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boba
05-14-2005, 08:26 PM
I was asked to give a price a mowing a private estate. I measured the lawn area to be 18.2 a. When a property is this large should I charge my standard hourly rate or dicount it?

TURF DOCTOR
05-14-2005, 09:02 PM
No discount that kind of turf will rack the hours on a ztr.

gwwilson
05-15-2005, 07:24 AM
charge him $ 728/ mow

grass_cuttin_fool
05-15-2005, 07:34 AM
I was asked to give a price a mowing a private estate. I measured the lawn area to be 18.2 a. When a property is this large should I charge my standard hourly rate or dicount it?
For me it would depend if it were alot of open areas to mow with little or no trimming, if so then maybe a discount of some sorts. But giving the same are with a 1/2 mile of edging with a stick edger or a few hundred trees to mow and trim around then the regular price may be in line or even higher. To some it up, it depends on the degree of difficulty to mow

SCAG POWER
05-15-2005, 07:37 AM
No Discounting no matter how big the area is. If they own that much of a yard they can afford too pay the price you want. If you cant get your price walk and let some else ruin their equipment on it.

rodfather
05-15-2005, 07:39 AM
I have a couple of places almost that size (11-15 acres). Properties that size predominatly go low per acre. I would figure on about $450 - $550 to mow. Sorry but as the job gets bigger, the $ per acre decreases...that is just the way it is.

Flex-Deck
05-15-2005, 08:13 AM
I have a couple of places almost that size (11-15 acres). Properties that size predominatly go low per acre. I would figure on about $450 - $550 to mow. Sorry but as the job gets bigger, the $ per acre decreases...that is just the way it is.

I have a 20 acre - and we mow it for $25 per acre - Pretty flat - a land scape company mulches all the trees, so trimming is minimal. Have on flex deck set up to trim curbs on my eXmark WB. Works good.

You have to realize that it would take 10 $50 yards to make the same, and you would then have 10 load unloads, and windshield time. When you pull up to a 20 acre property, your blades are turning for a period of time, no interuptions. Truck is not burning any fuel, Overhead is plain and simple (LESS)

Thanks Brad

packerbacker
05-15-2005, 10:14 AM
25 an acre????? That wouldnt even pay for the gas used to get there and back and in the equipment.

rodfather
05-15-2005, 11:54 AM
What's wrong with $25 an acre when you can get 4-5 acres down in an hour? Do the math...

packerbacker
05-15-2005, 12:01 PM
What's wrong with $25 an acre when you can get 4-5 acres down in an hour? Do the math...





Because I cant get 4-5 done in an hour. Not everyone has 72 inch ZTRs at their disposal.

rodfather
05-15-2005, 12:04 PM
I was referring to using either a. Brad's current setup, or b. one of our Ferris IS3000 Z's with a 61" deck John...

packerbacker
05-15-2005, 12:09 PM
All I have are 48s. It takes me quite a bit longer to an acre.

Another reason is why would I charge 25 when the going rate around here is 70-100 per acre?

rodfather
05-15-2005, 12:13 PM
Like I said previously, as the job get bigger, the $/acre decreases. As far as getting $70 - $100 per acre, I tip my hat to ya. Try submitting say a school bid for 50 acres of athletic fields at that price per acre. They would laugh at you and tell you you're nuts. And they're right too. No one is gonna pay those kinds of $$$ either for a large residential, commerical, or government property.

It doesn't happen. Period

Cut 2 Please
05-15-2005, 12:16 PM
Ever since I started my business I have tried to figure out how to make money cutting large acreage. I am still trying to figure that same question out today. In this area large acreage pays squat. Even with the windshield time if I cut small yards by myself I can average $35 an hour. When I do large acreage I am really lucky if I can average $25 an hour. Usually it is less.
I just dropped one this week and I am probably about to drop my one last big acreage this week.

DLCS
05-15-2005, 12:18 PM
All I have are 48s. It takes me quite a bit longer to an acre.

Another reason is why would I charge 25 when the going rate around here is 70-100 per acre?


You have the wrong equipment for the job.

packerbacker
05-15-2005, 12:19 PM
You have the wrong equipment for the job.




