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cantoo
05-17-2000, 12:19 AM
This is a job I tendered and lost. A municipal building about 15 miles from my shop. 2 1/4 acres of heavily fertilized thick grass that has to be cut trimmed and collected each week. The dumping area is 500 feet from the cutting area. There are about 125 feet of sidewalks, flower beds around the whole building, and about 15 trees to trim around. I bid can$110 the next bid was $80 and the "winning" bid was $37.50 What did I do wrong? This job would take about 3 hrs with my equipment including drive and dumping time. I know I would never do the job for the $37.00 but I was also quite abit higher than the next bid. I actually have enough work so I went in a little high and am hoping to get it next year when this guy is out of business. I have measured and bid every job that has come up in my area so that I could compare my prices with everyone else, i usually bid 20% higher than what I would need to get for the job incase I actually get it. This may seem like price gouging but it works for me and this way next year I will have a good idea what everyone has priced the jobs at so my bids will be closer to what the maximum is.

CA Enterprises
05-17-2000, 01:23 AM
Cantoo,<p>There is NO WAY this guy is making any money at $37.50. This wouldn't even cover the fuel cost of the drive and equipment. I actually think your bid was probably in ballpark. I have a commercial account that is 4 1/2 acres open area that I discharge and around 300 feet of trimming to be done I charge $560 for that. The owner is glad to pay it!! The next bid from that he said was $2,000!!! WOW!! I wish that we could all charge that. Don't sweat it, it sounds like the other guy will be holding the bag and we he realizes that he is losing money he will quit. The $80.00 bid still sounds a little low to me, I would be curious as to how well his work is.<p>Good Luck next time,<p>Adam :)

HOMER
05-17-2000, 06:45 AM
WOW! $560.00 for 4.5 acres! I wouldn't get that a month down here for 3 cuts! Of course 37.50 is a lowball figure and it sounds like the guy who bid against me on a church bid. I counted over 120 shrubs and my bid was 300 per trimming x 4 trimmings per year.............his was 60. My bid was $135.00 each time to mow..............his was $60.00. I think his labor rate must be down in the single digits or something. Goes to show that there are good paydays and bad everywhere. I still wish I could get $560.00 a cut for something. To give you an example of the prices here.......a hospital sitting on at least 50 acres, takes up an entire block and has 25 acre field they want cut every 2 weeks in growing season, the rest is to be cut weekly in the growing season which includes all the trimming, pruning, the works.........pays $1000.00 per cut or $30,000.00 per year. They have a one man operation cutting it and he must be happy cause they like him.................like him hell, I would love him for that price. I bid $1580.00 one year, which was still low considering, and they turned me down, kinda glad they did.<p>Homer

CA Enterprises
05-17-2000, 06:54 AM
Homer,<p>Wow! NOWAY!!! That could have it for that much. You figure that would be at least a full day with some help and possibly run into the second day with help. With only 7 days in week you have to make the money to make up the time.<p>The 41/2 acres is Wal-Mart. I talked to the manager later and he said I was the lowest bid with the next being $2000.00. Wal-Mart will pay because it is cheaper for them to pay me that than use their insurance, mowers, etc. Of course I think the reason it would be cheaper is because they would have to use their Murray mowers and would replace at least 2 a year LOL!!<p>Adam:)

Gus
05-17-2000, 06:55 PM
I`ve had many a business owner lie about the lowest bid as if that was going to make me magically drop my price. But then again there<br>are guys who still cut way to cheap.

Charles
05-17-2000, 08:01 PM
You did nothing wrong Cantoo. Besides just trying to make a decent living. Keep on bidding and you will get the jobs worth having

yardsmith
05-18-2000, 12:03 AM
Hey cantoo-<br>call that joker who got the bid & tell him you want to hire him as a subcontractor!!!<br>You could sit back & watch the $$ come in, provided:<br>1) His work quality is acceptable (doubtful)<br>2) he isn't spending all his time at that bid site! :)<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>

cantoo
05-18-2000, 08:53 PM
I haven't had time to check out the guys work yet, maybe this weekend if the rain quits long enough. The bids were all tendered so the bids are public knowledge so I'll bet the guy has his phone ringing off the wall. I think that he might be using the property for advertisement because of the location so he bid a low price to make sure he got it. I guess we all have reasons for putting in the prices we do.

