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50 acre bid - I was smoked on it!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by meets1, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    Posted earlier about this but this morning found out the winning bidder.

    My bid was $1,025. Right in town, I would run 2 WAMS, 2 Z's and the schools equipment (2 other mowers) Part of the deal.

    Winning bid - $625.00 with the schools equipment only. Just don't understand the madness!
  2. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Sorry to here that. Some people just do not know thier true costs. I bet the school system will realize that they will spend more money bay having only thier mowers used.

  3. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 711

    You did not bid Apple's to Apple's. You bid Apple's to orange's. Sorry you missed it.
  4. Lynden-Jeff

    Lynden-Jeff LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,405

    Make sure you keep a good relationship, you may get it when they realize that those jokes wont be able to do it.

  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    Meets -

    Was that a per week price?? Or is it a contracted rate, but when broken down to average number of weeks, that's what it comes down to??

    I don't really understand the deal though.

    Does the winning company have to pay fuel costs?? Or is that covered by the school?

    Also, I don't think your bids are too far apart from each other.

    Look at it this way. At $625, the winning "company" is basically looking at it "Hey, I can make $2500 / month, sitting on my butt, with no truck needed, no trailer, no equipment". Look around your area. How many people are working for less than $2500 / month?? Problem you've got with this type of bid, is anyone that can walk, can bid it. Even if they can't walk, as long as they can get on the mower, they can bid it.

    You're better off putting in the bid that you'll purchase the equipment from the school at the end of the year, or during the year, something along those lines. At least then you'll be competing with real companies, not just retired guys looking to get out of the house 2-3 days / week.
  6. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    I put together a 3 page proposal from all our equipment, fuel, handhelds etc.

    This included all trimming every week to bi weekly trimming. Another option I put in is every Labor day weekend they hold a car show out in the front of the school in large area - I would skip that and pro rate as needed. Football field, base/softball fields were included - that was high maitance area.

    With schools equipment, I had a buy out at the year end, I had in there, which was discuss with school people, repairs etc who, what when where and how do I handle this situation if and when they break down. IF they were down, I could bring an extra mower for x an hour.

    Not to show boat but this was by far the best proposal I have written up but didn't get the job.

    School equipment, there fuel, there everything. There one mower was new last year, bush hog front mount from a local New Holland Case IH dealer here in town - piece of junk. The other mower was a 2 yr old kutoba front mount 72 inch deck with a bagger system for the track/football/baseball fields.

    These guys mowed there last year as well and any given hour of the day they were mowing. I have been striping there late at nite and there mowing under the lights, I am there at 4 a.m. in the morning and there trimming already. A real Zoo Crew. In fact, I assume most of you know what a perma green is - well in low gear I travel faster than they mow! I do numerous yards across from the middle school and my PG machine in low is faster than there bush hog.

    But yes, anyone that can walk or at least sit and ride can get the job. Just pathic!
  7. Mike Fronczak

    Mike Fronczak LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    That's their "job". Must be nice to not have to worry about break downs, mower payments gas etc. Honestly $ 625 for labor only is a good price, at 50 acres they should get it done in about 30 hours maximum. Your price was way to low using your own equipment. They probably end up making $ 15.00/hr after all is said and done. What do you pay your guys? Mine don't make that & there not worth it.

    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,669

    30 hours?
    50 acres of school property mostly wide open.
    Should really be less than one day 4-5 hours with one three man crew.
    Am I missing something?
    Your equipment ,their equipment,:dizzy: sounds like a nightmare anyway
  9. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    I estimated my crews time - 1 day unless were behind due to activities at school, which was also stated in my proposal. These guys are not doing this in 30 hours. It is more like a 6 day job. I figure they are making in the range of 9 - 12 / hour just from what I have witnessed over the last year of being observant.

    Last year they layed an entire new parking lot. The lot already had the curbs installed but now with grant money they paved it all. I striped the entire lot, fire lanes on the outside. I asked there guys if I could use there trimmer to trim the curb back - sure go ahead. 1. New Weed Eater trimmer, 5th one for the year.(schools) It about killed me using it! I trimmed 1000 ft of curb with about 3000 ft to go. I went back to him and said - did ya ever trim that this year - Nope, didn't have time. I can't keep up with the mowing. I told him you trim your curb and come 3 a.m. tomorrow morning I'll be back. He trimmed it all nite long!

    I have watched these guys and they do take all week. That is why we were asked to bid. I watch and write down there monthly bills cuz there published in the paper so I had a good idea what things ran them last year.

    My price may be a little low but it would of been a great job. All three schools next to each other, a cemetary we mow about a block away and a large condo complex we mow about 2 blocks away. Perfect set up!

    So this guys is retired and he does some lawn mowing on the side now. You never see him out there - he hires his 25 yr old son to mow at nite, weekends, his nephew does most of the mowing but he is like 35 yr old and living at home and probably pays them 7 - 10 / hour and he figures he pockets the rest.

    If I got the job - heck I should of subed to him for that amount and made a couple hundred doing nothing!
  10. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,807

    what happens when they destroy the schools equipment, will they re issue the contract or will the contractor be able to jack up his price and use his stuff, might be a lil inside stuff going on, possibly?

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