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Albery's Lawn & Tractor
03-20-2007, 09:52 PM
We were just asked to put in a bid for a new industrial park complex. We would be responsible for mowing the entrance (about 1/2 acre), as well as mowing all of the right of ways (about 3.5 MILES). We would also be rsponsible for picking up all trash and debri and hauling away. We would mow from the road to the middle of the ditch (about 4 passes per side). There is quite a bit of trimming to do around water meters, man holes, railgards. I'm thinking all together about 13-15 hours Total. The only reason why I believe it will take me this long is b/c the park is new and the grounds are not perfectly smooth so I have to go a little slower. Its to be mowed every other week, but I'm thinking about telling them I'll do the main entrance (right on the highway and has a very nice flower bed with the park sign) weekly to help my bid stand out from the rest (I believe the entrance could be done in about an hour even with haveing to pick up all the trash).

What would you guys bid on this? I was thinking $1,500 per month:confused:
We also will more than likely be bushhoging most of there lots 3-4 times per year which will be about $1,500 then as well.

MImowerkid
03-20-2007, 10:26 PM
not to be a smart ass but could you add any more info? 3.5 miles times 4 passes on what? 36 WB, 52,60,72 Z , 18 ft reel mower ? You should figure out the number of passes plus a little overlap, devided by average speed including around obstacles and for weedwacking you would just have to try to count the obstacles and figure out walking speed devided by distance plus each obstacle say pole = 5 seconds ... $ 1500 might be a good price but I can't really tell only you will know what puts money in the bank ! Good Luck and have a great season !

Chris

1cooltreeguy
03-20-2007, 10:30 PM
$1200 to $1350 - Good luck and go mow some grass.

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
03-20-2007, 10:36 PM
I don't see what the mower matters but I'll either use the Gravely 260Z or the Tank M60. Have you ever mowed a newly sodded yard? Thats what the grounds are like, very bumpy and you have to go slow so you dont beat your equipment all to hell. I counted everything thats how I came up with the estimated hours of 13-15, I was just wondering what other might charge.

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
03-21-2007, 12:04 AM
bump.....any more opinions? The bids do in two days.

ncls
03-21-2007, 01:31 AM
If it's a bid for a government job, (county). Lowest bid will win it. Figure out a way to do it cheap. Cut corners anywhere you can. All they care about is price..(In my experience, any dealings with government jobs, the above applies...):rolleyes:

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
03-21-2007, 06:02 PM
bump.....any more opinions? The bids do in two days.

Envy Lawn Service
03-21-2007, 09:55 PM
Well, if it's a typical annual contract with 12 monthly payments, then yes, that sounds about right based on your hour estimates.

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
03-21-2007, 10:13 PM
The contract is from April 1st thru October 31st (7 months.) If it wasn't for the trash that will be there it could be done in less time but I know there is gonna be trash so I want to plan ahead. There will more than likely be 2 of us 1 mowing and doing trash and the other trimming and with two I might can do it in 6-7 hours but I can't guarantee I'll always have help.

Envy Lawn Service
03-22-2007, 12:07 AM
The contract is from April 1st thru October 31st (7 months.) If it wasn't for the trash that will be there it could be done in less time but I know there is gonna be trash so I want to plan ahead. There will more than likely be 2 of us 1 mowing and doing trash and the other trimming and with two I might can do it in 6-7 hours but I can't guarantee I'll always have help.

Well then of course... you sound real low to me...

If that is the case you will do it all 15 times and the entrance 30 times.

Just the 15 times alone (x) 15 hours = 225 contract hours.

but my guess is that if you do it alone, that's 2 days, or a day and a half, and two trips there shot in the wind.

With a helper... a days work for the whole thing.
Then the time to drive out and another trip the next week do the entry.

PROVIDED YOU HAVE ESTIMATED TIME PROPERLY!

This and many other reasons is why I quote on volume of work to be performed.
NOT based on how many hours I GUESS it MIGHT take me.

