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View Full Version : LAGOON... SEWAGE POND... Help!!! Please tell me how to mow.


tejas241
08-28-2005, 12:59 AM
Hello guys and gals!

I have a huge problem... bid 9 mobile home parks and got them, about 400 lots. Went low $3.50 lot, there is trash everywhere and I am working myself to death!
Anyway, he said one had a lagoon which looked like a quaint little pond with a fence (thought i might see if i could fish it). I did not walk near it until i went to mow it... IT IS A SEWAGE POND!

HUGE BANKS, and there is no way I want to ride my zero into that pond so we hit it with the weedeaters... 4 hours.

Do you guys have any recomendations, ideas???

I have heard you can somwhat control growth w/ chemical but have never done it. Anyway, any recomendations???

vipermanz
08-28-2005, 01:06 AM
http://www.msasafetyworks.com/catalog/catalog1095.html

Fubba
08-28-2005, 01:35 AM
http://www.msasafetyworks.com/catalog/catalog1095.html
LOL :rolleyes:

Nosmo
08-28-2005, 08:57 AM
Well the gas mask will help with the odor but where is a web site for scuba diving wet suits ? (In case one of the workers slips into the lagoon).

Seriously you can control the growth (stop it and kill it) with chemicals. Glosphate (Roundup) (Generic is less money) will do the job. If it were me I think I would go this route instead of taking a dip.
But if you wipe out the grass and weeds erosion will probably begin on the slopes.

PS: you need to be licensed to spray herbicides commercially.

Nosmo

Travis Followell
08-28-2005, 09:00 AM
Go to wal mart and buy a couple of cheap push mowers.

rodfather
08-28-2005, 09:11 AM
Sewage pond? $3.50 a lot? 4 hours of bank trimming? Sounds like fun? NOT

nobagger
08-28-2005, 09:22 AM
$3.50/lot? Why don't you just become a non-profit organization then at least you can claim at the end of the year a decent wage.

rodfather
08-28-2005, 09:26 AM
No matter how small the lots are 400 of ANYTHING is still alot IMO...

skurkp
08-28-2005, 09:41 AM
First I am not sure but I don't believe that raw open sewage is legal and second you and your workers can get seriously ill from it. I would do some research on the sewage and I would explain to the owner that you were under the impression that this was a pond not a sewage retainer. How are you going to handle the situation if you or your workers get seriously ill? This is what I would be concerned with and I personally don't mow sh**, I mow grass.

rodfather
08-28-2005, 09:45 AM
I have relatives that live in SC. You would be surprised what people can get away with there. Period

LwnmwrMan22
08-28-2005, 10:35 AM
We used to do containment areas for a couple of the cities here in MN. Buy a walk-behind. If you can't get it with a walk-behind, then dump the account.

It's not that there's open sewage there most likely, at least as long as the system is running properly, it's where the waste water "recycles".

What's the grossest is when they get a high water level when during the week, and when you come back to mow there's feminine hygiene products, or toilet paper, etc., in the grass.

Frontier-Lawn
08-28-2005, 11:48 AM
you need to move here. theres a lawn lco that got fired from a home park so its biding now. $30,000 a month. took a crew of 3 2days to do it each week.

impactlandscaping
08-28-2005, 12:34 PM
Dude, time to drop that account and move on. Seriously, $ 1400 bucks for a 400 lot park, plus waste water area maintenance. I don't see how you can make any $$ at that price. Maybe you can, but I couldn't. Don't spend any more $$ for more equipment to do it with either, unless some of the overhead cost can be recovered in other jobs. JMO..

impactlandscaping
08-28-2005, 12:59 PM
---double post, sorry-- :sleeping:

Precision
08-28-2005, 02:37 PM
Dude, time to drop that account and move on. Seriously, $ 1400 bucks for a 400 lot park, plus waste water area maintenance. I don't see how you can make any $$ at that price. Maybe you can, but I couldn't. Don't spend any more $$ for more equipment to do it with either, unless some of the overhead cost can be recovered in other jobs. JMO..

