Production rates

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jerryrwm, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    I have read a number of posts concerning pricing. Most of them tell you to figure a desired hourly rate and go from there.

    My questions concern how one arrives at that pricing. Or is the SWAG method used - Look at the property, and think, "I should be able to do that in 30 min, my desired hourly rate is $60.00 so I'll charge $30.00."

    Does anyone have a target production rate for the various tasks to be done for a basic service of mowing, trim/edge, blow and detail?

    What are the production rates for the following equipment on a property that is fairly open with formal beds and few trees?

    1. 60" ZTR
    2. 36" W/B
    3. 21" SP trim
    4. Power edger
    5. Stick edger
    6. Line trimmer
    7. BP Blower
    8. Clean-up
    9. Load/Unload

    I understand that there are many variables in every lawn that is maintained, but it seems that there needs to be a starting point to arrive at proper pricing.

    It would seem that this information combined with equipment CPH, Labor costs (solo or crew), overhead, and other factors associated with cost of doing business would be necessary to determine if the price charged is profitable or not.

    If one has a benchmark production rate, then that rate could be adjusted up or down based on the complexity of the job. No trees - production rate goes up. Many trees, production rate goes down. Lots of intricate hardscaping that needs trimming, production rate goes down. Straight sidewalks and driveway, with straight forward beds, production rate goes up. Hell even a swimming pool will have some effect on production rate of mowing, trimming and blowing so that you don't have to spend a lot of time cleaning the debris out of the pool.

    Maybe I'm trying to analyize the costs too much, but I like to have asolid idea of what it actually costs me to stop at that address. Hell an extra 5 minutes of unloading/loading on each property adds up after awhile. Over the course of a day that time could have been spent doing another property or the price could have been raised to cover that cost.

    Several years ago when I was running a commercial irrigation installation crew, we analyized or labor costs. Running a 7 man crew (we were doing large commercial installations $40K and up) we figured that it cost us nearly $100.00 everytime the truck stopped for 20 minutes to fuel up the truck and trenchers and fuel cans. The guys would get their drinks and snacks while fueling was underway so they weren't purposely wasting time. But they were in the truck. And running three crews that added up to a sizable chunk of money over the course of a year. We remedied this by designating one employee off of each truck to come in 1 hour early to fuel everything and restock inventory on the trailers. Turned out that paying 3 guys overtime for one hour a day saved us close to $80/day per truck.

    That being said, I was hoping that someone could give me an idea of what their benchmark production rates might be. You can't really go by manufacturer's performance data because that is not real world situation. Say for example that the manufacturer says that a 21" mower can mow 6.5 acres a day. Well if the operator starts at point A and walks at 4 mph for 8 hrs he will have mowed that 6.5 acres, but he is going to be one tired dude and he's going to be about 32 miles from the yard when the day is over!

    Any ideas?


  2. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    I do this with plowing, but do not have and have not found any production rates for landscape work. I know this thread is old, but does anyone have some new input on it?

Share This Page