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If I send a crew out around here I nail 60$ an hour base line. I usually try and charge more than that (40.00) per man on the norm, others say they can't get it, I think they are giving me a hard time. Its a shame that we can't trust eachother enough to let others know what we get per man per hour. I understand competition is a pain, but around here there is more than enough demand for work where we only cross eachother once a month, and these are the larger companies.

Well, what do you get? What do you charge a man hour? Does it change for mowing, hedges(which I've been swamped in lately and have posted earlier) landscaping? go for it, different types of charging? is landscaping bid completely different for you? tell tell.....TRUST OTHERS .......................sometimes.....

:p
 

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I charge the same amount for all my services. ($40.00 per man hour)

It does't matter if i'm mowing, trimming shrubs or string trimming etc..( the only time i make more is in the winter plowing)

Why should i get less money to operate a trimmer/ edger/ hedge clippers etc then to run my mowers?
When i'm using these tools my mowers are sitting idle and not making me any money.
If i didn't get paid the same for them why should i do those jobs when i could be making more money doing something else.

Dan
 

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Landscaping - $60/hr

LawnCare - most of my lawns I can get done in 20-40 minutes. $25 minimum, $40 is my highest, so I guess i make just over a dollar a minute doing lawncare and that is ok with me
 

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Well, you'll find this varies a lot on lawnsite and the answers you get may not at all apply to your situation. We all have drastically different costs for things like dumping debris, vehicle expenses, insurance, licensing fees & requirements, labor pool, etc. And THEN we all live in different areas where things like demand and supply are radically different. So by telling you what I make here in Tigard Oregon may not help you in the least. Our situations are drastically different on at least several of the above items.

That being said, we make an avg. of $30 per man hour for our maintenance crews (that includes down time like picking up the trailers, dumping, paid 30 min. lunches, breaks, etc.). We make $35-45 per hour for landscape construction stuff (plus mark-up on plants and materials) and we make $48 per man hour for irrigation work.

There are sooooo many factors that will determine how much you can get away with charging. But first, it's a good idea to total up exactly what you NEED to make in order to pay for everything you should be paying for. Even if you aren't paying for all of these things now, you should factor in all taxes, unemployment matched taxes, worker's comp., all vehicle expenses, all dumping expenses, labor, cell phones, utilities related to the business, licenses, fees, bond fee, equipment, maintenance on equipment, etc. etc. etc..... Once you have a good estimate on monthly expenses for all of these things, then you can break it all down and figure out how much you need to make.

THEN, you can start figuring out how much you can GET AWAY with making. What determines that is;
a) local demand
b) local supply (how much competition there is)
c) how well known you are
c) your reputation
d) what kind of area you live in
e) the local economy.

If you've been swamped lately, that's a good indicator that demand is high and supply is not keeping up with it. That's good news! You can charge more!

The more people see your trucks around (if they are lettered and painted properly) then the more well known you become and people associate your company with one that's established and worthy of paying more for. So again, you can charge more!

If you also have a good reputation (e.g. word of mouth, referrals, people driving by and seeing your good work and also seeing your signs or trucks to associate the good work with) then you can also charge more!

You should just experiment with these things. The busier you get and the more calls you begin to get - then you can charge a little more if you want to. OR, if you're making good money at your current rates, you can just keep those rates and just land a high percentage of the jobs you bid. That's always been my goal. I'd rather make decent money and rapidly expand my business than make a killing but only land a small percentage of my bids and grow slowly.

I've kind of done a mixture of the two over the years. I've increased our prices accordingly as we've become more well known and we developed a good reputation. But I haven't gone up nearly as much as I could have because I still wanted to be seen as a company who was somewhat affordable and wanted to expand rapidly - which is exactly what has happened.
 

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I trim a house myself. I can do $150 per the hour.

I don't charge by the hour. Nothing I do is realy by the hour. I would never tell a customer "this is what it will cost based on an hour"

Not everyone trims shrubs the same. I have seen over the years many butchers. We are artisins at trimming. That is how I price.

weekly maintenance. In another thread I said I get $2.50 an minute. That is a crew, not a single person. That $2.50 a minute lowers a bit as the property gets larger.

Fertilizer. I charge min $10 per thousand. That lowers as the area to apply gets larger.

I do full service nothing but full service. That is what we estimate on. Sure I have less than 2% of the total that are only the spring/fall cleanups and weekly. They are also located within a group. Most of them that do not sign up for the entire package next year, bye bye.

This is 27 years that I am in business. A degree in horticulture, Uniforms. Blah, blah, blah.

We do the kind of work that most wish they could.

I don't lower our standards for anyone. In fact we set the standard.
 

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I charge $45 hr for clean ups and hedge trimming.
We just finished our special of $25 hr hedge trimming.

People pay the $45 hr as long as we work. I see the competion charging $75 hr and standing around on the clock.

Kinda Pisses the cusomer off to see that
 

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one man $45 per hr, two man crew $75 per hr , 3 man crew $105 per hr. we charge hourly rates only for leaf cleaning and trim jobs that cannot be accurately estimated. lawn mowing by the lawn, application and thatching, seeding by the sq ft, landscapes by the formula involving materials.
 

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Once again Jim Lewis nailed it on the head, where do you find the time to give such informative posts??? Get what you can. Bobby also gave some good realistic numbers. Once you are established and your name is out there you can charge a little more.
I myself charge $40/hour for leaf cleanup and hedge trimming. 90% of the time I have an employee with me doing these chores and then I will charge $75/hour.
 

