Can you make money at $26 acre

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Green Acres, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Green Acres

    Green Acres LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 316

    A local contract just went out to bid and the winner was at $26 an acre. There are multiple sites with the biggest probably around 15 acres and the smallest around 10,000 sq ft. I think there was around 150 acres total. The areas are not just all open either. So there will be plenty of trimming, blowing, edging etc. Is it possibly to make any money doing this? The guy that got it has about 12 60" ztr's. So apparently he's doing something right
     
  2. Dogbonz

    Dogbonz LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 389

    Or wrong, and won't be around for many season. But Maybe he got the Fert and Snow work also?? I don't know.
     
  3. Green Acres

    Green Acres LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 316

    There's no fert apps or snow removal. He's been doing these big contracts for atleast 5 yrs that I know of.
     
  4. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,045

    Is he on unemployment? Or the wife must be loaded.
     
  5. ochosdaddy

    ochosdaddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    I know an owner of a lawn company that took home $13,000 last year after all expenses. He has several employees; all make more than he does. He's been like this for many years and seems just fine with it. I guess some people just don't care?
     
  6. RECESSION PROOF MOWING

    RECESSION PROOF MOWING LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 376

    Boy oh boy, did you ever hit my area of expertise...city park lowball bidders. I just lost all 475 ac/biweekly cut jobs to a series of new and old cutters who should know better. You will be amazed to learn that at least 50% of all landscapers out there cannot call themselves "businessmen" with a straight face. That's because half of all bidders out there either don't care to make more than a wage or don't know how to make money. They're hobbyists. They aren't business people. That's what you're competing against, friend...guys who haven't a clue how to make money on low bids. $26/ac is all over Kansas City. Try this on for size...$18/acre! Yep...how would you like to be the winner of a 27 ac city park in the absolute worst ghetto part of KC for no money but all the responsibility of having to mow, hard edge, trim, blow, pickup trash? Sound fun? Did I mention that these "winners" at $18/ac are mowing in the ghettos frequently on the nightly news for murder, robbery, gangbanging, prostitution, and drug dealing?

    We've got one Einstein who bid $100 per cut on 5 inner city ghetto parks, around 3 acre total...sound like an easy job, right? Wrong. I won this series of parks years ago at $600/cut and earned every penny. Made money, don't play violin for me then, but let me tell you...had my trimmers stolen, had addicts at every park, crackhouse next door, had murders at those parks in the evening, had to deal with the bottom of the barrel criminals every other week, etc. You just don't roll your white self into the ghetto and not feel the heat. But for $100, this dummy is gonna take that contract and think he's done something special. Ha ha...good luck to ya, buddy, is what I say.

    I can top that one...a 27 ac/5000 headstone city historical cemetery was bid at...are you sitting down...$750!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Figure that one out. That guy will lose money first day out. If I told you I'd pay you $750 to mow a 27 acre, mangy, uneven, headstone-infested 5000 ct plot of ground for this money...what would you do? Run, run the other way is what a businessman would do. Let the guy fail.

    Bottom line...let people fail if they want to. Nobody can make real money at $26/ac no matter what lie they tell ya. They would have to have free labor all summer long. See how stupid the arguement can get? I heard from one of the inspectors on a lowball city bidder, "hey, he lives right across the street from one of the 7 parks in the contract." Lol...you gotta be kidding? I don't care if you LIVE IN THE PARK...you still have to mow it! You still have to pay people to trim, put gas in the machines, breakdowns WILL HAPPEN EVERY WEEK OF YOUR MOWING LIFE. Licenses at the city, insurance, blah, blah, blah.

    Just how cheap will a guy work is the burning question these days. How cheap, how low is too low? The city of KC has hit rock bottom. When a guy will risk his life for 3.5 hrs in the absolute toilet bowl of the city...for $100 gross...we've hit the "end of days" in the mowing business, guys.
     
  7. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,645

    ..............no!..........
     
  8. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Posts: 1,123

    It's getting bad around here too. Everybody around here that gets laid off from the plants uses their severence pay to buy a mower and trailer, I mean everybody. They go out there and start bidding on stuff when they have only maintained their own yard before. The bad thing is that both parties lose in that situation, because after a few months they find a job and leave the mowing gig, and the company has to find somebody else to mow their property. I don't know how many customer's I've picked up that said their last lawn care guy was drawing unemployment and mowing, and they now need someone else because they found a job.
     
  9. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,645

    and they want the same price.
     
  10. robomcf

    robomcf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Same out in New York guys from plants layed off. and start a landscape biz and plowing but dont have a biz license or DOT numbers, but the guys that have there biz licease and DOT numbers and insurance. That are making it a living, get pulled over by Dot, and as you sit there for half an hour you see guys that are over weight and no DOT numbers drive by.
     

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