PDA

View Full Version : 8 acre pricing


turfmanagementspecialty
02-26-2009, 09:21 PM
Wondering what guys are charging for an 8 acre commercial fert and squirt. Pretty wide open, fairly easy spray. Minnesota. Just curious to see where I stand on price. It's been sprayed in past and its irrigated

jose85
02-26-2009, 10:26 PM
ummm i'm about to spray umm i want to say round 10 acres but an HOA and a park for 1375 each time

rcreech
02-26-2009, 10:32 PM
Weed control and fert or weed control only?

Is the lawn in good shape? How many apps?

On a larger prop like this I am usually between $115-120 if it is wide open. If there is a lot of blacktop to blow off or a lot of crap to go around I will be between $120-125.

turfmanagementspecialty
02-26-2009, 10:37 PM
fert and weed control. Fairly wide open. I'm thinking around 120 an acre. 4 apps/year

jose85
02-26-2009, 10:38 PM
thats what i'm doing they wanted 4 apps so two weed controls and 2 ferts

rcreech
02-26-2009, 10:41 PM
fert and weed control. Fairly wide open. I'm thinking around 120 an acre. 4 apps/year

Every area is different...but that is probably about where I would be!

If area is competitive...you could even go down a little.

There are a lot of advantages of larger commercial props in my mind.
-Less travel
-More income/hour
-Less people to work for/$
-Good advertisement (usually)
-Good weekend work

turfmanagementspecialty
02-26-2009, 10:42 PM
I went and measured this morning. Good thing too, it snowed about 6 inches today!! Never had anything this big, so just didn't want to shoot myself in the foot and underbid or overbid cuz I'm doing it for a lawnmowing co. and I would hate to be way too high and not have them get the year round maintenance cuz of my bid. Can't work for free either!!

pieperlc
02-26-2009, 10:56 PM
I just bid a 10 acre property for 4 fert apps & 1 broadleaf app for $6200/year. Lost the bid by 2 grand. They required 1 lb N w/ 50-75% slow release & 1 lb K each regular fert app so that added to the cost.

turf hokie
02-27-2009, 06:06 AM
All I have to say is............ WOW...........

rcreech
02-27-2009, 06:39 AM
I just bid a 10 acre property for 4 fert apps & 1 broadleaf app for $6200/year. Lost the bid by 2 grand. They required 1 lb N w/ 50-75% slow release & 1 lb K each regular fert app so that added to the cost.

That is pretty darn low there! The lowest I have ever gone was $112...but that was on an 18 acre property and I think it had like 8 trees on it.

Probably some of the best money I ever made that quick.

People bash commercial props...but us little guys can make a ton of money.

Pull in with 200 gallon of water and couple pallets of fert and you are good to go for the day!!!!

I wish I had about 25 more properties just like it.

pieperlc
02-27-2009, 05:43 PM
All I have to say is............ WOW...........

That's what I said. It's all flat and with a bunch of soccer nets in it so I could have gone a little lower, but 82 an acre, c'mon. I smell some corner cutting going on.

foreplease
02-27-2009, 08:24 PM
I just bid a 10 acre property for 4 fert apps & 1 broadleaf app for $6200/year. Lost the bid by 2 grand. They required 1 lb N w/ 50-75% slow release & 1 lb K each regular fert app so that added to the cost.

Even though under these terms you are far better off without it, that is tough to swallow, isn't it. Corner cutting is right.

I just figured this to these specs exactly with material I have on hand - so last fall pricing. The way I figured it was four trips over it with the spreader and one with the sprayer during the year. My price would have been $9,464 and I would have discounted the non-materials part of it 35% for a non-profit. Evidently I would not have got the job either.

Now if they called me without requiring 1 & 1 N & K each time and said they had $4,200 to spend, I think I could have made them happy with two granular applications and one broadleaf spray using other products. I'm sure you could have too.

I re-figured it at 2 1/2 # N for the year, 1# K, a little P, plus spray for broadleaf. I get $5,321 full price and would knock $612 off for a non-profit, taking it to $4,709, which is close. From there, I gotta either get in a real good mood, or try to upsell a little, or find a way to cut (and tell the customer) about 15 bags out of ten acre program over the course of a year.

