Athletic Field Mowing - What type of mowers to use?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bamaone, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. bamaone

    bamaone LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I am bidding a 25-30 acre soccer field complex w/ 10-12 practice fields, 2 championship fields (official size field).
    Mississippi - Zone 7
    Bermuda grass.

    They overseed in Winter. So weekly mowing throughout the season. And they mentioned that for 6-8 weeks during the summer they mow every 3-4 days.

    The trimming with weedeaters I could have done in a couple of hours with a few guys. The majority of the time would be mowing the fields. I would like to know what a good mower for this type of application would be. I would prefer quality first/ productivity second.

    Also, any comments on bid price would be welcome:
    I have an "in" who said that a price was given of 32-33K/year for just the mowing/trimming etc. I was thinking more along the lines of 36-37k. Anyone have experience with this. Thanks!
     
  2. Toro 580-D is the best there is. it stands out above Howard Price, Jacobsen and John Deere.
    Why not see them about multi year contract? Then buy what you need.
    A big 16.6' Toro 580 would have those fields done in time for lunch!

    Dave
     
  3. bamaone

    bamaone LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Thanks for the input David.
    I saw another post of yours regarding this unit and have looked at the specs on Toro. Looks awesome. Do you know pricing on these?
    I am afraid this may be too much mower for me for only this one job, although I see an opportunity that if this job goes well, I may have found a niche and could seek other work for this mower.

    I am leaning towards a 72" Scag Turf Tiger to start. It will do 28 acres a day (8 hour day w/ 20% overlap). I could then put the scag in my fleet and begin bidding on city ROW work.

    I am curious as to the cutting quality of Turf Tiger on Athletic Fields.
    I went out to fields today and the guys there were using a Jacobsen Reel Mower and one guy was pulling out of the area with a couple of large ZTRS. So I am assuming that Rotor mowing would be ok although I do want to do a better job than the current guys.
     
  4. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    You are going to do a 30 acre complex with one 72" ZTR?

    We do 7 acre complexes with 3 72" ZTR's and use WAM'S on the large ones like this one.
     
  5. bamaone

    bamaone LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    "You are going to do a 30 acre complex with one 72" ZTR?"

    I am leaning toward this for starters. Maybe eventually putting 2 out there and being done in 4 - 5 hours.

    Per my situation currently - 70+- accounts - Wed. -Sat. is booked.
    I am a one crew show presently. Me and 3 others
    Actually just got back on board a sharp guy who worked with me while getting his MBA, took a bad job and called me. Started Yesterday. I have offered him a position as my #2.

    These guys want the field mowed every Thurs.
    The only way I can fit this in for this year, would be for me to put my #2 guy on the Mowing all day. Me and the others would be around for a couple of hours trimming and other. Then we would take of to finish schedule and leave my #2 mowing there until he is finished and can load up and head home.

    I am super pumped to have this opportunity and this account could prove to help get me to the next level.

    How much do the WAMS run?
     
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    I think you are way underestimating the amount of work involved in keeping a sports complex up. Besides the mowing and because of all the fencing there will be hours of trimming also.

    WAMS used to new run $15K on the very used low end to $45K

    ALso, no offense but how are you making any money with 4 people and only 70 accts? They would have to be huge paying accts, certainly not residentials.
     
  7. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

     
  8. bamaone

    bamaone LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    "I think you are way underestimating the amount of work involved in keeping a sports complex up. Besides the mowing and because of all the fencing there will be hours of trimming also."


    Not much trimming for this particular property, I feel very confident that total trim time with 3 guys could be done in 2-3 hours.

    It essentially wide open green field (goals, bleachers, light poles and other to trim). Other than that, hop on a mower and roll. I understand that athletic fields are of higher maintenance. We will be looking at mowing every week, all year, From July-Sept - mowing 2 times a week. Monday - mower only, Thursday - full visit.

    I would definitely prefer to err on the side of caution.


    "ALso, no offense but how are you making any money with 4 people and only 70 accts? They would have to be huge paying accts, certainly not residentials."

    No offense taken.
    We do about 60/40 Comm/Res. - I have some great comm. accounts and high end residentials.
    We start mowing Wed. Mornings - 7 a.m. and are not finished until Sat. Noon
    I can run it with a 3 man crew but that extra guy really makes it worth it on the larger comm. accounts. When we do the smaller yards, I usually let the guys do it while I return calls/etc.
    Mon.and Tues. we do additional services - New home installations, stone patios, existing flower bed enhancements, general cleanups, etc.


    "How long you thinking the MBA dude is going to hang around?
    An MBA and cutting grass?
    Hmmm............."

    I guess since I offered him salary above what his last "White collar" job paid, I feel confident that I can keep him around. He will come in as my #2 and help me grow my business.As I grow, so grows his salary. It is amazing what a little hard work can get you in the sweet USA. How many other jobs do you think he can get as #2 starting position. Anyways, maybe you will be right, but as of now he likes this idea as he is an outdoors/ag type of guy that likes down time during deer and duck season.

    Thanks for everyones input. I am just a hard working guy trying to grow my business slowly but surely. It has proved to be a good plan so far.
     
  9. oldturf

    oldturf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    We mow 85 acres of soccer fields each week with a JD 997 with 72'' cut and have no problem. We back that up with a 27hp Toro if we need to speed things up, but the 997 usually does it all alone in 2 days with no problem I agree that the Toro 580 D is about as good as it gets but would be overkill in this situation. I have tried to justify the cost of one but can't bring myself to put out that kind of money for no more use than I have for it. As far as bidding on soccer fields around here about $20.00 an acre to mow plus trimming is all you can get. Take a look at the 997 and demo one, I'll bet you won't let them have it back.
     
  10. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205


    85 acres in 2 days with one 72"?
    uhumph.......................
     

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