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View Full Version : time to cut 300 lawns?


stonemason
04-11-2005, 01:35 PM
looking for hours needed. all the same size (1700 sq ft) front yard is 1/3 back is 2/3. flat, no trees, no trimming, no load/unload time, all in a 3 mile radius (i will just drive mower around). will be using 60" z (whichever brand will be fastest, maybe a dixie chopper?) On paper it looks like i could get them done in about 22 hours (solo)....seem possible?

procut
04-11-2005, 02:18 PM
300 lawns in 22 hours. Thats about 4.5 minutes per lawn. Good luck with that.

LwnmwrMan22
04-11-2005, 02:18 PM
If your measurements are right, and your number of houses is on, then that's
roughly 10.5 acres.

Most mowers say you can mow, what, 3-4 acres conservatively in an hour?

10.5 acres, should be about 10 hours worth of work, if all you're doing is driving around blowing grass all over everything.

Duramax99
04-11-2005, 02:29 PM
What about weedeating and blowing?? no time for those things.
Your not going for quality are you??

marko
04-11-2005, 02:49 PM
4.5 min per lawn with no interuptions, refueling, breaks, and unforseen repairs. I think your light on your hours. Plan on 7 min a yard? 35 Total hours would be safe. Make sure and let us know after you cut once or twice how long it took. Good info for the future.

Roger
04-11-2005, 10:48 PM
Am I missing something? 1/3 is in back, say 600 sq ft, 2/3 in front, say 1200 sq ft, right (give/take a little)? You don't mention the shape, but 600 sq ft is, at least in square shape, a bit more than 25 ft on a side. And, you are mowing an area this small with a 60" mower...? Is this right? Is this a practice followed in your area -- it surely wouldn't work in my neighborhoods. My customers require hand mowers for areas 5,000 sq ft, one area, not the entire lot.

Maybe I've missed something....

jbell113
04-11-2005, 11:17 PM
Surely there is a few properties out of 300 homes that have gated back yards that the 60" mower will not go thru. Besides you cant just mow and go to become a reputable LCO you have to edge trim and blow. Imagine what these properties will look like with grass all out in the street, driveway and patios. You better run your numbers again and take these into consideration.

Mower For Less
04-11-2005, 11:31 PM
Where did you get 300 lawns all at once!???

A 3 mile radius is 6 miles in diameter. at 10 mph, it would take you over half an hour just to drive from one side to the other, assuming you dont get any traffic tickets (there has to be a main road somewhere in those 6 miles). What if you run out of gas, or need to respool a trimmer? I think you should move the truck a few times during the day so the walk isnt to far back. Have 1 guy move it while the others keep working down the road is what I would do.

I think the traveling time is going to eat up alot more time than you are anticipating. I think if you ran a 3 man crew (1 mower, 1 trimmer & blower, 1 edger & blower) that you might be able to knock them out in about 5-7 minutes per house, but I would also allow an average travel time of 3 minutes per house say, that would take you up to 10 minutes per house average. Thats 150 man hours by my calculation. And you should add a few hours for mower maintenance, trimmer respooling, refueling all equipment, etc... which will happen many times over 50 hours (50x3).If you can do it in less, that's great, but I wouldnt bid any less.

I have some areas where I have 5 or 6 houses all in a row, and let me tell you it is more tiring to me than doing 2 or 3 and driving to a new area to do another 2 or 3, my times arent much different. The same scenery all day long can be monotonous and tiring (read:low productivity and moral).

Kevin

Kevin

Precision
04-11-2005, 11:37 PM
I assume this is some type of HOA. If you can do them as a unit then your time will be greatly decreased. If you are mowing one lawn at a time, figure on the rest of your life to get done.

The LawnSmith
04-11-2005, 11:49 PM
Better have a porta potty on your trailer....... :cool2:

Leone LawnCare
04-12-2005, 12:56 AM
i will pay 50000 dollars for a situation like that maybe more

