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View Full Version : 69 Acre Developed Cemetery (Your thoughts on tackling?)


retrodog
10-08-2010, 03:41 PM
Hey guys, I missed out on a bid 3 years ago on this cemetery, and I will get another chance this year. It has 69 acres of developed, plus about 15 acres of open field to mow. The contract states you can spray poison 2 inches away from everything, but the current guy gets away with quite a bit more than that. My dad got layed off from his job of 26 years, so he is looking for something to do along with quite a few family members.
Is this something that is stupid to take on, or would some of you guys consider?
With 6 big mowers it can be mowed in 1 "full" 12 to 14 hours day to 2, and at the current poison spray it has, 3 guys can touch up trimming and be done in one day also (10 guys I would estimate with the 2 inch spray rule....). So a good 2 "Full" days for a pretty big crew to take care of (if they lax up on the contract a little like this time). Last time we bid $100000 a year and were the lowest bidders until the last packett was opened at less than $80000! It is a 3 year contract, and I figure the first year will pay for all new trailer, equipment, etc, and the following year make some bank.
Am I stupid for wanting to do this? My dad was scared to death last time to get it, but this time he is foaming at the mouth.....lol. My bid was figured with a worst case scenario of 26 mows for the season, but with trying a growth regulator to help knock that amount down quite a bit. That is $3850 per cut (around $50 an acre, or around $200 an hour for basically a 6 man crew) for basically $70000 worth of new equipment to tackle and give some good family time for....lol.
If you want let me hear your feedback, bid not coming up for a while, but I don't want to mess up and get committed to something I am waaay off on for 3 years either, lmk....

flatlander42
10-08-2010, 05:57 PM
Why not use 2 guys for 4-5 days....? Unless you have something else to keep all those people busy.

h2oskier
10-08-2010, 07:17 PM
A dedicated crew for this, or something for a rotation?

retrodog
10-08-2010, 07:22 PM
Why not use 2 guys for 4-5 days....? Unless you have something else to keep all those people busy.

This would be a one time deal for the people doing it, the rig wouldn't be used at all except for this job. The only way I could help and be involved would be to try and do most of it in 1 day, and the second be touching up and finishing, and to be worth the money to me to mess with for us. I have a full time mowing crew that mow all week long in Oklahoma, but they wouldn't be involved in this job unless I really needed them. Mainly something to give my dad and a few family members something to do. That would be the cheapest most profitable way to do it though, just hire 2 guys full time for the job to be out there 5 or 6 days a week.... Problem is mainly for dad, and the days he is not mowing, he will be umpiring, and doing odds and ends stuff to keep busy, he really doesn't want to be stuck out there mowing and trimming 24-7 either...lol, even if it does help pay the bills.

topsites
10-08-2010, 07:31 PM
I'd do it by myself.
In an hour.
With a push reel mower.
For $5

Then again I did miscalculate slightly the blade tip speed of certain mowers just yesterday.

But I will tell you...
We do not buy new equipment based on an upcoming bid or job :nono:
Unless you want to be out of business before year's end, if that's the case then by all means.

knox gsl
10-08-2010, 07:35 PM
I would be careful to hire a whole crew of family, it sounds like a big storm brewing. I would bid it what its worth and go from there with equipment and crew if it actually happens. With things like they are now someone could come and drop a $70k bid.
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cpel2004
10-08-2010, 10:08 PM
My first though...you are crazy to think you can do it with family members. My follow up thoughts, it does sound like there's enough money for the labor, equipment, responsibility and aggravations! :hammerhead:

LibertyFarmLandscaping
10-08-2010, 10:25 PM
Hey guys, I missed out on a bid 3 years ago on this cemetery, and I will get another chance this year. It has 69 acres of developed, plus about 15 acres of open field to mow. The contract states you can spray poison 2 inches away from everything, but the current guy gets away with quite a bit more than that. My dad got layed off from his job of 26 years, so he is looking for something to do along with quite a few family members.
Is this something that is stupid to take on, or would some of you guys consider?
With 6 big mowers it can be mowed in 1 "full" 12 to 14 hours day to 2, and at the current poison spray it has, 3 guys can touch up trimming and be done in one day also (10 guys I would estimate with the 2 inch spray rule....). So a good 2 "Full" days for a pretty big crew to take care of (if they lax up on the contract a little like this time). Last time we bid $100000 a year and were the lowest bidders until the last packett was opened at less than $80000! It is a 3 year contract, and I figure the first year will pay for all new trailer, equipment, etc, and the following year make some bank.
Am I stupid for wanting to do this? My dad was scared to death last time to get it, but this time he is foaming at the mouth.....lol. My bid was figured with a worst case scenario of 26 mows for the season, but with trying a growth regulator to help knock that amount down quite a bit. That is $3850 per cut (around $50 an acre, or around $200 an hour for basically a 6 man crew) for basically $70000 worth of new equipment to tackle and give some good family time for....lol.
If you want let me hear your feedback, bid not coming up for a while, but I don't want to mess up and get committed to something I am waaay off on for 3 years either, lmk....

Just be sure and don't use those junky Badboy mowers.......:rolleyes:

Is it worth the risk of losing business from customers you are bidding against ?

flatlander42
10-09-2010, 10:20 AM
I think that if your dad needs $/work that he would want to work 4+ days a week. That is not that much demand. I just think that if you have so many people needing work that you'd be better off to give a few people a larger amount of hours...instead of 10 people 10 hours.


If this thing goes south, you would also have less family p!$$ed off at you.

topsites
10-09-2010, 08:52 PM
Right that's what I'm aiming at...

The fact is, the chances of this going south are even higher if all your eggs are in this one basket.
Why that is so I could not tell you, but I know it to be true.

retrodog
10-09-2010, 09:51 PM
Just be sure and don't use those junky Badboy mowers.......:rolleyes:

Is it worth the risk of losing business from customers you are bidding against ?

everyone that I talked to that bid last time that I do business with all bid over $140000, and they will not be bidding again on it.....ever. They thought we were crazy at the bids we gave. It will mainly be my dad over it, I will just help when I can. Where I think would run into a problem around here, several have approached me into partnership opportunities because I am never afraid of grabbing up equipment, I think that would cause a problem if I ever gave in. On a job like that there are just a few companies that even consider it....

LibertyFarmLandscaping
10-09-2010, 10:10 PM
Well that's good that it won't effect the mower business.

Just go for it, and figure out the best way to get it done as you go. Worst case scenario you fire all of your family if it doesn't work out, and hire some new employees to get the job done. It's not like your mowing high end residentials like alot of my accounts where you have to spend alot of time training them and the job has to be perfect.

Good luck!

jplawnmaint
10-10-2010, 08:44 PM
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jplawnmaint
10-10-2010, 08:56 PM
We have done Cems for almost 13 yrs. We bid an 80 acre Cem last year in our area. I figured a 4 man crew for 5 days. All 4 mow and all 4 trim. I'm not a big fan of weed spraying around grave stones. It just looks bad. you are definitely better off having 3 guys work 5 days a week to do the cems. After a couple of weeks they will get in a groove and have figured out what to do and how to do it. What's the terrain like and how is the head stone spacing? We run 52" Ferris Hydros for all our cems. The z riders can be to big some times. You can make good money doing them but be smart about how you set your self up. Good luck with the bid.
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Hogjaw
10-10-2010, 11:55 PM
if you are young, enthusiastic, have dependable labor and the required equipment - go for it.

Someone's gonna do it.