But I can't come close to doing what your customer asked for $4,200.

rcreech
02-27-2009, 08:32 PM
That's what I said. It's all flat and with a bunch of soccer nets in it so I could have gone a little lower, but 82 an acre, c'mon. I smell some corner cutting going on.

Actually that is $105/app isn't it????

How are you coming up with $82?

turf hokie
02-27-2009, 09:10 PM
I cant figure out how you guys can work for any of the prices listed on here. I'd rather get a 9 to 5 than sell work for those prices. Especially on athletic fields, there is a premium for athletic work.

What are your material costs if you can lay product at 100-125 per acre and still make money?

foreplease
02-27-2009, 09:13 PM
I had him at five apps, which is the way I figured it.
4,200/(5x10)=84.

Not trying to butt in or answer for pieperlc, just saying how I read it.

I'm one who thinks the price of a fertilizer app has very little to do with another fertilizer app, much less an herbicide app, but that is another topic. I don't think pieperlc figured them the same but I arrived at his competitor's average price by assuming that he did.

rcreech
02-27-2009, 09:30 PM
I had him at five apps, which is the way I figured it.
4,200/(5x10)=84.

Not trying to butt in or answer for pieperlc, just saying how I read it.

I'm one who thinks the price of a fertilizer app has very little to do with another fertilizer app, much less an herbicide app, but that is another topic. I don't think pieperlc figured them the same but I arrived at his competitor's average price by assuming that he did.

I took it as 4 fert apps (which he would surely combine his broadleaf app with a fert app).

$105/ac is somewhat doable...but $82/ac is CRAZY!!!!

lawn king
02-27-2009, 09:45 PM
All I have to say is............ WOW...........

Im with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but i will up it to HOLY $HIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I dont know how you guys make a profit?

rcreech
02-27-2009, 09:56 PM
I usually am around $130-140/ac when under 2-3 acres...but when dealing with large commericals...it is strickly a numbers game!

On 18 acres I could go in a gross out a little over 2 grand! It only cost me about $900 in product!

Granted the margins are not as good as smaller lawns...but you can cover a lot of ground quick and no drive time!

When you can cover 15 -20 acres a day and not have to drive, it is REAL good money.

When covering large amounts of acres it also increases your buying power due to higher volume!

When I can buy 3-4 truck loads of fert at a time and 270 gallon totes of Three Way at a time I can be very competitive!

My material cost last year was $1.20 and it isn't going to be about the same this year.

Granted I have all the other costs such as insurance and equipment...but I have them with or without this work! And as far as time...I usually do these on the weekend so it isn't bad at all!

If I didn't make good money doing it...I wouldn't do it!

I would actually like to pick up a lot more! Less people to deal with and not as many headaches.

rcreech
02-27-2009, 10:04 PM
I cant figure out how you guys can work for any of the prices listed on here. I'd rather get a 9 to 5 than sell work for those prices. Especially on athletic fields, there is a premium for athletic work.

What are your material costs if you can lay product at 100-125 per acre and still make money?

I can easily fert and spray 18 acres in 10 hours without even trying!

If I can net out $1100 (this is only gross - product costs) on an 18 acre property...then that is $110/hour

I would rather make $110 an hour any day and work for myself then clock in!

Don't you think that is good money?

If you can be effecient and be a good buyer...you can do this and make good money! If you are not effecient or a good buyer, you WILL fail trying to do this!

Again, I pick up a lot of work just from doing commerical work so their is some branding and markeing involved with this also!

We park our trucks out in front of an awesome looking commerical lawn on a Saturday and EVERYBODY sees us. That is BIG to me!

pieperlc
02-27-2009, 11:01 PM
I took it as 4 fert apps (which he would surely combine his broadleaf app with a fert app).

$105/ac is somewhat doable...but $82/ac is CRAZY!!!!

Yes, he would probably combine the two, but he still has material costs for b-leaf and the specs listed speedzone. I always price my b-leaf app as a separate app so that is why I called it five apps. My material cost for 20-3-20 w/50% uflexx is about $80/acre. Also need a dimension on fert for one application.

ted putnam
02-28-2009, 12:03 AM
Im with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but i will up it to HOLY $HIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I dont know how you guys make a profit?

