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Big Account Pricing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DBriceland, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. DBriceland

    DBriceland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I am getting ready to quote on a super walmart account.
    The Bid needs to include pricing for:

    Sweeping (X4 a Week)
    Salting (X3 a Day)

    Looks to be a 3 to 4 acre parking lot.

    This is my first time Bidding on a large project and need help in deciding what is both a fair price for me and my customer.

    I was told through the grapevine that another area walmart pays $300 per cut just for the mowing.

    They want to see a bid for per instance and a bid for yearly contract.

    Any help would be great.

    Denny Briceland
    Briceland Lawn Service
  2. Husker1982

    Husker1982 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    First time on a big job and you want to do a super walmart with 3 or 4 acre lot? :confused: You better think about that. I do a walmart with probably a 3 acre lot and it is a lot of plowing. I mean a lot. If you have never done a bigger lot you may want to reconsider.

    Don't quite understand why you would figure salting everyday. And especially 3 times
  3. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

  4. DBriceland

    DBriceland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I have two plow trucks with salt spreaders so I don't think the plowing will be to much. but I need help pricing this big of a job

    thanx Briceland's Lawn Care
  5. DBriceland

    DBriceland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for the help on the plow web site

    Briceland's Lawn Care
  6. Husker1982

    Husker1982 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    2 trucks? I dunno man cause you have to look at down time and you cant afford it at walmart. The one I do is a do it now type account. Not saying you cant do it. Do you have other accounts as well? To give a pricing guideline I would not do it on a per time basis. I would do it in a pay sum amount each month for X amount of months.
    1. Figure salt by the coverage of a yard and the size of the lot
    2. Always be on the safe side of the pushing part cause you will almost always lose if you try to shim a bit to get the job. (Remember if you can't make good money it is not worth it)
    3. Time you will have to pay someone
    4. What are walmarts guidelines for you e.g. what time do they want it cleared by in morning? At what measure do you plow? What is the minimum measure for salting?
  7. DBriceland

    DBriceland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I only have 5 other accounts for plowing that don't have do be done until 11:00. I can plow 9 1/2 feet and spread salt 20 feet.
    How much do I charge per month to salt & plow
  8. DBriceland

    DBriceland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    What is good money and why do you say i'm going to have dowm time
  9. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Although there are many factors involved you will need to have an idea of how long it’s going to take you to complete each site.

    I try to calculate my mowing figures using 44,000 sf as an acre. I always try to assess how difficult an area is going to be and assign it a “Degree of Difficulty” from 1.5 (flat bagged areas, minimal obstacles) to 3 (steep hillsides, heavy foot traffic, numerous obstacles restricting high productivity while cutting).

    You have to know your equipments productivity in order to bid efficiently whether its by the sf, lf, or hr. Lets say for example:
    **You use a 52” wb and you calculate that your average hourly production time is 40m/sf per hour or 674 sf/minute.
    **Your other mower is a 36” wb that you have averaged out to 28m/sf per hour or 467 sf/minute.
    **You figure that you can line trim 30 tree rings or 4500lf per hour and/or you can stick edge 6000lf of curbs and walks per hour.
    **I estimate that my blower time averages out to be approximately 1/3 our trim+edge time so now I have production rates to bid.

    Now you can measure what has to be done, claculate your job times (x) hourly rate = your estimate for the lawns.

    You should walk the properties and work the estimated times over in your head. While you walk the property you should be making notes to consider which of the larger specimens may require ladder, scaffolding, or bucket work as these should be billed out at a higher rate than those you can walk around to complete.

    Here are some ideas that might help you get an idea of how to price your work. All times given include the clean-up.

    If you have small sized shrubs under 3' in diameter these will probably take a total of 10 minutes each. These could include the barberry, euonymus, birdsnest spruce, goldthread cypress etc.

    Then there are what I like to think of as the medium sized range between 3-5’, which usually are the yews, hollies, yaupons, fuller barberries, and boxwoods. I would recommend that you estimate 15-20 minutes each.

    We often have upright/columnar specimens at corners as well. These would be your arborvitae, lelandi cypress, hemlocks etc. that are kept between 6-8' with minimal ladder work to shape the tops. I would recommend estimating about 20-25 minutes each.

    If you have hedgerows and the like, I will usually try to block them together by counting individual specimens. If I have 30 hemlocks 8' tall along the curbside and 20 running along the back of the lawn to make a corner hedgerow I might figure 20 minutes for every block of 6. So it might be 5x20 for the curbside, and 4x20 for the back lawn totaling 180 minutes or 3 hrs.

    You also are going to have to take into consideration how much growth is going to be removed. Are you cutting a privet hedge way back, or is it a well-maintained evergreen that just needs the new growth taken off.

    Another thing to remember is that when you're cutting evergreens, STOP at the dark green layer and don’t get too thin.

    Vehicular Pavements are based on .37 per 1,000sf of surface swept (x) the total number of visits = cost of svce.
  10. hoagie

    hoagie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    Good starting points...

    But, you do have to figure in for clean-up time after pruning.

    And that figure seems really low for sweeping? An acre lot would only be around $18, and $37 for a 100k lot? Although I have no sweeping exp. I would say to keep it in the $75-$100 per hr range.

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