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12 acre com. property

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by irocz106, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. irocz106

    irocz106 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I just started my business a montha ago, and have ust recently been asked to amaintain a 12 acre waterfront property, there is about 5 of those take away bins (the large commercial drop off ones) to be taken off the property along with about ten acres of luch grass to be mowed. I have a quote in mind, but am interested to ee what others would charge for a peice this size. Wondering what one would charge for land this size, cost per acre exctera. I am going to buy a new ZTR if i ge the job. Any comments or advice would be great. I am not a lowballer, i just want this job. I work for the government here, so this is a second income. I have no reason to lowballl and choose the jobs i want, but this is one i am very interested in, just because of the size, and the feel good nature after completing the job every week. What would you do, as far as a pay scale, times per week? Charge per hour?
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    What are you cutting with now?
    It sounds like it may be way out f your league (don't take this wrong - I don't mean it in a bad way). But you do NOT - and I repeat NEVER consider purchasing equipment based on a contract to suit that contract. That is backwards of how it should be done. As tempting as it may seem, you can find that it costs alot more to do a place like that than most people realize.
  3. irocz106

    irocz106 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I understand where you are coming from on that note, but i can offset a bad decision on purchasing equipment from my day job, and i need to upgrade to a larger mower which weill make some of the larger properties i do much easier. This is a side job, but i really enjoy maintianing large properties and the feel good factor after doing this would be great. I don't think there really is an "out of anyones league", i just think that people need to take on larger jobs to get more experience. I just am having a tough time telling him that it will be 400 a week to maintain. I don't know if this is too much. Who knows. I'll put in the quote and see what happens.
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Re-read this post. This is very good advice!! No matter if you have a "job" or not, you will get your lunch ate when you are not prepared. Preparation comes from controlled growth over time.

    Hello Runner...been a long time:drinkup:
  5. irocz106

    irocz106 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    Well, i was thinking of getting a new ztr instead of a new truck. I don't see any harm in it, it would just satisfy my thoughts if i got this job, and justify it more or less. I don't see the harm in upgrading equipment. Busnesses need to grow. I have a few accounts that would benefitfrom this, and i think it would pay off quickly.
  6. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 43,014


    1. You shouldn't ask for advise if you are not willing to at least consider it. I seems to me that you are looking for an excuse to justify you wanting to buy a ztr. You have already made up your mind so, go ahead.

    2. If your bid is $400.00 to do 12 acres, in my opinion is too low. Specially if there is any amount of trimming/edging involved.

    Then again, you'll probably won't listen to this. ;)
  7. irocz106

    irocz106 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    Haha. I see where you are coming from. I wanted some opinions, and i got them, they werent really what i was expeting, but opinions nonetheless.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Put in the quote, if approved buy the Z, then see what happens.

    And remember, best you can do if things don't work out is look back and L O L real good.
    Then, come back here and share your wisdom with the younglings contemplating making your very move, o' Yedi Master, every single day there's at least one of us learning something, oh yeah, lol.

    Oh man I needed that, I feel better now.
    Which is to say, I just came back from school myself.
  9. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    If you can afford a ZTR, buy one. I understand what the other guys are saying, and I know many of them have forgotten more about this business than I'll ever know, but, in my opinion, you must, in any business, be a little ahead of the game. I mean, let's say you are mowing with a 21 inch, and someone calls and says they need 4 acres of knee high grass mowed today, and there is a possibility of getting the job of mowing the property weekly. What are you going to do? Run out and rent a ZTR for the day?

    I do agree that you should be careful of purchasing expensive equipment for a single job. In other words, if your service area was postage-stamp sized yards, and you bought a 72 inch ZTR in anticipation of this one job, that might not be too smart, because if the deal falls through, what are you going to do with a 72 inch ZTR? If, however, you can use your ZTR on other properties you already service, and there is the potential of gaining more where it would be appropriate, then I see no harm in it.

    I agree that the price sounds a bit low. I've never personally serviced that large a single property, but I know how long it takes me to mow the average acre, and unless the place is extremely smooth and level mowing, you are probably talking a minimum seat time of 5 hours, perhaps more, then maybe 3 hours trimming and edging, then you talked about the dumpsters, and the time required for that, plus probably a dump fee.

    Someone much smarter than I, and I can't remember who it was, posted just yesterday that it was better to bid too high and not get the job, as to bid too low and be stuck with the contract for a year. I'm learning that myself, as I have a couple of accounts I underbid when I started my business. I don't lose money, but don't make what I feel I need, or want, to. Now it is tough raising them up to where they should be.

    Also, remember that it probably will cost you $12 to 15 per hour to run the average ZTR. Some may question that, but with $3 gas here (probably higher where you are), that is in the ballpark, when you factor in depreciation, which could easily run $4 to $8 per hour, plus repairs, blades, routine service, etc.

    Good luck with your business.
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Never never never ever ever ever buy a piece of equipment for only 1 property!!!!

    I don't care if you do have a contract. Contracts are worth as much as toliet paper if they decide to cancel you after 1 or 2 cuts.

    Getting larger properties and buying equipment before you need it not the same thing as buying equipment for 1 property.

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