Do you find it difficult to estimate the amount of time a hedge trimming job will take and figuring out how much to charge for such a bid? Well here is a great example from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum that was shared with us by a new lawn care business owner who wasn’t sure what to charge for such a job.
He wrote “this is my first lawn care customer in an upscale neighborhood and my biggest job yet. They just bought the home and need to get the property cleaned up. One of the jobs they need done is hedge trimming. So I am trying to find out how much would you bid on shaping and lowering shrubs? How much would you bid on trimming large bushy trees to a point? Also, what about mowing 890 sq.ft. of grass and line trimming 1,078 linear ft? I currently am using a 21 inch commercial lawn mower.
I’m a one man crew so I am thinking the hedge job would take me 4 to 5 hours because there are about 8 or so shrubs to trim and about the same amount of bushy trees to trim, with some about 11ft high.
Usually I eyeball jobs and come up with a price. I never went by an hourly rate. The customer really wants everything cut back and lowered. So it’s going to be more than just a trim on everything. How does $55 to $65 dollars an hour sounds to you? Also, should I charge for hauling the clippings off to the dump?”
A second lawn care business owner said “I am not sure what your hourly rate is so trimming the shrubs would take me a maximum of 3 hours. If the house was on our weekly lawn mowing route, I would say mowing and trimming would be $35. As the property size is pretty small. If it was off our route although maybe I’d go $40.00 or higher.”
A third lawn care business owner said “where I’m at, I would charge $30 to mow and trim the lawn. Then $120 to shape and haul off the shrubs you have there. Don’t forget to pass the dump fees on to the customer or you may end up making no profit on this job. If you think you have to do more trimming and hauling off than what you estimated, I would charge for a whole day’s worth of work. I do charge a disposal fee because it takes time to do it so I charge for it.”
A fourth lawn care business owner said “as far as a range goes, $55 to $65 an hour seems too high based on the prices in my area, but you need to check around your area to know for sure. Based on what you have said I would charge around $280-$300 for the job.
So if it’s something small like a small pile of tree limbs, I can charge the $35 and it takes me a couple of minutes to dump plus the drive. Now if it’s more, like a trailer full of branches and debris then I tend to charge $55 because it takes longer to dump it. I don’t have a dump trailer so I have to unload everything by hand.
If they say they can get rid of it themselves or I can leave it in a pile, then I don’t charge them a disposal fee. I only charge for the time spent there.
You end up making more money when you have small cleanup jobs and you charge each the $35 minimum disposal fee. Then you fill your trailer and go dump. There have been times when I have charged up to $140 for disposal because I did 4 small clean up jobs. So instead of charging the $55 for the trailer load, I accumulated $140 for the same amount of work.
As far as mowing and hauling away clippings goes: If they want me to bag, I charge more but if they want me to bag and leave the clippings with them then I usually deduct $1-2 for not having to haul it away. If I already have grass to haul away in the truck, then adding more doesn’t change much because I already have to go dump either way.”
Order the book How To Get Commercial Lawn Care And Snow Plow Customers today.
Use these lawn care and snow plow estimators for your Android phone.