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How to bid a large project

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by J. Davis, Mar 12, 2001.

  1. J. Davis

    J. Davis LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    Need help making a bid. on a large school (grounds). Would take 6hrs. to cut, edge and blow etc...How much to charge per hour for man and machine. This cut would take place every two weeks...Need help
  2. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    how many men, just 1, why bi-weekly, need s tad bit more info.
  3. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    If the grounds were realitively easy terrain I would figure on bidding as follows:

    $45/hr: Mowing (includes operator)
    $30/hr: Trimming (6000lf/hr)
    $10/hr: Blowing (1/3 trimming time)

    Good Luck this season!
  4. Stephen

    Stephen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    just a quick thought on the blowing time figured as 1/3 trimming time by the hour. If you figure Trimming time @30/hr, ok but 10/hr for blowing doesn't even cover most of our hourly overhead totals. For a small quick mow and go this might work but when you have to use a blower for extended periods of time the figures must quickly change. If for example a trimmer costs $200 new and a blower also costs the same, then in theory we should be able to charge an amount equal or close to it hourly for each piece of machinery, seems as how our labor costs and overhead will be the same for each machine, and gas consumption will be close. The only difference is the string the weed wacker uses. Sorry for ramblin' on........just a thought........
  5. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    ok heres what i say bid around $550, thats about $91.666 a minute. blow as much off as you can with your mower, save you alot of time. maybe even $520 if you could blow eeverything off with you mower, i used to do this on all my big accounts with long drives and they couldn't tell the difference.
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I am going to disagree with you on this one for the most part. Yes it is true that for the standard mow trim and blow 1/3 the time for blowing operations is sufficent because the actual number of man hours pales to compare to those for trimming and mowing in a days schedule.

    However, we must also take into consideration that when we are trimming the sidewalks we usually have to trim 2 sides. When we are trimming along a parking lot or curb edge we are using a walk behind edger more often than not. When we are trimming around ornamental beds and tree rings these operations must be done in such a manner so that the clippings are dispersed back out onto the turf areas rather than into the beds.

    We must also at times trim areas flush to those cut by deck mowers where they couldnt get into places, or someone was calous in his operations - whether its because of operator fatigue/decks being larger than what is appropriate for the size of the turf area being serviced/etc/etc/etc.

    When we are blowing off the pedestrian and vehicular pavements upon completion of mowing and trimming operations one must keep in mind:
    1. that we are walking faster than when we trim,
    2. we are covering more surface area than when we trim,
    3. this service will take alot less time than when we trim,
    4. there is no additional expenses with this service
    (extra fuels, extra maintenance of equipment, trimmer line, etc.)

    I charge more for trimming than blowing areas clean because the labor involved is more and the cost to run the trimmers efficiently is more.

    FYI if we are doing parking areas/large patios/pavillions/ etc., the time for these areas are billed under the same rates as trimming because these are special exceptions to the rule. Clients must be charged by the hour for these situations if they are to be profitable.

    Good Luck this season!
  7. Stephen

    Stephen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    Kris - i am not saying that it is or isn't more work, but only that in theory if the blower costs the same as the weedwacker and the time spent blowing is the same as trimming on an hourly bas, then the 1/3 trimming costs won't work in those situations. Same as what you said towards the end of your post. Other than that we figure pretty much the same, I just wanted to make J. Davis aware of the difference, because I know we all overlook something occasionally when bidding, I know I have.
  8. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Just charge a flat $60.00 an hour!

    Schools in Alabama are cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaP!
    I speak from experience.
  9. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    ok, i'm changing what i said, i agree with homer at a flat rate of $60 dollars a hour. or better yet $360 you expect to be there 6 hours and as most contractors say they want to make a dollar a minute. this is the perfect chance to make what you want in a hour. schools in my area don't let anyone bid they cut their yards by themselfs. i would jump on this if a school let me bid on it.

    once you start to cut you won't have to stop until you have to trim, but i still say blow off as much as you can with your mower. $360 thats the final bid.
  10. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    we maintain an old school that public services took over ....this is a great customer as they pay on time & pay well (county work requires proof of insurance & wc) in time you'll perform the work much quicker as you learn the pattern .....and that $360 a cut will be even better

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