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Am I crazy....?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Joel B., Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 458

    OK, I am going to bid on a large (for me) property. It is a church with approximately 5.6 acres of turf, 3 buildings, average number of trees and 2 small fenced-in areas.

    Now for the crazy part...I have a 52" walk behind and a 38" tractor. I am not opposed to buying another mower but am worried this is a little too big for me. But....it is relatively easy mowing, no travel time, etc.

    I have figured out a couple of bids but there is no way they would pay that much so I must be doing something wrong. What would you bid?

    Thank you for any advice.

    Joel B.
  2. 4curbappeal

    4curbappeal LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 761


    In my opinion 5 acres is a bit much for a 52' WB, but you know your limits. I have a friend that does 350 acres with 4 60' ZTR's and a 72' ZTR and it take them about 10 hours. It is all proportionate! Give it a try if you think it's worth it!
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Okay, go with me on this. If your schedule is completely full, then I'd suggest getting something bigger. But, if you have the time to spend mowing with a 52" w/b, it'll probably only take you an extra hour or two vs. a 60" or even 72" ZTR given the ground speed and deck width. Time is only worth saving if you have other things to do.
  4. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    good point about the schedual, id dump any riding mower. not only are wasting huge time and looks silly in my book for a proffessional company. either buy another walk behind or find a good used ZTR.

    think about how much time you'd save too and you'd relize saving an hour or two a week ends up being 4-8 by the end of the month and that is only off this one lawn. add up the time you'd save from all yoru lawns and that time should be much much much more than enough money making potential to buy a at least one brand new ZTR assuming you can find the work. payments arent that much a month on a 4 year loan.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    It has been my experience churches either can not or are not willing to pay the cost of our services, probably because it is up to members of the congregation to maintain the property on a voluntary basis, since the church exists on donations. That is the way all churches work, it happens on occasion said members get tired of doing the work and think of hiring one of us, simply submit an appropriate bid and they should realize it is out of their financial reach.

    A 5+ acre lot would run roughly 5-6 thousand / year, to maintain it properly at least the first year, maybe more at first and less later, but as cheap as they would like it to be does not happen.

    i.e.: You're not crazy, don't do it.

    ED'S LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 361

    I personally don't do any churches, but I know a guy in town that does the church that he goes to. It's about 2 acres, playard, nothing too fancy. He uses a 48" ztr toro and it takes him 2 hrs. He gets $125/cut. Approx 3k yr. I wouldn't do it less than 4k.
  7. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,993

    Couldnt agree more. Curches are constantly complaining about pricing, sceduling, and wanting to do work themselves to keep the price down.

    I take care of one church and the guy calls me yesterday 5 days after I mowed it to ask me if I had been there because it was getting tall.

  8. scchamblee

    scchamblee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 161

    I do one church, 1 1/2 to 2 acres mostly mowing not much trimming and a parrking lot to blow off... $70 per cut (usually 3 times a month)

    Now for the intresting part... They want to let one of the high school kids who is a member cut it for the summer till he goes to college and then I pick back up in the fall!!! I am thinkin bout telling them to shove it up their ARSE!!!! This pisses me OFF!!!!
  9. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 458

    Well, here's what I came up with:

    The property has 245,878 sq. ft. of turf (5.64 acres). My lawn has 11,000 sq. ft. of turf and I can mow/trim/blow it in an average of 35 minutes and would charge $35. The church is roughly equivalent to 22.35 of my yards. So:

    22.35 X 35 (min) = 782.25 (min) = 13.04(hours) @ $50/hr = $651.87


    22.35 X $35 = $782.25.

    Now I know that there is no travel time and much more open mowing so I can come down some, but still, there is no way the church is going to pay that much.

    What am I missing here?


    Joel B.
  10. scchamblee

    scchamblee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 161

    I do an a partment complex with 14 buildings 5 acres of just turf (lots of small areas not alot of wide open mowing), lots of sidewalks, 15,000 linear ft of weedeating, and lots of parking lots. I do it with a 60" ztr 48" WB 2 trimmers and 2 blowers and I do it in 16 man hours and I get $650 kinda low but I needed the work so I took it.

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