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tsmith82
08-24-2004, 05:41 PM
I just got started up this and and own a JD 36" WB. A lady called today and isn't happy with her LCO now and wanted a bid. Comes out shes got 3.5 acres and theres a good amount of trimming. The current LCO charges her $500/ month. I hate to turn away business, but would anyone think of cutting that large of a yard with a 36" deck on a WB.

I told her I hope to have some larger equipment next yr, and I'll give her a call. What would you guys charge on something like that?

ProStreetCamaro
08-24-2004, 06:08 PM
Well figure it like this. Say you get a new 52" lazer and finance the whole thing and it cost's you $200 a month. So you cut it for $500 a month and make $300 and the other 200 pay's for the new mower. You now have a new bigger mower and can get some bigger lawns AND are still making that extra $300 a month. Its a win win situation!!!

txlawnking
08-24-2004, 06:15 PM
Unless the lady becomes a liability ( PITB ) and you lose her, and your new mower's meal ticket. I don't think I'd put all my eggs in one basket, But, I would have done it for $500... That would be $500 more than before, no? Save the five hunch a month until you buy a 52-60" machine out right, or maybe find other prop's similar to hers that pay similarly, So you can justify the ZTR.. Just my nickel..

MMLawn
08-24-2004, 06:20 PM
if you have the time I'd try it I think because I don't believe as a LCO you could get $500 a month for 3.5 acres here.

jbell113
08-24-2004, 07:32 PM
I would do it in a heartbeat. It will only take a few extra minutes to cut with a 36" rather than a 52"

Papa Wheelie
08-24-2004, 07:45 PM
no way! i have a 36 surfer and that property would take me at least 3 hours of mowing and maybe 1.5 of edging
4.5 hours a week x 4 weeks = 18 hours per month
That is only $27.78/hour
with my costs, i figure i wouuld only make about $18/per hour profit.
my price would be more like $800 - $900 per month

dvmcmrhp52
08-24-2004, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by jbell113
I would do it in a heartbeat. It will only take a few extra minutes to cut with a 36" rather than a 52"




Really?




I wouldn't even consider doing 3.5 acres with a 36, but I'm probably a bit spoiled.
That would be 2.5-3 hours with trimming, using a 36".

printer88
08-24-2004, 08:28 PM
I would do it in an instant,even with a 36".Turning people down is an easy way to go out of business.So go for it.As long as there is profit.You'll build up money for a new 52" rider.
The only way I would turn it down is if I absolutely did not have time to do it.

tsmith82
08-24-2004, 09:03 PM
I almost agree with you printer88, turning down business my first year is no good. I think I might call the lady back and maby land the job. I'm up in OH so there isn;t to much mowing left in the season and hopfuly by next year I can get a larger deck. It's gonna be a long day when I cut hers though!

CJ GreenScapes
08-24-2004, 09:20 PM
Originally posted by Papa Wheelie
no way! i have a 36 surfer and that property would take me at least 3 hours of mowing and maybe 1.5 of edging
4.5 hours a week x 4 weeks = 18 hours per month
That is only $27.78/hour
with my costs, i figure i wouuld only make about $18/per hour profit.
my price would be more like $800 - $900 per month

I think your numbers would look more like this:

4.5 hours per week x 33 weeks = 148.5 hours per year
$500 x 12 months = $6000
$6000 / 148.5 = $40.40 per hour

That's $30 per hour profit based on Wheelie's numbers. I'm not sure where you need to be, but I don't think that is too bad. And you do not have the expense of the new mower.

Just my .02

Kelly's Landscaping
08-24-2004, 09:21 PM
Is 3.5 acres normal for your area or is that over sized I ask because if the lawns are all 1 acre or bigger what made you buy a 36 inch mower? You have to tailor your mowers to your lawn size if they are all that big I would not want a 52 either you need a 60-72 inch at that point or as you said its going to be a real long day.

Turf Medic
08-24-2004, 09:24 PM
Makes sense to take it on, might not be there when you get the larger mower. Not a great price considering how long it is going to take with the 36", but a decent price for the amount of time it will take with a larger mower. Do what you got to do, to grow, without giving it away, plan for the future and make it work. Good Luck

tsmith82
08-24-2004, 09:30 PM
3.5 acres is not the average size at all. It's an old lady and she has owned the land for who knows how long. Most of my customers are more like .5 acres. So when I bough the 36 it seemed like the right size, I can cut small yards with ease and can take on some large yards too.

