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View Full Version : Bid 45.000 mowable.


dishboy
04-25-2009, 08:10 PM
Need some help on this. I usually only do small lots. This property sits on 2.5 acres according to google earth. Customer told me 2.0 acres, go figure. 45000 ft of turf. Tons of beds , trees and ins and outs. Takes 2.5 tanks of fuel to trim/edge with a shindiawa t-270. Mowed with a walker 42" mulch deck and having to bag 1500 sq feet with a 21" where dog induced /fert growth is out of control. Total time 3 hours 15 minutes. 2 hours mow time, rest trim and blow. Whats it worth?

QualityLawnCare4u
04-25-2009, 08:36 PM
On here the rule of thumb seems to be 60 an hour, but that will not work in my area. I try to get around 45 per hour and I'm considered high here.If I get 10% of my estimates and keep them 2 months or longer I have done good:) However, the amount of fuel you use plus that is a dang lot of walking/wear and tear on your equipment I am going a little higher on this one. I would say at least 185-200. If gas goes back up to last years prices I would have to put this one around 200-215. Don't forget about weedeater line, edger blades, and on this yard you are probably using way more than average.

lawns Etc
04-25-2009, 09:09 PM
At $150 you will probally be high at least in these times. Figure $1 minute on smaller but you can eliminate the travel time that you would normaly have between say 4 at $40 so its the same and less travel in fuel so I would bid at $150

topsites
04-25-2009, 09:12 PM
I think you'll want to start working on technique, and it sounds like you need practice.

Folks...
We don't walk in fresh off the street and just nice as can be start charging 60 an hour.
I do acre lots which are what, 43,560?
For 50 bucks.
60 if it's a real pita.

It just takes time until you get to where you can finish a POS like that in an hour.
Now I know it's going to cut me off, so...

topsites
04-25-2009, 09:20 PM
Look, don't let it get you down, but you got to do this one tiny step, one lawn, and one day at a time.

One can not expect to come in and knock out no acre in no hour without a ton of experience,
and the way to get experience is through practice, again one little step, one lawn, and one day at a time.

It shouldn't take that long to mow or trim, it shouldn't eat even 1/2 a tank of trimmer fuel,
but granted I've mowed probably 4 or 5 thousand lawns and that helps.
How I got there?
One little tiny step, one lawn... :p
You know the rest.

Left foot, right foot, nice and easy does it, one small step at a time.
I don't know how you should bid it, but try 75-90 and see how the customer responds,
and be ready to drop in price (and I mean ready!) you might have to do it for 60...

The economy is another thing, it isn't going to come back today, next week, next month or even this year
and probably not the next year either, but one day in the far future come back it will.
Once the economy is back on steady footing we can try $60 an hour, by then you might have 1-2 thousand lawns mowed.
But between now and then, don't be surprised if you find yourself working for $30 an hour and sometimes less.

I've got days I hardly gross $15-20 a hour and the %&^$ PISSES me OFF but these folks pay my bills and I need the work.
I won't do it for just anyone, it has to be kind of the right person, so if they're going to be a PITA all breathing down my neck
the entire time on top of working for free, forget it.
Another one I don't care much for is the customer who acts like they KNOW I don't have a choice.
Like, the only reason they called is because they KNEW they could rape me, and I show up and they say
"bend over now little Boy" and then I'm supposed to take it?
Don't particularly care for that either...

But if they don't rub my face in it, other than some BS it's going to be some hard, long hours until things improve.

TheC-Master
04-25-2009, 09:33 PM
Yea, I did one station that he wanted done for 30, which was too low, I was thinking 45 minimum, should be about 50. One guy said he'd charge 125 which was too high, nobody would pay that, the land wasn't that big, it was a good size though.

I have one that I'm looking at tomorrow that she said is 1.7 acres, I'm guessing about two. I'm thinking about the cost of it, I know the family very well though so I won't be steep but I want to be compensated for my time since I'm doing a bit of driving.

dishboy
04-25-2009, 09:36 PM
I think you'll want to start working on technique, and it sounds like you need practice.

Folks...
We don't walk in fresh off the street and just nice as can be start charging 60 an hour.
I do acre lots which are what, 43,560?
For 50 bucks.
60 if it's a real pita.

It just takes time until you get to where you can finish a POS like that in an hour.
Now I know it's going to cut me off, so...

This lot is 119200 feet, that's 2.5 acres. I have been doing this for 27 years. I can trim and edge at walking speed, I have spent 12 years taking care of a two term state Governor, the CEO of the second largest Chip maker in the world so your not talking to a rookie . Maybe you should learn to read!. Understand I do detailed work. This means every edge gets trimmed twice, vertically and horizontally. So by your pricing this comes in at $125.00.

topsites
04-25-2009, 09:47 PM
This lot is 119200 feet, that's 2.5 acres. I have been doing this for 27 years. I can trim and edge at walking speed, I have spent 12 years taking care of a two term state Governor, the CEO of the second largest Chip maker in the world so your not talking to a rookie . Maybe you should learn to read!. Understand I do detailed work. This means every edge gets trimmed twice, vertically and horizontally. So by your pricing this comes in at $125.00.

