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Help with bidding for Aeration

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by hilltopgrounds, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. hilltopgrounds

    hilltopgrounds LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    Hey guys I am looking to start out and stumbled apon a guy who want to have some aeration done. I have all the equipment so no need to rent, I have a pull behind core-aerator for my tractor. He also has 5 people that are also interested that he knows, and the yard are big but just square grass (no in-ground sprinklers or anything) I think they may be really good prospective clients when I launch my mowing operation in the spring so I want to impress them. What is the best way to bid on the jobs. I have not done any aeration in a wile and do not have a good grasp on the amount of time it will take to do a yard his size. He is going to e-mail me sq/ft for the yard so any basic way like $5 per x/sq.ft? or something like that? Also since my dethatcher hooks on the front of my tractor and my aerator on the back so I can do both at the same time I am thinking of offering a reduced rate for the dethatching service if they get them at the same time. What ya'll think of that idea? Thanks for any and all help!
  2. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    First off do a search. There have been many posts on this subject.
    Now for your answer. I have not done any turf areas over 1 acre. I use a push aerator not a tractor pull behind. I charge from 7.50 -15 per K. for you I am guessing right around 5 or so per k on 1+ acres. That would put it at 220 per acre. I would adjust per your costs. If you could do 3 acres an hour you might look at 2.50 per K or 125 an acre. That puts you in the 2-3 hundred an hour area. I try to get at least 100 per hour, but like I say I am usually doing 3-15 thousand sqft lawns. Thus why I charge right around 10 per K.
  3. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 614

    Hey Ryan,
    We do aeration preferably in the early fall - September. De-thatching is a different operation and I will not do both at the same time like you mentioned in your post. Too much stress on the grass and unnecessary.

    Some operators will dethatch in the spring and aerate in the fall. De-thatching is a lot of work and you're not getting more $$ than what you will get for aeration. Aeration is a much, much better lawn maintenance practice. You can aerate the lawn both in the spring and the fall if needed.

    We charge $x/1000 sqft with a minimum fee for area smaller than 5000 sqft. Find out what the going rate for aeration in your area is. The guys in the bigger cities gets a higher $ than what we get.

    Aerate when soil is damp so tines can penetrate deep enough.
    Get yourself a measuring wheel and measure the turfed areas that needs aeration yourself. Don't go on the client's word only.

    Good luck
  4. vale tudo

    vale tudo LawnSite Member
    from 07728
    Posts: 5

    I charge .03 cents per square foot for existing clients and .04 for call-in/non-clients. I feel this is an effective pricing system and I have a $200.00 minumum not matter how small the lawn. last week I had a client that pleaded for me only to do certain sections of the lawn which I usually will not do. By the time I was done he ended up having me do most of the lawn, so I would stick to the "full lawn" rule
  5. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    This is very true. Most customers have to ask you how to get the square footage of a area. Most cant remember LxW = sq ft. let alone will they measure it.
    Easier to just get a wheel or know your step and carry a calc.
    You will leave alot of money on the table if you don't.
  6. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    That is 30 per thousand. How can you get that???? I can under stand having a 30 min and doing a couple turf areas that are 1000 sq ft but not on 5, 10, 20 thousand sq ft turf areas. Hell for one acre that is 1320.00. I can push an aerator over an acre in less than 2 hrs and no way in hell am I getting 1320 for 2 hrs work.
    That is worse than the 2-3 times your mow price rule.
  7. vale tudo

    vale tudo LawnSite Member
    from 07728
    Posts: 5

    that is true but most people in my area have pools patios etc. so you cant measure it out that way. I usually walk it out with a stick. and the typical 1/2 acre lot in my area usually has a average price of 300 dollars
  8. lqmustang

    lqmustang LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 620

    Another tip for getting the square footage. Here, I can go to our county's tax auditors web site, and pull up the tax information on any property. Included in that info is the lot size, square footage, and also the house sqare footage. All I need to do then is subtract for any other significant areas such as larger landscaped areas and driveways, and I have my number to base my fee on. I can even pull up an ariel view to verify the lot lines.
  9. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Ok 22000 sq ft. - 3500 sq ft home - 1500 sq ft in drive way - 2000 sq ft in patios - 500 sq ft for garage - 2000 sq ft for rv parking - 2000 sq ft in landscape. that is so tha is 10500 sq ft for 300 dollars. Where are you located again???? If you are getting those prices I will show you how to be a milionaire in 3 years. Screw doing any mowing I will do straight aeration.
  10. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    That is 300 for less than an hour of work.

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