Commercial Account, Need Some Help!!!!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by opher, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. opher

    opher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    I HOPE SOME OF YOU GUYS CAN GIVE ME SOME HELP ON THIS BIG JOB FOR US. I'LL START WITH MY EQUIPMENT. TTHP 48'' WALK BEHIND, AND A NEW ZERO TURN THIS SPRING, PROBALLY 52''-56'' SCAG OR EX-MARK,2-STRING TRIMMERS, ECHO PB650. I WILL NEED HELP ON THE GRASS CUTTING AND TRIMMING . ITS HARD TO EXPLAIN ALL THE TRIMMING, BUT I FIGURED WITH 2 OF US ON CUTTING, THE PERSON TRIMMING WILL FINISH THE SAME TIME AS THE CUTTING. THERE WILL BE 3 OF US DOING THIS JOB.
    HERE WE GO,
    I HAVE A GOOD CHANCE TO GET A SCHOOL ACCOUNT. THERE ARE 3 SEPARATE AREAS TO CUT ALL WITHIN A 1/4 MILE FROM EACH OTHER. THE QUALITY OF THE GRASS IN ALL AREAS IS AVERAGE TO A LITTLE BELOW AVERAGE .

    HERE THEY ARE.

    THE 1ST IS THE FOOTBALL FIELD AND ITS SURROUNDING AREA AROUND THE SCHOOL, INCLUDED IS THE PRACTICE FIELDS. TOTAL IS 161,481 SQ. FT.

    THE SECOND IS THE BASEBALL FIELDS, THERE IS NOT AS MUCH TRIMMING BECAUSE ALL THE FENCES WILL HAVE ROUND-UP AROUND THEM. THE TOTAL IS 315,700 SQ. FT.

    THE THIRD IS THE ELEMANTARY SCHOOL WHICH IS NO PROBLEM WITH 19,060 SQ. FT.

    P.S.
    A LITTLE BIRD INFORMED ME THAT THE CURRENT COMPANY IS GETTING AROUND $ 20,000/CUTTING SEASON.

    TOTAL SQ. FT. IS 496,241
    11.4 ACRES

    THANKS,
    HELP ON THIS WILL GREATLY BE APPRECIATED.
    LIGHTHOUSE LAWNCARE
    :usflag:
     
  2. opher

    opher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    Can anyone help???
     
  3. FIRESCOOBY

    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 981

    The question is "How particular are they gonna be with the fields"?

    We do a local school, but didn't bid on the fields. Every school around here wants them cut 2-3 times/week and the clippings bagged. WAY too much work for us and the equipment we have. I wasn't willing to go out and buy the appropriate equipment for a year to year contract.
     
  4. opher

    opher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    BASEBALL FIELDS WILL BE 2X PER WEEK IN THE SPRING AND BI-WEEKLY IN SUMMER. FOOTBALL FIELDS WILL BE BAGGED IN THE SPRING, THERE IS A DUMPSTER TO DUMP CLIPPINGS INTO 20 FEET OFF OF THE FIELD THAT I CAN DRIVE UP TOO.
     
  5. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    Do you have all the equipment to handle this contract with all of your other mowing? Remember things do breakdown and weather can cause problems its alway's better to have other equipment ready for backup. I think the price of $20,000 for a season is fair but I wouldn't go any lower than that. You wont be mowing every week during the summer when its dry. Remember that schools alway's look at price first and then if you have equipment needed to do the job. They will want a contract signed stating what you agree to do for the price and you will have to compete with other company's who will be bidding also. The school board will vote on who will be doing the work for 2007 so good luck.
     
  6. opher

    opher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    I believe with our 2006 Ex-Mark TTHP 48'' and whatever Zero turn we decide on buying early spring should suffice this job. Like I said 2 of us cutting and the other trimming would work. As far as another back-up machine, no thats all were going to have this year.

    Thanks for your reply, I was hoping other LCO's would give me some input on this first big job for the company
     
  7. JKOOPERS

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,259

    that little birdie could also be lying to you so youll bid cheaper . i tell clients you get what you pay for.
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Yup, birdies will lie to you in a New York second.
    The part I dislike is now I got this stupid figure in my head that won't allow me to give a clean, fair estimate.
    And being that they already have a price, they'll be comparing my bid AND my work to that 20k one (meaning they'll likely try to boss me around if they accept my bid, they'll come around and be telling me how they want me doing this that and the other).

    ..........................
    Technically speaking, 11 acres ought to go for around $25 / acre so 275 / cut.

    But since it's commercial, I wouldn't touch 11 acres for less than $60 / acre = 660 / cut x 20 = 13,200.00
    And sure enough, something is wrong here...
    Ok, make it 75 / acre = 15,000
    Gee wow, you mean they'll pay $100 or so per acre cut?
    WooHoo?
    Somehow, I think not.
    Something about it sounding too good to be true rings my bells.
    More like this is a disaster waiting to happen.
    And this is why I HATE commercial bids.

    Bid 60,000 and hopefully they say NO.
    Or turn in a no-bid letter (that would be my option of choice, especially since the birdie couldn't stop from messing up my figures before I even had a chance to get started).
     
  9. opher

    opher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    My buisness partner is a coach for this school district and one of the lady's in the office was the person to clue him in on this figure of $20,000 +/- . We guestimated, just by looking at this property and figured it would take around 24 man hrs. per week. so , $60/man hr x 24 hrs = $1,440 x 28 cuts =$ 40,320 which is doubled from our inside secretaries figures she gave us. Technically, I would have to come in at $30 per man hr to come close to the $ 20,000. Would you guys do this work for that price?

    Thanks for your replies,
    Chris
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I know what I forgot (among several other things, I'm sure):

    These are athletic fields!!!
    Once the season starts (or the training even), these fields will get a TON of traffic which in turn causes not only turf erosion but an amazing amount of soil compaction, all of which deteriorate the lawn. While neither the players nor the spectators will want a dirt field, the manager will hold you responsible for providing a safe playing area.

    In order to relieve these issues, you really need to study up on the care and maintenance of athletic fields as they require care and maintenance far beyond your household turf. Should we assume optimal soil and landscaping conditions are current?

    Compaction is the main reason for turf failure on athletic fields. Extremely high soil compaction cuts off the oxygen in the soil that is essential for good root growth. Turf managers can reduce the problem through aerification (coring) by using a machine that inserts a hollow metal tine or spoon into the soil. Aerification is the only way soil can be tilled without seriously disturbing the turf. The hole left by this process allows more oxygen to reach the root system and harmful gases to escape. These holes also allow better movement of water, nutrients, and pesticides into the soil.
    You're basically looking at aerating these fields some kind of way, likely throughout the season.
    Don't forget, pesticides means weed control.
    That's besides the fact that Two or three weekly mowings may be necessary, as turf grass needs to be kept below 1.5 inches in height.
    And you really need a reel mower. Reel mowers are preferred for a clean cut. Rotary mowers are a second choice provided the blades are sharp and can be lowered to the appropriate height; however, scalping frequently occurs at lower cutting heights.
    And you'll need to throw down light amounts of nitrogen on a constant basis.

    I think either your friends are very uninformed about all of this, or maybe they're counting on greed getting the best of you.
    You better bid at least 60,000.
     

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