Really? My average size yard is about 12,000 Sq ft. A 48 isnt big enough for that?


Thats pretty presumptuious of you to think that IMO.

Kelly's Landscaping
05-15-2005, 12:25 PM
I was asked to give a price a mowing a private estate. I measured the lawn area to be 18.2 a. When a property is this large should I charge my standard hourly rate or dicount it?

You’re in my part of the country so I know the prices are lower then mid west unless the lawn has some serious issues. Like massive trimming around obstacles or un reachable spots in the lawn or very wet of very high hills that just eat your time I would be looking at around 550 a cut. I will not go down to 25 an acre especially on a private estate when that place needs to look good when finished. Just picked up a 4 acre property but only around 2-2 ˝ acres are lawn so I am getting 90 a cut. Rough on the mowers has cliffs and a large river running through it your basic nightmare the whole place is covered in trees I can not tell you how much fun I had there 2 days ago sometimes you want the unusual.

DLCS
05-15-2005, 12:27 PM
Really? My average size yard is about 12,000 Sq ft. A 48 isnt big enough for that?


Thats pretty presumptuious of you to think that IMO.


No, I'm talking about mowing large acreage jobs with a 48". You might need to charge $70 a acre with you 48" mowers. But someoen running 72" mowers can do the job cheaper. I wasn't trying to slam you, just saying your not set up for large acreage jobs with 48" decks.

Fantasy Lawns
05-15-2005, 12:41 PM
If you can't get the job done in an efficiently productive time frame (correct equipment) and the price is such to the point that the property owner could hire a full time maintenance person to live on the property & do everything .... i.e. if it was $700 per cut .... they could hire some one full time to live on property ....+ say $500 per week or what ever the cost

How can one expect to get such a large job ??

The price must be a balance of enough fore one to make some $$ and the owner getting what they consider a good deal

SCAG POWER
05-15-2005, 12:55 PM
Once again if they own that size yard they can afford to maintain it properly, if not do waste your time.I charge no less than 50.00 per acre. For the first cut if it has not been touched the price goes higher.The first time you give some one with that much grass a brake , then you best be prepared for them to walk all over you . This has happened to me once this past week when i told a customer that since he always is talking about other companies, i said if you want to change go a head , it will not be hard to replace your prop with one at a higher rate.

When you are on this size of grass to mowed and it is bad shape ,lets say you blow a tire and it is $90.00 per tire for a rear ZTR tire, you will whished that you had not gone so cheap.I have done this mowing large lots that were turned into subdivisons. payup :nono: :blob4:

topsites
05-15-2005, 01:00 PM
Because I cant get 4-5 done in an hour. Not everyone has 72 inch ZTRs at their disposal.

Well I do agree with the ZTR but how in the hell do you load a 72-in ZTR on a trailer? Most these guys I see have a 60-in ZTR and a lot are even smaller.
How folks cut grass with pistol-grippers is beyond me, but to each their own, I like my T-bar because I cut grass for hours on end. The new Toro WB's zoom along at 6+ mph and I regularly finish yards right behind the ZTR boys, lose a little time cutting but make it up weed-eating as they gotta use the stupid pushmower to catch the ZTR's streaks, a problem I don't have with the WB... Matter of fact, I don't even own a pushmower cauz I'm allergic to them.

Now the float-decks are slow but my fix-deck rides like a go-kart I only wish it had a 6th gear thou 5th is peppy enough.
See it would likely take ALL day for 15-some acres. Although I could calculate a per-acre rate, it would be cheaper to give the customer a full-day rate, which for me comes to 400 dollars and to be a nice guy, I'd likely do it for $375. So ... 375 / 15 = $25.00 / acre, yup, with a Toro model 30197 + Velke.

Hell that IS good money. Get up at 6am, ride out to the yard and get started by 7:30am and work until almost dark, say 15 minutes for a packed lunch and BLAM - 375 dollars in 10-12 hours. Even right now cutting 10 yards/day I average 300+/day (best so far is 345, worst is 290) and all the time wasted (un)loading and fuel driving to-from, with a large-acreage job the money is better because less fuel and less time bowlshedding around.

