PDA

View Full Version : Most city contract cutters are lucky to break even. Think twice, bidders.


RECESSION PROOF MOWING
06-10-2011, 02:08 AM
I've got some inside info that i'm willing to pass on in hopes of setting the record straight on city/government mowing contracts. Most contractors aren't making money. Many cutters who lowballed KC boulevard and park contracts this year are in the tank and sucking air. That comes straight from the source and the management who pays them. Just had a big-timer tell me he gave back a huge and highly visible contract because he couldn't give high quality mows at the time frame they needed. And he confided, he was going to make peanuts off a huge gross sum even if everything went according to plan. And we all know it never does.

Think long and hard about cutting 100 city right of way medians around a crime-infested, traffic-filled thoroughfare...for about $1900. Grass is usually about 3 ft. tall because you only get a once a month mow at best. Think long and hard, you newbies and lowball specialists out there. One contract went through three guys already...and we're not even half way through the season.

You look at those cutters out there and think to yourself that because they have equipment and a truck with a sticker on the side that they are making money. They've got payments. They're making payroll if they're lucky. Look and see how many return next year or even at the next bidding table. Half return at best and they almost always bid more and lose the work to somebody stupid and brighteyed.

Kansas City and most other major cities that bid out government city parks and boulevards will eventually change their system of taking the absolute worst bottom dollar bid. Inspectors don't have the resources or the time to keep running through a list of fools with big dreams and little skills to do the job.

Called out the dogs on my local city lowball contractor last week and had his ass chewed for miserable trimming job. Here he was with his crew out today finetuning for the second or third time. He's losing his ass and everybody knows it...he won't last. Don't be this guy working for free or most likely...working for less than cost.

So the next time you see a guy mowing a huge boulevard system with miles of curbing and hundreds of trees to trim...have pity on his soul. He's most likely drowning with no lifeguard on duty.

Hell on Blades
06-10-2011, 04:59 AM
2010 I bid the City of Blue Ash, OH. They provided the last 20 years winning bids in the bid packets. This year I went back just to see what last year's was. Mowing an acre and a half pool, bagged, for $40 and the open acre safety building for 25.

I still go along and still bid every contract I can. I won't bid it to where I lose money.

I agree with you that people are losing their ash trying to get these big contracts. I don't understand why they'll bid them at break even or a loss.

AintNoFun
06-10-2011, 06:01 AM
seems like a lot of bitterness in this post.. if they bid it cheap and then go outta business, thats a good thing....

FLC2000
06-10-2011, 07:57 AM
I've got some inside info that i'm willing to pass on in hopes of setting the record straight on city/government mowing contracts. Most contractors aren't making money. Many cutters who lowballed KC boulevard and park contracts this year are in the tank and sucking air. That comes straight from the source and the management who pays them. Just had a big-timer tell me he gave back a huge and highly visible contract because he couldn't give high quality mows at the time frame they needed. And he confided, he was going to make peanuts off a huge gross sum even if everything went according to plan. And we all know it never does.

Think long and hard about cutting 100 city right of way medians around a crime-infested, traffic-filled thoroughfare...for about $1900. Grass is usually about 3 ft. tall because you only get a once a month mow at best. Think long and hard, you newbies and lowball specialists out there. One contract went through three guys already...and we're not even half way through the season.

You look at those cutters out there and think to yourself that because they have equipment and a truck with a sticker on the side that they are making money. They've got payments. They're making payroll if they're lucky. Look and see how many return next year or even at the next bidding table. Half return at best and they almost always bid more and lose the work to somebody stupid and brighteyed.

Kansas City and most other major cities that bid out government city parks and boulevards will eventually change their system of taking the absolute worst bottom dollar bid. Inspectors don't have the resources or the time to keep running through a list of fools with big dreams and little skills to do the job.

Called out the dogs on my local city lowball contractor last week and had his ass chewed for miserable trimming job. Here he was with his crew out today finetuning for the second or third time. He's losing his ass and everybody knows it...he won't last. Don't be this guy working for free or most likely...working for less than cost.

So the next time you see a guy mowing a huge boulevard system with miles of curbing and hundreds of trees to trim...have pity on his soul. He's most likely drowning with no lifeguard on duty.



