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muddstopper
03-23-2005, 08:16 PM
I was asked to bid a 50acre seeding job. Pasture land not turf. K31 fescue.
I had just gotten done prepareing another pretty large bid so I already had a pretty good ideal what it would cost peracre. I give the guy my bid and he says You are way to high. Another person had given him a bid of $150 per acre. At first I figured he was just trying to haggle to get me down on price. I told him there was no way, I couldnt even buy materials for that price. He claimed the fellow buys in bulk. I repiled so do I, and not just a few bags of seed at a time. Well I decided not to argue with the guy but I asked him who gave him such a low price. Turns out it is a new guy that is just starting out in the seeding business. I called the guy up to see what gives. He told me yes he could do the job for $150 per acre and to more or less mind my own business. Fine I say and we hang up. I would have a hard time just spraying water for $150 per acre, much less add seed and fertilizer.
Any bets on how long this guy will last.

kootoomootoo
03-23-2005, 08:38 PM
What is your cost per acre and what did you bid?
$150 means nothing without a comparison.

muddstopper
03-23-2005, 10:48 PM
Since I didnt actually bid this job, I just gave him a price using the numbers on the other job and considering that it was a 238 acre job my price came out to just over $850 per acre. The 50 acre job in question is of a similar nature. It should be noted that the State specs for seeding only call for 75lb of fescue and 25lb of Kbg per acre. But they also call for 4000lbs of dolomitic lime and 400lbs of 10/20/20 fert per acre. Since the 50 acre job is supposed to be seeded according to state specs, for what reason I dont know, One can not purchase that amount of materials and apply them for $150 per acre. It should also be noted that you cant drive a bulk spreader truck over most of the area to be seeded, info for just in case you are thinking bulk lime and bulk fert. Heck you couldnt drive a tractor over most of it. This means buying bagged materials and applying with a hydroseeder.

The Good Earth
03-23-2005, 10:53 PM
Mud, by my figures this guy should be in business for about another 20-25 minutes! :D

By my figures it would cost me, just in seed, fert, tack, and paper mulch shot at 1,250 lbs per acre, $453.61 per acre. My costs for the job break down like this:
Mulch: $7,490.36
Seed: $12,268.71
Fert: $1,273.36
Tack: $1,647.88

Even if you half rate the fert and drop the tack (really, shooting that thin of a slurry doesn't require that much tack at all) I couldn't get close to this guys price. I don't see how this fellow is managing any type of profit margin on this job.

But, everyone has their reasons. If he wants to do it at that price, by all means. I am from the school of thought that says hey, I can sit at home and watch Springer and Oprah and go broke. Why in the world am I going to go broke while busting my hump for you?!

Seriously, though, take a look at his equipment. It will be for sale soon!

impactlandscaping
03-23-2005, 11:55 PM
Unreal....he is doing that for about 1/8 th the average rate. He will be in business as long as it takes to try and complete this first spray...the contract seeker surely can't be serious about hiring him..I hope.

Randy Scott
03-23-2005, 11:58 PM
He may learn from his mistakes and surpass everyone in business.



People are always looking for low bid. If this is state or government work, he'll get it too. They don't care how much money he looses.

kootoomootoo
03-24-2005, 11:11 AM
Drive over to the site when he starts .......pull out a deck chair, slap on some lotion, grab a cooler full of beers..sounds like a great afternoons entertainment.
:)

Strawbridge Lawn
03-24-2005, 11:18 AM
I get my materials from lesco and just for fun figured it on 36,000 SF
Roughly 4 bags of seed and fert per acre. comes out close to $150 for materials alone.

I would watch and see what he puts down.. Just don't think the guy will get what he expected.. You get what you pay for most of the time but not all the time.

impactlandscaping
03-24-2005, 11:40 AM
Drive over to the site when he starts .......pull out a deck chair, slap on some lotion, grab a cooler full of beers..sounds like a great afternoons entertainment.
:)

Don't forget your umbrella and a tent as well. He's going to be there for a while..LOL

Hey Mudd, how far is the nearest water supply? Local tap in or pond fill on site? Keep us posted on this.... :D

impactlandscaping
03-24-2005, 11:56 AM
I just figured my costs based on 1500# of mulch per acre, and I came out at $ 509.25 in raw costs per acre.

muddstopper
03-24-2005, 08:43 PM
Yea my cost per acre, including labor and overhead is just over $700 and the only reason I can do it as low as $850 range, ( thats just .02 cents per sqft) is because I will use three hydroseeders and there is a big creek running thru the property. Plus it is to all be done at once not a little here and a little there. I intend to get pictures after the job is done. I venture to say that the contractor either doesnt do the job or doesnt complete it. I didnt get to ask the contractor when I was talking to him on the phone if he is the guy I saw last week with the new approx 1000 gal size Finn on his truck. If he is he will never make the payments at those prices. If his work was to accidently turn out great, I can make a bundle just subbing my work to him. In fact I think I may anyways just so he goes under a little sooner. This isnt just a matter of someone being a lowballer or scrub, its someone that doesnt have a clue.

impactlandscaping
03-25-2005, 09:05 AM
Exactly...keep me posted on what happens..I can't wait to see pics of this place when he's done...if he ever finishes..lol

muddstopper
03-28-2005, 06:43 PM
I finally got to the bottom of this low bid. The guy is charging $150 per acre plus materials. I dont feel quite as bad now as I did when all this bull was first presented to me. The guy is still much lower than what my original estimate was, that is still a lot of work for a 1000 gal machine and only $7500 to have to pay for fuel and labor and make a profit. My estimate included $150 per acre profit after materials and overhead. I dont think this guy has included his overhead. I bet he does after this job is over with, if not I will try to contract some work his way. payup

GetSomeGOJO
03-28-2005, 10:19 PM
Just as an interesting point. When you said "pasture land" does that mean grazing critters will be placed on it? I wasn't exactly in 4-H but have done a little research on the matter for a client.

Fescue Grass is terrible for grazing animals for a variety of reasons. Lately, some breakthroughs have been made in hybridizing but it's a big no no for horses and cattle.

muddstopper
03-28-2005, 10:53 PM
Just as an interesting point. When you said "pasture land" does that mean grazing critters will be placed on it? I wasn't exactly in 4-H but have done a little research on the matter for a client.

Fescue Grass is terrible for grazing animals for a variety of reasons. Lately, some breakthroughs have been made in hybridizing but it's a big no no for horses and cattle.


K31 is the most predominately planted grass in my area. For pasture and turf. A lot of people have been trying the hybrid endorphine free pasture fescues, ie, MaxQ ect. The biggest problem is that these fescues soon become infected with the same fungus that is found in regular k31 and are no longer fungus free. Just because the grass started out fungus free doesnt mean it cant get the fungus from airborne or a stray animal such as a deer or dog that happens to wander thru the new expensive pasture. Most of the horse farmers plant thimothy and orchard grass for their pastures but the cows get the fescue. Other grasses will grow but most pastures just get one massive dose of fert a year, if they are lucky, and are overgrazed and the fescues seem to hold up the best in these conditions. Horses and cows will live just fine on k31 fescues, altho they can digest some of the other grasses better, the problems stems from lacitating and pregnate mares, this is usually when the fungus presents the biggest problem.