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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This will be my first commercial property and wondering how much I should charge for this commercial property that is 50k SQ FT.
I use an Exmark Radius 48in. This would be a mow only job with little trimming on light poles by street. This is a bi-weekly service.

Green highlighted area is where grass will need mowed.

Green Land lot Urban design Grass Public space


Thank you!
 

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Is the entire property 50k of mowing, or is the grass/green highlighted area 50k of grass to mow? Using the vehicles for scale, I'm guessing it's 50k of actual mowing


This is kind of tough to guess online. Not much trimming to do?

My shot in the dark - $90-$100.
 

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Markets are different. That is roughly 1 acre of mowing (a bit over). IF you are mowing only (and just trimming the light poles) no mow, trim the blow the entire place. That would be a $175.00 mow (bi-weekly) in my area (East Texas) if that helps. Other places... it could easily be $250.00 or better.
 

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$200 because of how spread out it is...
You will lose sight of your truck and trailer at times, that always makes me a bit nervous, I don't like leaving my truck and trailer where I can't see it anymore. Call it what you will.
Also a lot more walking.
I wouldn't go lower.
Would not.
$250 is not outrageous either
 

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The biggest thing - Time...

I have one account that is somewhat similar. Commercial account, broken up. I just used calcmaps and it looks like I'm mowing around a 1/2 acre on a weekly basis. I charge them $155. But Why? Because there is TONS of trimming... Some weeks, I can be on a trimmer for an hour. Ditches, hillsides, maintenance, around parked vehicles in a grass outlot, etc... This place is usually done in 2 hours or less.

Another account, 1.98 acres. Spread out & broken up. Far less trimming. Pays $160. Also done in 2 hours or less.

Flat out acreage isn't as important as time on the job. Yes, the mower uses more fuel than a trimmer. BUT, time spent on a mower is far less demanding on the body, than sprinting or gripping a hillside with a trimmer.

My goal is to be invoicing between $60-$75 an hour for mowing services. I'm within that range on a consistent basis. Granted, this is not my full time job. But, I think those kinds of numbers would be sustainable. I think it would be perfectly reasonable to make a living by invoicing $600-$750 for a 10-hour day as a solo operator. Maybe I'm wrong. But I doubt it.





In the first post, he said that there is minimal trimming.

Even with a 48" zero turn, I can't see that lot taking more than 90 minutes TOPS. It looks spread out, but from the picture provided, if you were efficient with your mowing path, you could knock it out in near one continuous loop. Start your perimeter pass. Before coming back through a narrow section, turn around and knock out the area behind you. THEN come back through the narrow section. In this manner, once you finished your perimeter pass around the whole property, you'd be done mowing it.

Hit the islands real quick, stop by the truck, grab the trimmer, mow & trim the road frontage. Blow off, done.

Trusting that the OP's description of the area is accurate, I can't see this being more than a $125 account. My guess is that if you tell the customer that their bi-weekly mow, with minimal trim, on their non-treated grass, of their light industrial property, is $250-$400 per service - That they'll quickly call you some dirty names, escort you out of the building, and not invite you back.

$90-$125. And depending on the people, that might even be offensive to them. (And if it is, they probably aren't the type of people you want to do business with.)


@EliteCow Since this is a commercial property, I would advise a couple things.
1- If you don't already, get a commercial insurance policy. You should probably have one already to be honest. I got a 1m policy through my home/auto insurance guy for under $800 for the year.
2- I would invest in a chute blocker. This will help you protect throwing debris onto the road, and into cars/people/buildings as needed. I would recommend a GrassFlap. They are not cheap (400ish) but they are outstanding. This will help you keep grass clippings out of landscaped areas on residential accounts too. I wouldn't be without one on a mower to be honest.
3- Get some hi-viz gear if you're working near a road. I wear orange T-shirts when I'm working near roads. I think it helps. I see cars veer way into the other lane as they pass by now.
 

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This is just insane. Please tell me how you would justify $250-400 a cut for an acre of mowing, with little trimming.
Sure I'll explain
Taxes, insurance, workers comp, licenses....
Equipment costs, parts, gas are very expensive.
A commercial account often will have alot of trash, vehicles, obstacles etc....
An every other week mowing job will take alot longer than weekly, obviously. Alot of times areas will need double cut to look nice. What happens if it rains for a few days, your running behind on jobs, now that grass is wet and going on 17 days since last cut? It will happen. Read the posts on this site soon about such conditions. Happens every year.
Commercial accounts usually don't have a check/payment ready when done, often pay monthly, and you have to wait a week after that month to get paid.
More wear and tear equipment. Risk of damaging something. Did I mention factoring trash?
You made a great recommendation with the chute blocker. A must have

If someone wants to price this at $125 a cut? Let it rip. We will be smiling doing more profitable jobs as we drive by.
Last thought. Why is the property up for bid? Last provider quit? Didn't show up? Didn't do a good job? Or they want a cheap price?

Hope everyone had a great week. Enjoy the weekend with family and be safe
 

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Some of the things that will add to your cost are additional insureds and waivers of subrogation.

Commercial contracts do not just require simple general business liability, if that were the case it wouldn't be a problem.

Most will require additional insured which means you have to add them to your policy (yes you read that right) and that often doubles your initial premium so for example if your gen.liab is $700 for the year you're another $700 for each additional insured and yes that's each additional, so you're at $1400 with one additional, $2100 with two and so on...

The same goes for waivers of subrogation, not all will require this but some will and as in the above example every one tacks on another $700, after the first contract the cost stays the same so it's additional and not multiplicative but add several commercial contracts and your insurance can easily cost 5-8 thousand, per year.

The fees do vary, per state, per insurance company and per the business being insured as well.
So it's best to call to find out first, before getting into these contracts.

Why I normally work through property management companies and simply have them take out a part of my pay so basically I am a rider on their insurance, but working as a sub-contractor is another whole enchilada.

There is another problem...
These properties are so spread out that you will most likely have to leave your truck and trailer out of sight and not just for a few minutes, that increases the risk of things disappearing out of the bed or trailer.
Not to mention all the walking, as was mentioned the total area that you have to cover is as much if not more important than actual acreage to mow. They're slick, they will tell you 1 acres but that's just the grass areas, there's no telling, the whole property might sprawl 16 acres and you're going to be walking, a lot. All this chews up time.
 
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