If your time guestimate is on point, at best you will GROSS in the $40's.

*****************************************************

Now if I may speak frankly with you as a fellow tarheel without offending you...

Look, I really like getting new work just as much as the next guy. But I have also been in the business long enough to say that "by your discription" I DO NOT LIKE THE SMELL OF THIS JOB... NOT AT THIS PRICE.

And I will give you reasons why that you can EVALUATE better than me.

1) You are either looking at walking 3.5 miles (or 7) picking up 2 weeks of trash.

2) You are looking at mowing 3.5 miles (or 7) 4 times (4 passes)

3) Considering #2 and the entry, that's 9 acres +/- (18 acres +/-) of turf

4) Then you are looking at walking 3.5 miles (or 7) of trimming.

In addition to this, we are talking 2 week's worth of trash to clean up, and two weeks worth of grass growth to cut and trim. It's bad enough as-is, but what if it's a rainy season? What if it rains on the cutting day the week you are supposed to do it?...

This goes without saying that most of it is along roadway. If you do it on week days, you have traffic to be concerned with... and you won't want to discharge towards the road at any time because...

1) Traffic

2) You'll have to blow all that (which also reminds me of the question of curbing and curb edging?)

So you'll of course want to start by throwing away from the road towards the ditch. Most machines throw clippings 2-3 passes over. So the second pass will also need to be thrown in the same direction... and on that pass you'll be running through clippings of the first pass and cutting two week's growth all that distance. And you may possibly need to throw a third pass towards the ditch too.... and the forth pass you'll be forced to turn around and discharge towards the road, cutting through 3 passes of clippings and another swath.

So it would be hard on a weekly basis, much less every two weeks.

It's going to be a dang mess... and a job neither party is going to be happy with.

In my opinion, these are your no-win jobs. Not unless you are getting PAID a lot and you are CLEARING a lot... and they don't care how it looks so long as you knock it down a couple times a month.

Really, the most efficent way to do such a job is to be set up to bag it weekly directly into "pull-out" liners you can pull out, tie and drop on the fly... the do a pickup drive through to get the bags and dispose of them in an on-site bin.... or a dump-from seat bagger with an OK place to dump out of site every so far along the way.

Either that, or you need a golf cart, utility or stander mower with a trash bin to do the pickup... then a mower set up with a fully baffled mulch kit to mulch it all on a weekly basis.

I need to add some work this year, but I wouldn't even be interested in bidding on something like this that they likely want done cheap and presentable on a bi-weekly schedule. No thanks.

OMG
03-22-2007, 12:09 AM
Size mower would normally matter, but since you say 4 passes per side, that clears that up.


Just a guess, without seeing it.....but if it's as rough as you say, only cut twice per month....plus take into account flats, getting stuck in that ditch, etc.....I would say 4 hours per side.....plus 2 hrs to trim each side.

I am assuming you will ride the ZTR to trim/pick up the trash (with a hand grabber). If not, add many more hours.

So, we're at (just guessing) 6 hours per side, plus 1 hour at the entrance.

13 total man hours x your normal rate......x 2.15 for EOW service.



My bid would be $1677.00 per month.....which means I wouldn't win the bid and someone else would get the job for $600-$750. :realmad:

ncls
03-22-2007, 02:32 AM
Here's what I came up with. 3.5 miles = 5280x3.5=18480 ft. (4 passes @ 48" mower)=16 ft. 18480 x 16 =295680 sq. ft. 295680 divided by 43560 (one acre) = 6.78 acres. Productivity chart here:(http://www.scag.com/productivity.html)

If you're trying to do this with a walk behind, you will lose to a bidder with a rider. If you have a 48 rider, then you can do 2.32 acres per hour. Let's say 2 per hour during the wet season, when the length may slow you down. 6.78 acres divided by 2 = 3.39 hrs to mow. Since you will be there for 3.5 hrs. to mow it, unless you have another mower, your helper will be doing the pick up of the debris and the trimming. So double the time. total time = 7 hrs. plus the time to cut the front. Add another hour. Only bid to the specs. They don't care about going the extra mile.. Add in 1/2 hr. for drive time. So I come up with 8.5 hrs. multiplied by the rate you have established.