Papa Wheelie
08-24-2004, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by CJ GreenScapes
I think your numbers would look more like this:

4.5 hours per week x 33 weeks = 148.5 hours per year
$500 x 12 months = $6000
$6000 / 148.5 = $40.40 per hour

That's $30 per hour profit based on Wheelie's numbers. I'm not sure where you need to be, but I don't think that is too bad. And you do not have the expense of the new mower.

Just my .02


only problem is, in my area you cannot get 33 cuts because of the weather and most people here baulk at contracts so you would end up month to month and only have about 6 mos.
i agree that it would be good on a contract or if there were going to be extras. Also, what was she not happy about with her other LCO? could be a real PITA.

tsmith82
08-24-2004, 09:38 PM
I almost get the feeling she could be a PITA. She was talking about how with this new LCO all of the sudden there were all kinds of weeds in her lawn, she thought they brought them in from other peoples lawns. she wanted it cut shorter to kill the weeds, but that ain't gonna do nothing but kill the grass. So you could be right and I might get in there and do a great job and she just say the same crap

LawnScapers of Dayton
08-24-2004, 10:43 PM
I doubt that would be a 12 month agreement....No one around here would agree to that. There is little to no maintenance required from Dec 1 through through the end of March.....

Derek

CJ GreenScapes
08-25-2004, 12:14 AM
I thought no one around here would go for 12 months agreements either, until I tried it. I tell them that there will be 35 visits per year at $x per visit, multiply that and then divide by 12. It makes it easier on the customer and easier for you to schedule your finances year round. It should work no matter where you are, the only difference would be the number of visits. Right now 95% of my customers are set up annually.

ALarsh
08-25-2004, 12:53 AM
Is the LCO that is supposedly doing a bad job cutting the grass still cutting it?

If they still are cutting her grass, drive by her house after they cut the grass and take a look around the yard. If you can do a better job then the current LCO, take the job. If not, look for other work.

If you canít find other work soon, take the job. Cut it a few times and see what she says. If she doesn't like your work, drop the account. You don't lose anything. If anything, you gain the extra payup in your pocket.

I would not buy an expensive ZTR just for this account.

olderthandirt
08-25-2004, 01:20 AM
mowed a 3.5 acre property this spring with a gravely 44 inch and a proslide and it took 1:20 hrs. gate to gate so it should not take longer than 2 hrs using a sulky with a 36 inch. plus the one we did was all hills and beds fences a real time consuming mess.

Mac

Lawn-Scapes
08-25-2004, 01:46 AM
I'm sorry olderthandirt.. but I don't believe it. I heard that when you get to be as old as you are... you lose track of time, forget things (like winding up the ol' pocket watch), stretch the truth (maybe it was 3/5 of an acre), and what not :)

I used to cut a 3.5 acre property with my 50" Gravely & sulky... it took around 3 hours with trimming and blowing. I would not want to be on a 3.5 acre property with a 36"... no way.

IMPACT
08-25-2004, 01:46 AM
I agree with Mac. Back in the day(Before Standers and Z's), we had done some 2.5-3 acre yards with a 36 and a proslide in under 2 hours easy.It just depends on how much trimming there is involved to keep that manhour figure to a minimum. First year out, take it, see what happens, and see how good you can get at the 36". Like the others said, don't buy a new Z or the like for this property alone.

jajwrigh
08-25-2004, 01:49 AM
Originally posted by jbell113
I would do it in a heartbeat. It will only take a few extra minutes to cut with a 36" rather than a 52"

Your crazy!!

walker-talker
08-25-2004, 03:42 AM
Originally posted by jajwrigh
Your crazy!! I will agree to that!!! 16" cut difference adds up to more than just a few minutes on 3.5 acres.....do the math!!!

eshreve1234
08-25-2004, 08:02 AM
How many 36"s did you have on the property to get it done in 1.5 hrs? My house sits on 4 acres and with my Deere HD 75 54" w/proslide it takes me almost 3.5 hrs.

fcl01
08-25-2004, 03:23 PM
Mac, dont forget that after i mowed that 3.5 ac. that i said "never again". Even though it was done in 1hr. 20min., it was still a pain. I would go for the bigger mower because it will be used on other properties as well. we've mowed many 1/3 to 1/2 ac. lawns with a 60" with minimal trimming.


