It's OK to ask commercial bids pricing questions!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DixieFerris, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. DixieFerris

    DixieFerris LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 440

    Just lost two hotels I was really hoping to take over this season. I really thought we had a good bid going into them, but unfortunately we lost the bid to the company who did them last year. Here's the breakdown, both hotels were identical.

    Mowing: 1.00 hr for 3 man crew at each location
    Flowers: 30 flats of flowers (1500 annuals) and 50 mums with pumpkins at each locations
    Mulch: 25 yards of mulch at each location
    Spring C/Up: 2 hrs for 3 man crew at each place
    Fall C/Up: 2 hrs for 3 man crew at each place
    Bed Maintenance: Shrub trimming (3 hrs x 2 times, plus weeding beds all season)

    Mowing: $3,125 per hotel, $6,250 both
    Flowers: $2,000 per hotel, $4,000 both
    Mulch: $1,750 per hotel, $3,500 both
    Spring C/Up: $300 per hotel, $600 both
    Fall C/Up: $300 per hotel, $600 both
    Bed Main: $1,200 per hotel, $2,400 both

    Total: $8,675 per hotel, $17,350 both

    Winning bid: $6,000 per hotel, $12,000 for both
    winning company: lots of 'suspect' labor, coudn't tell you if they are illegal or not, and beat equipment

    Hey, you can't win them all, but wow did this one open my eyes! When I lost, I flat out ask the manager how much the winning bid was and was told all these numbers, and then he asked me if we could get any lower. I said I don't think so, because my family would be pretty mad if I went and worked all summer and didn't make any money.
  2. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,807

    heres something a lot of people dont understand beat equipment and beat trucks makes MORE money than brand new equip/trucks!

  3. marckxman

    marckxman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    That include down time?
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,207

    Sometimes bids are not apples to apples. For example, in our area flowers and mulch are not included in the bid. You simply state what you would charge per flat or per bag to install. And these cleanups are usually not necessary if you service the property weekly. One other thing is weedng beds is generally not much since you can spray or put down pre-m.
  5. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    I think he broke out the mowing as if it were seasonal.

    I Think I do like you, I basically look at what it will take to mow then multiple that times 52. I state a 47 mowings per year. That gives my guys a week off between Christmas and New years and 4 days to do other things on the site. If there is a lot of shrubs to be trimmed than I do account for that. I build a little OT into my labor rate and work my guys 4 days a week. About once per month they have to make an extra visit but it is covered.

    Then I toss a little extra in for the cost of materials like chemicals.
  6. DixieFerris

    DixieFerris LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 440

    Guess what Jersey? Beat trucks and mowers make more money for a very limited window. Then they break or do half-a$$ed jobs, and down time kills you. A Very bad business route to follow if you are in it for the long haul. I don't have a truck older than a 2003 (3 Chevys) and no mower older than a 2002 (2 old walk behinds, no zero turns out of our 4 currently older than 2004).
  7. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Old stuff is for spares and back ups.
  8. NELawnCare

    NELawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    Beat trucks and beat equipment usually mean piss-poor work results. I understand that is may not always be the case, but more times than not it is the case.
  9. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    We run mostly older equipment and we never have lost out on money from not being able to mow. Run old and you better have back up or know how to fix it and have the parts you need. We have 7 mowers that we can use, my wife is usually the only one mowing. The only one I don't have back up for is the Walker GHS and even though it's a 99 it has never hung us. Truck is a 93, cube van is a 91 but we put less than 10,000 kms a year on them so no big deal. They both have close to 400,000 kms on them. Course they don't look beat though. If either one quits another one is at the next auction waiting for my bid. 5 minutes after you leave the property no one knows what you cut it with. If it's crappy it don't matter if you used new or old you will lost the job soon enough.
    If I was cutting all day long everyday then I might be able to consider brand new equipment but I really doubt it because I am just too cheap. I can build or fix most things myself.
  10. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,807

    i have downtime with brand new equipment, you dont? you must have magic equipment then i guess?

    guess what bodunk upstate NY, who asked about how many and what kind of trucks you had? your one of those guys that likes to show off.. well i have this and that. 2 of these, 3 of these.. get real.. how does beat equipment do a half assed job. last i checked as long as the blades spun and cut the grass it made money

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