PDA

View Full Version : 283 acres of municipal mowing. 103 properties. Covering my a#&


qualitylandscaping
02-07-2009, 09:58 PM
Let me start by saying I'm not here to start an argument, or get responses from joe blow with a tiny company. We all started somewhere, but those responses will not help me.


I'm working on a bid package for a city municipality. Mow-Trim-Blow-Litter Cleanup only. No bed work, shrub trimming, fert, etc.

GROUP 1: 24.15 acres, 54 properties, all under 1 acre each.
GROUP 2: 258.03 acres, 49 properties, all over 1 acre each. Largest is 28 acres.

These properties include: schools, ball fields, parks, playgrounds, youth recreation centers, street malls, city owned buildings, etc.

To include all expenses and take in a net profit of 20%, our hourly rate is based at $52.13 per laborer and up.

Properties are all within the borders of the city. From a center point, no more than 10 miles in any given direction. Most properties are within .5-1 mile on the road from each other.

Trimming is comparable to a normal subdivision residential on group 1.
(say maybe 600-1200 linear feet of trimming to be done on each property).

Trimming is comparable to a standard commercial lot on group 2.
(a few buildings, sidewalks, trees, etc. (2000-3000 linear feet on each)

Equipment: 66" Dixie X Caliber's, 74" Dixie X Caliber, 72" Dixie Xtreme's, JD 757's, 777's, 797, Lesco 60's. Whatever we have can be used, if we don't have enough, I'll buy more. Won't consider a batwing, however, as these properties are not suitable for one.

My guys are good. Everybody knows how to safely and efficiently operate the equipment they are assigned to.

Looking for a reference point per cut? Group 1 and Group 2 seperate. Keep in mind parking isn't simple. Travel from our closest shop to center point in the city is 20 miles. I have a number on paper, just want to see some other view points.

My numbers (without giving away exacts):

Group 1: $1500-3500 per cut
Group 2: $8000-11000 per cut

Swampy
02-07-2009, 11:31 PM
In group 2 I would seriously look at getting a multi winged machine, I'm a little biased but you can find a older Toro 455D for around $10K. Something at least in the 10ft range. How far apart are properties in Group 2? If they are close enough bolt on a slow moving triangle and rearveiw mirror and drive it between properties.

A few WAM's Brands
Toro
Deere
Hustler
Rumor has it Kubota is going to be releasing a mulit winged machine.

nosparkplugs
02-07-2009, 11:48 PM
Let me start by saying I'm not here to start an argument, or get responses from joe blow with a tiny company. We all started somewhere, but those responses will not help me.


I'm working on a bid package for a city municipality. Mow-Trim-Blow-Litter Cleanup only. No bed work, shrub trimming, fert, etc.

GROUP 1: 24.15 acres, 54 properties, all under 1 acre each.
GROUP 2: 258.03 acres, 49 properties, all over 1 acre each. Largest is 28 acres.

These properties include: schools, ball fields, parks, playgrounds, youth recreation centers, street malls, city owned buildings, etc.

To include all expenses and take in a net profit of 20%, our hourly rate is based at $52.13 per laborer and up.

Properties are all within the borders of the city. From a center point, no more than 10 miles in any given direction. Most properties are within .5-1 mile on the road from each other.

Trimming is comparable to a normal subdivision residential on group 1.
(say maybe 600-1200 linear feet of trimming to be done on each property).

Trimming is comparable to a standard commercial lot on group 2.
(a few buildings, sidewalks, trees, etc. (2000-3000 linear feet on each)

Equipment: 66" Dixie X Caliber's, 74" Dixie X Caliber, 72" Dixie Xtreme's, JD 757's, 777's, 797, Lesco 60's. Whatever we have can be used, if we don't have enough, I'll buy more. Won't consider a batwing, however, as these properties are not suitable for one.

My guys are good. Everybody knows how to safely and efficiently operate the equipment they are assigned to.

Looking for a reference point per cut? Group 1 and Group 2 seperate. Keep in mind parking isn't simple. Travel from our closest shop to center point in the city is 20 miles. I have a number on paper, just want to see some other view points.

