Pricing for applying checmicals

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by anothertractor, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. anothertractor

    anothertractor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Hey everyone,
    I am new to the pesticide part of the business. Before you ask, yes, I have my commercial applicator license and insurance. I have acquired my first job and want to make sure I price accordingly. I am going to spray a clients yard (about 85000 feet) with a broadleaf weed killer. With this volume, I am thinking that a hose end sprayer might be my best bet. Please advise if you feel differently. I have a 4 gallon backpack sprayer but I figured that my coverage might be spotty. Is there a ballbark per 1000 feet that I should use for a project like this? Thanks for your resonses.
  2. Mscotrid

    Mscotrid LawnSite Bronze Member
    from USA
    Messages: 1,456

    What is your market competition? Price will vary due to market demand. Price yourself according to your competition for your area. Hose end sprayer? Not my first choice. Do you plan on using a garden hose and attach to the customers house? I've heard of applicators carrying potable water and attaching a hose end to their spray systems if changing chemicals throughout the day. As a hole that's not an industry standard.

    With all that being said I would probably charge $175.00 - $200.00 if they wanted me to just drag a hose on their property. That's herbicide only no fert or other chemicals.
  3. kcchiefs58

    kcchiefs58 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I think you need to know a couple of things. First figure your product cost. Say a herbicide costs about $30 a gallon which is about 24 cents an ounce. How much product will you use? 1 1/2 oz. per thousand would cost 36 cents per thousand. To spray 85000 feet that would be about $31 in product cost. What is your time worth and what kind of overhead is there. If you figure your time, expenses, overhead is worth about $150 per hour. A spray rig sprays 3 gallons per minute and every minute you can spray 1000 sq. ft. that would take 85 minutes to spray 85000 feet. Cost in time would then be about $213 add product which would total to be $246.
    In my area I don't care if someone is cheaper,I know what all my costs are and that is how we figure our rates, not by what the market is at. If you are in it to make money figure out what it costs you first and foremost!!
  4. MrBarefoot

    MrBarefoot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    You sir, have hit the nail on the head.

    If you price according to keep up with the low ball companies, then you will be a low ball company.

    Find your costs, then set your price accordingly otherwise you will not make money.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    How could or WOULD someone not have done their homework to see if it is even feasible before they go and get their certifications, insurance, and licensing? I don't get it.
    I mean,....why would you even go through all that if you didn't know what the costs and numbers were?
  6. JBird

    JBird LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    JOE,....You Read My Mind, the clues are there if you look.
  7. gorknoids

    gorknoids LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    85K' is a big lawn, and time being what it is (money), you'd do well to head to Northern Tool and Equipment (Virginia, right?) and purchase a 15 gallon spray rig (with carriage), 100' of hose, and a variable nozzle. The benefits will be realized in reduced mixing time, more accurate mixing, more consistent and faster application, and less wear/tear on yourself. Chemicals of all sorts are very expensive, so using the very minimum to get the job done (correctly) is very important.
    kcchiefs58 knocked it out of the ballpark. All I would add is that you need to factor overtime into bids. All the big outfits do it because they HAVE to pay it, so after you've figured in overhead, materials, MH's, consumables and all, determine if it will put you over 40 for the week.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I'm sorry, and I certainly don't mean to be cynical, but I am more and more inclined to believe that a good way to get through alot of the "grey" would be to do like another site does, and offer an actual Certified status to those that have them. The people send (E-mail) a copy of their Cert and License to the site administrator, and it is put on their avatar. I am tired of giving info out to potentially endangering situations. I cannot do it in good consience if I don't know for sure. Don't get me wrong, I love to help people out, but it is different when there are so many on here that are NOT educated, and are still blasting stuff all over. I'm not going to be a part of making this part of the industry into what the mowing industry is now.

    ...and Anothertractor, don't take this wrong, because it is NOT directed at you.
  9. anothertractor

    anothertractor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    After reading all of the replies, first of all I want to thank you all for your input. The responces looked odd so I went back to look at my original question. This was supposed to be 8500 feet, not 85000. I am so sorry that I have wasted your time on a totally irrelevant question. I am sure that the application changes with the footage involved. Any way, I did this project over the weekend and I want to make sure that I do not undercut anyone. This customer is very happy with my work and has deep pockets. I do not want to overcharge him and take a chance on losing him but I do not want to under charge him and leave money on the table/ bring down the price. I am sure that this one job will not affect the market price but I plan on getting more involved in this. I have decided to charge $15 per 1000 feet, making the total $127.5. Any input will be appreciated.
  10. Mscotrid

    Mscotrid LawnSite Bronze Member
    from USA
    Messages: 1,456

    You charged him 127.50 for a weed control only app on 8,500 sq ft?? On 8,500 sq ft you should have only used about 13 oz of herbicide. Even if you paid 40$ a gal.( which would be high but you may not buy enough quantity to get much a break) that's less then 5$ worth of chemical. And even if you backpacked the whole thing you could have it done in 1/2 hour. That was an outragous charge. Thats about what I would charge for an acre!

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