Lawn mowing…what is the cost per acre to have someone mow?

What is the cost to have someone mow is a common question. Although, it may be a matter of perspective, as in what is the price to get an acre mowed.  Ultimately, there is no fixed easy answer because there are so many factors that influence it. Even a local mowing service is going to request a walk-through and then submit an estimate. The information below should allow you to get a realistic idea.

STEP ONE: KNOW YOUR MOWER
Each mower is a little different and each is recommended for different size and types of jobs. Here are the main mowers.

• Electric push mowers are walk-behind mowers ideal for small, flat lawns. They use electric motors to propel the cutting blade, but you must push the wheels for the mower to move forward. Corded are available, but not recommended.
• Gas-powered mowers could be push or self-propelled. They use a four-stroke engine and are available with different swaths; the most common are 21-22 inch swaths. Be aware, a self-propelled mower is a slight increase in cost.
• Lawn tractors use front engine placement with a seat in the rear and can mow between a 42-48 inch swath, greatly reducing mowing time. They are easier to clean thanks to discharge chutes for moving cut grass, but they require a much bigger storage space and add-ons are often pricey.
• Zero turn radius riding mowers are much more expensive than other models mentioned, but are ideal for large lawns and premium lawn designs; they use twin steering to make cuts between 42 and 28 inch swaths. There is a learning curve when using this type of mower and require practice.

Here are some average gallon sizes and use numbers depending on the type of mower.

• Electric Push Mowers use no gasoline; the average cost is $0.1 per 1000sqft; you can estimate using this: cost= .25/4500 x cost/kWh x sqft. Battery 24-36 Volt takes 16-20 hours to charge and can mow a 1/3 acre on that charge.
• Gas-Powered Mowers have an average 2/3 gallon tank and can mow a half acre on a single tank. At $3.50/gallon for gas, that rounds to about $2.35 per half acre.
• Lawn Tractors have an average 6 gallon tank and generally can mow 1-gallon per 1-acre. At $3.50/gallon for gas you average at $1.75 per half acre.
• Zero Turn Riding Mowers usually have a 2 gallon tank and use roughly 1.5 gallons per acre. At $3.50/gallon for gas you average at $2.62 per half acre.

Do a few test runs with your mower on your own lawn and a few family and friends who are willing to participate; you want to make sure you have an accurate idea of your normal gasoline consumption. When shopping around you should ask plenty of questions about fuel efficiency and typical life span of the equipment.

STEP TWO: EVALUATE AND ESTIMATE
A mower should always go to a prospective customer’s plot before giving a price estimation for mowing. Here are the things to consider while evaluating.

• Be competitive with competition. Each area has slightly different pricing, so make sure you can offer similar or better services at the same rate.
• Establish a base price; determine a minimum price for small, medium, and large plots in your area. This should include your personal paycheck and the cost of gasoline per estimated time for plot size.
• Go to the plot and review the general size and difficulty of the terrain which you are being asked to mow. This will give you a base time used.
• Charge extra for troublesome areas; slopes, water/garden features, trees, pools, and other outdoor items can slow you down so add a few extra dollars for how much extra time it will roughly take to do those areas. Trimming shrubs and racking/bagging leaves take extra time as well and should be extra.
• Be negotiable; you want your customer to be satisfied with your service for the price, so encourage repeat business with a discount on multople cuts or hired services for a whole season.

STEP THREE: GET IT DONE
No matter how much they may have negotiated you to do more for less, give it your best; there is a high chance they will hire you at a higher rate during the next season if you show them how well of a job you do (and mention the costs of supplies going up) and continue to hint that you could do more (at a little extra cost) and make the place look even better.

Lawn Mowing Service

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