My numbers (without giving away exacts):

Group 1: $1500-3500 per cut
Group 2: $8000-11000 per cut


Sounds like you got it under control, like you said you can always purchase more equipment if needed. I would start the season with the equipment you got, and go from their. Congrats on the contract

qualitylandscaping
02-08-2009, 11:54 AM
In group 2 I would seriously look at getting a multi winged machine, I'm a little biased but you can find a older Toro 455D for around $10K. Something at least in the 10ft range. How far apart are properties in Group 2? If they are close enough bolt on a slow moving triangle and rearveiw mirror and drive it between properties.

A few WAM's Brands
Toro
Deere
Hustler
Rumor has it Kubota is going to be releasing a mulit winged machine.

I too would love to sign a property where a WAM would be my mower of choice. I had eliminated them from my options for a few reasons:

1. They are bulky and take up alot of space on the trailer.
2. I'm going to send out a 28' enclosed trailer (so everything can be locked when out of sight, and a WAM won't fit in an enclosed.
3. Our Dixie Choppers have consistently cut 6-8acres per hour in wide open areas, the JD 1600 w/ 11' cut we demoed a few years ago only did 8 acres, so I really have a hard time justifying a "specialty" machine, when our regular fleet handles just the same. Its tough to swallow a payment on a machine the size of a 1600, only to not sign the contract again next year, sure we have other places it can be used, but we don't have productivity problems with our other mowers.
4. Litter cleanup is part of the gig. Keeping a 5 gallon bucket and a pick on a ZTR isn't too hard. Stopping that WAM to pickup trash, would be eating away at my profit margin.


I have always considered buying a WAM, as we have several properties this size (25 acres +), but when I consider the cost of buying one it's not justifiable. We can pickup 4+ new ZTR's for the same cost, that will cut 90% of what the WAM will in an hour.

Trust me, I've gone back and forth a hundred times on a purchase of one.:drinkup:

EagleLandscape
02-08-2009, 01:53 PM
Steve, I think your group 1 price amount is a little steep. Group 2 looks extremely competitive. Here in TX we can get a good amount for work, higher than the rest of the country i think. We get between 45-low 50$ per acre.

If this is municipality, fill out an open records request. by law, they are required to divuldge all information pertaining to previous scope of work, and any contract amounts previously signed. this can help put in perspective what they have spent in the past.

also, ask if they have an "engineers estimate." sometimes the cities can produce their estimated cost. however, try to ask these questions and get this information in private if you can. that way to dont help your competition out on where to start their bid from.

www.bidsync.com might have it listed. you can also check and see what other companies have viewed the request for propsal / bid.

let me know if this helps at all.

qualitylandscaping
02-08-2009, 03:29 PM
Steve, I think your group 1 price amount is a little steep. Group 2 looks extremely competitive. Here in TX we can get a good amount for work, higher than the rest of the country i think. We get between 45-low 50$ per acre.

If this is municipality, fill out an open records request. by law, they are required to divuldge all information pertaining to previous scope of work, and any contract amounts previously signed. this can help put in perspective what they have spent in the past.

also, ask if they have an "engineers estimate." sometimes the cities can produce their estimated cost. however, try to ask these questions and get this information in private if you can. that way to dont help your competition out on where to start their bid from.

www.bidsync.com might have it listed. you can also check and see what other companies have viewed the request for propsal / bid.

let me know if this helps at all.



Hey John-

I too was alittle concerned with where my group 1 price ended up. I'm at roughly $84.00/acre on those properties right now. After I factored in time, driving, finding a place to park a 50' rig downtown on mostly one way streets, litter cleanup, etc. I had also factored in an allowance for some stolen 2cycle equipment, as its been happening alot lately (even with locks).

I'm very comfortable with my group 2 bid. We specialize in bigger properties, and being the biggest mowing company in the area, I can put the sheer volume of the project to my advantage. These properties are bigger, so there is less drive time involved and most of them are parks/schools with parking lots, so finding a place to put the rig isn't as much of a hassle; thus the lower pricing structure.

