View Full Version : How much per acre for a 27 acre job??

01-31-2001, 10:40 PM
We are looknig to bid on a County job thats about 27 acres, mostly open, no major hills, all riding, 2 hours trimming max, all with 2 people. Fairly smooth terrain. We would be cutting with (2) 61" Turf Tigers. Just curious of what everyone would bid.

Davis TLC
01-31-2001, 10:55 PM
The price depends on the area you are in. In my region it would be in the $35 per acres range for me. There are a few that would bid it a lot cheaper here (my locale) though and they would probably get it. I try to look at each new job and see where I can maximize my profit.

01-31-2001, 10:58 PM
I bid on county work before. Where I live it goes to the lowest bidder. How many man hours do you think it would take to cut and trim this? 27 open acres sounds nice.

Eric ELM
01-31-2001, 11:05 PM
With 2 hours to trim it, you should be able to mow it in 4 hours with 2-60" machines if it is done weekly. This is one thing you didn't mention, how often. I don't think you will get it bidding it at $35 an acre, but I could be wrong.

lawrence stone
01-31-2001, 11:09 PM
With 3 acres per hour mowing prouction thats about 10 hours + 2 to tirm + travel time?

Mow cost at $25/hr=$250 trim at $21/hr=$42=total cost $292

30% gross profit margin=$417
35% is $450
40% is $486

01-31-2001, 11:25 PM
It is to be done weekly, it will take most of a day to cut and trim. about 12 hours mowing, 2 trimming, plus dork around time to eat, fill up gas tank, rest and get a drink ends up being 16 hours min.
at 30 and acre it would be $810, which is about 50 an hour. but i'm not sure if thats a win-a-bid price

01-31-2001, 11:30 PM
$810 sounds a bit low for a 16 hour day. Make sure it is worth it before you bid.

01-31-2001, 11:32 PM
I have got a few jobs that i do by the acer, I charge 40 per acer, there both around 6 acers. Takes me around 3hrs to mow and 30 min to trim. I average around 69 dollars per hr. But i do alot of work for this client. He ownes several Business that i also do. Marks Mowing Service

01-31-2001, 11:38 PM
stones estimates seem the best if not right on ....drop your guy off with a mower and trimmer and lunch then go do your daily route pick him up at end of day when he is finished.

01-31-2001, 11:52 PM
Ryan, 16 total hours. my crews are two man crews. so they will be done in 8 hours.
Labor for the Day with ins... $170
Cost of running mowers..... $120
Small equipment.............$20
Ins. overhead.............. $10
Truck and trailer.......... $20
total cost $340
kinda sounds like Stone

40 and acre seems high though sixty some and hour is nice

My concern is someone with some really big mower gonna be able to cut it faster and cheaper.
It would be nice to get the job and the extra $15,000 cash flow.

02-01-2001, 12:06 AM
sorry Tyler I was thinking 16 hours for 2 guys as 32 total man hours. Brain fart I guess. My bad

02-01-2001, 12:50 AM
Right near me, there is a township hall with a big park area. The complex is 20 acres, but some is taken up by parking areas, a road that goes all the way to the back, and a small pond. It has very few trees and very little trimming. The area up around the senior citizens center is cut and kept up by seniors. Mostly nice, flat and wide open. Last year, I bid $399 on the property and lost it to $375. These guys left the curbs and gutters in a mess though. I would like to try to get it again this year, but I'm not really sure if I should try. I know we could knock it out in a few hours, or I was thinking it would give my dad something to do with the finish mower with all the wide open areas. (I'm purchasing a tractor in the spring) That extra $1600 a month would be nice! Right now I'm running a 60" Lazer EPS and a Gravely 300 Promaster rider. What do you guys think?

02-01-2001, 12:58 AM
$35/hour per man = $70/hr. 8hr x $70 = $560. Based on your expenses ($340), you still make $27.50/hour. I am not sure if you are part of the 2 man crew or you are sending a crew out to do the job. If you are part of the crew then you actually would make more per hour. Good luck in whatever you decide.

02-01-2001, 01:02 AM
$400 for 20 acres is $20 an acre, thats cheap. isnt it? I am curious of how long it took this other guy to do the job.
At that rate i should be biding 600 bucks on my place...

02-01-2001, 01:31 AM
While I agree with Rich, your bid should depend on what the market will allow. With Stones highest bid listed you would only make $12.16 per hour profit. Haven't heard about wear & tear on equipment yet.

If I were bidding I would bid around $760.00, that would be $35 per hour profit. If not, oh well. Let some other guy wear out his equipment on less profit per hour.

I lost 2 big bids last year, one for $19,000 & the other for $25,000. Didn't get'em and didn't loose a bit of sleep. I had my hourly profit figured and knew what I needed. Oh well.....

[Edited by KirbysLawn on 02-01-2001 at 12:34 AM]

02-01-2001, 12:39 PM
Tyler: That IS cheap. The only pros to this is the wide open ares and the "one stop" convenience. Oh, I am told by the guy who used to do it some years ago, that it is surprisingly smooth all the time.

02-01-2001, 12:53 PM
I'd probably bid it around the $20 per acre figure as well. With 2 72" machines, and if it's as smooth as you hope, I'd be in and out of there in around 2.5 hours. At 27 acres times $20 per acre that's $540 or $216/hour. I could live with that. Lynn

Eric ELM
02-01-2001, 01:07 PM
Lynn, I think he needs to get a 72" mower for this job if it is going to take 6 hours with the 2-60" mowers he has now. I see Exmark is advertising their 72" will mow 7 acres an hour and Dixie Choppers will mow even faster. With just one 72" he can mow that in 4 hours, so 2-60" mowers should mow it in the same time. I mowed a 28 acre drag strip in 4 hours with my 2-60" Choppers a few years ago as a favor of the owner. It was a 70 miles one way trip for me and I didn't want to continue with this job. :)

02-01-2001, 02:05 PM
My 72" toro Z-master can cut easly 6-7 acres an hr.
And my 52" will do 5-6.

