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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MTS Services, Mar 16, 2000.

  1. MTS Services

    MTS Services LawnSite Member
    from utah
    Posts: 17

    I am new here, from Utah. I have the oportunity to bid on a 35 acre job. It has to be mowed twice a week and is fairly open. The buildings, trees, and any structure in the turf area are to be trimmmed once a week. The sprinkler system has to be checked and adjusted weekly. And last there is about 3/4 of a mile of pavent that has to be edged 3 times per season. Any and all replies are appreciated.<br> Thanks, <br> Matt
  2. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    What sort of gear do you plan to mow this site with? The 3/4 mile of edging done 3 times a year shouldn't take more than 1-1.5<br>hours.What sort of finish is required?<br>A job that size I would look at a Toro<br>455D or 580D,unless you have a lot of spare time.Either that or a tractor pulling a 12'<br>mower.The easiest way to price the big mowing<br>jobs is to break the total area into smaller<br>sub-areas and then work out your times for<br>each sub-area then add them all up.<br>Good luck.<p>Karl
  3. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,555

    Be careful,the all your eggs in one basket comes to mind here.You buy a Toro 580D(big$$$)and 2years later you lose the account,you still have 2 or 3 years of payments and a machine with a very limited market to sell.Just a thought,or get a 3-5 year contract.I maintain a 100 acre golf course,and the little stuff you guys use is way to small.I run 2 15ft reel mowers and a 60&quot;steiner 420 to trim,a 10ft reel for rough,a 7ft reel for steep hillsides,and 5 61&quot; greens triplexes for tees,greens and approaches.I dont know the finish required,but you could buy an older Jacobsen F10 turf tractor with a 15 ft cut,set height and itll cut 60-70 acres a day,I could get one her for 4000-7000 in nice shape,put a grand into it to paint it and little stuff.These things are bulletproof,I have over 6000 hours on one of mine,its never been apart,no leaks,runs like new yet.The cutting units are bulletproof too,once a year lubrication,and backlap and your set.Downside,they weigh about 6500lbs,so you have to leave it on site(if allowed).These things will leave a finish a rotary could only dream of.<p>----------<br>John D<br>
  4. grasskutter

    grasskutter LawnSite Member
    from mass.
    Posts: 38

    John D, what happenes when he wants the reels sharpened, not many people or companies have the machines to sharpen these, I do it on the side/winter work but its a little expensive for most people, i do mostly golf courses. Backlapping will only go so far.Got most of my equipment used from golf courses that want to sub it out.<p>----------<br>grasskutter@cs.com<br>
  5. MTS Services

    MTS Services LawnSite Member
    from utah
    Posts: 17

    Thanks for all your insight. But I was thinking of using 2 60&quot; ztr's. Do you think I would be able to cut all the turf, do about 1.5 miles of trimming in one full day with 3 workers including my self.<br> Thanks,<br> Matt
  6. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Posts: 1,671

    Matt, I won a bid that requires about 28 acres of mowing. I was going to buy one of those Toro 455's , but at $35-$40,000 plus the weight and transport of the mower caused me to look into another alternative. I have this contract for 3 years and allowed for $50,000.00 for the tractor and trailer (because I could not keep it on site). With the advice from Eric, the Dixie Chopper guy on this site, I bought 2 72&quot; 26hp Diesel Dixie Choppers that will get the job done in the same amount of time or less, and I will have 2 tractors that I can use for other smaller properties. The Toro would have been just site specific. I now have spent a total of 30,000 and have 2 dixies and an enclosed 20X8 landscape trailer to haul them around. I save $20,000.00 and have a more versatile set up. The choppers will also pull aerators and spreaders. I spoke with a landscaper at a trade show in RI last week and he mowes a field that is 2 softball fields and a soccoer field in 1 hour and 10 min. with his Dixie Chopper. Hope this helps.
  7. MTS Services

    MTS Services LawnSite Member
    from utah
    Posts: 17

    nlminc thanks for your input. I was thinking the same thing about using the zrt's on other smaller jobs. That would cut the time in half at the small jobs also. How long does it take you to cut the 28 acre job you have?
  8. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    Hey, I like the idea of the 580D. I been trying to buy one for the airport, and if I could get a good price from you in a few years, I'll make you an offer on it.
  9. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    Ok, just kidding.<p>But I'd listen to the comment of putting all your eggs in one basket. This could easily ruin you if something goes astray. If you never have done anything close to this, then I would give it some SERIOUS thought. If you are asking this question because you seriously don't know about how to approach the matter, then I would say don't chance it.<p>I'd wait a few more years, and work up to an account like this, at least wait till you get some financial backing to back up a fall if it happens, and also wait to get some more experience so that you know what you'll need instead of guessing.<p>As for that 580, it looks like a great machine, but what if it breaks down. That thing has like 8 blades on it as i recall, looks like a mechanics nightmare. Are you gonnna be able to fix it right away? And what if you can't? If you fall behind on a job like that, even for a week, it could lead to a real downfall. We have a full time mechanic, so if stuff breaks we can get it fixed on the spot or a matter of days. Its a luxury that a lot of people don't have, so I'd be thinking about back up plans also if you seriously are going to do it.<p>This is the kind of account that could make you or break you. And from my experiences, the break part happens more often if you aren't fully prepared. Then, again, it sure is tempting $$$<p>steveair<br>
  10. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    One more thing is with the sprinkers. Do you know somebody to do the work on them, or are you a irrigation contractor also. If not, could cost a lot to sub it out, which will have to be done anyways for major repairs. If you have knowledge of them, you could service them yourself, but even that is tricky sometimes because you are supposed to be certified, at least in my area, to even touch them. To become certified is very difficult. A lot worse than getting a pesticide license. By me, you have to have 5 years experience just to be able to take the test. I'd do some investigating on the irrigation also if you are serious about it.<br>

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