Runner
04-12-2005, 01:33 AM
This can't be done feasibly if it is a HOA and you are doing it solo. First, your mower is too big for the areas. Oh, it can be done with this size of mower, but if you are doing front lawns that are 600 sq. ft., then you are looking at areas that are approx. 20x30. A smaller wb would be the answer MUCH faster in the turnarounds. You will be putting grass everywhere in all the beds. But the reason I say it isn't feasible to do solo, is because if you were to take 5-7 hours (I calculate more than that...we've done condo complexes about this size), no one is going to want you blasting through their yard, coming back through 7 hours later with a trimmer, and then 5-6 hours after that with a blower. Also, THIS begs the question...What about those that are cut toward the end? Do they get trimmed the next day? What do we do with all the grass on their drives and walks? Do they want to track this stuff into their homes and cars all day? You would be hated. And what about the ones at the end, again? Would you blow them off, and come back to trim the next day, just to re-blow their surfaces? Like I say, it just wouldn't work.
The best way to do this, would be to have some cutting power. A 48" wb would take approx. 9 minutes to cut each one of these lawns. If you figure at a walking mowing clip, a mower will cover 3 ft. every 2 seconds. 600 sq. ft. for the front gives me a square root of 24 1/2 ft. That is 7 deck widths of a 48" (with overlap and leftover). This gives me 16 seconds per row x 7 = 96 seconds (1 1/2 minutes). Now count some border and turnaround time, give me another minute total (conservative for border AND turnaround). 2 1/2 minute for the front. Double it for the back. Now, we have 7 1/2 minutes. Don't forget, we haven't done sides with overlap and haven't gone around a single tree, yet. 7 1/2 x 300 = 2250. That is 37 1/2 hours. Now, you move 4 wb's through there, you are still looking at 9 1/2 hours. That is withOUT transport time across streets, and over things. Also, don't forget we have beds and trees which give us hover time over already cut grass - much like borders. Move 6 wb's through there, and you are looking at 6 1/4 hours. Even THAT is a long time for people to be hearing machines come buzzing through. Also, keep in mind, yes, you do have refill time. That includes time to and from the truck. So, you need to consider mower time, you will need atleast 2 trimmers, and preferably, one more who can break off and start blowing. I don't mean to take wind out of your sail, but these things have to be taken into consideration way ahead of time - esPECially with associations. The funny thing about it is, if you took about 3/4 of those houses out, and had grass replacing where they sit, with your mower, you could walk right through there! (Looking at about 12 acres) Ironic, isn't it?

PMLAWN
04-12-2005, 09:03 AM
This can't be done feasibly if it is a HOA and you are doing it solo. First, your mower is too big for the areas. Oh, it can be

I cut the quote down but what was written was very well said.

Stonemason. Read that post and take what is said to heart.

LwnmwrMan22
04-12-2005, 12:00 PM
Where did you get 300 lawns all at once!???

A 3 mile radius is 6 miles in diameter. at 10 mph, it would take you over half an hour just to drive from one side to the other, assuming you dont get any traffic tickets (there has to be a main road somewhere in those 6 miles). What if you run out of gas, or need to respool a trimmer? I think you should move the truck a few times during the day so the walk isnt to far back. Have 1 guy move it while the others keep working down the road is what I would do.

I think the traveling time is going to eat up alot more time than you are anticipating. I think if you ran a 3 man crew (1 mower, 1 trimmer & blower, 1 edger & blower) that you might be able to knock them out in about 5-7 minutes per house, but I would also allow an average travel time of 3 minutes per house say, that would take you up to 10 minutes per house average. Thats 150 man hours by my calculation. And you should add a few hours for mower maintenance, trimmer respooling, refueling all equipment, etc... which will happen many times over 50 hours (50x3).If you can do it in less, that's great, but I wouldnt bid any less.

I have some areas where I have 5 or 6 houses all in a row, and let me tell you it is more tiring to me than doing 2 or 3 and driving to a new area to do another 2 or 3, my times arent much different. The same scenery all day long can be monotonous and tiring (read:low productivity and moral).

Kevin

Kevin


C'mon people, don't you read??

He said no trimming, no trees, how come everyone always adds more work to it that the guy asks about??

Could it be that maybe he's just looking for mowing time alone?

marko
04-12-2005, 12:09 PM
C'mon people, don't you read??

He said no trimming, no trees, how come everyone always adds more work to it that the guy asks about??

Could it be that maybe he's just looking for mowing time alone?



Amen to that!

BigMack
04-12-2005, 02:47 PM
Its all good on paper , now live real life.

Todd's lawncare
04-12-2005, 03:18 PM
like he said NO triming or anything i could do it in 5 hours J/K

Runner
04-12-2005, 06:38 PM
[QUOTE=LwnmwrMan22]C'mon people, don't you read??

He said no trimming, no trees, how come everyone always adds more work to it that the guy asks about??QUOTE]

Ok! Ok! Great, he has not trees (I don't know what kind of subdivision this is...in the desert, maybe?). So he only has 300 houses to trim around, 300 drives and walks to trim down, and if it's a 3 mile radius like it was said, 24 miles of curbline to trim down. I think it is probably really a 3 mile circumference, which would give him 3 miles of curbline to trim and/or edge.
Unless maybe these people are going to hire someone else to come in and do all the trimming? :rolleyes:

Todd's lawncare
04-12-2005, 06:43 PM
[QUOTE=LwnmwrMan22]C'mon people, don't you read??

