PDA

View Full Version : Schools awarded - beyond ridiculous.....


edgewood
04-20-2009, 06:28 PM
So the local school board just posted the results of the tender for the next 2 years for grass cutting. I put in my bids on 12 schools, at what I figured to be minimum prices for driving a truck and trailer w/equipment to a site (most schools are 10 miles apart on average), cutting the grass (most schools average about 5 acres), and trimming. My quotes were approximately $20 - 25 an acre, which I thought seemed fair for a good quality job.

Well the "winners" clearly have better equipment that they can run for next to free. The winners are averaging around $10 per acre. So the average school yard runs at about $50, some higher, some lower. Lowest one was $25, yes thats right, $25.00 (and thats Canadian dollars).

So, I know I am pissed off and will naturally resent these dufuses, but come on, $10 an acre on 5 acre properties with trimming? Clearly my overhead must be too high or something (and its not). But heres what it works out to on 30 cuts (a good season):

$50 average X 30 cuts = $1500 / yr X 22 properties = $33000. (thats around 5 schools per day, so say a 2 guy crew (with a really full day). So take that $33000 and take off gas (be conservative and say $7500 for truck and mower gas for the season) thats $25,500. Now take that and divide by 2, thats $12,750 per man for 7 months work. Doesn't sound too bad, but wait, we broke down 3 times, had to buy 40 mower blades, oil changes - ok we didnt do to bad. Oh man, forgot about that insurance bill, and the Workers comp bill (mandatory for this tender). Now, how am I going to make that truck payment.... maybe I'll go work nights at McDonalds....maybe daddy will buy me that new mower I need next year for this contract....

I don't like to be a ranter, but come on, its no wonder some people look at lawn maintenance as somewhere between Janitorial and Prison workers. At least I know this summer that even though I might be sitting around a little more due to loosing out on this tender, at least I won't be losing my shirt. A lot of my residentials are the same price as these morons are charging for a school.

meets1
04-20-2009, 06:53 PM
So the local school board just posted the results of the tender for the next 2 years for grass cutting. I put in my bids on 12 schools, at what I figured to be minimum prices for driving a truck and trailer w/equipment to a site (most schools are 10 miles apart on average), cutting the grass (most schools average about 5 acres), and trimming. My quotes were approximately $20 - 25 an acre, which I thought seemed fair for a good quality job.

Well the "winners" clearly have better equipment that they can run for next to free. The winners are averaging around $10 per acre. So the average school yard runs at about $50, some higher, some lower. Lowest one was $25, yes thats right, $25.00 (and thats Canadian dollars).

So, I know I am pissed off and will naturally resent these dufuses, but come on, $10 an acre on 5 acre properties with trimming? Clearly my overhead must be too high or something (and its not). But heres what it works out to on 30 cuts (a good season):

$50 average X 30 cuts = $1500 / yr X 22 properties = $33000. (thats around 5 schools per day, so say a 2 guy crew (with a really full day). So take that $33000 and take off gas (be conservative and say $7500 for truck and mower gas for the season) thats $25,500. Now take that and divide by 2, thats $12,750 per man for 7 months work. Doesn't sound too bad, but wait, we broke down 3 times, had to buy 40 mower blades, oil changes - ok we didnt do to bad. Oh man, forgot about that insurance bill, and the Workers comp bill (mandatory for this tender). Now, how am I going to make that truck payment.... maybe I'll go work nights at McDonalds....maybe daddy will buy me that new mower I need next year for this contract....

I don't like to be a ranter, but come on, its no wonder some people look at lawn maintenance as somewhere between Janitorial and Prison workers. At least I know this summer that even though I might be sitting around a little more due to loosing out on this tender, at least I won't be losing my shirt. A lot of my residentials are the same price as these morons are charging for a school.

Sad to c it go so low. Have you done there work in the past? Your last statement says it good "morons". That is about it!

edgewood
04-20-2009, 07:00 PM
Sad to c it go so low. Have you done there work in the past? Your last statement says it good "morons". That is about it!

I have not done work for the board as of yet, but if this is the way it goes, looks like its not worth pricing in the future

THC
04-20-2009, 07:13 PM
How long does it take to mow an acre with a 60" Z?

JB1
04-20-2009, 07:14 PM
how long does it take to mow an acre with a 60" z?


15 -20 minutes.

THC
04-20-2009, 07:18 PM
15 -20 minutes.

Wow. So the guy that won the bid needs a $14,000 CAD machine to make $30 an hour.:canadaflag:

Total Grounds Maintenance
04-20-2009, 07:27 PM
First thing I learned about schools is they don't pay. Second, is they do not need or want quality.

edgewood
04-20-2009, 07:46 PM
Wow. So the guy that won the bid needs a $14,000 CAD machine to make $30 an hour.:canadaflag:

Thats about what I figured - $30 an hour if they are using a Z. More if they are using something bigger, but bigger = more cost so you have to make more per hour....

I figure I should come close to clearing $30 after raw costs on a Z. That $30 gets eaten up pretty quick with misc business costs....

DennisF
04-20-2009, 08:14 PM
If you want to be profitable and remain in business...do not...repeat...do not take government work.

THC
04-20-2009, 08:17 PM
I guess I should have said "gross". Like the other poster said, they must not care about quality at all. Maybe trim around the sidewalks and doors and round up the rest. I can only imagine how long it would take to trim an average school's chain link fence.

There is a guy around here (Winnipge) that I saw doing schools. Big truck, two Large Z's on a big trailer, 4 guys. I guess two mowing and two trimming (or maybe it was three guys) They seem to have done the job pretty fast, like 3-4 soccer fields worth of grass. He did look successful...so I don't know.

My only experience with commercial bids (not lawn care) I spent days doing estimates and thinking, I was trying to trim off and low ball myself lol, but someone bid HALF what I bid. It was a City contract, I would hope that private companys are not so cheap but the same thing happens with residential. But when people have a bad experience with a bad outfit they seem to be willing to pay a bit more. But these city people are always on the cheap but if that other guy defaults they will be looking at the next lowest bid and so on. I would think that you would have to be super efficient to make money on a city contract.

johnnybravo8802
04-20-2009, 09:23 PM
I guess I should have said "gross". Like the other poster said, they must not care about quality at all. Maybe trim around the sidewalks and doors and round up the rest. I can only imagine how long it would take to trim an average school's chain link fence.

There is a guy around here (Winnipge) that I saw doing schools. Big truck, two Large Z's on a big trailer, 4 guys. I guess two mowing and two trimming (or maybe it was three guys) They seem to have done the job pretty fast, like 3-4 soccer fields worth of grass. He did look successful...so I don't know.

My only experience with commercial bids (not lawn care) I spent days doing estimates and thinking, I was trying to trim off and low ball myself lol, but someone bid HALF what I bid. It was a City contract, I would hope that private companys are not so cheap but the same thing happens with residential. But when people have a bad experience with a bad outfit they seem to be willing to pay a bit more. But these city people are always on the cheap but if that other guy defaults they will be looking at the next lowest bid and so on. I would think that you would have to be super efficient to make money on a city contract.
I tell you what I've found out over the years-a lot of people in this business think they are making money, including me. I once to had a new Isuzu box truck and a lot of nice shiny equipment and looked successful. It's called being successful with a lot of debt!!!!:cry::cry:I had to learn to keep my overhead down and my labor costs(Biggy). I work on a 30 acre industrial plant by myself and I see some companies with 6 guys on a half acre lot-idiots!!!! It'll catch up with them.