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Old 11-17-2012, 01:36 AM
yazzy yazzy is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 19
whom are you guessing against? do you know what this contract has gone for in the past?
-- The previous contracts. It has been a few years since I've seen them, but I believe I recall the school published one year that they awarded the contract to a $13,000 bidder.

There are a lot of tricks for managing Turf this big, the number one rule is you don't need to trim every week (or every visit in your case)
-- Very true

Why is the Football field dormant but not the rest of the turf? What's it look like in season?
-- The practice football field is pure Bermuda so it was dormant at the time the photo was taken. In season, its extremely green until it gets wore out from wear and tear. The rest is just weedy types of grass that don't go dormant as soon as Bermuda does here.

Is that the field they are managing on their own so you don't have to do it (because they are cutting it with a reel mower).
--Yes, I was mistaken, they don't mow the practice field with a Reel mower, only the game field. They use an Exmark for the practice field.

You also have to look at the RFP (request for proposal) are they requiring you to pick up or manage trash that might be on the turf?
--I've never seen the previous crews responsible for trash collection.

Why are you going to mulch twice? Because they asked you to, or you just figured you would? Are they asking you to trim shrubs three times or is that you saying you are going to? Normally I would say a single mulching and two shrub trims would be fine.
--I was told by a family member that they 'thought' they mulched twice a year. That was a few years ago I think. My father informed me that at the HS, they have an Ag. class and they do the mulching there. As for trimming bushes, I think they do it twice, I figured maybe 3.

What are is this property in? North Carolina? Or somewhere in the mid west?
Judging from when you thought you would be cutting Im assuming south.
-- Tennessee

You act like your costs are high, that doesn't make sense to me. If it's just you, what do you think are your costs? the truth is you don't know.
-- My costs high? I estimated my operational cost to run the mowers/weedeaters would be about $10 an hour. My expenses right now are $600/month. If I buy equipment, I will likely have close to $1000 a month in expenses.

What other contracts might you have, besides this school, if you get it.
-- I have just one yard right now.

Something this size would warrant and employee.
-- Probably, I think I usually see two working.

You will need good mowers too, I would suggest something like an exmark, dixie chopper, bad boy or hustler, ones that aim at big big turf.
-- I had been quoted for a JD 920 54" at $7700, but I think I would stick to a used but very well taken care of mower that I could get reasonably priced.

I wouldnt make equipment purchases until you have properties already sold, unless you already have equipment.
-- I already have some equipment.

I can teach you what you need to know on the basic level as far as how to project your costs and establish a budget, which will tell you around where you need to be charging for an hourly rate, Im also sure there are plenty of other guys who would too, trick is finding someone to mentor you who is willing to do so for free.

It's not the easiest thing to do over an online forum.

I really appreciate your help, TP. In just one day I've already gained a wealthy of knowledge. Without the advice, I wouldn't have realized that I needed to find my bottom line operating costs and stuff like that. It's really making me see how I need to be careful how much money I spend getting myself into the business, like you say, start small then work up.
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