Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lsylvain, Apr 30, 2001.

  1. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    Here is another I need help on bidding a cemitary question.

    It is 6.5 acres full of stones to many to count, Good news is they are all lined up perfectly around 6 feet apart, so I should beable to run my 36" back and forth between the rows without much, stop, turn, backup, turn garbage you get with most cemitaries.

    The caretaker said it took 48 man hours (mowing and trimming) using junked up pushmowers. I'm thinking it will take me about 24 hours, 36 on a bad day.

    It is very convinatly placed 2 blocks from my house and buts right up to one of my other comercial jobs.

    He has a guy doing it right now but he isn't happy with him, and gave him one more chance to do it right. I figured up about $480 a cut. I told the guy I would do it this week for $360 if he got rid of the current guy. ( way low I know but it would cover my expences with a little left for me)

    What do you guys think?
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    lets do some math on this one.

    480 bucks per cut divided by 24 hours cutting time equals 20 bucks per hour.

    20 bucks per hour minus gas and all of your other expenses assuming that you are insured, licensed and pay taxes means that you'll be working for about 10 bucks an hour.

    can you afford to work for 10 bucks an hour?

  3. NoDownTime

    NoDownTime LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    I would bid it out at 35/man hour which is 35*24= $840. You can not work for free.
  4. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    I would love to charge $850 for it but I really don't think he will go for it. I try to charge around $35-$40 an hour on my residentials. I'm not eaven sure if it will take me 24 hours. I've walked over the property 3 times so far and I just can't see it taking that long. That's like 4 hours an acre. I just can't picture it taking over 3 seconds per sq foot. That would be like taking your trimmer and holding it still for three seconds then moving to the next spot. but maby.

  5. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    lysl...--since you posted the question, my point is that I think you owe it to yourself to think about this one.

    let's say you take 12 hours instead of 24 to do the cut. how would you figure your profit on that? the numbers look better but are still far from enticing.

    my perspective comes from the fact that I have several weekly cuts that approach $100 an hour. these are small, high profile properties that want a favorable public viewing. good luck.

  6. summitgroundskeeping

    summitgroundskeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    I'm young to this industry, 3rd year, but I know that's too cheap. I'm one of the cheapest I know and I price by the job not hour. But I figure I charge $40.00 an hour if the property is 2 acres or smaller. If it's bigger I charge even more per acre. If you aren't sure it will take you 24 hours, do it then bill him as a trial. If he won't go for $850+, tell him that he should pay the guy who does a bad job what he feels is fair. This is a business, not a charity.
  7. Holloway Lawns

    Holloway Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    I just done some landscape work at a cemetery here a few weeks ago and thay ask me about helping take care of their grounds using thier machines and all. I told them I would for $20.00 an hour and they are concidering it but they have one person who has been there for over 10 years he takes care of it all by his self and is behind they pay him like 8.00 an hour. If they do use me it is my bet they would only use me to catch things up.
  8. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Do you need the account, or are you looking for extra income? If you are busy already, set your own price and see if they go for it. Tell them that you will do it for $600.00 and provide the equipment and the gas. If you can get them locked into a contract with you at that price, I would purchase a ZTR with about a 61" or a 72" cut. This would cut your mowing time to about 5-6 hrs. which is 100 bucks an hour. If planned right , this account could pay for you to have a new ZTR and some cash in your pocket. But, to cut the full 6.5 acres with a 36" and still have to trim around headstones will eat all of your profit up.
  9. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    I do need the job. I'm out of school on may 9th and the maintanance job I have with the school ends then to. This job would be really good advertizing for me, being right on the main drag. I like the sound of $600 I just need to get my foot in the door and show this guy what kind of work I do. Once he sees what I can do I can charge him pretty much anything I want.

    The guy that is doing it now has what looks like around 52" husky ztr. I was watching him mow from my house last night. Within 15 min I heard that thing grind good and hard. "Tombstones I bet" I'm wondering if that's because he can't drive or if the deck is just to big to run around through there.


  10. Getmow

    Getmow LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 445

    You cannot get a 72" mower between head and foot stones. Sometimes 60" is too big. Regarless you still have to make two passes on each row.
    You are right that the trimming is where the greatest amount of time is spent. For a perfect job it is usually about 2X the cutting time in a cemetery. With the use of growthregulators and herbicides you can reduce this time.
    I speak from experience-Older cemeteries that weren't all evenly spaced. 9.5 acres took apx 24 manhours without chemicals - 10 with. 3 acre about 2mh w/o chemicals. You have to like the work because the hourly employees don't!
    As for charge-around 100 an acre is fair.

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