69 Acre Developed Cemetery (Your thoughts on tackling?)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by retrodog, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,429

    Hey guys, I missed out on a bid 3 years ago on this cemetery, and I will get another chance this year. It has 69 acres of developed, plus about 15 acres of open field to mow. The contract states you can spray poison 2 inches away from everything, but the current guy gets away with quite a bit more than that. My dad got layed off from his job of 26 years, so he is looking for something to do along with quite a few family members.
    Is this something that is stupid to take on, or would some of you guys consider?
    With 6 big mowers it can be mowed in 1 "full" 12 to 14 hours day to 2, and at the current poison spray it has, 3 guys can touch up trimming and be done in one day also (10 guys I would estimate with the 2 inch spray rule....). So a good 2 "Full" days for a pretty big crew to take care of (if they lax up on the contract a little like this time). Last time we bid $100000 a year and were the lowest bidders until the last packett was opened at less than $80000! It is a 3 year contract, and I figure the first year will pay for all new trailer, equipment, etc, and the following year make some bank.
    Am I stupid for wanting to do this? My dad was scared to death last time to get it, but this time he is foaming at the mouth.....lol. My bid was figured with a worst case scenario of 26 mows for the season, but with trying a growth regulator to help knock that amount down quite a bit. That is $3850 per cut (around $50 an acre, or around $200 an hour for basically a 6 man crew) for basically $70000 worth of new equipment to tackle and give some good family time for....lol.
    If you want let me hear your feedback, bid not coming up for a while, but I don't want to mess up and get committed to something I am waaay off on for 3 years either, lmk....
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  2. flatlander42

    flatlander42 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,239

    Why not use 2 guys for 4-5 days....? Unless you have something else to keep all those people busy.
  3. h2oskier

    h2oskier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    A dedicated crew for this, or something for a rotation?
  4. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,429

    This would be a one time deal for the people doing it, the rig wouldn't be used at all except for this job. The only way I could help and be involved would be to try and do most of it in 1 day, and the second be touching up and finishing, and to be worth the money to me to mess with for us. I have a full time mowing crew that mow all week long in Oklahoma, but they wouldn't be involved in this job unless I really needed them. Mainly something to give my dad and a few family members something to do. That would be the cheapest most profitable way to do it though, just hire 2 guys full time for the job to be out there 5 or 6 days a week.... Problem is mainly for dad, and the days he is not mowing, he will be umpiring, and doing odds and ends stuff to keep busy, he really doesn't want to be stuck out there mowing and trimming 24-7 either...lol, even if it does help pay the bills.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I'd do it by myself.
    In an hour.
    With a push reel mower.
    For $5

    Then again I did miscalculate slightly the blade tip speed of certain mowers just yesterday.

    But I will tell you...
    We do not buy new equipment based on an upcoming bid or job :nono:
    Unless you want to be out of business before year's end, if that's the case then by all means.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  6. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,103

    I would be careful to hire a whole crew of family, it sounds like a big storm brewing. I would bid it what its worth and go from there with equipment and crew if it actually happens. With things like they are now someone could come and drop a $70k bid.
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  7. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    My first though...you are crazy to think you can do it with family members. My follow up thoughts, it does sound like there's enough money for the labor, equipment, responsibility and aggravations! :hammerhead:
  8. LibertyFarmLandscaping

    LibertyFarmLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE TX
    Messages: 1,091

    Just be sure and don't use those junky Badboy mowers.......:rolleyes:

    Is it worth the risk of losing business from customers you are bidding against ?
  9. flatlander42

    flatlander42 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,239

    I think that if your dad needs $/work that he would want to work 4+ days a week. That is not that much demand. I just think that if you have so many people needing work that you'd be better off to give a few people a larger amount of hours...instead of 10 people 10 hours.

    If this thing goes south, you would also have less family p!$$ed off at you.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Right that's what I'm aiming at...

    The fact is, the chances of this going south are even higher if all your eggs are in this one basket.
    Why that is so I could not tell you, but I know it to be true.

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