Like I tried to tell you before, low bid wins. You may feel it insults you as a professional landscaper, to have to compromise your principals concerning quality work, and your pride. It comes down to do the job, make it acceptable, and charge the least. As long as no one calls the county to complain, you are doing a great job. :laugh:

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
04-21-2007, 05:19 PM
So its been about 4 weeks now and I get a call from the guy in charge of the complex and he tells me that he had informed everyone wrong about only doing to the bottom of the ditch. In fact the entire ditch has to be mowed and the opposite side will have to be bush hogged due to the fact bushes and pine trees have started to grow due to lack of maintance. :hammerhead: So now no one has won the contract and no one else in the area even has all of the equipment to do everything they need. So now monday we have a meeting with this guy and the women who is head of the purchasing department. Just by looking at it I'm probably gone quote them around $1000-1100 per visit (orginally bid $750 to do to the bottom of the ditch). I hope this works out as it would be a good contract for me.

YZJOE23
04-23-2007, 02:03 PM
Run from county jobs they pay slow and too many stupid lawn guys bid so cheap its a joke and county takes cheapest bids ! I had one recently where this company bid $ 6.00 yes i said $ 6.00 per acre to mow that also included tons of bushes and mulching when needed. I and a few other bidders were in the $ 150.00 per cut per acre range . :(

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
04-23-2007, 10:36 PM
$150 per acre!!! I think I know why you lost the bid.This could be a good money making job. The county is setup to pay just like any ohter commercial acoount, you give them the invoice and they have 30 days to pay. We bid $750 per visit and I HOPING we get that plus a few hundred more for the bush hog work.

cantoo
04-23-2007, 10:49 PM
About 10% of our business was County work. It was all tendered work so yeah low bid got the work. We were $.50 less per cut than the next company. Of course this was our bid so we were making the money that we wanted. We did it for 4 years before they decided to get their own equipment again. We still do some work but not alot. We always got paid as long as the invoice was sent in on time. They only pay once per month, you miss the date and you wait a month.

1cooltreeguy
04-23-2007, 10:55 PM
We do county work at all county buildings and sites. Monthly contract. They pay like a slot machine. BUT they said from the bid process that they had a right to reject the lowest bid - HOWEVER they never will and we know that. We want to do great work and propose a multiyear contract extension with a 5%+or- raise each year with a fuel allowance for increasing costs.

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
04-23-2007, 10:59 PM
Our county offers the extension and the increase and they actually rejected the lowest bid. It was a company from out of town that never even came and looked at the property.

SoloSulkySurfer
04-24-2007, 12:17 AM
Our county offers the extension and the increase and they actually rejected the lowest bid. It was a company from out of town that never even came and looked at the property.

Can you say POLITICS?
:dizzy: :usflag: :dizzy: :usflag:

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
04-27-2007, 12:19 AM
So we had are so called meeting yesterday and the head guy in charge of the park screwed everything up so bad (told different companies different things), he even told one company (who was the 2nd highest bidder) they won. But as it turns out he did not have the authority to make that call, it fell on the head of the purchasing dept. So things get pretty heated and the head guy realizes he's caught, then the s.o.b. tries blaming me for not submitting the correct bid when he gave me wrong info and wouldn't return eny of my calls. My thoughts are he's made a little backroom deal with the one company.
But now there gonna rebid the whole thing, so now I feel like I want to bid low enough to get it just because the other company guy was acting like a dick and I would just like to take it from him. I'd still make a little money but not what I believe it's really worth. What would you guys do? Whether I get the bid or not it's not gonna make or break me we got plenty of work now but like most, I never turn down the chance to make $$$$$.

