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Help! Need Your Expertise Advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BladeWI, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. BladeWI

    BladeWI LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I am a one man lawn care service and have just landed a big commercial account with a new developing subdivision. Currently it will take me @ 12 hours to cut this account, however, on occasion I can have someone (not a sub) that can help with the cutting which cuts my time in half. My question is: how do I quote this account....my full time or the time it takes when I have an assistant or somewhere in the middle?

    Thanks for any advice you can give me....also, I already have the account just need to finalize the actual time/price for the job.:dizzy:
  2. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 648

    Same difference. You still will have the same number of man hours.

    I assume you are paying your help. If that is the case then you should be making a profit.

    If it is 12 hours and you get $40 per hour, it is a $480 bill.

    If 2 of you do it in 6 hours, you still have 12 man hours, still a $480 bill.

    If 4 people do it in 3 hours, still the same bill.
  3. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    Also make sure to bid on the higher end. You mentioned bidding somewhere in the middle. Never do that. You do not want to short change yourself.
  4. LakeSide Lawn and Landscape

    LakeSide Lawn and Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 337

    Listen to bruces, he is exactly wright.
  5. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,045

    Nost of the times is almost imposible to have two guys and cut the time in half, if you think is going to take you 12 hours yourself don't expect 6 hour with two guys, let alone 4 hours with 3.

    The advantage is the you can bid it in the high end, maybe $60-70 per hour just counting yourself.

    Most of the places I bid at always try to get $40 per man hour (2 or 3 guys crew), but if I do'em with only one guy I avarege $60.

    Try to set up a yearly contract, instead of a per cut price.
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,940

    How did you come to the 12 hour figure?


    Talk to previous contractors?

    If its a guess, do you feel confident in your estimate of hours?

    I feel you should bid that job @ $800/cut.

    It sounds like you may not be ready for such a large job right now anyway. But if you DO get it, you know that $800 was too cheap. Bids are almost ALWAYS awarded to the lowest bidder. Unless you have an "insider" to guide you most quotes for big jobs are all over the place.

    Good Luck, and DON'T short change yourself.

    Just remember you'll be working this job for a full season. That can make for a real tought time if it turns into a 20+ hr nightmare every week!!!

    Look before you leap!
  7. BladeWI

    BladeWI LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thanks to everyone for their advice. Thought I would answer some of the questions:

    If its a guess, do you feel confident in your estimate of hours?

    It is not a guess, I have already cut the property in bits and pieces as the owners have decided what areas to be cut. This weekend will be a full blown cut.

    It sounds like you may not be ready for such a large job right now anyway. But if you DO get it,

    Fortunately I am ready, and I have gotten it. :D
  8. regnort

    regnort LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41


    Just wanted to throw in my $.02 here as I have been in the same boat. As far as quoting, figure man hrs and quote accordingly. I have at times cut a property for free to get a feel for time to cut. Luckily I am a whole lot better now at judging time without having to measure, even on the larger properties. Also my experience is that if you use someone who knows what they are doing, you should be able to more than double your production. I have a few guys who I help out from time to time and we more than cut their times in half and they actually make more per hr when I cut with them. Also, asking a previous contractor probably won't do you any good unless their operation is close to yours. I once took over a job that the previous lco told me they had 16hrs per cut.(2 man crew 8hrs). I looked at it and bid it at 12hrs by myself. After two years I am knocking it out in 7-8 hrs. I have to be around $45 per hr to make money, and I make @ $60 per hr there. I personally like being a one man show. Althhough I do get tired of hearing myself ----- and complain all day long about the working conditions, it is nice to know I have an employee who thinks the same way I do.

    Good Luck
  9. Ax Man

    Ax Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 446

    Yup and the time and price are related to what you use on it equipment wise.
    ( I checked the profile and saw none listed )
    12 man hours with a 60" midmount don't equal 12 hrs with a 32" wb.
    What are you working with?

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