DanG
05-19-2000, 09:49 PM
I was wondering how you guys price your bids,I figure on $20-25 per acre depending on how much trimming is needed and how open it is.<br>Does that sound in the ball bark?<br>I just picked up a large contract that pays $560 per mowing & takes me and one helper a full day to do using two lazer-Z's and to trim it.

Barkleymut
05-19-2000, 10:55 PM
Dan, this is the hardest yet most critical part of the lawn care business and why most guys don't make the money they deserve. You must learn how to bid if you ever want to get into the commercial ballgame. I generally bid based on how long it will take me to mow it with my existing equipment then add in all the extras at standard prices. Now if this is some kind of really high profile commercial property then I add a little more because I know that everyone else who is bidding it is charging a little more as well. As for your $560/cut for 2 guys, sounds a little low but not too bad. I make $580/cut for one property that takes me all day with my 60&quot; Dixie Chopper. All day means 14 hours sometimes with a couple 15 minute breaks. But in the end its worth it. No employees and $580 bucks in a day. Try making that working for the man.<p><font size="1">Edited by: Barkleymut

DanG
05-20-2000, 09:01 AM
Thanks,I figured I was alittle low on the bid but It's a high visability area and I'm hoping to get some other contracts out of it.<br>This is my second yr full time and i've been told that I need to charge more but I think the rates i charge are fair.<br>Most of the contracts that I have are cemetarys and they're hard to price out sometimes.....any one else do any?<p>

osc
05-20-2000, 09:18 AM
Cantoo:<br>$110.00 per cut is way too cheap especially if you have to bag, (even if you dump on-site).<br>Laugh at these people and move on. Do you have to have liability insurance in Canook? Does your competition?<br>In Ohio you get $45-60 per acre and definitely $60 per acre to bag.<br>That place is a $135.00 cut and that is quite reasonable for bagging 2 1/4 acres.

Charles
05-20-2000, 09:36 AM
Dan, you don't really say how much time is spent mowing compared to trimming. I would try to get 45$per hour for each 60&quot; lazer. 35$ per hour each trimmer. These prices would be the minimum. When you come up with the job price it should work out to at least this much per hour. Different areas of the country have different rates though

Getmow
05-20-2000, 09:48 AM
DanG, What kind of cemeteries? Mine are the older variety with stones dating back to the early 1800's. They are especially hard to trim. The more time = more $. I cut with 60&quot;DC's and try to figure at least $50 per hour for cutting time.

AGG Lawn Maintenance
05-21-2000, 01:42 PM
In my area its about $40 an arce. Although we do have alot of cut throats around here!!<br>Not a problem the people most of the time end up spending the money to get it done right. For those who don't thats on them.<br>Travis AG&G Lawn Maintenance :)

DanG
05-22-2000, 09:51 AM
Some of the cemetary's are older and the stones aren't in line.<br>And some are newer with the stones set in rows and spread out far between.<br>I get $260 for one i do each cut& trim & that one takes 3 1/2-4 hrs with 2 guys so thats right around 50 an hr.<br>Some of the older ones are only around $40 an hour<br>It seems that for every 3 hrs mowing theres 1 trimming<br>do you use any grass killers around the stones? I can use them in some areas.....but I haven't had the chance to spray yet this year.<br>I use either my old hustler 251k in the tight areas or my 52&quot; Z-master, also just picked up an 72&quot; Z which I'll use where it'll fit and on larger contracts.<br>Now i just need to find employees who want to work ....That and all the rain up here is killing me.....I have to mow in the rain just to stay caught up because the last 4 days it's rained...I almost put my new Z in a pond yesterday tring to get close to the edge because the grass was slippery as heck .....that and the ground is soaked & leaving ruts etc...

Getmow
05-22-2000, 05:24 PM
I do use roundup/surflan in some areas. My 60&quot;DC's go most places, a few rows have to be done with a 37&quot;. We usually average better than what I figure per hour.