230,000 sq - How much?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Picard335, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. Picard335

    Picard335 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Hi! New guy here!
    Just found this site, its great! Thanks for all the great posts!
    Its been a really nice resource.

    Just getting back from having a year off of mowing.
    Had 8 accounts last year doing this part time.

    This year I have one to bid on so far, never bid on something this large before. Have JD LX279 w/42 inch deck, push, trimmers, blower, etc... I am the only one mowing. Area is flat.

    Its a retirement apartment complex, Board of Members guy states no need to trim, just Mow and Blow walks.
    Would not give me an estimate on hours.

    Few trees, level area, no fertilizers are applied, its a very clean area, no trashy. Grass is good shape, little bit of everything.
    Lots of sidewalks, no steps.

    This is part-time, I have a full time job, thus is will be a weekend thing. Price is to bid for price per mow.

    17 buildings (30x40) = 20400
    30 parking spaces x 7ft x 15 ft = 3150
    1 road 528x15 = 7920
    Sidewalks 10 x 3 ft wide x 300 ft long = 9000
    Creek 5 x 528 = 2640
    Trees 30 x 1 x 1 =30

    Land: (1 mile=5280 ft)
    5280*.10 528 ft long
    5280*.10 528 ft wide

    528*528 =278784 sq ft

    278784 -20400-3150-7920-9000-2640-30

    = 235644 approx sq feet grass total (+/- 10,000 ft)

    so 1 acre = 43560 sq ft

    235644/43560 = 5.x acres to mow?

    What price you think I should charge?
  2. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    Sounds like your going to have alot of trimming, hard to price by not seeing this, Id would charge 230.00 for the mowing, i just don't know about the buildings and creek, ect do you have to trimm the walls of the creek? Sidewalks won't take long Don't underbid on all the trimming,id have to walk it a see what all they wanted me to do..sorry i couldn't help you, but i have trimm jobs on ditches where i have to trimm the insides, which in depth up to 8ft deep, i charge 30 dollars per 18ft for this type of trimming...Marks Mowing Service......PS with your tractor youll be there awhile, the mowing bid i gave was cutting with a 5ft deck with a ZTR
  3. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Not sure what part of Missouri your in but here the going rate is anywhere from $80 to a $100 an acre.
  4. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    Originally posted by picard335
    Would not give me an estimate on hours.

    You need to know this. A job as big as this can only by proposed by time. BTW, I wouldn't rely on his time estimate anyway. It could be way off.

    How did you get your measurements? .10 mile seems like you "drove" it off, rather than measuring. Need to get a measuring wheel and start walking if you cant accurately estimate the area. When you find out your total area, how long will it take you to complete each job. Mowing? Blowing?

    If you low-ball this one, you could be in big trouble and there wont be a way out.
  5. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I wouldn't give a per hour estimate on this one if I had the equipment that you are using. That JD may take you 6 hours to mow but get on a 60" or 72" Z and you will do it in 2 or less.
    Going rate for flat acreage in your area may be an indicator, you have to judge weather or not the association will take a 400 to 500 per week bid. Being a single operator on a lawn this size works against you when bidding against the bigger boys with the large area mowers. That is the reason I don't even try to bid on the large ones, I am not set for it.
    I can't give a competitive bid for that lawn when I run a 52" Walker and a 44" ToroWB. We can do about 2.5-3 acres flat, non fertilized lawn in about an hour give or take 15 minutes. That flat 5.5 acre job you have would probably take us 3 hours. The big boys will bring 2 or 3 crews of 60"Z's and have the 5 acres done in a half hour or so. While my rate will be the same if I do it by the hour, we are out there more than 3X as long and that is time I can be at small residentials making an average of 60 - 75 per hour. On top of that the big guys can drop their bid 20- 40 per cut and look even better because in actuality they are only gonna be there for a half hour.

