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View Full Version : Preparing a bid--question


chevyman1
02-13-2004, 09:15 AM
Please let me know how this sounds....


I stopped by a local horse farm near my home last night after work to introduce myself to the new owners....I asked them if anyone was mowing the grounds for them (they have a harness track, stables, and a house lawn). They said they had someone in mind referred to them by the previous owners, but said I was welcome to bid and they'd rather go with me since I was local and could provide them personal service if the price was right (I live 1 mile from there, the other LCO is about 15 miles away)

Here's the specs

14 acres of land
1 house, 2 barns
1 harness track
1 large fence surrounding the track (white split rail)


I was thinking it would take 3 hrs of mowing for 2 people with my 48" Ferris walk behind and 52" 1000IS Ferris, plus 1 hr for 2 guys to weedeat (especially because of the fence)

I was thinking of bidding $300/per cut. How's that sound?

65hoss
02-13-2004, 09:19 AM
So how much of the 14 acres is actually turf? You do realize that 14 acres is 609,840 sf???

J Hisch
02-13-2004, 09:21 AM
you can cut only about 1.8 acres per hr with that walk behind. Not familiar with the Ferris? at best would be around 2.8 acres per hr.

300 per cut is less than 30.00 per acre? way to cheap. I also think it is going to take longer that 3 hrs. but if you feel you can do it then do it, but i wouldnt if it were me. at best i would at 45 per acre and that if it was easy to cut.

chevyman1
02-13-2004, 09:24 AM
About 10 acres is actually grass....The 52 Inch rider can do 3.2 acres/hr and the 48" walk behind can do abour 2.2 in ideal conditions

65hoss
02-13-2004, 09:31 AM
Originally posted by chevyman1
The 52 Inch rider can do 3.2 acres/hr and the 48" walk behind can do abour 2.2 in ideal conditions

Want to bet?
1. The rider might get you close to that --- in ideal conditions, but you want see that all the time. You do have cut in and obsticles that slow you down.
2. A 48" w/b with sulky will NOT get 2.2 acres in an hour in PERFECT conditions.

chevyman1
02-13-2004, 09:35 AM
Worst case scenerio on this places since it's wide open and flat except the fence area, the house/barns, and a couple trees, I will do about 2.8-3.0 with the 1000Z and about 1.75-2.00 with the walk behind and sulky

Perhaps you should refer to this chart sir, very helpful

http://www.ferrisindustries.com/m_productivity.php

65hoss
02-13-2004, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by chevyman1
Worst case scenerio on this places since it's wide open and flat except the fence area, the house/barns, and a couple trees, I will do about 2.8-3.0 with the 1000Z and about 1.75-2.00 with the walk behind and sulky

Perhaps you should refer to this chart sir, very helpful

http://www.ferrisindustries.com/m_productivity.php

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahaaahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aahhahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


Sorry, very funny you want to show me a chart to help me out. Actually eXmark has had that chart for YEARS. Real world and those charts are 2 different beasts.

I have real world data on that. Do you? I have actually real life open production times on that equipment. See I own 36", 48" and 52" mowers. Those times are not real life. They are straight line numbers. No turns or corrections.

chevyman1
02-13-2004, 10:51 AM
I am very aware of those number being "straight line" sir...I was trying to account for the turns and slow downs...if the Walk behind w/ sulky AND 1000ISZ do 3.5 acres per hr COMBINED, 2 people can mow it all in 3+ hrs, weedeat with two trimmer in 1 hr, and be gone in around 4. Just wanted to make sure you'd seen such a chart, Ferris is the class of the stats I feel. Thanks, wasn't trying to be funny with the chart, just helpful. I thought that's what the purpose of this site was, to provide data and information between professionals. sorry for the misunderstanding, and thanks for the information...do you think I'm charging a good rate?

65hoss
02-13-2004, 11:13 AM
No I think you are underbidding.

dishboy
02-13-2004, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by 65 Hoss



"I have real world data on that. Do you? I have actually real life open production times on that equipment. See I own 36", 48" and 52" mowers. Those times are not real life. They are straight line numbers. No turns or corrections."

65hoss, I would be real interested in real world numbers from these mowers on mowing time [bagging] on a average flat 1acre lot with a large house and drive. If you have these times and are willing to share them I would be indebted to you and most appreciative.
Thanks Tom.

chevyman1
02-13-2004, 11:16 AM
OK, just keep in mind where I am in terms of location in Upstate NY.....I thought avg $75 hr was pretty good, and out of that, only $10/hr is going to my helper, perhaps nothing if my wife mows with me...I think I can win at this rate and make a lot

twins_lawn_care
02-13-2004, 12:21 PM
Chevyman1,
I would say so long as you know you can mow it and trim and be done in 4 hours total, then $300 sounds good to me. The only thing I think people here are trying to say, is that the time it is going to take you sounds like it will be a bit longer. They say this to help you not sell yourself short. Say you do it, and turns out each week it takes you 6 hours, then you are cheating yourself out of $150 EVERY TIME YOU CUT IT!

So as long as you know it will take you 4 hours, the price is good. I'd say if you're not quite sure, ask them to do it once, and then give them a solid price. Then you'd know exactly how long it will take.