He said no trimming, no trees, how come everyone always adds more work to it that the guy asks about??QUOTE]

Ok! Ok! Great, he has not trees (I don't know what kind of subdivision this is...in the desert, maybe?). So he only has 300 houses to trim around, 300 drives and walks to trim down, and if it's a 3 mile radius like it was said, 24 miles of curbline to trim down. I think it is probably really a 3 mile circumference, which would give him 3 miles of curbline to trim and/or edge.
Unless maybe these people are going to hire someone else to come in and do all the trimming? :rolleyes:
HE SAID NO TRIMMING EITHER READ READ READ READ READ READ

LwnmwrMan22
04-12-2005, 06:48 PM
[QUOTE=LwnmwrMan22]C'mon people, don't you read??

He said no trimming, no trees, how come everyone always adds more work to it that the guy asks about??QUOTE]

Ok! Ok! Great, he has not trees (I don't know what kind of subdivision this is...in the desert, maybe?). So he only has 300 houses to trim around, 300 drives and walks to trim down, and if it's a 3 mile radius like it was said, 24 miles of curbline to trim down. I think it is probably really a 3 mile circumference, which would give him 3 miles of curbline to trim and/or edge.
Unless maybe these people are going to hire someone else to come in and do all the trimming? :rolleyes:

C'mon Runner....

Usually you're pretty good with your responses, but again, my point.

Not only did you not read the question the first time, but you didn't read my response to the fact that he said no trimming.

Either that, or your job, my job, everyone's job here automatically dictates that he / she has to trim.

Well, who knows.

Even if it was all 1/4 acre lots, and your house was 3k sq ft, another 2ksq ft for driveways, and non grass areas, that would still leave you with 7000 sq ft of "grass".

It'd have to get down to about 1/8 acre lots to where your house, driveway, shed, deck, pool, would only leave you about 1700 sq ft of actual grass to mow, at which time your time increases from the amount of obstacles.

The only thing I can come up with if it's some type of Military barracks, or some type of housing like that, where someone else would either do the trimming, or someone doesn't care.

Unless he's / she's got a chance to sub all this mowing out from someone, just the mowing, or is going to sub out the trimming and needs to know how much it's going to cost to do the mowing alone.

As for EDGING, I've never edged in 17 years, I still don't get what the big deal is.

stonemason
04-13-2005, 02:58 AM
thanks for the replies. let me give a few more details. there are no trees, no beds, no obstacles (about 10 houses have gated backyards). the trimming and blow off are subbed out. these are vacant military houses. all that matters is that they get done in a 3 day period. very little traffic on roads and sidewalks, no cars in driveways. this is straight mowing time. i know how long it will take to get from lot to lot, refueling, etc. i figured if i use the 60" (maybe out front deck would be easier) and make a pass, back up (its only 20-30') do the next pass, back up, etc. then do a perimeter pass after the rows are done mowing time should, theoretically, be around 3 minutes, add a 25% fudge factor and were up to 4 minutes. this job is basically mow as much as fast and not worry about doing an absolutely perfect job.

comments on times?

PMLAWN
04-13-2005, 06:06 AM
The main problem I see is that if no quality is wanted - needed - or expected than this is truly a lowest bid project.
If you are running an operation that is big enough for a 60"Z than you are beyond the ability to work at those wages. Just a though.

Someone out there has a big POS mower and will work for $5.00 an hour

Eho
04-13-2005, 12:38 PM
[QUOTE=Runner]



As for EDGING, I've never edged in 17 years, I still don't get what the big deal is.

You've never edged?! What do you do, just leave the grass growing over the sidewalks and driveways. I think edging a lawn is what makes it look great
EHO

LwnmwrMan22
04-13-2005, 03:30 PM
[QUOTE=LwnmwrMan22]

You've never edged?! What do you do, just leave the grass growing over the sidewalks and driveways. I think edging a lawn is what makes it look great
EHO

Well, here in MN, most of the grass is either Red Fescue, or KY Bluegrass, and when it gets to be over 3" tall, the blade still gets sucked up into the deck enough to where it gets cut off, at the same height at the other grass.

Never had a request, or a bid form for that matter that has stated a price for edging.