Dan


P.S. For those of you that don't believe Mac, you can believe him because his OLD azz wasn't the one on the mower.:D

Remsen1
08-25-2004, 06:17 PM
An hour to mow with a 60" and an hour to trim. Gross $62 per hour? damn straight I'd take it. The fact that you only have a 36" shouldn't effect the price. Same price, but it will take you longer and you'll make less per hour (FOR NOW). If you're trying to build your business this would be a good start. Then when you can afford that 60" mower you'll be glad you have this account and you're grossing $60/hr. (I haven't considered the PITA factor though).

brentsawyer
08-25-2004, 06:59 PM
Time tried true 52" Z will do 2 acres per hour at a good clip with normal growth. So 3.5 acres would take about 1:45-2 hrs depending everything. I would have to say that my Z has to be twice as fast as my 36"WB. So with that said I would guess 3.5-4 hrs cutting per week plus trimming and blowing. Most large lawns like this require very little so figure that up. However if it were me and looking back at the time when I had only a 36" and was given the opportunity, I would take it and do it with the 36" and stay with it until I had enough for a bigger mower. For one, I was in starting college and at that time that would have paid my rent and then a little more so is it worth half a day for that?

olderthandirt
08-25-2004, 09:24 PM
Originally posted by Lawn-Scapes
I'm sorry olderthandirt.. but I don't believe it. I heard that when you get to be as old as you are... you lose track of time, forget things (like winding up the ol' pocket watch), stretch the truth (maybe it was 3/5 of an acre), and what not :)

I used to cut a 3.5 acre property with my 50" Gravely & sulky... it took around 3 hours with trimming and blowing. I would not want to be on a 3.5 acre property with a 36"... no way.

Don't really matter to me whether you believe it or not, I may loose track of some time and forget a few things but I do know that if your spending 3 hrs with a 50" & sulky you really need to start the engine on the mower instead of pushing it around LMAO

Mac

Precision
08-25-2004, 09:49 PM
If your week is full then shy away, but if your week is full you should be able to step up to a 52 or 60 especially with adding this.

I got the opportunity to pick up 2 accounts early on that would have taken FOREVER with only my 36. No way I could have added any other account to my week. So I bit the bullet and bought a Gravely PM260. Now they take less than 8 hours total. The extra $1000 monthly will quickly pay for the mower and I cut 5 hours out of the rest of my route.

Mikes Lawn Landscape
08-26-2004, 01:10 AM
You will be on property 4 to 5 hours per week servicing that account. If you can live with $30.00 an hour take it.

A Z will knock your time down to 3 to 4 hours and increase your houly to about $40 per hour.

If you do take it let us know how long it takes

Dwan
08-26-2004, 02:24 AM
All depends on how hungry you are and how much time you have on your hands. only you can answer your question. We can only advise.

fairwayCuts
09-10-2004, 01:51 AM
Just thought I'd let you guys know. I went ahead and took the acct. It took me about 4.25 hrs to mow the property, .75 hours to edge and .25 to blow everything off. I was paid $200 for about 5.25hours of work, which ends up beeing about what I would usually charge. Just want to say thanks for all the advise!

Mikes Lawn Landscape
09-10-2004, 02:15 AM
Just thought I'd let you guys know. I went ahead and took the acct. It took me about 4.25 hrs to mow the property, .75 hours to edge and .25 to blow everything off. I was paid $200 for about 5.25hours of work, which ends up beeing about what I would usually charge. Just want to say thanks for all the advise!

You will be on property 4 to 5 hours per week servicing that account. If you do take it let us know how long it takes

I want some of those reputation points hah :D

fairwayCuts
09-10-2004, 02:25 AM
Hey Mikes Lawn, any ideas on the lotto number!? payup

walker-talker
09-10-2004, 09:49 AM
Hey Mikes Lawn, any ideas on the lotto number!? payup
lol....My wife has been these stomach pains....please tell me she is not pregnant....hehe!!