I agree. RUN don't walk, RUN like hell from that acct. And learn from it. $3.50 is way too low for anything. Bid what you need to make money not what you need to land the acct.

Jason Rose
08-28-2005, 03:48 PM
Generally sewage ponds, as well as farm ponds are best maintained with a sickle bar mower.

http://befco.com/products/hayequipment/sicklebar.html

There are a number of "ponds" around here. Usually they run 3 ponds, and one runs into the other (off the top) meaning that by the 3rd. pond the water is fairly "clean". Usually evaporation is used only to keep them from overflowing but sometimes the 3rd. "clean" pond will be pumped out by means of an irrigation system.

Smaller places, even single homes north of here have single ponds. Honestly I can't imigine having to have a pond full of CRAP on my property!

DLS1
08-28-2005, 04:16 PM
Your kidding right. You must be real desperate or just starting out and your clueless about cost of running a business.

Pick up trash, mow and trim sewage pond all for $3.50 per lot. I though Florida was cheap where you get $10 a lot for mobile home park (less sewage pond) but you have hit rock bottom.

Get out quick and find another line of work if your going to keep your prices that cheap.

grassmanvt
08-28-2005, 04:46 PM
3.5 p/lot, I hope you didn't get a long contract or hope they take 2 minutes each including trash pickup.

tejas241
08-28-2005, 05:03 PM
Yeah guys, I am new. And have been having a real hard time getting some work. So this guy on the fire department had a buddythat had the parks, he was not happy with the guy he was using so i got in with his numbers... and it is kicking my butt!

Not to mention they are NASTY dumps!!! Not nice places.

But I REALLY need the money!

kissmygrass
08-28-2005, 05:13 PM
To must bring in a cool $21 a day. Why would you bid so low?

rodfather
08-28-2005, 05:14 PM
I got a feeling the trash pickup is going to be more than you bargained for...hopefully I am wrong for your sake.

Ramairfreak98ss
08-28-2005, 11:08 PM
thats nasty, so you didnt know about this prior? if you make $3.50 per lot, jesus if thats even 20x60 that will take too long lol, how long does it take to cut 400 of these lots for $1400? what do you use small walk behinds? i cant see many ZTRs getting in those areas, plus theyre usually people who think their trailer is the local landfill....

tejas241
08-28-2005, 11:39 PM
HOW TRUE! It is taking myself and a helper 4-5 days.

What a nightmare.

promower
08-29-2005, 12:46 AM
Account pays $5600 per month
Employee expenses roughly after workmans comp, payroll tax, unemployment comp $2200 per month
your expenses to do the work, and daily operating costs $1500 per month rough guestimate I dont know your costs to do business
$5600-$2200-$1500= $1900 per month
Correct me if I'm wrong but it sounds like theres around a total of 320 man hrs per month on this job.
$5600 / 320 = $17.50 per man hour. If you are still in business by the end of the year it will be a miracle. Get out now or re-negotiate the contract before you go under. I would explain that your just getting started and the job was more time consuming then you had estimated. I would shoot for at least $10-$13 per lot and extra $250-$350 for the crap pond.

topsites
08-29-2005, 01:18 AM
Sewage pond? $3.50 a lot? 4 hours of bank trimming? Sounds like fun? NOT

No kidding wth was he thinking, thou it is pretty funny if you think about it.

I have ONE trailer-park lot which I do for $20 even thou it only takes 10 minutes ... if I had MORE and they were ducks in a row, the LEAST I would do them for is $10 each in Virginia.
...
What I would like to hear is what do other lco's do when they grossly underestimate a job? I mean I've done it before and I'm sure sooner or later it happens to all of us...
...
My answer unfortunately, is not a pretty one: Drop it by whatever means necessary, get out of there... perhaps the only thing I might add is this:

- IF the customer INFLUENCED the price by making stupid comments that made me believe it wasn't all that much work or they flaunted the money to make greed get the best of me or whatever, then I don't feel bad about it at all, that's their own fault for playing me like that.
- IF the customer did NOT influence the price but it was entirely my fault, then the least I can do is give them a call as SOON after the property is DONE and tell them they need to find someone else ASAP and I may agree to do it one more time ... This might set the stage IF they ask why you can tell them it needs to cost $xx/lot heh this MIGHT work but it's still iffy... In this last scenario, you might try for $7.00/lot which be a bit of a loss but at least it won't drive you out of business.