I am very active in municipal bidding, and am familiar with the FOIL (Freedom of Information Act) you mentioned. Normally, I bid on these projects every year and attend the bid opening, making note of competitors bids. However, this is the first year this project has been put out to bid; and I know they aren't smart enough to draft a "rough estimate" on what they expect it to go for.

This is a whopper of an account, and one that 99% of the companies in this area couldn't handle. The project requires: 100% Performance Surety Bonding, 5% Bid Bond, 5 million in liability insurance, comparable references, lengthy equipment list, etc.. Something of this scale is far out of reach for most, so I'm not too worried about competition.

I looked briefly at the bidsync website. All you need to do is contact a municipality and ask to be placed on a bid list. They will mail you the documents/specifications when a new bid request is made. I can't see paying $300+ a year for something that can be done for the cost of a few phone calls, thanks though!

EagleLandscape
02-09-2009, 11:24 AM
Steve, there are about 40-50 municipalities that we look at for bids. You can sign up and get notifications for free actually. I do subscribe, and for 300 bucks its worth it though. but I think you are in a smaller town than Dallas I would assume.

Let me know how the bid comes out.

qualitylandscaping
02-09-2009, 11:52 AM
Steve, there are about 40-50 municipalities that we look at for bids. You can sign up and get notifications for free actually. I do subscribe, and for 300 bucks its worth it though. but I think you are in a smaller town than Dallas I would assume.

Let me know how the bid comes out.


I looked through the listing for NY. There are maybe 2-3 agencines/municipalities listed that we would consider bidding projects for.

Must be TX has alot of listings, NY doesn't seem to.

qualitylandscaping
02-17-2009, 01:15 PM
HAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT A JOKE!!

I just heard back on the bid opening.

Group 1:
My bid $20,400 season ($77.25 per acre)
Low bid $5,047.35 season ($18.96 per acre!!!!!)

Group 2:
My bid $88,000 season ($31.00 per acre)
Low bid $42,900 season ($15.12 per acre!!!!)


Now our rates may be alittle on the high side, but the low bids are down right disturbing. ;);)

So much for bidding city projects ever again.. Not worth the time.

skennedy04
02-17-2009, 02:18 PM
Unfortunately i think we are going to see more of this....What a huge difference..Sorry it didnt work out for you.

qualitylandscaping
02-17-2009, 02:32 PM
Unfortunately i think we are going to see more of this....What a huge difference..Sorry it didnt work out for you.

No sweat, we're swamped with work so its not a big deal. I just can't imagine working trying to get by on ~$26/hr every other week?! Some peoples calculations, just make no practical sense.

We'll get the good stuff. Let them work for free!:drinkup:

lawnboy2068
03-13-2009, 10:40 AM
HAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT A JOKE!!

I just heard back on the bid opening.

Group 1:
My bid $20,400 season ($77.25 per acre)
Low bid $5,047.35 season ($18.96 per acre!!!!!)

Group 2:
My bid $88,000 season ($31.00 per acre)
Low bid $42,900 season ($15.12 per acre!!!!)


Now our rates may be alittle on the high side, but the low bids are down right disturbing. ;);)

So much for bidding city projects ever again.. Not worth the time.


This is astounding! What a shame but I guess as the economy falls so does the pricing. For those prices with litter clean up I wouldn't even get out of bed. You have to wonder about some companies but we will never actually find out their motivation behind their decisions.

Good luck to you on the rest of your year.
James

Lawnut101
03-17-2009, 12:24 AM
Wow, that's pretty crazy. Was it a big company that won the bid?

Turf Logic
03-17-2009, 10:38 AM
Im curious as to what your estimation was for man hours for each section. I really would like to see what you thought your cost was. $15 per acre sounds good to me if you can truly mow 8 acres in an hour. I know were in completely demographics but down here all a 60 inch mower will bring is 45 dollars an hour, and each additional man will bring 25 to 35 dollars an hour. Exactly how long is a season in new york? Please dont take this as criticism, I'm just merely asking questions as I would like to see a breakdown.

turf hokie
03-17-2009, 03:00 PM
Im curious as to what your estimation was for man hours for each section. I really would like to see what you thought your cost was. $15 per acre sounds good to me if you can truly mow 8 acres in an hour. I know were in completely demographics but down here all a 60 inch mower will bring is 45 dollars an hour, and each additional man will bring 25 to 35 dollars an hour. Exactly how long is a season in new york? Please dont take this as criticism, I'm just merely asking questions as I would like to see a breakdown.