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Have often been curious about man hour rate quotes on here and not just in trimming and fall cleanup but also in lawn maintenance. Actually not so much the quotes given, but if those quotes include load travel times, dump time, dump fees, equipment maintenance times downtime etc.

If I were to just look at times on job, then our rates are 40-60 per hour but when all the additionals of the day get added in the amounts drop significantly depending on the services and locations visited that day they fall back closer to Jims rates.

I find that bidding by the hour limits you to the amount of money you can ever make on a job and then when you try to bill clients for the 20 mins it takes to travel, plus the half hour to dump becomes a hassle because they saw you start at 8:30 and leave at 10 so they only want to pay for 1.5 hours.

It does have its place for unusual jobs that can turn into nightmares where you have no idea how long or how much to bid. But for maximum dollars earned you cant beat giving a price and budgeting hours to earn what you want per hour depending on how fast or slow you go.

Secondly, you end up decreasing your earnings as you become more efficient or purchase better equipment if your client is accustomed to a per hour rate. For example, if you purchase a truck loader to load the leaves during the fall cleanups will go much faster, but your client may not want to pay a higher hourly rate because of your increased effeciency. Lets say you raise your rate 25% from $ 40 to $ 50 per hour and you become 25% more efficient. (For simple math only guys) If you have 100 hours of cleanup now reduced to 75 hours, youve just decreased your earnings by $ 250 while simulataneously increasing your equipment costs to complete those services. (Again, yes I know you have lower labor costs and you can now sell those additional hours to generate more income, but the point is why are you discounting work you are already earning a higher amount for?)

This leads to the last problem of price shopping without proper comparisons. You now notify your client that the new rate will be $ 50 per hour because of the new faster equipment, but you know what they remember? That its now $ 50 per hour and blah blah blah, new equipment, and blah blah blah, what the hell does this guy think I own a money tree, and blah blah I didnt tell you to buy that machine, never factoring into the equation that youll be done sooner. And GOD help you if you have a wet year or equipment problems and it takes you more time at the higher rate.

And to make matters worse they just got a flyer today for fall cleanups at $ 30 per hour from some guy whos got two rakes and a bucket and will be there 3 times as long!!!! Once youve lost they job to Joe Buckets, youve lost the job. And once, Mr cheapy homeowner realizes he spent twice as much as you would have cost him, his pride will prevent him from being big enought to call you back and admit he was wrong the following year.

Anyone else agree with me on this???

CMerrick
 

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CMerLand & jimlewis especially.

All I can add is that there is no way on God's gray earth that I would ever let a customer know what I was getting per hour, or even that I considered such a thing. They will immediately compare it to their own situation without taking into account that they get insurance, 401k, vacation, sick pay, etc etc etc, and have no equipment costs, don't pay SS Tax at full rates, etc etc etc.

Estimates are a bear. Nailing them is what separates the wheat from the chaff. If I get back into it, I know it will be painful. Just keep careful track of what everything costs in $ and time, and learn as you go.
 

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merland, for me, the hourly rate does not apply to all trimming and cleanup jobs, just the ones that have the potential of being a problem. ill tell u this much, since i started hourly, i never get this junk anymore"i want those trimmed shorter, what about the little clippings under the bush"( a few needles off of a yew), and so on. and the cleanups, ive been through hell with clients because my idea of a cleanup is different from thiers. i always explain thoroughly, but apparently on deaf ears. blow out beds, pick up sticks, branches, debris, etc. i quote the job at $150 thinking 1.5 hrs tops, and then when im done i get, "thats a cleanup?" one lady thought i was gonna thatch
her lawn, and pick up stones all over the yard that had scattered from the beds when the kids were playing on it. im avoiding that now by charging hourly. i see what u mean by upgrading equipment, then doing the job faster and losing on the hourly rate. u just have to get better at deciding which jobs u will charge by the hour, and which will be charged by the job.
 

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cleanups are like a root canal without Novocain!
there are years that i can do a cleanup in 1 hour if it is dry 4 hrs. if it is a wet season wind is also fun don't even say snow! the best way to price is to know your properties if you have to remove the debris charge more for dumping to cover the travail time the customer don't see. i have spent more money on equipment to clean up leaves and it might have been better if i sat at home and kept that money in the bank the bigger the cleanups the bigger the trucks get and the mess in case u didn't notice i hate cleanups. :blob2:
 

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Garage door UP in the morning to garage door DOWN at night. I like to see $35 to $60 per hour garage to garage. All depends on the day. Wether I full trim, or just speed trim. Wether I have to double cut, or if it looks great with just a quick single cut. There are a LOT of variables throughout the day. Hit 5 red lights rather then green, and you can become 15 minutes behind.

CUSTOMER NEVER knows hourly rate. If their home, they can figure it out. No one complains about price to me.

Just today I sailed through a $45 lawn. Speed trim, single cut, only cutting crabgrass for the most part. Gate up to gate down 18 minutes. Thats over $130 an hour. Glad no ones ever home when I mow, might get questioned about it. Her old mower guy wasn't reliable but only charged $30.


Charge what the market will bear. And keep current with the inflation rate. I remember jumping for joy making $20/hr back in the early 80's. Today, I'd rather save money by just staying home instead of working for that loose change.
 
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