All right all right, point well taken.
But you did say 45,000 sq.feet of turf, I assumed the other part of this property was in the woods.
It does happen, 3 acre lots where 1/2 is in the woods leaves me with a 1.5 acre bid, if it ain't all turf...
But, I am sorry man.

topsites
04-25-2009, 10:15 PM
This lot is 119200 feet, that's 2.5 acres. I have been doing this for 27 years. I can trim and edge at walking speed, I have spent 12 years taking care of a two term state Governor, the CEO of the second largest Chip maker in the world so your not talking to a rookie . Maybe you should learn to read!. Understand I do detailed work. This means every edge gets trimmed twice, vertically and horizontally. So by your pricing this comes in at $125.00.

You know it just occurred to me...
How come, with that kind of experience...
You're asking us how you should bid this?

But I guess I must've been suffering from a mild case of the d.a.,
I almost slipped in the shower when that hit me thou,
couldn't get out of there fast enough to catch the Edit on time.

mowerbrad
04-25-2009, 10:15 PM
I would say around $200-$225

doubleedge
04-25-2009, 10:36 PM
This lot is 119200 feet, that's 2.5 acres. I have been doing this for 27 years. I can trim and edge at walking speed, I have spent 12 years taking care of a two term state Governor, the CEO of the second largest Chip maker in the world so your not talking to a rookie . Maybe you should learn to read!. Understand I do detailed work. This means every edge gets trimmed twice, vertically and horizontally. So by your pricing this comes in at $125.00.

Often, the customer doesn't wan't detailed work. They want their lawn to look good while not spending a fortune. I don't think you will be able to convince the customer to pay $195 a month for mowing, and you won't make much money if you estimate it at a lower price per hour. The only option that you have (in my opinion), if you want to keep the customer, is to decrease mowing time.

dishboy
04-25-2009, 11:16 PM
Often, the customer doesn't wan't detailed work. They want their lawn to look good while not spending a fortune. I don't think you will be able to convince the customer to pay $195 a month for mowing, and you won't make much money if you estimate it at a lower price per hour. The only option that you have (in my opinion), if you want to keep the customer, is to decrease mowing time.

Good point. , the market here is cut throat. $40.00 a hour with my size equipment is about all the market will bear. I am going to price at that and if the customer does not want to pay for my level of service we will part ways. I would much rather do six small lawns in three hours for two hundred anyway than wear out my machines for less money because someone who can afford a big house wants to pay chump change to maintain it.( I assume you meant $195.00 a week, not month.)

PTP
04-25-2009, 11:17 PM
Assuming that you are a competent worker and you are doing the work that the customer expects and not extras - like trimming each area twice - I would price it at $250.

doubleedge
04-25-2009, 11:21 PM
Good point. , the market here is cut throat. $40.00 a hour with my size equipment is about all the market will bear. I am going to price at that and if the customer does not want to pay for my level of service we will part ways. I would much rather do six small lawns in three hours for two hundred anyway than wear out my machines for less money because someone who can afford a big house wants to pay chump change to maintain it.( I assume you meant $195.00 a week, not month.)

Yes, I meant per week.

Looking Good Lawn Service
04-25-2009, 11:53 PM
hmm, this a commercial property, shouldnt you take that into condsideration and charge accordingly. Some times bidding by the hour leaves money on the table. It depends, for example, if a shrub trimming job takes one hr, you are not going to quote $45 or $60, when you know it is being done for at least $100 in my area. I recommend taking one hard look again at the property and really taking every expense into consideration, the pros and cons and see which one is heavier and then have a range to price it as necessary. If it takes you 3 hrs alone @ 60 = $180...but if its commercial you charge a lil more, so like $70hr, = $210. Best of luck

Mowbizz
04-26-2009, 12:47 PM
I had a very similar account last year...over 2 acres, lots of beds, etc. I did it in 2 hours with trimming. You have to realize that you don't necessarily need to trim each time you're there...walk fast and hit the obviously high stuff and even scalp around trees etc. to slow the growth...I initially gave him an estimate for $120 and he hit the roof...we agreed on $90 and I did it the whole season and everyone was happy. The bastage dropped me this year...lol That's ok though, because I have picked up 3 more clients with much easier lawns...

dishboy
04-26-2009, 01:19 PM
You know it just occurred to me...
How come, with that kind of experience...
You're asking us how you should bid this?

But I guess I must've been suffering from a mild case of the d.a.,
I almost slipped in the shower when that hit me thou,
couldn't get out of there fast enough to catch the Edit on time.

As I said in the first post, I usually do small lots. Until last summer I only ran Walkbehinds so I wanted feedback as how much time lots similar to this take for high end residential type work with emphasis on quality . It is probable I won't be able to compete in this ridiculous market on large accounts with the guys running 60" decks.