I am in a different part of NY so it may be different here, guys run from about now with spring cleanups to mid november sometimes first of december with cleanups generally 30-32 cuts.

BUT, it does not matter when your at the beach:waving: we go to sunset beach great spot you have, you hiring??:cry:

fl-landscapes
03-17-2009, 03:58 PM
HAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT A JOKE!!

I just heard back on the bid opening.

Group 1:
My bid $20,400 season ($77.25 per acre)
Low bid $5,047.35 season ($18.96 per acre!!!!!)

Group 2:
My bid $88,000 season ($31.00 per acre)
Low bid $42,900 season ($15.12 per acre!!!!)


Now our rates may be alittle on the high side, but the low bids are down right disturbing. ;);)


So much for bidding city projects ever again.. Not worth the time.
Ya that sucks. But are you surpised? I stopped wasting my time with municipal work a long time ago. Maybe some people can sift through the crap and find a good account. But I have found I am NEVER competitive with the winning bidder. I'm usually in line with the bulk of all the bids but there is always someone way low! This economy is down but I have found even in a good economy municiple bids are usually won by a dirt cheap bid.

MATSON TURF
03-17-2009, 08:51 PM
Thats city work for you.....I bid a bunch of city work this year, trying to add a fourth crew...All the work went for about $15-$20 per man hour....Thats enough to make you wanna PUKE!!!..If someone out there can explain how you run a company on $20 per man hour, Please explain it to me..cause ive been in business 16 years and i must be clueless...I will run 3 crews and protect the work i have...

mattfromNY
03-17-2009, 09:03 PM
So... someone out there is going to get bonded and run 5 million dollar liability, and obviously WC and such (in NY, mind you) and work for $15/ acre?? Wow, hope they dont wake up till its over, cause it will surely be a rude awakening!

turf hokie
03-18-2009, 06:48 AM
So... someone out there is going to get bonded and run 5 million dollar liability, and obviously WC and such (in NY, mind you) and work for $15/ acre?? Wow, hope they dont wake up till its over, cause it will surely be a rude awakening!

Hey Matt, what do you think they will do when the request payroll records to show that they were paying prevailing wages?????:hammerhead:

Most city/town/etc jobs are prevailing wage around here and they will check documentation as well. We bid a job over the winter that they ran background checks before they announced the award

Turf Logic
03-18-2009, 08:34 AM
I am in a different part of NY so it may be different here, guys run from about now with spring cleanups to mid november sometimes first of december with cleanups generally 30-32 cuts.

BUT, it does not matter when your at the beach:waving: we go to sunset beach great spot you have, you hiring??:cry:

After going back and looking at some of our bigger maintenance accounts thats about what were getting is $45 to $50 per acre. Sorry for the questioning Ive just always priced everything by the hour on a bid.

ponyboy
03-18-2009, 07:41 PM
that is why I dont do much bid work they go for the lowest and dont care about quailty like i said last year I lost a $150,000 job state funded bid that I had for 6 years with out them ever bidding it out, till last year when they bid it out the winning bid was 40% cheaper then me 6 years ago. I stick with smaller companies and customers that like quailty. well sorry to hear it and glad it did not hurt you in any way

carl b
03-18-2009, 08:03 PM
HAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT A JOKE!!

I just heard back on the bid opening.

Group 1:
My bid $20,400 season ($77.25 per acre)
Low bid $5,047.35 season ($18.96 per acre!!!!!)

Group 2:
My bid $88,000 season ($31.00 per acre)
Low bid $42,900 season ($15.12 per acre!!!!)


Now our rates may be alittle on the high side, but the low bids are down right disturbing. ;);)

So much for bidding city projects ever again.. Not worth the time.



You may want to stay in touch . it seems to low . they may be dissatisfied with the outcome than call to have it rebid . I've seen it done in Ohio a few times .