2 Huge Properties 295,000 ft and 227,000 ft

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BeautifulBlooms, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    I am looking for some suggestionss on an overall estimate on these two properties.

    They are both apartment complexes with some wide areas of lawn and also some small nitpicky areas around the buildings.

    I have a 52" Ferris Zturn and a pushmower, and I think that I can do 280,000 and 222,000 respectively witht he 52" and will have about 15,000 and 5000 of pushmowing respectively. I will have to trim all areas and blow any clippings necessary every week. I will also have to blow off the pavement. How much production can I make mowign with a pushmower? It seems like I will be doing as much walking between areas as I will be actually mowing areas. Both total properties are at least 10 acres so quite a wide area.

    Edging is not included here. Spring cleanup is not included, fall cleanup is not included (We are doing a seperate proposal for landscape maintenance and these things will fall into that category)

    I know many variables come in here but can you guys help me compare to what I come to as a formula.

    I spoke with another commercial property mower and he says he operates his wide area mowers 52" up to 72" at a 50% production rate at 5 MPH Average. Although the mower manufacturers have 80% efficiency. What do you guys use? At 5 MPH and 100% efficiency ( which to me means a football field mowed in a spiral basically (NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN) I would be able to mow 112,000, at 80% = 89,600, 65% = 72,800, at 50% = 56,000.


    I will post my #'s after I get some ideas or estimates from you guys, I do already have them figured out, I just want you guys to give me an impartial guess, and I know it isnt easy to estimate without actually seeing the property but can any of you give me a range? What it might be high and what it might be low?
     
  2. bart may

    bart may LawnSite Senior Member
    from montana
    Posts: 273

    On something like your describing I can average around 24,000 ft/hour one person. Thats mow trim blow, so I apply what ever hourly rate I want to acheive. Usually between $40-55 hour. Hope that helps.
     
  3. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    thats a start now I need to hear from a few others to compare.
     
  4. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Posts: 2,160

    are you going to be doing everything by yourself?
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I dunno man, I can flat out an acre with my 48" wb in 45, and 30 with the 60" Z, but put in a ton of curbs and islands and it literally takes me at least twice as long and that's busting my tail, really 3-4 times longer is closer.
    I'd say 1,000 / cut for 10 acres, $100 / acre if it's all full of islands and stuff...
    But there was another thread on here where another guy just bid either that ($100) or $80 / acre (I cant remember) and he was complaining he lost the bid...

    What I do know is I ain't fooling with another association until I have more employees standing around idle than I know what to do with, and right now the only one is me lol.
    Assuming I were in the mood, I still wouldn't mess with that big a plot by myself, no way.
    Even if I can do it, it's too big a percent of my company's income and resources, I can not afford to depend on an account like that.
     
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Way out of my league here because I do mostly small to 1 acre residentials but I have done a few large areas on one time occasions. I have a 62" Toro Z and can do 3 acres an hour of flat out cutting in mild conditions. In heavy spring growth that time increases. This is cutting at 3.25 ". I think you will be able to cut the larger areas but the big time killer for me as a solo is walking to trim and to blow large areas, it sounds like the same may happen to you. I would estimate my solo operation to dedicate at least a day and a half to this. Its an average because the spring growth is a killer but the summer brown out can make it profitable. I am assuming the property is not irrigated and also assuming that it is not fertilized. If you get in a situation where some happy squirt boy is pouring nitrogen on the lawn 5 times a year, you best off run from this bid and stop by when the next poor sap is getting beat mowing it. Price wise I am not in a position to quote what you need to make on the job. There are lots of variables to this type of work and I am not set up to compete of bid on these large properties as a solo. I have plenty of equipment but refuse to bid as large mow crews can come in and finish a job like this in 3 or 4 hours max. I am no where near and can maximize my profit by staying small.
    I don't know if you are planning to increase manpower or purchase back up equipment but that can all cut into what the job is worth. A nice batwing WAM is the way to go but then again its a different type of mowing.
    I'm sorry if I didn't directly help you with numbers and I do admire your will to play with the big ones, thats more than I have a stomach for. Take care.
     
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    You are definately gonna need more than just a 52" Z for sure. Our average residential props are 2.5 and 3 acres and the smallest mower we own is a 52"...all the others are 61's and 72's.
     
  8. mosmgras

    mosmgras LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 270

    I agree with rod. I don't think a single 52" is going to do for properties that size.
     
  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    Are those square foot figures turf measurements?? Or is that the size of the entire property??

    Basically you're saying you've got 7 acres of grass and 5.5 acres of grass to cut??

    I think it can be done with your 52". You're looking at probably 3 hours +/- for cutting each. Then the trimming, depending on linear feet, probably another 2 hours (if you took your time) for each, for a total of 10 hours.

    Sooooo.... with that said, that's about 10 man hours, and I'd charge about $75-100 / hour, so per cut would be $1000, a flat monthly fee would be $3500 / monthly, for the length of the season, whether it grows or not, and I'd bet the bid will go out for about $400-500 / cut, IF the numbers you posted in the title are actual turf size.

    The problem is, that if your turf is pretty flat, you'll get someone in there with a 72" mower, possibly even bigger. The 72" mower is already almost 50% bigger than your 52", and then if you had someone set up like myself, who carries a 10.5' WAM on the trailer (or used to), then they're cutting almost 2.5 times more than you in one cut, with one guy.
     
  10. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    What is the reason i cant do it alone? Because it is goign to take more than 1 day? If thats the case then i would want to throw two people at this everytime. One person is more efficient than 2, but if I have to go back just to trim the property that would be silly. I cannot purchase a 61" or 72" for just two properties, maybe if I get more properties I may be able to, where even if I lose one or two I still have the need for the larger equipment. As for the properties themselves I have a good in with the owner so if I can comein close to the others I will probably get the jobs. He already gave us a shot last year at a large planting (90 shrubs and 25 evergreen trees) and we came in just slightly above the other bids. He is neighbors with my parents in WI and also they play golf together in FL at the same course, and he specifically told me, he likes to help out new small companies get going because he was given those same opportunities when he got started. I know this doesnt secure the job alone but it takes a little stress off of this process.

    The owner has requested a 2 fertilization schedule so I figured early spring with crabgrass and then a mid summer app to keep things going up until the fall. Wheny ou do 2 ferts how much N doy ou put down per app, I oobviously am not goign to get the 4 LBs of N per season am I? The grass is pretty healthy for low fertility and no irrigation, only a few bare spots and those are mostly in the shade.
     

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