    ME 40/man hr X 2 men X 3 hours= 240.00
    them 40/man hr X 6 men X 1 hours (minimum)= 240.00

    If you bid per acre then you are looking at a big bill of 4 to 500 dollars per cut. If you can swing that then you are a great business man and I would jump on the job.

    That JD is gonna be taxed over the course of a season if you get the job. That would be something I would look into changing real quick.
  6. Picard335

    Picard335 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for all the quick replies. Bid is due in by this friday.

    Mark, from the way the guy talked there was no trimming to be done. But as anything, that would problably change, so I'm expecting some may be done.

    On the ditch, its a 2 ft deep, its been sprayed with Roundup. The guy suggested that was the best approach for control, but didn't want everything dead for erosion. The ditch he stated that I should bid extra, I was thinking for the ditch in the area of $150.

    I'm located in Central Missouri, this is a very small town, pop. 3500. Our town literally has one stop light. :eek: There is one mowing company in town, he just started this year, but I'd think he would charge the same being hes only one guy, with one zero turn mower and insured.

    How did I measure it? I just drove it... its pretty close but I realize its a rough estimate on 1/10 of a mile.

    I would like to bid $450 for the whole mowing/blowing part, but I'm afraid as you've guys indicated, someone with a large crew (30 miles away) could do it in 1/4 of the time, and 1/2 the price. or there are several farmers and retired guys mowing the few banks and businesses here, from the way I seen there mowing, its pretty sick to what I'm used to doing. They could also bid 1/2 of the price possibly.

    I just moved to this area last year, so this is kinda of a *shock* to me, theres nobody willing to pay $ for quality mowing service. I came from a population of 65,000 there was so much opportunities, I constantly had to turn down people cause i didn't have time.

    Plus I have another opinion to get approval from, and its already been turned down for any new equipment, especially a ztr. I guess it doesn't help I just bought last summer a JD 4300 32 hp hydro compact tractor w/loader, and 72" finish mower, etc... doh!

    Where I live now my yard is 1 acre, it takes my JD lx279 about 1.5 hours. (Thats slow moving, w/beer holder in use) ha. My yard from where I used to live in the city used to take 20 mins to mow with the rider! sweet. It was easy.

    Now this yard, Its pretty amazing what a year has done to our yard, we have had many compliments, and people come by and ask how do you get your yard to look so nice. And here I thought this was normal, ie. striping, bagging, fert etc...

    I got the JD4300 for the land we just got last spring, its 6 acres of pasture, I've been finish mowing it to rid of the weeds and promote good grass growth, horses will be added later, plus I had several landscaping projects to get done...

    Mow Ed, like ya said, I'm afraid I'd be over taxing my lx279, its water cooled and all, but I bought it for the house we have now, not mowing 6 hours at a time on it commercially.

    Mayb I should concentrate on putting my 4300 to use instead?
    Lite brush hogging, or finish mowing big properties (if I can find some).

    Thanks everyone,
  7. lx665

    lx665 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    You stated that you plan on doing this job on weekends. What are you going to do if it rains? Alot of places won't let you cut on weekends. Will they?

  8. Picard335

    Picard335 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Hey lx665,
    Yep, I thought about the 'what if it rains on the weekend'
    I'd guess I would have to do it during the evenings after work, I asked the guy if there was any time constrainsts, he said no.

    I prefer to get the job done at one time.
    But if it rains on the weekend, I may be out of luck, and it would definately throw things off. The property is divided by a road, so this is may be a positive thing. Half done one evening, the other half another evening.

    Has anyone ever done anything this big by themselves?
    Maybe I'm in over my head. :(

  9. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    I hate to burst you bubble, but I think thats more than you can handle. It will take you a very long time to cut that lawn with your lawn tractor. Not to mention aras using the 21" mower and trimming and blowing.
  10. Brieldo

    Brieldo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    Yeah, with that particular machine, you're very undersized. I'd either look to get a different mower or move on.

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