Bidding a Cemeterie

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Elite LawnCare, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    I just read in the paper the town over from me is accepting bids for their cemeteries! I have never done cemeteries so if someone can enlighten me on this that would be great. Tomorrow I am going to the Town Clerks office like the ad says to find out what cemeteries they are talking about. I should have some pictures up to show and will have measurements of the properties soon. I know my over head and have my prices for residential, but with all those stones and extra trimming I want to be able to give a good proposal for both of us. Tomorrow I am going to come up with a price and ask for some opinions. Some guidance would be greatly appreciated:)
     
  2. SchultzLawnCare

    SchultzLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 268

    I'd get ready to trim.... or better yet have your employee. :]
     
  3. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    yeah thats what I was thinkin.....myself and another guy(trimmer). Can't wait to go look these places over.
     
  4. SchultzLawnCare

    SchultzLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 268

    good luck on the bids.
     
  5. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,420

    We do a few cemeteries around here, and I just got a big one to take care of for the next 3 years (nearly 100 acres!). I think our people are alot cheaper down here. I try to get around $60 an acre, and they are pushed to pay that. If they don't let me spray poison I figure about 31 to 33 minutes of "man hour" per acre (that includes mowing and trimming). If they let me poison around the stones (usually 3 inches) I can mow an acre in around 14 to 15minutes (again that is man hour). I do mow with Bad Boy's which are 14 to 15mph machines, but I think it doesn't mean that much difference short term figuring. The difference is all the stones, a regular residential yard only takes about 18 minutes per acre to blow, trim, mow and go. It is almost double the work of a residential on you and your equipment. I personnally would rather do regular yards, but I would have never expanded this fast if I wouldn't have taken the cemeteries also.
     
  6. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    Wow sounds like a lot of work at 100 acres! It sounds to me that even with a good crew you will be there every day. How many other cemeteries have you done? Does it create good references for you?
     
  7. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,420

    Yes, it has opened the door to big contracts for us. We did a sample mow before taking the contract with 3 machines, and it took us nearly 2 days. I am hoping after spraying really good out there with sterilizer and getting used to it we can mow it in 1 day with 4 machines. It helps having my own lawn mower dealership, I can pick and choose what machines to use. I recommend to go with full mulching kits when mowing cemeteries to keep the grass from blowing up on the tombstones. It is a big help to us, and that is peoples biggest complaint. Our contract states that we mow every 10 days or just keep the grass under 3 and 1/2 inches. We are getting ready to spray herbicides to get rid of the dallas grass and bohaia (however you spell it). That will make a huge help and will let us cut it less often. I am pretty excited cause they pay once a month for 12 months, and its the first time I have seen a steady check in 3 years.
     
  8. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,420

    It is a true 100acres, but there is only around 60 acres that are developed. The other 40 don't have to be as manicured (actually they said we could just brushhog). It wasn't nearly as bad as i thought it was going to be. I think we might even be able to mow it in one day with 3 machines (not getting my hopes up though). It did scare the crap out of me though, our next biggest was a little over 20 acres (my wife and I can mow it in one day).
     
  9. sikagrass

    sikagrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    Dont forget to pay attention to the cemeterys policies on flowers, momentos etc. The one I used to do they wanted us to clean all that up,those paper roses dont mulch too well.Also some have room to manuever and some dont so make sure you charge what your time is worth.The more headstones the more its worth. Good luck with it.
     
  10. big acres

    big acres LawnSite Member
    Posts: 182

    Scheduling around burial ceremonies might be a PITA. I know that if I was burying someone I love, I would be pretty po'd if someone pulled up and fired up equipment. Just something to consider.
     

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