55,000 sq ft of turf

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by thecolorgreen, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. thecolorgreen

    thecolorgreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    I'm going to check out an estate with 55,000 sq ft of turf to give an estimate, so here's my questions:

    1. How much would you charge to mow 55,000 sq ft?
    (I currently do residential lawns 1000-8000 sq ft w/ a Honda 21". I estimate all
    labor at $32.50/hr. If I spend $5,000.00 on a 48" :help: what should I be charging
    per man hour on the 48" or do I just raise my hourly rates because my
    overhead just went up?

    2. How long does 55,000 sq ft take you with a 48"?

    3. What is your opinion of Scag walk behinds?

    :help: I would really appreciate an thoughts on this. Thanks
     
  2. ToroLandscaper

    ToroLandscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    I can answer 3 Scag are tough but check out Toros or Exmark i run toro and had a toro wb and loved it.....i think they are a little cheaper to.
     
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    the largest property i've ever mowed was 15,000 sq feet. i got $45 a mow for that, with minimal wacking. 55k, i'd probably go $125 if the wacking was minimal. big properties= less $$$ in my opinion
     
  4. Armando Conti

    Armando Conti LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    If you are used to doing small properties you may find that 55,000 is less of a job than it first sounds.

    Remember, the actual mowing time is only part of the total time involved with a job: the drive time, loading time, unloading time, account management time all remain unaffected by the lawn size. 4 times as big an area may only mean twice the TOTAL time involved in the job when you factor all of the above in. Of course it matters how straight and level the job is......if there are a lot of open flats you'll be flying along those compard to most of the places you are used to in a small residential. I agree with the rough ballpark $125 price.
     
  5. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599


    Are you only bidding the turf? Do you offer full service maintenance [estate package]? One of the two estates I have sounds similar and we spend approximately 30 man hours/week there. (That reduces to ~16 man hours/week for a couple of months in the winter.) I've found estate grounds management to be a great alternative to volume mowing.
     
  6. iluvscag

    iluvscag LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    Get a Scag Walkbehind. If I were you, I would get a SWZU 48 with the 17 Kawasaki. Great machines you'll be done in no time. :)
     
  7. A+ Lawncare

    A+ Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 503

    if i was you i'de get a exmark or bobcat.... i'm all over exmark tthp, i love the features behind that sweet mower..... a 48'' tthp sells for $5,200

    anyways, with a 48'' mower u can cut the 55k sq feet turf in about 35-40mins dependin on conditions... i'de charge about $75 to cut (weekly) that size lot.
     
  8. thecolorgreen

    thecolorgreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    I do offer full service packages, but I think this guy only wants lawn care (mowing,edging,fert,weed control) but I will surely offer full service. He said the neighbor with similar estate is intrested also. I'm going out tomorrow to measure.

    Is that right, 30 man hours per week or month? Do you bill them hourly or a flat monthly rate year round?

    How do you go about estimating for estates like these?
     
  9. thecolorgreen

    thecolorgreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    Does it mulch good?
     
  10. A+ Lawncare

    A+ Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 503

    never tell customers your hr. rate, instead give them a monthly flate rate or better yet sell them the seasonal cutting & on top of that some lawncare ex. mulching for the spring or snow plowin for the winter... make sure to write a contract out, and to request some percent of the $ upfront...

    ex. 25 cuts @ $75= $1,875 total for lawn cuttin
    snow plowin is a flat rate no matter how much snow you get, charge enough to cover urself based on the average snow fall in your area.... ex. in my area, we get about 5-8 small snow falls a year.. w/only about 1/3 of them actual snow storms....
    then try to upsell landscaping-mulch, fertilizer...


    thats the only way i'de do it unless certain circumstances
     

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