Way I figured it out, I have a 1-acre yard myself, and after cutting it several times, I now know I want at least 50 dollars for 1 acre... But yes, the price/acre goes down if you have more acres.
Peace out,
Pascal

Kelly's Landscaping
05-15-2005, 01:09 PM
I hear some say they are nearly as quick with WBs well last week I had a guy out for jury duty my 60" Lazer was in for a blown pump so I got to go cut solo. I got to use my brand new 52" Lazer had like 8 hours on by this time. I get to a lawn which was close to an acre and next door to me on a little bit smaller lawn like 7500 sq ft less there is a 3 man crew with 2 scag WBS here I am by my self. Do you know how pissed they looked when I left about 30 mins before they were going to finish. In the hands of a skilled operator a ZTR can do things you would not believe. And my lawn looked 100% better when I left.

DLCS
05-15-2005, 01:20 PM
In the hands of a skilled operator a ZTR can do things you would not believe. And my lawn looked 100% better when I left.


You said the key words right there. You know how many companies I see here that the operators do not have clue on how to operate that machine efficiently, much less do a quality job. Some of these guys think you can just hop on a z and be a pro. Takes many hours of practice to be efficient with one. We have a company here who would be lucky not to leave one lawn without scalps all over the place, while running 3 zero turn mowers.

Kelly's Landscaping
05-15-2005, 01:27 PM
You said the key words right there. You know how many companies I see here that the operators do not have clue on how to operate that machine efficiently, much less do a quality job. Some of these guys think you can just hop on a z and be a pro. Takes many hours of practice to be efficient with one. We have a company here who would be lucky not to leave one lawn without scalps all over the place, while running 3 zero turn mowers.

That was my 5th lazer virginity I got. My partner is beyond pissed as its his mower but mine was in the shop at the exact time we got the new one. I have something like 2500-3000 hours on ZTRs and I know I was a hack for my first 200 hours or so I had no one to teach me so the learning curve was longer. I try to get my guys good as quick as I can which comes down to turning mostly its all to easy to rip it takes a lot of skill to do 3-4 second 3 point turns with 0 damage.

packerbacker
05-15-2005, 02:47 PM
No, I'm talking about mowing large acreage jobs with a 48". You might need to charge $70 a acre with you 48" mowers. But someoen running 72" mowers can do the job cheaper. I wasn't trying to slam you, just saying your not set up for large acreage jobs with 48" decks.







I dont charge by what size mower I use, I charge by SQ FT. Even if I had a ZTR and could get it done in half the time why would I charge less? Its still the same amount of land you are mowing.

I understand that Im not set up to mow 15 acre lots but I have a couple 3 acres that I do with my 48. I can usually get them trimmed and mowed in 2 hours. Im not going to turn them down. They are 165-200 accounts for me.

muddstopper
05-15-2005, 02:54 PM
Maybe I am looking at the large acreages differently than other. everytime I consider a price break on a large job, (I dont do Mowing), I look at the amount of time I will spend on that job and the amount of work I could be doing on a smaller job that pays more bucks. I find that I can do more small jobs for the same amount of time it will take me to do the larger ones and make more money to boot. I run into this a lot with hydroseeding. For the bigger jobs bidding get ridiculusly low. It often gets to the point that just to get the job you have to reduce your profit level to where you are making no more than you would on a small residential lawn. To me this just doesnt make sense. I work all day and sometimes two or three just to make the same profit that I could make doing one or two residentials that take only an hour or two each. Thats not for me. I bid the big jobs the same as I do the small ones. My cost dont go down just because the job is bigger so why should my profit level take a hit just to gain the priviledge of saying I seeded 2 or 3 miles of roadbanks. I also sometimes get a few of the larger jobs, even tho my prices are consideralbly higher than my cometitors. They are so busy under cutting each other on price that they cant seed everything that needs to be seeded when it needs to be seeded. That opens the door for me to do a few larger jobs at a good profit margin. I know first hand of several operators that have went under because of price cutting just to get a job. My motto is its easier to set on the couch and watch tv than it is to work for nothing.