Just curious what someone else would bid

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by glovelis, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. glovelis

    glovelis LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Submitted a bid last week on 17 Electrical substations. Just mowing. They average 2 acres each, not rough, not much weedeating, 400 miles round trip from home. The grass is sprayed for weeds and is mostly bermuda. They only want them mowed 3-4 times per year depending on rain. I know there are countless variables to consider but would appreciate some input on this one. Thanks in advance!

    I'm running 72" Hustler with Kawasaki 31 HP
  2. sealcutter

    sealcutter LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA.
    Posts: 256

    Just wondering what you think it will cost you in gas alone? Do you have any help?
  3. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    Good luck! I would have never bid on something that far away
  4. glovelis

    glovelis LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    400 miles is allowing myself 4 days to get them done, four trips out and four trips home on four "routes" equals 400 miles. 1/2 Chevy getting 10 miles a gallon = $150, not sure on mower gas. 1 Helper. Considering buying another mower, there is not enough weedeating at each location for a helper to stay busy.
  5. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    If it was for 4 cuts and not 3, I would guess somewhere around $8000. Maybe $7500? But that's just spitballing.
  6. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    Bid like you would any other lawn. Your per acre rate x 2 x 17 sites + your windshield time. Without seeing it, I'd be about $2250 each time I mowed, but I'd still not do something that far away.
  7. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    One hundred miles each trip really isn't all that much driving in a rural area. I drive 60+ miles most days. The real trick here is to make enough to justify tying up a full day for mowing only 4 properties each day, as per your explanation of the accounts. Around here, a 2 acre property with minimal trimming would likely get done for less than $75, which would only be $300 per day, meaning if you charged an additional $50 a day to cover expenses, you wouldn't really be making much money per hour. I agree with others this would have to pay well over $2,000 per mowing to make it worthwhile.

    I don't know about your area, but I know a guy here who has had the contract mowing substations for an area electrical company for at least a dozen years, and he does none of the mowing himself, but instead subcontracts it out to a friend of mine. I have no idea the money involved, but it is obviously profitable for both men. These are mowed probably once a month at a minimum.

    Also, I would buy a second mower, you don't want to be far away from home and not be able to complete a job, and I'd lose the helper. It really doesn't make much sense to pay someone to help you mow what amounts to 8 acres or so a day. The money you will save on labor will quickly pay off another machine. Good luck.
  8. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,231

    I would cut it down to 2 to 3 days. No reason to drag it out 4 days. Most likely with that mower (I owned a 09 same deck/31hpengine). 2 acres longer cut will be 45mins to an hr with little trimming. So if you did 2 sun up to sun down days it would be done with ease. Most likely you can mow them very early and late since residentials won't be close enough to hear.
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  9. Colaguy

    Colaguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    What was your bid?
  10. TFLE

    TFLE LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 289

    I agree with the guy that said about starting early... I once did a big account 50 miles away, first and only time I ever traveled more than 15 miles from my base. We'd get up and leave at 6 be there by 7 and be done by around 12 and eat lunch in the truck on the way home. But I would agree with woody, about 2k a cut. 100 bucks per station and 300 for fuel/windshield time. JMO though.

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