1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Perdicting time on large properties?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Bunton Guy, May 26, 2003.

  1. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,755

    I have a chance to bid and more than likely will land this large property. Its around 20-25 acres with 15 of it being flat out in an open area with only a parking lot to go around. 6 acres is out front by the sales office which is all irrigated and the larger areas being non irrigated. There is about 3-4 acres wrapping around a chain link fence that goes around the complete facility. And 1 acre scattered inbetween hillsides and parking lots. The most tedious part would defenetly be the areas around the sales building,parkings lots & small hills and dipped areas. 80% of these areas will be done weekly untill the extreme heat hits than all non irrigated areas will be done bi-weekly or as needed. As far as the flat open areas should I go by how many acres per hour my mower is advertised that it can cut? Because this area has little to no obstruction so its just flat out mowing and its non irrigated. So figuring that my mower (60" Z) can do lets say 6 acres per hour it should take just over 2 hours to complete the largest area? I am trying to tackle this property with 2 60" Z's and one 48" w.b with 3 employees 2 on the Z's & one trimming ALL day. Figuring hopefully that we can get this property done in 10 hours.
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    On many jobs such as this one, more than once I have sold the client on letting me do it once first to see how long it will take. It's fair to them and fair to me and I have never been turned down either. Try it...it takes 90+% of the guess work out.
  3. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,755

    I wish that was an option. But in this case I bought out another landscape company and he is good friends with the purchasing dept. of this company....the property is not up for bid but the guy requested a bid to see if I can save him money. I happen to know exactly how much he is paying at the moment.:D
  4. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    Why would you wan to deal with a client like this, what happens if the purchasing department has a new friend next wwek/month? Will he then award the bid with insider information to his new friend? Is the property currently under contract? Are they willing to sign a contract?
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Well, then the issue here is how fast you can do it for what he's willing to pay...or less than what he's currently paying. That's why I suggested doing it once first before you commit yourself. Then you would know if you could save him some change.
  6. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,755

    True. The last company (I know who is doing it ) has been doing it for over 5 years and is getting just over 43K per year. LABOR only. The company pays for the roundup them selves they supply I put down. The buy the mulch etc...so this contract is labor only.
  7. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    Cutting 6 acres in an hour with one 60 inch mower is impossible!

    6 acres = 264600 sq ft = 5'(60") x 52920'(10 miles). Thus one long straight pass 60 inches wide would be 10 miles long. In ideal conditions you would have to cut at 10 miles per hour.

    None of us cut 60 inches wide, there is always some overlap. Then there are obstacles, hills, debris, bumps, eye candy, and other such things that slow us down.

    Each property is different. I agree with the comment that the best way to find the cut time is to do it once or twice.

    I cut 3.8 acres of grass (at a 90 acre property) that takes 5 hours with one 61" Ransome Bobcat. The five hours includes about 45 minutes of trimming. The property is basically pretty flat. A few slopes, rough in places, a house, and many trees to go around.

    If the property is truely 25 acres (1,102,500 square feet) of grass, there is one heck of a lot of grass to cut. I wouldn't do this without a farm tractor and a PTO driven tow behind bat-wing finishing mower.

    Don't underestimate your cut time, you'll suffer!

  8. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,755

    I called and found out that it takes the current company 2 full days to do the 25 acres of maintenance with 4 guys 3 on 60" Z's and one on a trimmer all day. This property has several locations to make up the 25 acres...some being quarter of a mile down the street. On a good day when not all 25 acres need to be cut it takes from what im told 4 guys 1 day.
  9. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,048

    I would not use the factors of what your book says the mower will do. You will find most of the time that the ground is rough, therefore having to slow down. Or the obstacles are harder to negotiate, or whatever.

    Judging from the numbers you received about the other company and how long it took them, I think you should be able to come up with a good idea of how long it will take you.

    Based on that, do you think you will get the job? And most important, will you make any money? :D
  10. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Posts: 776

    Why are you interested in this if all they want is somebody to do it for less money? Make yourself a commodity, price comes later.

Share This Page