Anytime you are thinking about buying more lawn care equipment, you need to ask yourself if you can justify the cost. Will you make your money back from the machine and then some? Or will it sit there in your garage and barely ever be used? That is the discussion we had on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. As we will see, quite a few landscapers have found adding an aerator was great for their bottom line.
One lawn care business owner wrote “aerating is a love hate relationship for me. The money you make in one day of aerating is fantastic, but I would much rather throw my machine off a cliff. It beats the hell outta me and by days end I’m a noodle. I’m pretty easy going on prices, but when it comes to aerating, I stick to my guns, I don’t care if you’re my Grandmother. If I charge you $50 to mow, I’m charging $150 to Aerate! With that said……….I cant wait to Aerate!
I use a 26.5″ wide aerator. Fighting the weighted drum is what gets me, and after 16 yards there’s no easy way around it. I’m sure I could buy one of those $200 pull behinds but I don’t think they do a good job. It’s the name of the game though and I’ll deal.”
A second lawn care business owner said “I used to hate aeration season when I worked at my old job until I discovered if you never pick up the tines and just go in circles, it’s a lot less fatiguing, but it still beats you up. Just a bit less.”
A third shared “this service truly does pull money of the ground. I have a blue bird 530. I bought it used from a local big box store for $1,500, it had 60 hours on it, which is nothing for the blue beast. I made my money back in one week. This service is magic for the soil in long terms. I charge $150.00 for the service + seed+organic fertilizer.
The only thing is, in my area, people are not really familiar with this service and it’s benefits so I found myself teaching people about this service. I only do around 40 to 50 aeration in the spring. I have heard from others lawn services that are literally making bank with 10 aeration per day, at least $100.00 per service for say 50 working days of spring, making $50.000 in one season! That is crazy!
Last year I tried to really go all out with this service in the fall but I had no success due to a drought. It seemed, at the time, as if people didn’t want anything to do with their lawn.
I did several houses in spring last year and this year they seem to be doing way better than the lawns that are around them. I’ll try to really push this service again this fall. Potentially offering let’s say $50.00 or $75.00 per lawn. I’d like to shoot for 10 houses with 6,000 to 9,000 sq ft lawns per day. Of course I’m just a small guy and this is a goal, but this is what keeps me going.”
A fourth added “I started my yard care business this past summer at a reasonable cost and have six full time lawns. I then got lucky when I found the local lumber yard was going out of business and I picked up their rental aerator ($250.00), power rake ($250.00), and walk behind edger for ($150.00). They were all rental machines and had some mileage on them but my first aeration contract paid for the aerator. You gotta love good used equipment and being able to offer these upsell services.”
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