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working at high security prison

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tonyr, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973


    I am currently doing contract work at a new 6 month old high security prison, a few issues I need some help with please...

    OK, 1 job I do is spray weeds around/under the big razor wire fences, 2 of and now they want me to go into the last one, just electric fence between me and crims, question is...should I charge more than my standard hourly rate when working in these locked in areas between razor wire fences?

    Next is, the new supervisor won't put work requests on paper, all verbal, then I quote, then he gets the finace approved, then I do the service, but on Friday evening he calls and says he wants more work done than what I quoted on doing, and as there is no written request from him he says my quote didn't state a limit so he is screwing me, I know next time to request everything on paper or no work and submit a very detailed quote, should I just cop it now and learn, or what?

    The incident is, the 25+ acre perimeter has only ever been mowed once, last April, now 8+ inch high couch (bermuda) he doesn't want it mowed as this will wake up the grass and require regular maintenance...duh:) But because of no maintenance young native weed trees are growing in the laid turf, I had to clean these up by the roads and major infested areas, end of quote, but as the quote says, cleaning up suckers around security fence road and major infested areas, he is being smart and saying now all, every weed is needed to be mowed over, now we are talking about driving around this area looking for single weeds before he pays!

    I did suggest strongly several times that if I mow the perimeter it will look good like all the other mowing I do there, and as well these suckers will be kept maintained, so the weed control is actually free...nup, this will make the grass grow....I have never come accross such an situation where someone who knows nothing about grounds maintenance get a position where he controls it, the guards want it cut as when they train the dogs they are slowed, bugger security, lets save the government a few bucks!

    Fuming....starting to wander if the tender is worth going for, should get forms next week, this supervisor is ex army and seems hell bent on screwing extra work out of me, others too probably, could make life hard when I'm tied to it, but not much work around these parts, 1000 scrubs for each contractor :).

    Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.


  2. pinnacle

    pinnacle LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 791

    Gidday Tony.

    How many other contractors are you bidding against on this one??

    And.....Sorry mate I read it twice and don't get what ya saying about mowing around the external fence.......Dose he want it mowed or what??
  3. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    G'Day Alex,

    Mowing around the perimeter is the grassed area outside of the security fence with razor wire, an area where if a crim escapes the fenced walls he runs out in the open grassed area where the dogs have a feed on him.

    this perimeter was mowed in april, not since, so it is very long and ratty with wattle suckers coming up, he requested I mow them over so they don't look visable along the roads as they bust up the sides when growing and in several areas they are in infested areas as big as an acre, and less, I have completed this as per his verbal request, but the individual plants springing up he wants done, big job.

    He does not want me to mow this grassed area as this will cause the grass to need regular maintenance, but I have to drive through this stuff and mow weed infested areas, but when I told him if I mowed the lot the weed crontrol would be free as they get cut as I mow, nup, no mow grass, just mow the weeds in the grass.

    Where does a job like this end when a bloke is hell bent on screwing me over....legal advice next week.
  4. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    Sorry Alex,

    Forget, this batch of work I tendered against 4 other companies, obviously they chose me because I look the most gullable, I never thought a govn. dept in this day and age would treat contractors like this, I expect smart azzes in the domestic field, not govn....how wrong i was.

    I imagine these same will get tender forms, plus who ever else this guy can find who wants to work at a prison that has been plagued with problems from day 1.

    It currently only has 200 approx inmates, capacity to hold 500.

    It is a high security prison, apparantly covers from brisbane to rockhampton, rapists, murderers and the such.

    I have been sweating on this tender for over 3 months, the last supervisor told me that the perimeter was 100 acres plus the front end stuff, that's why I was researching mid mount ztr's so much recently.

    So sinch finding out these guys can't read plans I'm dissapointed obviously, this bloke messing me around reckons it is 10 to 15 acres, yeah right! The dog patrol who supposed to actually know for obvious reasons told me it is over 28 acres, not including slopes, something not quite right with this picture eh?

    Going to the beach, this job is really stressing me out!

    Tony. (beer o'clock yet?)
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    It don't matter, whats going to happen is he's gonna get as much skilled work out of you as he can cheap, and then the cons are gonna take over all upkeep. Run as fast as you can from this job!

  6. pinnacle

    pinnacle LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 791

    Sounds a little hows it goin Tony!

    I would tell him "Listen mate I can mow the grass around the perimeter, weeds and all, or just not do It at all. These are your options."
    So he wants you to treat the weed infestation indervidualy to the grass areas!? ................. What bloody drugs is he on mate? Sounds like he should be a resident not running the joint!! :D

    Don't do it Tony........Just tell him that you'll cut the whole perimeter area or nothing at all. I would not take care of indervidual sapplings in high grass in the type of acres your talking about ( big job is an understatment )
    Don't put up with that mate!!