I'm with you and Hokie on this one. I have a formula for profitability that I try to follow. I will alter this straight and narrow path somewhat for large commercial properties but not to the degree some folks do apparently.

rcreech
02-28-2009, 07:09 AM
As stated...these commercial props don't have near the margin/K, but you have to look at no windshield time, no loading/unloading, dealing only with 1 customer etc. There is a lot of value in that to me!

If you are buying 2 pallets of fert or even just a load at a time you probably can't compete in this market. I save BIG no my inputs which allows me to be very competitive in this market. If I had a bunch of techs, trucks, office staff, building rent ect, I probably wouldn't be able to do this. But by having low overhead this is a great money maker or me!

This makes me ask a few questions to you guys:

Do you look at what you make on an given area...or what you can make an hour? I know my costs...and just do the math.

Who else (outside this business) could go out on a Saturday and net a grand without even trying?

I would more then BET that I am netting more out on a day doing an 18 acre property then most that are going out and doing 30-40 lawns in a day!

It is just a totally different market...and I am set up for it!

You guys must be spoiled or something!

Growing up on the farm I know what it is like to work for nothing on a bad year! So if I can make a guaranteed $60-70/ac per app that is good money to me!

I am not greedy at all...just want to keep my machines rolling and make $$$$$.

As I said...I wish I had 25 more of these properties!

foreplease
02-28-2009, 08:35 AM
I'm with rcreech all the way. Although I can't get to $125/A in the example in this thread, his points are right on. Especially that it is a totally different market.

If the people who hire you do not sleep at the address where the work is being done or discussed, they tend to be more objective and reasonable. Sure, once in a while somebody tries to throw an orange at you and your apple cart but they rarely question the plausibility of facts. Often it is a matter of a season, sometimes two, when two parties who should not be working together figure that out about each other. And I would say it is about evenly split between customers with big properties who are not getting the results they could be getting (customer ordered apples but got and paid for oranges) and applicators who can deliver great results but find it is not practical to work several acres with the equipment they run.

There are not nearly as many people who can do big properties – totally different market. Of course you have to be competitive and honest but the considerations are: can the customer afford to do the work at all and, if so, do they think they can do it less expensively in house and still get results.

I sometimes spend many hours preparing one proposal. Assessing current conditions, researching products and methods, then getting the information customer-ready often involves multiple site visits, calls to suppliers, and a good look back through my own records. I would not like or be any good at calling on 20-30 different people in a week much less in a day. I am not set up to do that kind of work either. Everyone needs a minimum charge area, mine is two acres but I would be the first to tell the customer that my small incremental charges per additional acre make properties of 5 acres and up a lot more feasible on a unit cost basis.

The day that I am no longer my own toughest critic is the day I am probably on the wrong job.

mngrassguy
02-28-2009, 08:50 AM
I know one big nationwide company that is getting $150.00/ acre around here. I'm getting $160.00 on several of mine that size. I do include dimension im my first app, Fe in the rest.

turf hokie
02-28-2009, 09:00 AM
Different business model for sure when you look into the commercial arena.

We have serviced properties up to 60 acres and houses as small as 500 sq ft. Total dollars at the end of the day will be greater on the larger property for sure, but margins on the small minimum charge house is nothing but gravy.

I wont argue that you are making money at those prices based on what you are telling me. I understand that different markets will bear different prices and your inputs are probably different than mine.

I will argue that you should not be basing your prices on "per hour" but I get paid for my knowledge and results, which in my humble opinion is pretty valuable.

I have not used the pricing shown in this thread since I was trying to break into the market.

Good luck to all, I am sure you are making money at those prices, I would not be able to. I would actually make more money subcontracting you guys out than I make doing it in house. Who is up for a commute????

rcreech
02-28-2009, 10:13 AM
I will argue that you should not be basing your prices on "per hour" but I get paid for my knowledge and results, which in my humble opinion is pretty valuable.



I NEVER charge by the hour and I hope I didn't insunuate that!

Someone just said they would rather work a 9 to 5 job...so I wanted to put it into perspective as I am still making 5-8 times more then people that clock in!

If I am on small res or even small commercial props it is back to the big numbers.

Anything less then 2 acres and I am actually on the higher side or right in line with everyone else. I am not complaining anyway!

turf hokie
02-28-2009, 11:45 AM
I NEVER charge by the hour and I hope I didn't insunuate that!

