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Crew size & $$/acre

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HS Football Rules, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. HS Football Rules

    HS Football Rules LawnSite Member
    Posts: 151

    B][/B]I'm bidding 6 Apartment Complexes::weightlifter:
    1 @ 6 acres
    2 @ 9 acres
    1 @ 12 ac
    1 @ 17 ac
    1 @ 24 ac

    Drive time is 1 hr from one end to the other..with 3 in bunched up in the middle. Equipment is all commercial:
    1- 25/60 ZTR
    1- 15/36 W/B
    1- 21" push
    2- trimmers
    2- blowers

    I'm considering $135/acre and think 3 guys can turn these in a 40 hr week.

    What do you think....
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    1. How much is actual grass?
    2. How many linear feet of trimming and edging is there?
    3. Will there be garbage to pick up?
    4. How much in the way of toys and outdoor furniture is there?
    5. What is there in the way of parking area and islands?

    Off hand, those 3 mowers aren't enough IMO.
  3. HS Football Rules

    HS Football Rules LawnSite Member
    Posts: 151

    I can't detail out each site....they're typical complexes...some have less trimming some have more...I've walked them all,,,, a couple are wham bam...a couple are all day-ers, the rest are somewhere in the middle. They're being bid as a group, not individually, so I'm looking for opinions on avg $ per acre.

    What would you add equipment-wise,,, Rodfather?:usflag:
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Another WB and velke in the 60" size probably. If something happens to your Z in the middle of one of your props, are you going to use a 36" machine to finish up? I doubt it, it will take forever.
  5. HS Football Rules

    HS Football Rules LawnSite Member
    Posts: 151

    I've got the hookup on a backup 60" until I know we can handle these apts.
    Once I'm comfortable I will shop for my own.

    Wanna take a stab at $$ per acre ? ..:confused:
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    The other thing too is that a WB will get in closer than a Z eliminating some trimming. If your Z goes down, you can still finish the job with the big WB. Sure it will take a little longer, but at least you wiill finish.

    As for $$$/acre, I never price out a property that way. I do everything in man hours. No two jobs are the same so how can you estimate by acreage? Only time I use square footage/acreage for estimating is for fert or aerating/seeding service.

    I would walk each property twice (if it's large) on a different day (bring someone else too as well to get their opinion), estimate how long you think it will take and just multiply that by your hourly rate.
  7. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 441

    Try an estimate your mower cutting these. How long will it take? A productivity chart may be helpful.. http://www.scag.com/productivity.html

    In my area, 135.00 per acre is way too high. I figure the time it will take, and then use that hourly number and multiply it by the hourly rate I charge. it is currently $39.50.
  8. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    How many cuts per year/length, type of contract are you going to have.?
    Are these props for a non profit Housing Authority?
    Can't give guess until I know more - are the props irrigated, low rent, medium or high end.
    My company maintains 6 apartment complexes, all for the Texas Housing Authority, all are right at 8.5 acres, and I have had this contract for three years now. There is absolutely no way you would be able to get through these properties in one week with the limited amount of equipment you listed.
    Furthermore, hammering the equipment you do have all day cutting turf, jumping innumerable curbs, yanking on the steering tillers, is going to increase maintenance requirements. Add in a rain delay or two to your properties and essentially, realistically, you will never catch up = limited renewal because you can't finish. And don't even expect 3 guys to produce this quantity of work, at an acceptable level, all week for at least thirty six weeks out of a year.
    So to guess at an acceptable bid per acre? Anything more than say $55.00 or so and you have just bid yourself out of a contract. Although on one property we are receiving slightly more than what would equal $70.00 per acre due to conditions but for $135 per acre what are you doing, cutting with 21" wb's?
  9. HS Football Rules

    HS Football Rules LawnSite Member
    Posts: 151

    Mow rate alone won't work...these are full service contracts...fert,rye,color changes,irrigation,etc...

    happy 4th of July !:usflag:
  10. HS Football Rules

    HS Football Rules LawnSite Member
    Posts: 151

    I know what the mgmnt company spends annually for grounds contracts for these 6 sites....It's just shy of $200K ! Based on that alone....I'm coming in at nearly 40% less.

    As to crew make up...for the biggest site (24 total acres) currently a four man crew mows and blows in 6 hours and trims 1/3 of the shrubs to fill out the day. The 9 acre sites get 3 guys all day and do shrubs every other week.

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