DennisF
04-13-2005, 08:37 PM
I think 4-1/2 minutes per 1700 SF is a reasonable guesstimate. But I think a smaller ZTR would be more efficient than a 60. Moving a 60 around on a small lawn can be a pain. Maybe a 48 inch deck would be easier to maneuver and faster on the properties. I've used 60's in the past and now I'm using a 52. I like the maneuverability of the smaller mower on lawns under 15k SF. Just a thought.

Runner
04-14-2005, 02:28 PM
As far as the edging,...while we're on the subject, I have to laugh...there are outfits arounf here that don't edge, either. You can certainly tell the difference. It all depends on the market, I guess. Some people like a more manicured, professional look on their lawns,...others don't really care, I guess. Some people drive the Chevette, some people drive the Buick, and some people drive the Cadillac.

A Finer Cut
04-14-2005, 03:03 PM
Before I was on my own I worked for a company that had 30 lawns in a neighborhood that sounds very similar to the one you mention.
1) It took most of the day (5 hrs)
2) We were running a 3 man crew
3) We left the 62"ers at the shop
4) We Carried 2- 36" hydro and a 52 walkbehind, 3 wackers, 2 blowers and edgd once a month.

I would strongly suggest running smaller equiptment. It will look better and you may actually decrease your man hours in time saved on trimming and clean up. And yes, you have to do that stuff. I like the 10 min. estimate; if you have a crew. I would call it a 50hr work week (Just mowing, trimming, cleaning and traveling) I would perform maint. needs on Sat., alone.

Think about this, at $20 per cut you will be bringing in $6000 gross.

3 man crew at 150 man hours @ $10hr. = $1500

6000-1500= $4500

Now I'm gonna highball this next estimate....Gas, maintenance, ins. and all other expences = $1000/wk.

4500-1000 = $3500

If you financed the neccessary equip. to make this happen ($600/mo.) + 300/mo. truck payment you get 900, I will call it $1000 to be safe.

$3500 - 1000 = $2500/wk. net

I dont know about you guys but $2500 a week sounds pretty darn good to me. Take the time that you earned by hiring employees to perform maint. keep books, and go out and find more business. The way to become VERY sucessful at this business is to replicate yourself.

I'm not saying that a one man crew is not fun and profitable (I am one myself), and you can make an honest living at it, but I think that an opportunity of this magnitude ought to make you sit back and re-evaluate your bus. plan.

I would KILL for that opportunity. I am trying to get there myself. I say jump at the opportunity put in front of you.

Oh, and one other thing to think about....your personal health. What happens when you get sick, or worse case, break your foot or something. Rain/weather delays as well. If you fell behind, you would never catch up.

- - Just my 2 cents

r8derman
04-14-2005, 09:42 PM
Are you joking or just smoking some good sh**?

Mower For Less
04-15-2005, 12:43 AM
C'mon people, don't you read??

He said no trimming, no trees, how come everyone always adds more work to it that the guy asks about??

Could it be that maybe he's just looking for mowing time alone?


If you look at the post, I figure 1 mower, so that would be 50 mowing hours. If you have 3 guys running mowers, divide 50 by 3. Do you have a problem with me trying to include as much information as possible to help him out with things he may or may not have considered??? If you can do it in less, thats awesome, but I would not count on less.

And my estimates appear valid as also backed up by A Finer Cut's post.

At first I took offense to you post, but when I saw you didnt believe in edging, I just kind of laughed.

Kevin

lawn_pro
04-15-2005, 07:51 AM
Never heard of trimming and blowing off of sidewalks being subbed out? I just don't see how this would work and why would someone want to just trim and blow 300 houses? I would say if you had a couple guys helping you, maybe smaller mowers on the fronts or something-you could pull it off in a day. If some of the backyards have fences it will take you a lot longer than you think. We just picked up 62 condos in a row, late early season addition-today is the first mow new sod last fall but I am guessing it will be on the tall side, I will let you know how long it takes us (4 guys) similare in size by the sounds but who knows. Anyway I will let you know how long it takes us.

kwelch
04-15-2005, 09:27 AM
So will the other company (the trimming and blowing company) work side by side with you? I mean if you start cutting on a Monday and finish up on say Wednesday, when are they going to start trimming and blowing? Just curious on how thats going to work.

AWJ Services
04-15-2005, 09:54 AM
If you could possibly drive the mower acroos drives and yards maybe 400 or 500 yards or so and turn around and come back it might be possible ,but I feel 10 minutes apiece would be more suitable.3 16 hour days.
That would be a heck of a 3 days. :blob3: