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bidding schools

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Cutters Lawn Care, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. Cutters Lawn Care

    Cutters Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    Got a call today from the principle of a new middle school. I go out and meet with him and we walk the property together. This is a newly constructed school. It hasn't had any lawn service yet. So he tells me what he wants. I estimate that it's gonna take 21 man hours per cut. For those of you who do schools is there anything I need to lookout for. Anything helpful info on bidding schools would be appreciated. This is my first bid for a school just making sure of myself before I submit the bid. Thanks
  2. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    I know that they will take the lowest bidder, so give a bid you can profit from and don't look back. Make sure you know what the landscape plans are, such as trees, fencing etc..I won a bid on a hospital, 2 weeks later they install 100 trees. I had to go back to them to get a cost variance to offset my additional time. Are they bidding the landscape maintenance as well, or just mowing?
    Trimming can be hard to estimate, double check that.
  3. Cutters Lawn Care

    Cutters Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    The school is already constructed. Just got finished as a matter of fact. The landscape is already installed. The only thing that wasn't finished was the football field. I think I have all my bases covered just wanted any helpful info I can get. The principle just wants it cut every 2 weeks. 21 man hours per cut is what I came up with.
  4. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,847

    the school i maintain wants it done after the children are gone. you may want to see if this is an issue with them.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    "The principle just wants it cut every 2 weeks."

    This should give you a good idea of what your idea of what you're dealing with, right here. Nothing against schools in general, as I do quite a bit of work for some, myself. But, just like customers, there's a big factor in who you are dealing with. Nothing like an administrator telling you how to do YOUR job. 2 weeks just doesn't work...especially when you're dealing with acreage that you can get behind on.
  6. Cutters Lawn Care

    Cutters Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    Maclawn I have already thought about that. If we do get the bid I was gonna do it on Saturday. Alot less liability for me. Runner I totally agree. I tried to work him over with weekly but he wouldn't budge. I thought for a second I had him at every 10 days. I did tell him that he would need to keep the baseball and football field cut weekly and he agreed with that. Any other tips?
  7. bayoulawn

    bayoulawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    And if it rains Saturday and Sunday?
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    I do 5 schools in MN. The Senior High takes 1 ENTIRE day to mow and trim using a 12' Tri-Deck mower, 2 60" mowers and the trimming.

    We can knock it out with 3 guys in 10 hours, 2 guys have to hurry and it'll take about 15 hours. We do it every Wednesday, starting with all of the ballfields and work our way towards the school which usually ends up after hours.

    The 2 other schools take about 2 hours each, and the other 2 take about 5 hours each. These can be all knocked out in a day, but again, it's a LONG day and it's usually 3 on a Saturday, and one on Sunday, or vice versa depending on the rain situation and how the other lawns are going on schedule.

    We stipulated in our contract that we'd mow on the weekends or after hours during the school year, after that we can mow whenever.

    The last 2 weekends have been total washouts, so one week we were in the schools during the day, but just worked around wherever the kids were. A couple of areas we had to come back to after hours because it would just be faster to drive the 20 miles back, rather than wait an hour for the P.E. class to be over.

    All in all, I'd say that if it's going to take 21 man hours, and you can get another guy to help you, you shouldn't have any problems with getting it done in one weekend. I don't know about doing it every other week though. The fields up here get pretty long even after 1 week, let alone 2. I'd hate to be bagging football / soccer / baseball fields.

    If it does get too long, I've had to double cut some fields, I'd rather do that than bag.

    It's not $100 / hour like a couple of accounts that I've got, but it's decent money for just parking the truck in 1 spot and mowing all day.

    Plus we've got the district on contract, so when it dries out later in the year, we still get paid.

    Last year we mowed one week one month, still got the regular old check.
  9. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    Then it's time to walk away. Be a professional and tell him the disadvantages of bi-weekly mowing. Maybe you should get into the school and tell him how to discipline the kids, 'cause god knows we are putting out some little rats nowadays.
  10. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    Just wondering, why are they only bidding the Middle School?? Usually there's a groundskeeper or they bid out all the schools?

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