Advice on first commercial

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rips88, May 23, 2007.

  1. rips88

    rips88 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Hi Guys, I've read a lot on this sight but this is my first post. I got a call today to bid on a property. I measured it today (38,000 sq. ft.). Theres no Trees on the property just open mowing. My question is how long would it take to mow it? I have a 48 inch lesco with a sulky,33 inch billygoat,21 inch toro. It's just my son and I doing the work. Thanks for any help you can give us.
  2. mirrorlandscapes

    mirrorlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    You could easily be in and out of the property in less than 1/2 hour with 2 people, course that depends on how much you have to trim and push mow. But with 48" w/b with sulky you can probably mow 1.5 to 2 acres an hour.

    What's your hourly rate and the market price for your area? We charge $65/hr. for a 2 man crew using 72" rider and 40" w/b. I'd charge it at $35 to $40 depending on location and travel time.

    You know your area and if you know your hourly rate and production multiply the 2. Good luck and have fun.
  3. rips88

    rips88 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    That's the rate we charge for a two man crew also. I figured probably 2 hours for mowing, trimming etc. Do You think $130.00 per cut is too high or too low for a property this size? Thanks
  4. mirrorlandscapes

    mirrorlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Hmm...2 hrs for a 38,000 square feet? That seems like a pretty high estimate for less than an acre of mowing, but obviously I can't see the property or the terrain. I would say the price is pretty high, but if you have a good handle on how many acres or square feet you can mow an hour, then if 2 hours is what it takes so be it and charge your rate. You don't want to low ball yourself and regret it for the rest of the season.

    Also, sounds like there must be a lot of trimming around edging, push mowing, or its a high maintenance lawn which could quickly jack up the time and price. That or you've got a ways to travel.

    I guess I'd say take into account (which you probably already have) all your factors mowing, trimming, clean-up, travel time, loading time, restrictions and limitations, traffic, sensitive materials, etc. and base all that against any previous jobs and the time it took to do that. If 2 hours is pretty close bid it that way. If you haven't had the chance to mow a property that big that is wide open, you'd be surprised how much a 48" can mow, especially with a sulky. Mowing at medium speed with a 48" should get you a little over an acre an hour. Hope this helps.
  5. MJStrain

    MJStrain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 156

    If you're really in doubt, ask him to let you mow it at a set hourly rate for the first mow. Then you have hard data to pitch a weekly mow rate. Works all the time for me.

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