003.

  1. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    I have several potential commercial customers that have said if I could provide an all in one rate for Landscape Maintenance, Fertilizing and spraying, Parking Lot Sweeping and Maintenance of the Irrigation system they would be interested in changing to me from their current providers! This stems partly from the fact that their is only one guy in town who sweeps lots and he is unreliable only shows up when he is not out of it or when he is sober ! I think you get the picture! I have been doing some research on vacuum sweepers and the cost of these machines. I have questions regarding pricing for sweeping lots ! How much $ for this and how often is this done ? Is there a formula for doing this ? There must be something or some way to figure this out !
    Please help me !
  2. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    Talk to your (potential) clients to figure out how often they are interested in having the service. Once you figure that out, you ought to be able to estimate your costs based on the predicted life span of the machine. The only variable for estimating then would be the time to do the lot, but spying on your drunk friend could solve that.
  3. Brendan

    Brendan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Turf Dancer,

    I don't think that the rate per hour or rate per square metre which we use over here in Sydney will help you, but the principles of working out the rate are the same.

    Firstly you know your hourly work costs. Including labor, insurance, maintenance costs, vehicle, office etc.

    Secondly you need to determine what machine you are going to use and specified area that it will cover per hour.

    > deduct approx 20 to 30% off the area specified in the supplier's information (they always talk up the performance of their machines) and you should have a fairly accurate operational square feet per hour coverage. For example the Power Boss SW/ 70 will cover 120,000 sq ft per hr ( as per the manufacturer's spec.) So allow a coverage of 96,000 (less 20%) to 84,000(less 30%) sq ft per hr. This allows for blowing out corners, going around obstacles, dumping the hopper, travel etc.

    > Determine the time it will take to do these jobs. For example let say you have a total of 500,000 sq ft of car park to be swept, 500,000 sq ft divided by 84,000 sq ft per hr = 5.952 hrs, say 6 hrs.

    > Determine the life of the machine, 3yrs? 5yrs? 8yrs? Say eg. 5 yrs.

    > Next work out the total amount of hours which the sweeper will working for you on these jobs in it's life time. For example weekly for 5 yrs. 6 hrs X 52 weeks X 5 yrs = 1560 hrs over the life of the sweeper.

    > divide the purchase cost by the total life time hrs. This will give you the base cost per hr. A Power Boss SW/ 70 costs approx $40,000 over here, so, $40,000 divided by 1560 hrs = $25.64 per hr.

    > now just say you were a professional working the sweeper flat out 50 hrs per week. What would be the hrly cost over 5 yrs?
    50hrs x 52 weeks x 5 yrs = 13,000 hrs over 5 yrs
    $40,000 sweeper divided by 13,000 hrs = $3.077 base cost per hr.

    > on top of the base cost you need to add: fuel, servicing and spare parts, insurance, rubbish tip costs, etc, etc, etc, and finally your % profit. Now you should have an hrly rate for the machine, add to this your hrly labor rate and your got your over all hourly rate.

    Compare your rate to the rate of the professional working his sweeper 50 hrs per week.

    There is a big difference. You need to see if there is more work that you can get in order to keep the machine as busy as possible or find out if your customers will come at your higher price or find a cheaper/ 2nd hand machine.

    A way of checking your price per hr is to ring a sweeping contractor in a near by city and ask him for advice. Also ask the dealers how much contractors charge for sweeping, they will have a fairly good idea of the cost. They may even direct work in your direction.

    Don't be tempted to just check the prices without working determining your actual costings. The comparison between the competitor's price and your price will determine whether it is viable for you.

    Good Luck TD

  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i use to have a tymco[sp] sweeper truck and work all day also. a truely miserable time .i have thought that a mower with the rite vac system would do the same thing a vac sweeper does. mite even look into it myself. its a highly competetive buisness. or was then anyway.

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