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View Full Version : I'm Venting, Please explain this to me.


lawnboy2068
03-23-2009, 06:16 PM
How can you cut 70 acres a week that are in 22 different locations around this town for a 24 week period plus leaf clean up on 16 of those acres in November for $25.00/acre? Even with 2 groundmasters that can cut 10 to 12 acres a day along with 2 men trimming and make money on this deal.

Please explain this to me. I have 21 years in this business and I can't understand this. I was asked to bid this project this year and was handed the winning bid from last year with these numbers. I did my numbers before I looked at the winning bid and I fell off my chair.

This is why I hate this business now. How do you make a profit with these numbers? And I bet this years bids will be lower due to the economy. I guess that I am passing on this one.

I need a drink now.
James

MATSON TURF
03-23-2009, 07:17 PM
Have a drink for me to james.....I bid a city job last month...It went for about $15 an acer.The job would have taken 2 men a min. of 6 hours to mow...So you do the math..I have been in business 15 years. I just sit back and watch these CLOWNS come and go

billslawn89
03-23-2009, 07:31 PM
oh why not...have a drink for me too! lol...wait, i'll have one with ya!

MATSON TURF
03-23-2009, 07:40 PM
Times are tough here in Michigan...So you have every Tom, Dick And Harry cutting prices WAY to LOW...They will figure it out ...But in the mean time it just screws the rest of us....

lawnboy2068
03-23-2009, 07:47 PM
oh why not...have a drink for me too! lol...wait, i'll have one with ya!

Alright. I'll buy the first round if you all can get to NJ. We can all get soused together and wonder why, better yet, we'll just all go to the go go and drown our sorrows that way!

James

newtostone
03-23-2009, 07:56 PM
I haven't been in this business long but one thing I can say without a doubt is that prices for service are no longer what they were even 5 years ago. There was a job (school) that used to get mowed. Went from 28k a year to 19k a year to 8k a year. I really wish I was in this business back when money could be made, man what a life i could be living.

On a side note though, I have no idea what these properties look like but if someone is able to put a WAM on these properties then they can cut 12 acres an hour easy. One things that really takes a hit to those numbers are the amount of locations but all in all times are changing.

Best of luck this season guys.

Think Green
03-23-2009, 07:59 PM
That is the problem guys, we do sit around and watch the glowns come and go while the economy and their bidding procedures drive the market into the ground.. The clowns are getting the work--going home and celebrating with momma--eating steak at Hooter's and finally realizing that they didn't bid enough. Before it is too late, they rack up 200 accounts and sell their business.
Happens all the time here. I talked to another LCO who told me that when he gets to 250 accounts he is selling. Their tactics are all the same. They are in it for the profit side and not the customer relations and the satisfaction that it offers.

lawnboy2068
03-23-2009, 08:08 PM
I haven't been in this business long but one thing I can say without a doubt is that prices for service are no longer what they were even 5 years ago. There was a job (school) that used to get mowed. Went from 28k a year to 19k a year to 8k a year. I really wish I was in this business back when money could be made, man what a life i could be living.

On a side note though, I have no idea what these properties look like but if someone is able to put a WAM on these properties then they can cut 12 acres an hour easy. One things that really takes a hit to those numbers are the amount of locations but all in all times are changing.

Best of luck this season guys.

I can use my groundmasters on 3/4 of the sites. The rest are all via smaller Zmaster type or walkbehind machines. I have found out info on this character and most towns won't do business with him anymore because he does garbage work. I was told of 1 town that the ball field manager wants him gone but he is the lowest bidder every year so the town re-hires him. Shame on the town but politics are politics.

I don't know how he is making any money. I crunched his numbers too many times and I still come up in the red for him. There is no way he is making money if he is running a legal operation. Guys like him are nothing more than A-holes that are ruining it for the rest of us professionals. And I hope that he is on here and reads this since he is from lower NY.

Enough venting from me.
Good luck to the rest of us this year. We are going to need it.

James

topsites
03-23-2009, 09:19 PM
I just sit back and watch these CLOWNS come and go

Yeah...
It's that same story every year anyhow :p
Sad, but true.

KT. Unlimited
03-23-2009, 09:30 PM
The only thing this will do is HURT OUR BUS. people dont seem to understand that evry time a donk bids a job like this it brings the ind. standard DOWN not UP where we all need it to go. When will it end the anser is NEVER!!!!!!!!! some one will always do it for less. and that my friends is the SAD TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DJL50
03-23-2009, 09:39 PM
That is the problem guys, we do sit around and watch the glowns come and go while the economy and their bidding procedures drive the market into the ground.. The clowns are getting the work--going home and celebrating with momma--eating steak at Hooter's and finally realizing that they didn't bid enough. Before it is too late, they rack up 200 accounts and sell their business.
Happens all the time here. I talked to another LCO who told me that when he gets to 250 accounts he is selling. Their tactics are all the same. They are in it for the profit side and not the customer relations and the satisfaction that it offers.

What he said.

