Another how would you bid?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KerryB, Sep 24, 2001.

  1. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 661

    Ok everyone, I measured this one today. Lets see how you would bid on this one.
    Drive time a little long, 40 miles one way. A drawback for sure but wait this is a twice a month cut, no hedges or flowers or bushes. Also could be a way in to other Walmart superstores. Also there is a lot of other prospects in the immediate area.

    Total sq ft 85,332.
    39,408 sq ft can be cut with rider no problem. Its flat and has no obsticles. 30,612sq ft to be cut with wb 21" as it is 18" wide strips. The other 15,312 is the problem. Its a bank, 22ft from bottom to top. May be able to push, more than likely string trimmer.

    This prop has 3,259 ln ft to edge. And 454 ln ft to cut with string trimmer along a chain link fence.

    All in all without a pic the best I can help is that 39,408 sq ft is a difficulty factor of 1.
    45,924 a factor of 3.
  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I would estimate drive time at 2 hours.
    I would estimate Line Trimming/Edging and blowing off vehicular/pedestrian pavements that have been edged at 90 minutes.

    I would figure your estimate for the banked portion (15,312 sf = $153) of the turf areas using a self-propelled 21”
    2 cycle engine mower because of the gradients. I calculated this the same as the other trim mower section
    (30,612 sf) and then doubled it because of the apparent magnitude of the grade, and inevitable wear on your equipment.

    I would recommend that you stay away from line trimming this section if possible because of the uneven appearance it will project, and it would also include more time than cutting with a trim mower.

    I would estimate the island portions (30,612 sf = $153) of the turf areas as having to be cut using a 21” trim mower as well.

    I calculated the remaining turf areas (39,408 sf = $118.20) using deck mowers.

    So my estimate would read as follows:
    Mowing: $424 per cut (+) Line Trimming/Edging & Blowing: 90 minutes at your labor rates. (+) Travel Time: 2 hours at your labor rates (=) Bid Price.
  3. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Man this sounds familiar.

    I had something similar recently, 10000 sf of trimming on a very steep bank. The responses I got generally ended up saying, "Are you sure you want this?". Well, I finally decided no. I put the bid in, but I raised my price 2 extra times. If I got it great, it would be worth the trouble. If not, even better.
  4. Good one Hoss

  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    I'm sorry, but I don't get these questions.

    example... I am 15 years old - o overhead ( my dad pays my gas)

    I will do the property you talked about for $100 dollars a week...that could be my summer job!!!

    I feel myself ,that I would rather see how much time fellow lco's think this project would take.
  6. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    I plug it into my formula and, without looking at it, come up with $2633/month. Obviously, looking at it could change my mind depending on obstacles, actual time traveled to and from, and other odds and ends. All things being equal, however, that's what I come up with...

  7. It's a 5-6 man hour job plus travel.

    Go to Home Depot any buy the cheapest lightest thin steel deck POS 21" Murray. Or buy a used one from a local for $25.

    Remove the handle, relocated the throttle on to the engine, attach an eye bolt to the rear of the deck then attach a rope to the eye bolt.

    Stand on the top of the slope and go fishing with you new toy.

    Since you have a 80 mile travel issue this job will go to a local contractor for about $250-275 per service. Can you meet that price?
  8. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 661

    Thats a nice tool
    Well a local had this job and did a pi$$poor job. He was suppose to cut it twice a month, sometimes he didnt do it at all.
    I didnt even know about this prop till the manager stopped by one of my other props and asked me to come look at it.
    TG I want to move to Calif.
    Kutnkru, again thank you. I had estimated $529.00 per kut. This one has even scared away the scrubs so I dont think anyone will be doing it for $100..each cut.
    65hoss you may be right, this one may be more trouble than its worth but if I get it at $529.00 it will be a good paying job.
    The manager said not to be afraid of pricing it the way I need to to make money. So that makes me think maybe he is looking for a quality service and not fishing for price. I could be wrong, and if I am someone else can have this headache.
    Kutnkru, I enjoy reading your posts. You really try to help everyone. Thanks to you I have gone from buying a new exmark to being torn between it and a dixie. Just cant make up my mind. Any help here?
  9. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    I don't know how fast the grass grows down by you, but don't forget to factor in time for possibly having to double cut it because it will be longer when you only do it every two weeks. If you waited two weeks in Wisconsin to cut grass, you might as well plan on bailing it as hay! Just something to consider also.
  10. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I presume that you are talking about a dilemma between WBs and Zs.

    I have strayed away from the Z craze because 98% of the properties serviced in our area range from 8-15m/sf. This inlcudes the vast majority of commercials too as they wouldnt be much more at approx 18-20m/sf.

    I feel that although just as Eric has shown that operated properly a Z will not harm your turf. As a volunteer firefighter I also am aware that properly operating a motor vehicle can limit the damage to ones body. I see an awful lot of wreckers/flatbeds loaded full while working - LOL!!!

    I think that the first rule of thumb IMHO is: Can you pay the machine off completely in the same season as the purchase? If not then I would say that you are not ready for it regardless of what it is - bed edger, line trimmer, commercial mower, etc.

    Then you need to acess your local market from a clients perspective. If the majority does not have a problem wirth these units because they are baby boomers who simply dont care as long as the property looks good - you should be alright with a Z purchase for smaller sized residential properties.

    On the other hand. If you have a client pool like mine who are retired IBM'ers and Engineers from other Industries that are avid golfers who drill their course super's for knowledge, these are a tougher sell on the Zs unless they know that they have a vast acreage account that warrants such machinery.

    Hope this helps.

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