The bottom line is, charge for how long you KNOW it will take. If you honestly KNOW you can do it in 4 hours, then you are all set. If you actually have some doubt, just remember to be fair to yourself, and take everyone's advice.

Good luck on it, and let us know how it goes.

chevyman1
02-13-2004, 12:32 PM
thank you very much, have a great weekend

aquamtic
02-13-2004, 12:41 PM
Bite the first one for FREE. It might sound crazy but you will get a feel for what your up for, plus you are demonstrating your quality of work which in some cases the homeowner will fall in love with and not even care so much for the price.

Presentation is everything!

twins_lawn_care
02-13-2004, 02:58 PM
something I just wanted to clear up, missed it the first time around.

You said you can mow this with 2 people in 3 hours, do you mean then 6 man hours, and then an additional 2 man hours to trim?

This brings your total up to 8 hours, and so the price should go up to around $600. personally, probably a bit high with the $75 per hour charge, I'd shoot for $480 neighborhood, if I had the equipment. I am just too small to take on something this big right now.

Hope it helps, and have a good weekend too!

gogetter
02-17-2004, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by chevyman1
and out of that, only $10/hr is going to my helper, perhaps nothing if my wife mows with me...

So you'll make your wife work for free? Nice guy.

By the way, why are you here asking us for pricing questions? I thought you had all the answers?

Let me know when you're equipment goes up for sale, I might be looking for some stuff around the middle of the season anyway. LOL!

chevyman1
02-17-2004, 04:59 PM
I thought it was wise to keep costs low when first starting a company? So what if my wife helps mow by riding on a machine every once in awhile. Money all goes to us anyways, so it's hardly free. I don't have all the answers, never claimed to man. I know that you don't. Um, there will be no equipment going up for sale, besides, my new Ferris machinery would be way to much to handle, you know, with your fleet of MTD 21" Walmart pushers that you are used to. I only hope my competition up here is as idiotic as you. I'll make money without even trying. Thanks for following me around the forum too, the color of green as in jealousy suits you fine. I can understand why you hate me though

I'm younger, have a hot wife, make more money, have the best friends on the planet, own great stuff, give back to my community.

You live at home with your mom, consider microwave tacos to be "fine dining", haven't had a date with a woman since your aunt to you to your prom, and probably will be working at McDonalds soon...trust me when I say, I am the last person you want on your bad side. Everyone on here has been so great and I love reading what they have to say, except you, who are more worthless than anyone

olderthandirt
02-22-2004, 01:37 AM
Originally posted by gogetter
So you'll make your wife work for free? Nice guy.

By the way, why are you here asking us for pricing questions? I thought you had all the answers?

Let me know when you're equipment goes up for sale, I might be looking for some stuff around the middle of the season anyway. LOL!

Goes up for sale???? If you only imagine it you can't sell it:D

Mac

MOturkey
02-22-2004, 09:37 AM
I'm really new to this business, so my input may not be too valuable, but I'm not new to life. (I'm almost 53) I have no experience with your equipment, and likely you are a lot younger than I am (heck, it seems any more everybody is!), but this thread is interesting, and educational, and I'm trying to learn all I can.

OK, I mowed a property just up the road from me last year. In fact, the only regular mowing job I had last year as I didn't purchase my new mower until after the mowing season had started. These people have a vacation home for the summer, so were not home. I only mention this because that means no distractions (talking to the owner, avoiding the kids and pets, picking up the garden hose, etc). The place is, just from walking it off, slightly less than two acres. Level except for the roadside ditch in front, which my Gravely 250Z will handle except for about a 15 foot stretch. House, garage, and utility shed to trim around, as well as some playground equipment and perhaps 20 trees. I also trim along the back fence (barbed wire), something no other previous LCO had done (owner was impressed, I have the job this year as well). I mowed it about every 9 days, which in the peak growing season means it was a bit high. By the end of the season, when the grass was not as thick, and the trimming was less intensive, and I had become quite proficient with my machine, I could do it in just a couple of minutes under 2 hours. Now, as I mentioned, I ain't that young anymore, so no doubt a young fellow such as yourself could drop some time in the trimming department, but a mower will just go so fast no matter who is driving it and still do a decent cut.

Now, extrapolating this to 10 acres it comes out to almost 10 man hours. Of course, there are two of you, but, one is on a walk-behind, something I have NO experience with, but figure can't possibly cover as much ground as a zero turn rider. SOOOO if my results are anything like the mowing in your area, I think you would have a rough time doing this in 4 hours. Around here, the going rate is well under $75 an hour, so you would probably be in the ballpark, but in your area, from what you are saying, I think you will come in a bit low. Just the opinon of a Hillbilly from the Ozarks whose first lawnmower didn't have a motor on it! Good luck to you.

PS. I have some internet friends from another website (turkey hunting) who also live in upstate New York, one at Rochester, one at Sodus Point, and another that I can't think of more to the east. Neill

jajwrigh
02-22-2004, 11:11 AM
It sounds like it may require a little more time to finish than you are anticipating. I also think your price is a little low....start with a minimum of about $400 and try to do some fine tuning from there.