Envy Lawn Service
04-27-2007, 12:30 AM
So we had are so called meeting yesterday and the head guy in charge of the park screwed everything up so bad (told different companies different things), he even told one company (who was the 2nd highest bidder) they won. But as it turns out he did not have the authority to make that call, it fell on the head of the purchasing dept. So things get pretty heated and the head guy realizes he's caught, then the s.o.b. tries blaming me for not submitting the correct bid when he gave me wrong info and wouldn't return eny of my calls. My thoughts are he's made a little backroom deal with the one company.
But now there gonna rebid the whole thing, so now I feel like I want to bid low enough to get it just because the other company guy was acting like a dick and I would just like to take it from him. I'd still make a little money but not what I believe it's really worth. What would you guys do? Whether I get the bid or not it's not gonna make or break me we got plenty of work now but like most, I never turn down the chance to make $$$$$.

Well, I'll tell you like I would if we were hunting buddies or whatever...

I'd say "what's the matter with you?.... I can smell ____ from a mile away... but you couldn't smell it if you had a turd shoved up your nose"........ lol....

All kidding aside... no I wouldn't bother with this one anymore.
Who's got time for this sorta crap?

Can you imagine what it would be like working on it?

Geez... no way I'd subject myself to that.

Kick the crap off your boots and move on to something else... something more organized and more legit.

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
05-27-2007, 12:07 AM
Well I found out yesterday that the jack a$$ that ran his mouth at our last meeting won the contract. He bid $1600 per month. What I don't get is it's suppose to be cut every two weeks, not twice per month. I tried to win by bidding $800 per cut and there 12 cuts to be done so I bid $1,920 per month. I can deal with losing but I hate these F%^*ers. They ride around in a brand new chevy durmax with a 28 foot enclosed. They always say they got more then they can handle yet I've never seen them actually work, just ride the roads and talk a big game at the local dealers. How or why would anyone work that cheap if they have these high a$$ payments to make? I figured I could since my only payment is a mower payment but damn. Luckily I've added several residental accounts so I'm not really dissapointed just pissed that these guys won.

RYNOss
05-27-2007, 12:53 AM
If you plan to pursue county or state jobs then be prepared for more of the same. They can be very profitable, but frustrating at the same time. They are not like your typical customers. The lowest bid does not always win, so know your cost to operate and how much profit you need to make on each bid. This is the only way to properly bid anything. You see questions on this forum all the time about how much to charge. Experience is the only real answer. I've seen allot of people bid low just to get the job, only to discover they can't afford to do the work. You make money on right of ways by being efficient. Properly sized mowers, mower mounted weed wacker racks and trash cans with pickers. And remember this is not finish cutting, so just hall ass. Most important of all, do not rely on them to pay on time. If you count on their invoice to make payroll every month you'll be out of business in a snap. Good luck!

Envy Lawn Service
05-27-2007, 01:20 AM
Well I found out yesterday that the jack a$$ that ran his mouth at our last meeting won the contract. He bid $1600 per month. What I don't get is it's suppose to be cut every two weeks, not twice per month. I tried to win by bidding $800 per cut and there 12 cuts to be done so I bid $1,920 per month. I can deal with losing but I hate these F%^*ers. They ride around in a brand new chevy durmax with a 28 foot enclosed. They always say they got more then they can handle yet I've never seen them actually work, just ride the roads and talk a big game at the local dealers. How or why would anyone work that cheap if they have these high a$$ payments to make? I figured I could since my only payment is a mower payment but damn. Luckily I've added several residental accounts so I'm not really dissapointed just pissed that these guys won.

This is why I told you not to bother...

And this is why I just don't bother myself anymore.
Waste of my time.


A word on big companies... The big companies like that... often they cave in due to the pressure of making all the payments they have. Yes, you can bet your arse they got payments... payments for everything... Bid low for cash flow and rob peter to pay paul until it finally catches up with them.

Don't think they are in debt up to their eyeballs?... Well look at their bids and you'll realize easily that they can't and won't ever pay cash for anything. They don't make the money to afford to.