Retail stores do this all the time. Low ball the competition till they go under then they can charge all they want.
I run a retail garden center. I have a friend that works for another store down the road. There profit goal is to make $1.00 each quarter. Why??? They are trying to buy the bizz from customers and drive others out.
That place is packed on the week ends. Customers come in to my store all the time and say "better lower your prices" But I am making a profit. They are not.
Just the way it is

topsites
03-23-2009, 09:45 PM
That is the problem guys, we do sit around and watch the glowns come and go while the economy and their bidding procedures drive the market into the ground.. The clowns are getting the work--going home and celebrating with momma--eating steak at Hooter's and finally realizing that they didn't bid enough. Before it is too late, they rack up 200 accounts and sell their business.
Happens all the time here. I talked to another LCO who told me that when he gets to 250 accounts he is selling. Their tactics are all the same. They are in it for the profit side and not the customer relations and the satisfaction that it offers.

Yeah, but man :p

You can do most anything for some time, crazy as can be and do awesome, but eventually it does catch up.

I consider folks like what we are speaking of here in the same category as fly-by-night,
in this case specifically fast talkers, con men, scammers, hucksters, schemers, and so on.

And it isn't always true, but as a rule birds of a feather really do flock.
So I don't think they are really ruining much, maybe some, but probably as much of it is just one hand feeding the other.

And that may not be right, but some were probably not going to pay more anyhow.

T Money
03-23-2009, 10:23 PM
I call those people leaches. They bring the landscape industry down. Bottom feeders will do work for cheap just to get the job.

ncls
03-23-2009, 11:24 PM
When 10 guys bid a job, only one gets it. The other nine complain about what a loser the guy that got the job. If you were the highest bid, are the other nine guys idiots for bidding so low? At what point does low bid become too low? Who makes that determination?

lawnworker
03-23-2009, 11:35 PM
The market itself, when they are selling all their gear at a low ball price!!

lawnboy2068
03-24-2009, 07:36 AM
When 10 guys bid a job, only one gets it. The other nine complain about what a loser the guy that got the job. If you were the highest bid, are the other nine guys idiots for bidding so low? At what point does low bid become too low? Who makes that determination?

I think that you have the wrong idea here about what I am saying. I could care less about who wins the bid, besides myself. But when the winning bid is so astronomically low where the 2nd place winner is double the first and the other bids area within a few points of the 2nd, then something is wrong. That is the case here and I didn't state this earlier. I looked up the records and this is what I found.
This is exactly why this business is going down the hill. There is no reason that this bid should be this low. NO REASON but utter stupidity on the contractor for bidding that low. It puts the whole industry on edge.

James

HOOLIE
03-24-2009, 08:09 AM
Buyer beware...whatever happened to throwing out the highest and lowest bids?

Kepple Services
03-24-2009, 10:29 AM
It happened to me here. Quick overview. I bid, and won, a 3 year term contract with the county to clean up properties for code enforcement. Well we got so busy we spent all our budget in 4 months. They put the contract back up for bid for 7X the amount of work. 28 people bid it, I am 21st. The 2 lowest bidders are LESS than my current contract, the 3rd is only 2X my current contract, I am 4.5X my current. When I did my calculations I figured the ist 9 people would go broke in less than 90 days (maybe longer depending on their cash on hand). Its amazing. I will give the county credit though, they threw out the 2 lowest bidders, and just recently (last friday)canceled the whole bid as I think they figured out that many of them where to low.

topsites
03-24-2009, 12:28 PM
All I know is there's guys mowing lawns for pennies already.

Lawnut101
03-24-2009, 01:54 PM
Around here, there are only a few municipal jobs worth bidding on. But one of my friends has those jobs, so I don't bid on them.

nobagger
03-24-2009, 03:03 PM
Like many guys have said, the markets everywhere are going, going, gone! I just cant understand what their thinking is. Why would you get these accounts at a dirt cheap price, buy more equipment to maintain these places, make little to no money because you have 10 mower payments, 5 truck payments etc. and at the end of the month end up with a whoppin' 5% profit. I gave up on commercial accounts around here, there is just no money in it. We bid an account which was 131,500+ sqft with tricky if not dangerous slopes, our bid was $418.00 and we lost it to a bid of $125.00 After that and loosing a few other bids (all commercial) I said whats the point, the larger companies are just going to bid it so low just so they stay busy and make a equipment payment or two. Have at it.

Lawnut101
03-24-2009, 03:43 PM
Like many guys have said, the markets everywhere are going, going, gone! I just cant understand what their thinking is. Why would you get these accounts at a dirt cheap price, buy more equipment to maintain these places, make little to no money because you have 10 mower payments, 5 truck payments etc. and at the end of the month end up with a whoppin' 5% profit. I gave up on commercial accounts around here, there is just no money in it. We bid an account which was 131,500+ sqft with tricky if not dangerous slopes, our bid was $418.00 and we lost it to a bid of $125.00 After that and loosing a few other bids (all commercial) I said whats the point, the larger companies are just going to bid it so low just so they stay busy and make a equipment payment or two. Have at it.

Dude that sucks! I would charge $120 for a property half that side and wide open. Everything around here is starting to get cut throat as well. I hope the economy picks up so some of these other guys will go back to work.