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Workers pay

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by minx, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. SRT8

    SRT8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CA
    Messages: 1,318

    Tree care and Lawn care are two completely different businesses with two completely different profit margins. Overhead for a tree company is really high so you have to charge a lot And you require employees with a lot more skill.
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  2. RoyalTree

    RoyalTree LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    Our lawn guys start at 14.00.

    We have lawn and tree crews and some guys that float back and fourth as business dictates.
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  3. SRT8

    SRT8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CA
    Messages: 1,318

    Isnt that a pain in the butt with workers comp? Reporting 8 hours one day to cut trees and then 8 hours another day to mow lawns?
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  4. minx

    minx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    Maybe I should have phrased it better.. I pay FROM $9 these are my new starters and trainees..
    Others $11.25 to 11.75. Which in my area is way way above average.
    3 large commercial firms are paying $8 labor and $9.50 for a crew leader.. And the workers get haphazard hours.
    I guarantee mine winter hours, they just sack half the work force in fall. (I know as the workers are knocking on my door asking for work)
    Many contracts in this area for lawns are $55 to $75 per Month. ( for 4-5 cuts! In summer) Well below other areas, because of cut throat management companies. Residents don't understand ( or maybe they do!) the meaning of annual contracts.. And defect in fall.. Non payment is hugely on the rise, owners or tenants abandoning properties without letting us or pool guys know.. So we continue service until we realise perhaps 30-60 days later we aint getting paid. non payment on mine has doubled in 12 months, and I've tightened up the best possible. Many commercial contracts are getting non viable, large firms putting in low ball bids.. Off the back of paying a non living wage...
    I pay a loyalty bonus twice a year to those who have performed well. yet I have had to sack staff for theft of company property or turning up drugged up... It Is getting hard to make a living in central Florida.
    I have friends on the coast who can command more and can pay more, but whilst the big guys offer peanuts for contracts and pay workers peanuts, we will struggle to compete
    and whilst there are droves of illegal and cash in hand rigs going round, the average small business is being hurt.
    This led me to wonder what other small to medium firms were paying and if I hire a manager / supervisor what I should be looking to pay.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Ten years ago when I was in Business I paid $ 12.50 to start. But I was hand picking my crew because I paid better. The idea is to have employees who VALUE their job. They have better attitudes and work ethic.

    The easiest way to build account in the lawn mowing business is to do outstanding work, it sells it's self. Diagonal cutting or stripping and clean edges that aren't scalped etc. Of course nothing sells quicker than Dark Green Weed Free Lawns. Not only does quality sell it's self, it sells at a higher price and to customers who won't leave you for the $ 5.00 cheaper guy.

  6. minx

    minx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    That's my aim ric... Doing it one yard or one small commercial at a time.....but when you advertise... You get 300 responses, 10 may have experience of which 6 lie...and 4 don't turn up... The pick of the bunch starts, and is fatigued by 11 a.m and doesn't show the next day, then you start all over again...
    Getting anyone to stripe is my fantasy...
    The ones I have are solid, but I feel we still lack a little more experience/ knowledge. Got the guys on some training workshops to increase knowledge and expertise. I pay for their time and the course.l I am trying!,, lol
    We do have a high end crew.. They're great... But they're booked solid.. Always on overtime... Wish I could clone them.. They just love gardening..
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,360

    My guys are fine with their pay. They average 50-60 hours six months and 40 the other six. We are closed christmas and thanksgiving week with pay. I've never laid them off. All but one is taking college classes. Not a bad gig for 19 to 25 year olds. They do great work and I don't have to follow them around. Plus they get a christmas bonus and publix gift card at thanksgiving.
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  8. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,010

    So you are paying time and a half for the overtime?

    We start at $10 with no skills, $12 after three months. Will be going to $14 next year.

    Met a 20 year vet with some smallish company this year. He was making $26 per hour.
  9. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,360

    Absolutely, its the law, not an option. I take a minimum salary all year and then quaterly bonus and funding of my sepira.
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  10. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    $8.50 to $12.50 an hour depending on skill set and responsibility. That's still above starting pay for many corporations regardless of the comments here.

    IMHO: if most people were paying the dollars mentioned, there'd be a dirge of labor available.

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