Solo operation and charging?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by christoff, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. christoff

    christoff LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    What does everyone charge per hour?

    Does the cost increase if you are using power equipment? or stay the same?


  2. Carolina Cutter

    Carolina Cutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Using power equipment? What are you planning on using.....a slingblade??

    $1 per minute is a good starting point.
  3. christoff

    christoff LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    no, I mean for instance charging $25/hr for pruning or cleaning garden beds ( jobs that don't invloce gas equipment, weed wacker, mower, blower) and charging $35/hr for blowing or gas hedge trimmer.
  4. Cobra Jock

    Cobra Jock LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    LOL! Good One! I was wondering the same thing when I read it, but I came up with billy goats :D !
  5. Triple R

    Triple R LawnSite Member
    Messages: 244

    I charge $40/hr for maintenance and at least $75/hr for pest app. but will usually make between $100 - $150 an hour on pest app. Locally I've been told by other maintence gardeners that I am too expensive but I just say that I charge for what I know and that they are underpriced.
  6. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    Don't forget Cobra that you have vet bills and grooming costs there :p
  7. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854


    It depends a lot on what you are doing. Any rate here would also have to be converted to Canadian rates. Your market will determine what you can charge. What I might get $65 an hour for might only be $45 up there. Take a look at magazine. Search for the state of the industry issue and study that. That will give you a baseline to start with. After the baseline then as you talk to people around town ask them what they are paying. Don't solicit them for business. Just do your research. If you try to get them as a customer on the first time talking with them they will be less likely to to give you real figures.

    Everyone here has a different baseline. Especially those of us that have been in the business a while. Again, what others charge is going to vary by region. Do some flat foot work and you will find your rate.

    By the way, what does petro run up there per liter now?
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    If you are solo you should be charging MORE for work like shrubs and weeding, not less. Even though you are not using as much of those "power tools", your most important "power tool, YOU, is getting worn out much faster than if just sitting on a mower. You can mow for 12 hours. Even half that time on your knees weeding or shrub pruning or whatever and you'll be worn out and miserable, if not immediately, in a few years.

    Also, the more kinds of work you do that competes with a guy hiring $8/hour employees, the less you will make as a solo op. I minimize the grunt work I do for that reason. Trying to be all things to all people can make you expend all your energy on less profitable tasks. Also, customers tend to perceive some types of tasks as less valuable than others. Let your equipment make you the money. You're the equipment operator. Minimize the muscle power stuff if you want to be solo.

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