FYI, I like your use of the term lowballer but around here (KC) thats exactly what you are doing.



RECESSION PROOF MOWING "$75 PER MONTH" MOWING SALE! HEY...IT'S ON!!!!!
$75/MONTH COVERS MOW, TRIM, BLOW YOUR YARD THROUGHOUT THE MONTH WITH EVERY 10 DAY MOWS * NEVER WORRY AGAIN ABOUT HIGH PRICED LAWN SERVICES...THIS IS THE LOWEST IN AMERICA TODAY * AMERICAN BORN AND BRED CREW * INSURED * CITY-PARK TRAINED SUPERSTARS OF MOWING GRASS EFFICIENTLY AND QUICKLY AT A PRICE NOBODY ELSE CAN MATCH * CALL RIGHT NOW FOR APRIL 1ST SCHEDULE 816-***-**** * IT'S TRUE, NOW YOU CAN AFFORD QUALITY MOWING * YOU COULDN'T EVEN MOW YOUR OWN YARD FOR THAT CHEAP!

* ID#: 75217
* Location: Kansas City, MO, 64111



* Type: Skilled Trade

ALC-GregH
06-10-2011, 08:12 AM
It seems that RPM is in fact a hypocrite. You need to worry about YOURSELF and not others.

topsites
06-10-2011, 08:56 AM
To my understanding most companies who bid on government contracts are not looking to make great buck, they're not out
to make a killing and those who bid these with any degree of success apparently have at least 20+ years experience.

Now I'm not saying that's iron clad, it's just what I've gathered, what I do know is these contracts are usually a bit in ways like a tough cookie.

flatlander42
06-10-2011, 08:56 AM
That is probably the min price for service. Just to get the calls comming in. Like any other "sale"....something is always different and the sale price wouldn't apply to you!

MOHUSTLER
06-10-2011, 09:58 AM
OH FOR CRYIN OUT LOUD let it go. Bid them again next year and quit complaning to us about it. We got the message on your first 600 posts about it.

kennc38
06-10-2011, 11:09 AM
OH FOR CRYIN OUT LOUD let it go. Bid them again next year and quit complaning to us about it. We got the message on your first 600 posts about it.

Don't you realize he's not going to let it go until he get's his way? That's how hypocritical whiners operate. He complains about these low ballers doing a poor job and then turns around and talks about how he steals money from his own customers and dishonors his own contracts by doing "phantom cuts" when they don't pay on time.

If someone is going to Sam's Club, can you pick up a carton of tissues? I've given all of mine to RPM. Make sure they have lotion in them 'cause it seems he chaffs easily.

Will P.C.
06-10-2011, 11:32 AM
This is funny.

RPM is obviously bitter about getting dumped by the city.

He drives around all day trying to take pictures of the parks and catch people leaving a single piece of grass.

He essentially is selling 'lowballing' himself.

Watch out though. He might do a phantom mow and only mow your front yard if you can't pay before he 'starts his engine'

weeze
06-10-2011, 12:02 PM
the city here cuts their own stuff...they have scag mowers and their own workers

MONTE
06-10-2011, 03:12 PM
Man I wished it was up to $25 an acre here. It is averaging $9 an acre for city mowing around these parts. And the bad thing is it just keeps dropping every year.

Sammy
06-10-2011, 07:34 PM
This is funny.


Watch out though. He might do a phantom mow and only mow your front yard if you can't pay before he 'starts his engine'

I saw that thread, just before it got pulled from here !

THEGOLDPRO
06-10-2011, 08:44 PM
This guy bores me to death.

Dr.NewEarth
06-10-2011, 09:27 PM
A friend of mine is the supervisor of the horticulture department at a City here.
They have a couple of contracts the main one is for boulevard cutting/playgrounds/parks. Contracts there go for two year periods.

This one lawn cutting contract went to the same company for many years
at $150 grand plus tax for seven months, on a two week rotation.

Two of the guys on that crew underbid their boss at $96 grand!
Bought a new truck, trailer, cutting machine
and other toys. They lasted two years.