    Explain that the whole idea of long grass in such an area is too cut it and maintain it and say that in your ____ years of buisness you have never heard of anything so ridiculas as to treating small native sapplings intervidualy in long grass and add that what he wants done is considerd inpractical and unexceptable horticultural practise and it is just not done!
    I mean for F___ s sakes mate where are our TAX PAYERS DOLLARS going!! if a state/fedral prison wont have their perimeter fence grass areas maintaned on a regular basis.......ay??

    My best advice would be not to put up with this crap as you are probably the only guy up there that is eqipt for the job so you already have them under your thumb...........Yeh??
  7. pinnacle

    pinnacle LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 791

    It's been Beer Oclock since 11:30 am for me mate :D

    On my 4th and going strong:D:D:D
  8. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    If he will only give you a verbal tell him your dumb as a stone and can't remember crap so you have to tape record all the information. His answer will tell you if you should walk or not.
  9. husqvarna600c

    husqvarna600c LawnSite Member
    Posts: 103

    as a former correctional officer for the worlds largest correctional facility wackenhut i can say that i would feel safe to cut at a prison. most inmates are going to be curious and watch what you are doing.anything that is new is of intrest to an inmate.second if you come in contact with a inmate treat them like any other person if you respect them they will show you respect.and if one does plot an escape that involves you ,you have a better chance of escaping injury.i have also found that even max security prisions will have min/med security inmates from time to time and are almost always put on lawn care duties outside the so called"fence".most inmates are required to have a job on the inside.so i would not put a lot into this unless the prison is private and would offer you a contract.you will also be treated like a criminal while on the grounds and prision employees have the right to search any and all property with out your consent.things that would be no big deal to us could be considered contraband and cause trouble.my advise is to lock it all up you dont want an inmate taking something from your rig and escaping with it later or hurting someone.and my last bit of advice is these inmates get out. back when i first started out as a correctional officer i thought i was "bad"and did not really think much about these guys ever getting out but with a trip to my local wal-mart i found myself face to face with an inmate which left me wondering "how did i treat this guy i didnt even remember"?all of this is kind of off the subject of money but you need to know you will be studied and watched by inmates and employees.and someday some inmate may get out and reconize your trailer somewhere.inmates also contact people on the outside.i have heard of people showing up to work on the security cameras which are on top of the outer fence and had a bomb placed under the truck by an imates friend on the outside,therefore creating a hole in the perimeter.this is murphys law 10 times over.so becareful.if you do take this job please reply back and let me know how it goes
  10. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    OK, back from beach, thanks folks, I appreciate your feedback greatly.

    Funny, Alex, we think alike, I said to this bloke basically everything you said, only diplomatically, he diplomatically said in his opinion i had not completed the quoted job therefor payment couldn't be made until he was happy with the outcome....rock and a hard place, if I don't become his toy i don't get my $1500 he owes so far, and i have work next week too...

    Decided that if we can't play nice even though i really need this work i ain't gunna lower myself to someones b@#ch, i know for shore i don't have strong competitors in this type of large jobs, opposition all runs Walkers, and this certainly is no walker job.

    As for crims working outside, they have made clear these crims living at this facility will never be allowed to work outside, i am very concerned about safety though, my trailer all brightly signwrtten is in clear view, and shows my mobile/cell phone number, business name etc, i did enquire about safety and was told they can't call mobiles from inside and i can't hide from them anyway....not great reassurance!

    you are right alex, mowing individual weeds around a 25 acrea paddock is a joke, I'm spewing that I was so easily taken, I guess I just have to cop it and get everything in writting from now on or no work, at least I know about all the down time etc they put on contractors, if he finds another fool they will be sent broke, in the big picture I get more out of this than him.

    About security, I have had to be nationally security checked, must be cleared at every section on the outside before I work, mower, knapsak, me, all to be manually checked, no phones on the job, car keys are to be in a secure locker, so I lose a lot of day to security which I can allow for next time.

    The only reason I'm jumping through hoops is only because of the contract, tender forms are due any day, I won't do any more big clean ups for them after this, by tender will be very high as I consider working here more a risk factor than any other job, down time, and just so I know if I win it I will be getting my own back, if I lose, life will be no different.

    So, what do you all reckon about being inside perimeter fences spraying weeds?

    Reckon being an unusual job locked inbetween runs of fences must be worth more than typical everyday weedspraying?

    I charge $45 AUD labour +$10 for glyphospate for one hour, usually 2 knapsaks with small hollow cone jet in the wand.

    Keep the help comming please folks!


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