Anyone ever bid/mow a Military Base?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GreenwithEnvyLawn, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. GreenwithEnvyLawn

    GreenwithEnvyLawn LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 21

    I had a chance to bid on a Military Base for this season but was totally lost. The contract was for the housing areas only but they had 9 different subdivisions and 2,022 units. Luckily each unit's fenced in lawns were not included so it was only common areas. I walked/drove all the areas and tried to split them up into sections to make the estimations a bit easier but it was tough. Being a solo operator it would have taken me a week or more to get it all cut and would have been my only source of income. Not to mention it was 45 minutes away, so I stepped out without submitting the bid. Just curious if anyone here has done this type of job? I guess a guy with several crews would love this type of contract.
  2. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    I got a call from a guy who wanted a bid on a military base in Ft. Thomas, KY, it was fairly small for a military base, but still pretty big, and they had lots of those concrete poles all around the buildings, lots of trimming to say the least, I bid $430 per cutting, but he never got back with me, Im guessing he just needed to have a certain amount of bids and probably already had the guy he wanted anyway, and just needed another bid? Im kinda glad I didnt get it, it would be a real pain to mow that place! But being that it was a govt contract, maybe I should have tripled the bid? Dont most people usually inflate the bids when dealing with the federal govt, like $200. for a hammer, $400. for a toilet seat, etc?
  3. By Us Company

    By Us Company LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    We used to mow a Navy Base in ME until it went out of commission and turned into elderly housing. We ran 3 60" ZTR's for about 7 hours including some trimming and one guy trimming all day. The contract was for between $750-$900 per cut.
  4. deereman

    deereman LawnSite Senior Member
    from USA
    Messages: 518

    We currently maintain one and it is one of my favorite accounts. Nice BIG and very nice to mow. They want all mowing bills turned in with 48 hrs of mowing. Sometimes I get busy and forget but they understand and dont get to excited.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I guess you got lucky there, had that bid been half as inconvenient I think you would likely still have got raped.
  6. rain man

    rain man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,794

    Talked to the guy who used to do a base (lost the bid). Eggs in one basket. Calamity time. Felt bad for him.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah, I'm not trying to break bad news or talk down on folks in that sense, but I learned
    an important lesson over the years: NEVER bid a job one can not walk away from.
    Read: Without getting paid for any of it!

    That's whether I'm 30 seconds or a thousand dollars deep into it already, I have to know beforehand, can I walk away from it?
    If the answer is no, then either I shouldn't be bidding...
    Or perhaps start contacting someone about ordering up bulk loads of vaseline LOL

    I know that sounds harsh but there's a little trick that happens, once an Lco is caught by the gotchas
    some customers will see it and then they will proceed to take advantage of the guy.
    It ain't right, but it happens, they're in full control and either can't help themselves
    or for any other reason just feel like doing it to someone, and do it they will.

    It's happened to me, not so much the eggs in one basket but being caught
    in that situation where a customer "holds the money hostage."
    More than once...

    There are a FEW customers who'll let you or me off the hook, those are the real good folks out there,
    I've had this happen as well but unfortunately these kind of folks appear to be in a bit of a minority.

    As for the rest?
    Ain't no shame out there, they'll rape any one of us, again it ain't right but in most cases it's only a matter of time.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010

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