There is another newer contract that has been going out for a couple of years in the newly developed area of the city up the mountain there.
I'm not aware of the costs of this one. I've watched those clowns
cut and then blow all of the clippings into the Cotoneaster hedges along the road.
Now there is wild and tall grass that has to be weeded out.
Nice make work project. The company with this contract uses a
Hummer and an enclosed metal trailer. They'll be gone soon. Plus they're
terrible.....their work ethic gives landscapers a bad name

topsites
06-10-2011, 09:36 PM
I think they're trying to tell you something.

gravelyman50
06-10-2011, 09:46 PM
there are alot of lowballers out there, 10 years from now, there will be alot of low ballers, 50 years, from now, there will be alot of low ballers, 100 years from now... you get the point. This dude needs to concentrate on his own business. I dont care what other people are making, as long as what i charge is working for me, im happy.

Kelly's Landscaping
06-10-2011, 10:16 PM
This guy bores me to death.

Oh come on tell us how you really feel.:rolleyes:

AintNoFun
06-11-2011, 09:39 AM
lol thats to funny you found this...


FYI, I like your use of the term lowballer but around here (KC) thats exactly what you are doing.



RECESSION PROOF MOWING "$75 PER MONTH" MOWING SALE! HEY...IT'S ON!!!!!
$75/MONTH COVERS MOW, TRIM, BLOW YOUR YARD THROUGHOUT THE MONTH WITH EVERY 10 DAY MOWS * NEVER WORRY AGAIN ABOUT HIGH PRICED LAWN SERVICES...THIS IS THE LOWEST IN AMERICA TODAY * AMERICAN BORN AND BRED CREW * INSURED * CITY-PARK TRAINED SUPERSTARS OF MOWING GRASS EFFICIENTLY AND QUICKLY AT A PRICE NOBODY ELSE CAN MATCH * CALL RIGHT NOW FOR APRIL 1ST SCHEDULE 816-***-**** * IT'S TRUE, NOW YOU CAN AFFORD QUALITY MOWING * YOU COULDN'T EVEN MOW YOUR OWN YARD FOR THAT CHEAP!

* ID#: 75217
* Location: Kansas City, MO, 64111



* Type: Skilled Trade

Richard Martin
06-11-2011, 12:24 PM
That is probably the min price for service. Just to get the calls comming in. Like any other "sale"....something is always different and the sale price wouldn't apply to you!

Nah. It doesn't say "Starting At" or anything like that. He's obligated to cut them for $25 a cut, apparently regardless of size. Ouch! :confused:

Penncare
06-11-2011, 02:02 PM
Wish I could get someone to place that ad near me. I would hire them to cut my 6 acre yard while I go cut a few 1/4 acre lots for $40 and have time to take the famiy to the park. The wording of the ad is so good . . . for the person getting the grass cut. He would be done with the job here in about six hours if he comes alone. My lawn is a trimmers nightmare. I have not been doing this nearly as long as most on here, but I am willing to listen to those with more experience. Like most other businesses experience counts, if you let it. Lowballers complain more about lowballers than anyone else because they cannot figure out that they are a lowballer. Been there and done that, now I give myself a little reality talk before I go to bid a new job so that I bid with my head and remember that Walmart does volume, not me.

Bruce's
06-01-2012, 12:35 PM
We have alot of city contracts out here and we have a couple of them ourselves. And no we didn't have to low ball to get them. And yes we make money off them as well. You are not going to get super rich doing contract mowing but its a nice to have that steady dependable income. Plus I know that we will have that work for a certain amount of time.

RonWin
06-01-2012, 12:45 PM
Sounds like a lowballer who bit off more than he could chew. A real manless man who's word means nothing.

StanWilhite
06-01-2012, 02:15 PM
Don't you realize he's not going to let it go until he get's his way? That's how hypocritical whiners operate. He complains about these low ballers doing a poor job and then turns around and talks about how he steals money from his own customers and dishonors his own contracts by doing "phantom cuts" when they don't pay on time.

If someone is going to Sam's Club, can you pick up a carton of tissues? I've given all of mine to RPM. Make sure they have lotion in them 'cause it seems he chaffs easily.

:laugh::laugh: Oh man........