At the 72" rate I could do it myself and trim it in a morning or 1/2 day.

Keep all the money myself and let my workers have the day off : )

If I used both mowers about 2-3 hrs tops to mow and then trim it.

Figure out at $25.00 an acre times 27 acres =$675 then minus expenses.


D. G. Enterprises

02-01-2001, 02:25 PM
i have 17 county and state accounts, largest 17 acres with lots of trees and hills and i charge $30/acre and have done them for a couple of years. some guys bid $40-$45 and missed out on the opportunity. i use 3 Walker 26hp EFI's w/ 62" SD decks and kick butt, barely any trimming saves me a couple hours everytime. I would stay around $800. if you get it fine, if not, someone else can worry about expenses.

02-01-2001, 02:40 PM
Runner : I would try for the re-bid if you are happy with your figures. I would use the $24 increase of price as a means for justifcation that the curb growth of clippings and debris will not be a factor as it has in the past to enhance the overall asthetics of their facility. Afterall, I think anyone could come up with the extra $$$ in that small a difference weekly to keep a property pristine and meticulously manicured.

Just my .02

Eric ELM
02-01-2001, 02:49 PM
You would have to average 15 MPH to mow 6 acres an hour with your 52" mower.

A 60" has to average 8 MPH to mow 4 acres an hour.
A 72" has to average 12 MPH to mow 7 acres an hour.

I figure I can average 8 MPH with my mowers easy, so this is what I based my times on for the bid.

To average 12 MPH, you have to have top speeds of 15 MPH. How fast are the new Toro and Exmarks. I have seen the advertistment's say they mow 7 acres an hour.

If anyone wants a copy of Mowing Estimator that one of our members wrote, he has it available on his website.

double e
02-01-2001, 03:37 PM
I cut a community park that is 12 acres- with pond- 8 acres is cutting. I trim one time a month. I get $315 per cutting for 8 acres. It takes me 4-5 hrs to cut with my woods 60" mower. Weekly cutting

I would'nt touch a 27 acre job for under $800. I know you want the job, but don't bid the job so low you'll hate cutting it every week. I make out pretty good on the job, therfore I take my time, pick up trash, and do the best job I can.

I think with 1 mower it will take aprox. 15 hours to do. Thats a lot of riding (lot of wear and tear)

Good luck on the bid.- If you get it make sure you have a good set headphones to listen to radio- I used to cut in the morning so I could listen to Mancow Morning show (some of you might be familar)

02-01-2001, 03:54 PM
howard stern rules girlcow.

02-01-2001, 04:27 PM
We use a 12' rangewing and also have 2 3400 72" machines if I wanted to go there and get the job done with four guys all on riders I could have it done in little over an hour but I still would do it for around $400. Just My two cents.

02-01-2001, 05:05 PM

With the 72" deck to do 27 acres should only take you a long morning.And then you have to trim it.

Depending on how thick the grass is etc.. I can go as fast as the mower will go when I'm cutting and leave a nice stripe to boot.

27 acres @ 4.75 acres an hr(which is well below what they claim) works out to about 5-6 hrs of mowing @ 90%productivity.

If you use the same rate based on the 52" I think it should be just under 4 acres an hr @ 90%productivity.

(Rates based on the exmark/toro charts)

I think it works out to about 7.5 mph.

I never used a "chopper" so can't compare the speeds between them.

We just started to get them up this way and so I've NEVER seen one being used by anyone.

On alot of larger contracts people still use groundsmasters and walk behinds, but they are getting more into the ZTR's every year.

I have Hustlers 251k's and the Toro's will mow faster in a straight line due to the more comfortable ride(better seat).

It all depends on what type of grass, where it's located and how often it's mowed.

For example:
I mow a place they say is 60 acres.
Grass area most likely is about 45.(rest is ponds,buildings and parking lots).

It takes me with both Toro Z-masters going about 8 hrs to mow it.

I don't think any other type of mower could do it that much faster.


02-01-2001, 11:02 PM
Thanks for all of the responses.
I'll let you all know how it turns out.

MJM Landscaping Inc
02-02-2001, 01:50 AM
Hi all!
Something I think has been missed here. I see alot of people talking about him getting larger machines thus increasing productivity and reducing the bid numbers. But should he be charging less money because he can finish the job faster? If he has to buy a larger mower to do the job, that should be factored into it as well. The idea is to become more effecient. You should benefit from those effeciency's not the customer.

Know YOUR cost. Every company is different. Thats why asking for a per/acre price is the wrong way to go about this bid. If I told you I bid $28.76/acre (made it up), does that mean you could bid that figure and turn a profit? Maybe...maybe not. The point is if you know your cost of doing buisness, tack on a % of profit and multiply by the mhrs you CAN'T lose. If you get the bid your guaranteed to make money. If you dont get the bid, oh well you didnt lose any money either. My 2 cents!

Mark a Musolf

02-02-2001, 02:29 AM
If I'm out there for 2 days, then I would plan on asking the opportunity cost at least. Meaning---If I could be out making $500 each day doing other properties I would ask at least $1000. Point is, don't tie yourself up if you can make more on other jobs. Everyone has good points, consider all of them in the equation.

02-02-2001, 02:52 AM
Eric: The Exmarks and the Toros are not THAT fast. My EPS does 10 mph (same with the equivalent Toro) and the new larger model do 11 mph top end. You then of course have to figure a variable for bumps and steering correction. I think Dan's estimates on cutting rates may have been just a little on the generous side. :)