??? about Green Belt Mowing Prices

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Ric, May 8, 2013.

  1. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

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    My Question is what are the Low ballers charging per Thousand or Acre to mow HOA Greenbelts or ROW (Right Of Way). I say Low Baller because these bids go to the Lowest price Bid.

    MY REASON FOR ASKING is I am just trying to figure out how Valley Crest is making Money.

    Valley Crest is Mowing a Large HOA Green Belt with a Golf Course Style $ 50,000 bat wing Toro. Former Contractors all used Bush Hogs. The Toro MULCHING Bat Wing mower was design to mow Golf Course Ruffs and rides on 8 inch wheels and Turf Tires. While some of this green belt is as smooth as a GC ruff a lot of it is not. Talking with Toro Operator, he tells me he gets stuck a lot and his truck is not 4 wheel drive. He also tells me the Mulching Deck get clotted all the time. I don't think it is hard to know why. I am Really surprised at Valley Crest Management for making a real beginner's mistake and using the wrong equipment for the job. A standard Farm style Tractor with a 3 point hitch and Finish mower would both discharge clipping and not get stuck as easy because of the large wheels. Most Tractors today are 4 wheel drive. The Toro Bat Wing might be a good machine but given the type of use, I don't think it will hold up. Of course this might be case where they have no other place to use this mower.

    BTW this HOA's Green Belts are so large that Valley Crest has a Full Time man only mowing it in the winter and add help in the summer rainy season.

    Many Years ago I looked hard at County ROW bids. they were going for $0.25 a thousand or $ 10.00 an acre including Trash pick up before mowing. I am told they have not gone up a great deal. However I would like to know the actual average price for mowing Greenbelts today.

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  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    For valley crest it's not the same as a smaller company. This could just be one of many loss leaders. They are a billion dollar company give or take a few million so they got wiggle room to lose a few bucks on certain jobs I am sure. I'm not sure they are actually losing money on it but if they are they can absorb it. Or they are getting sloppy and will go the way of Kmart and GM. By the way speaking of low bids, looks like there's a new company mowing row for the county. They look really rag tag, they'll be out of business soon too.
     
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

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    Yes I have noticed the new Company and agree. Talking With Greg he tells me The County knows these fools are going broke, But can't do a thing about it. They must take the Low Bidder. I guessing this contractor will be number 3 to go under this year and it isn't even Rainy season. The Big difference with state ROW contracts is their requirements in order to win a Bid. That doesn't mean those Bid are Gravy trains.


    Seem all the HOA south of 769 to the river are tied up by Valley Crest. This is only happened in the Last Year or so. If they are losing on the Green belt mowing it is only because of the equipment. IMHO that Toro Bat Wing is a great piece of equipment, but it isn't designed for Bush Hog work like some of the Green Belt. They are having a big Problem with Wild Hogs tearing up the same ground that machine must run over. At the same time there are some real smooth section where that mower can make money.

    In Edit:

    I would love to know how much they are charging per Thousand or Per Acre etc. A total yearly price wouldn't mean a thing because I don't know how much area is green belts etc.

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  4. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    I saw that county mowing crew broken down at the 41 bridge near where the old sea tow building blew away in the hurricane. Equipment looked beat, saw a guy mowing a median looked like he never drove a z turn.....slow as a turtle and scared to death. Valley been ramping up its presence no doubt, took a lot of riverwood from artistree and wasn't long ago they built their own maintenance building off of Rampart in Maple leaf estates. And ya a tractor bulling a flail mower or bush hog would be much better I am sure.
     
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

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    For years Bill PXXXX a good friend of Rob's who lives out on Navigator Rd had that contract before he retired. He used a 6 ft side winder Bush Hog. At the same time he had several other Green Belt and vacant lots. He made a nice living doing nothing but Bush Hogging. BTW Bill P has a huge collection of old Hit & Miss tractors.


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  6. RoyalTree

    RoyalTree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 156

    10 dollars per acre is extreme. I am amazed when I see some of the prices out there sometimes.

    That being said, I might be considered a lowballer to you guys on a lot of the large areas we do. We have picked up a lot of large area mowing over the last three years. At first glance our prices seemed to low but they have turned out to be really good money makers for us. It is amazing the amount of ground you can cover in a day with a dedicated crew or two for these kinds of jobs.

    Valley crest and these big boys know their costs very well. They don't loose money often. I have walked away shaking my head at their prices but when I talk to their manager they are happy as can be.
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