Far as the pond, hey man that's the breaks, I got several yards with slopes steeper than 15 degrees and I cut them best I can. I got a dead cat in one, beer bottles and rocks, too. Just make sure you ALWAYS aim the discharge AWAY from houses, cars, and people. That and I use the OLD wb instead of the new one and I turn the throttle WAY down, I love that '98 proline will cut ANYTHING :)

For being new, don't feel bad, I had rough ones my first year, try weed-eating 1/8 acre and make it look like lawn-mower finish because the fence wouldn't let my wb through OH I forgot to mention the DOGS nobody ever poop-scooped... I made sure it was my LAST yard of the day so when I got all stinky, I was headed home anyhow - Maybe this be your last yard of the day from here on out?

One thing that comes out of it all that IS good, it builds humility ;) :confused: :cool: :dizzy:

topsites
08-29-2005, 01:29 AM
First I am not sure but I don't believe that raw open sewage is legal and second you and your workers can get seriously ill from it. I would do some research on the sewage and I would explain to the owner that you were under the impression that this was a pond not a sewage retainer. How are you going to handle the situation if you or your workers get seriously ill? This is what I would be concerned with and I personally don't mow sh**, I mow grass.

Wait a minute now did I read this correctly?

Did the owner SAY it was a POND!?

Wait, what did he say... ?

**** Anyway, he said one had a lagoon which looked like a quaint little pond with a fence (thought i might see if i could fish it). I did not walk near it until i went to mow it... IT IS A SEWAGE POND! ***

Oh yeah, he did say it, didn't he...

Far as I'm concerned, you can drop this one without notice if such is the case, I don't put up with stuff like that, they lie to me or don't tell me the whole truth or miss-lead me in any way to make me believe something isn't as bad as it is, they can feel free to kiss my arse.
... I did learn from one thing from experience you ALWAYS have to LOOK *and* IF they do not LET you LOOK (yes some will NOT let you go look, so to speak), then there's a stinky fish in the deal somewhere and you can bet it's for you.

do yourself a favor and drop that funny guy asap before he becomes the end of you.

topsites
08-29-2005, 01:36 AM
To must bring in a cool $21 a day. Why would you bid so low?

Here is the reason why:

******
Yeah guys, I am new And have been having a real hard time getting some work. So this guy on the fire department had a buddy that had the parks, he was not happy with the guy he was using so i got in with his numbers... and it is kicking my butt!
Not to mention they are NASTY dumps!!! Not nice places.
But I REALLY need the money!
******


You see, it's the ole friend-of-a-friend buddy-buddy bowlshet combined with a LOW demand and MONEY issue.

Dude, take 100 dollars and advertise in a local newspaper but before you do, check out ALL (or a lot) of the papers in your area and see which ONES other lco's advertise in. If you don't got THAT much money then design a flyer and run to staples or office max and run off some copies and start doing that every day. You need enough demand to where you have just slightly more work than you can finish, then you NEVER have this problem, that is a promise.
One more thing: Once you START advertising, DON'T stop until YOU have the problem of more work than you can finish.

tejas241
08-29-2005, 02:22 AM
Thanks ALL! You guys are right! After I thought about it, maybe I just took a back door screwing. :angry: My "buddy" not a close one, has a "best friend" who has these lots, and he gives me the time and numbers I go in at, supposedly the same as the last LCO. He said it took the other guy(two guys) 4 days to do a every 10 day cut. My ego says "takes him four then i can do it in 2-3 days tops"

I thought i had a great thing going... first cut took 9 days but i did spray the underpinning on all of them too.

But like i said i am as green as they get(first six months) in, and REALLY had no idea what i was looking at on this magnitude.

skurkp
08-29-2005, 08:32 AM
At least you are learning something and maybe one day you will sit back and laugh at this one. :D