Someone just said they would rather work a 9 to 5 job...so I wanted to put it into perspective as I am still making 5-8 times more then people that clock in!

If I am on small res or even small commercial props it is back to the big numbers.

Anything less then 2 acres and I am actually on the higher side or right in line with everyone else. I am not complaining anyway!

That would be me with the 9-5er. I just based that on what would be a net profit at the end of the week based on the pricing I was seeing. With my overhead, materials etc. at the end of the week I would have more change in my pocket by being a working stiff based on those prices.

But like it has been said, this is a board with varying locales, cost of living etc. prices are very hard to discuss on this forum.

When I am in the field I treat myself like a tech and my time goes to the job not overhead, so therefore I pay myself the same as my top tech. That way it does not mess with the margins on the job.

rcreech
02-28-2009, 01:40 PM
I didn't build my business on this philosophy by any means!

I actually built my business on residential lawns with very good margin and just started picking up larger props for "extra weekend money". And found this wasn't a bad way to go!

Now my res business is building (about 240 acres each round)...but I am finding that the "extra money" now really builds up quick now (doing about 80 acres of comercial).

And as stated, I can buy in even larger quantities which makes me even more of a player...plus the adverting it gives me and keeps us busy on weekends!

Probably not for everybody...but I love it!

Would rather do a 10 or 20 acre site any day over a small res lawn! But that is just me!

turf hokie
02-28-2009, 03:48 PM
[QUOTE=rcreech;2809736

Probably not for everybody...but I love it!

Would rather do a 10 or 20 acre site any day over a small res lawn! But that is just me![/QUOTE]

Sounds like we started off pretty similar with similar philosophies with resi and commercial. I prefer to run my z on 20 acres at a lower margin than doing the 2-3k residential, but I also know that there is a ton of money to be made on the residential.

You do more acreage but the splits are about the same. We run about 180A residential and 60 commercial. We lost the really big commercial work about 2 years ago. (60 acre site among them) But we also realized that not all commercial work is created equal. Even though we could do the 60 acres in day with all my equipment running, we did make enough money at to justify shutting every thing else down for the day. That is where I learned that I could not make money at $130-150 an acre.

LIBERTYLANDSCAPING
02-28-2009, 05:04 PM
I think ALOT of the differences come in G&A cost's..... Turf Hokie sounds like he probably has a dedicated facility (not his home, or farm) that has to be paid for + labor cost's outide of himself, maybe office staff, NY state's notorious high tax rates, Etc...... In my area (and in Rodney's area too), a guy can start a biz very easily, working out of his home, or even a large barn or building on personal property since it's farm country. I know in the NY metro area that is much different. All those extra cost have to be accounted for. :usflag:

turf hokie
02-28-2009, 08:00 PM
I think ALOT of the differences come in G&A cost's..... Turf Hokie sounds like he probably has a dedicated facility (not his home, or farm) that has to be paid for + labor cost's outide of himself, maybe office staff, NY state's notorious high tax rates, Etc...... In my area (and in Rodney's area too), a guy can start a biz very easily, working out of his home, or even a large barn or building on personal property since it's farm country. I know in the NY metro area that is much different. All those extra cost have to be accounted for. :usflag:

Hammer...nail....head.....Except with the economy the office staff is down to my wife again, and it is run out of my house. I wish they would allow me to keep trucks and equipment at my house, stupid ordinances.

rcreech
03-01-2009, 05:40 PM
I think ALOT of the differences come in G&A cost's..... Turf Hokie sounds like he probably has a dedicated facility (not his home, or farm) that has to be paid for + labor cost's outide of himself, maybe office staff, NY state's notorious high tax rates, Etc...... In my area (and in Rodney's area too), a guy can start a biz very easily, working out of his home, or even a large barn or building on personal property since it's farm country. I know in the NY metro area that is much different. All those extra cost have to be accounted for. :usflag:

Love the new avatar!

Yes...I agree and I think it gives us a competitive advantage over the larger LCO's.

Not having building rent, office rent and all the other crap saves us big!

Plus...I think we get a lot better pricing!

Those two together helps us to net the same charing $130/ac as the guys charging $170/ac.

Last year I did some figures with a guy on here and even though he was charging $40 more/ac then I was...I still was netting more then he was.

Remeber guys, it isn't what you charge...it is what you make!