View Full Version : Relocating Lawn Service - Advice?

02-17-2004, 01:09 AM
Last year I mowed about 20 lawns in a small town (although I had a few 5 acre yards) and now I am moving an hour south into the a city (about 40,000 people). I've got a 52" snapper walk-behind (23 hp Kohler) and trimming/blowing equipment. I have placed a bid on my college property (43.5 acres) for $525 per mowing. I am also looking at purchasing an Encore Prowler with a 61" deck and a 25 hp Kawasaki brand new for $7,000. What do you all think about the equipment and bid? Any suggestions for moving a business? I also am considered a 6'X16' covered trailer brand new for $3,000. Love to hear from you. Thanks.


02-17-2004, 01:14 AM
Is that 43 acers of grass.

02-17-2004, 01:55 AM
Yes, 43 acres of grass

02-17-2004, 01:59 AM
I figured 11 hrs mowing + 6 hrs trimming/blowing @ $30/hr+ and came up with the number. . . I actually think I can do it quicker than that.

02-17-2004, 02:44 AM
Hey Rook,
Any way you can get a larger deck than 61"? 8 to 10" inches more could save you 30 to 45 minutes therefore increasing your hourly rate! Example would be Dixie Chopper, Great Dane. You might want to think about something that is liquid cooled for such long mowing periods. Good luck.:)

02-17-2004, 02:47 AM
Exmark lazer z 27Hp Lc Kaw 60"

02-17-2004, 03:03 AM
$525/43.5 acres = $12.07 per acre!

This is a joke right?

02-17-2004, 03:14 AM
That is ridiculously low try to get at least 30 an acre, really you should get 45-60

02-17-2004, 06:43 AM
If this is not a joke post. With ( 2) 60" mowers you can't cut 43 acers in 11 hours in the real world. I would bid with out seeing the site 3000.00 per cut and up.

02-17-2004, 08:41 AM
The maintance department cuts the entire thing in 11 hrs with an exmark that has a 72" deck. I've watched him mow; he is slow. It is possible that the 43 acres includes buildings and parking lots (which, I know, makes a HUGE difference).

What are your Exmarks running you $$?

02-17-2004, 08:50 AM
get a exmark and dont look back

02-17-2004, 08:56 AM
I asked you if it was 43 acers of grass you said yes. Now your not sure. How could bid on something when you don't how much grass is there is to cut.

02-17-2004, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by Rook00
.....college property (43.5 acres) for $525 per mowing.

For 43.5 acres your bid should be in the $1200 - $1500 per mow range at least. I dont know the area to be mowed but go figure the areas that needs mowing and trimming @ ± $0.95 - $1.00 per 1000 sqft and the mow only areas @ ± $0.75 - $0.85 per 1000 sq ft.

I did the figuring and a cost analysis on a school bid this year (45 acres) and I can tell you that at $525 per mow you are below your breakeven point on this job and it's going to cost you to mow it. You cannot run a 52" or a 61" mower at $30 a hour! Realistically it should be ± $70 - $90 a hour

Schools and colleges are tough ones to do. They have these huge areas to mow but they have NO loyalty towards you the mowing contractor. You invest in additional mowers and extra labor to do the job and next year they award the bid to a lowballer who's wanting to get his foot in the door and you're stuck.

So, don't you go and lowball just to get the job - you'll regret it !


02-17-2004, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by Rook00
I have placed a bid on my college property (43.5 acres) for $525 per mowing.

$525/43.5=$12.07 per acre

We have a 72" Scag W/B and a 52" Tiger Cub so we might could knock this out in one long day. Sight unseen, my minimum for Mow & Go price per cut would be $1,912.86 (excluding sales tax) based on 35 cuts per season. I didn't figure any edging or trimming into that price and that would be extra.

I'm fully agree with pcnservices on this. At $525/cut you'll be losing money every time you show up.

Hopefully, the folks in charge of the award realize this and won't award you the contract. If you have time before they open the bids, I'd re-figure my bid or withdraw it completely.

You said Love to hear from you. but probably didn't want to hear this. The upside here is that you can ask folks, on this board, a question and get a realistic answer which doesn't cost you anything more than your time.

Good luck!

What are your intentions if they actually do award you this contract?

02-17-2004, 12:29 PM
This was only a bid, no contract is made at this point. I can withdraw.

02-17-2004, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by J&R
I asked you if it was 43 acers of grass you said yes. Now your not sure. How could bid on something when you don't how much grass is there is to cut.

My bid was based on 43 acres at 11 hrs. If there is less grass out there, it won't make too big of a difference. I do appreciate the advice you've given me. I definitely need to reconsider my bidding technique.

Speaking of which, what formulas do you guys use? I prefer acres, but I'm interested in variety.

02-17-2004, 12:39 PM
I would be very careful. That is alot of equipment costs (10,000)for someone that will be starting over with maybe one large account. We don't do accounts that size but the going rate per acre around here is around 50.