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What's the Real Cost of Dropping Your Trailer Gate???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CutInEdge Lawn Care, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    I read several post a week where someone is just looking to make several hundered dollars a week etc... Now I know alot of you guys that have been in the industry for awhile have at some point been forced to figure out your true cost for dropping the GATE.

    When I started full time here in FL. 2 yrs ago my cost of dropping the gate was @ $18/gate drop. Now with over 120 accounts and one employee the gost for dropping the gate is at $9.28

    So with that being said, especially for the new guys, you have to figure all your expenses and divide how many accounts you have and that will tell you what it cost to drop your gate. (In a nutshell)

    So again for the new guy just wanting to earn a few bucks. If with insurance, gas, advertising, mower expense, mower depriciation, etc... and it's costing you somewhere in the neighborhood of $15-20/yrd and your charging $30 and it takes you 30min and therefore you think your making a dollar a minute. It's obvious that there is grave misunderstanding of the imfumus dollar a minute. Buy knowing the true cost there is no way you can get sucked into pulling up to a yrd and customer saying that's a little high so and so will do it for $20/eow and you fluster up your pecock feathers not about to go away empty handed. However, not knowing your cost you just done that yard for free. You say no I didnt I walked with $20 in my pocket. Think again!!!!

    Would be interested to know what the industry average is($5-29) more???, and what others might think there true cost of dropping the gate.
  2. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    No one has a clue????
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I don't get into the cost to "drop the gate".

    In my mind, my the idea of that only applies to very small lawns.
    I have a minimum fee that takes care of that if they are "in" my route.
    Then a much higher one if they are off route or further out.

    But as far as actual costs... I keep up with that and evaluate it much differently.

    I know what my fixed costs are that stay the same rather I leave home or not.
    Then I know what my operational costs are to get to the job.
    Then what the operational cost are ON the job.
    Then what my cost-recaptures and replacement costs are.

    I know what it costs me per hour/unit to do everything I do from the time I hook up until the time I unhook. Plus I add a padding to cover the things that are harder to predict/track.

    As I have said before, it would hurt a lot of people's feelings to know for a fact what they really honestly 'clear'.
  4. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    Never though about costs in terms of a "gate drop cost". Generally, I try to track things in a cost per hour, and try to fine tune the numbers percentage wise. I will be the first to admit though, I'm probably not 100% on the money figures wise. But, I'm probably pretty close and usually try to over estimate cost to make things a tad easier. But, whatever way you figure it, there are such huge variables that its hard to compare one person's numbers to the next unless you are sure you are comparing apples to apples.
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    My minimum to pull up to a yard is $50.

    If it's out of the way, it's $75.

    There's a reason I've been doing this business for 18 years now and can gross a decent 6 figure income working solo.

    There's alot of guys that say there's no way people are going to pay $50 for someone to mow their 1/4 acre lot.

    You're right, there aren't alot of people. However, you also only need to mow 1/2 as many people, and you're also not driving everywhere to give out quotes to people that are going to tell you the neighbor kid will do it for $15.

    It weeds out many people on the phone, and the ones that want you to come out, are pretty much already set on using you.
  6. Frosty_03

    Frosty_03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    I look at myself as a custom lawn person. I have a steep price and somepeople will pay and ohters wont. If you went to a custom paint shop you would pay more for the paint job, well it is the same way with me. When I leave your yard it is a custom job not just a hurry one, I have to get to the next account. I see alot of LCO who do this. It is like this we have not had rain here for a while it is raining as I type, anyway I don't ever have to skipp a week all my acounts are weekly and people don't mine paying cause they know that I am worth the money. I do not worry about what it cost as long as the bottom line I put money in the bank. I take the science out of the equation and have fun.:cool2: a
  7. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I've never figured out the cost to drop the gate. But I know my hourly cost of business, it's pretty low because I don't have much overhead being solo.

    Now then the one thing that kills me is, non billable hours. I make good money when it comes to the billable hours and my cost of business and what I charge. But if you factor in the nonbillable...boy does the figures drop.
  8. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    My actual cost to drop my gate is $8.39. Based of course on an average distance from one account to the next. All in all, I charge by the yard with factors such as access, trimming and type of grass...some of the many factors figuring into the mix. I use my truck and trailer for other personel purposes so that's why cost is lower though I sure that I have more than covered for their costs.
  9. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    Okay, you have me confused.

    You are grossing your income? Where I live your Gross is what you take in, and your Net is what you keep.

    Six figures for a Gross, mowing yards by yourself??? I highly doubt it! You are a legend in your own mind! The Minnesota Bluegrass doesn't even begin to grow until late April/May. The leaves begin coming down in September/October, so how many months long is your season??? six-seven at best! Go tell lies somewhere else.
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I feel the same about everything.
    My minimum is now $40 to drop the gate on a job that is "in" my route.

    I haven't been able to figure out a sustainable way to make 6 figures solo though.
    But if I were in a prime area I think I could.

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