Big job question

Lawnut101

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
West Bend WI
I am going to be submitting a bid on a property we currently maintain. The mowing, trimming, and blowing take 19-21 man hrs total per week. This year I was pretty low on my mowing cost. I want to raise it to a fair amount but not lose the job, as it brings in quite a bit of profit over the winter. The property is 12.5 acres. I wasn't to far off on fert and spring / fall cleanup. Shrub trimming i was off quite a bit. It takes about 80 man hrs to trim them all.

So what's a fair price in this cheap as could be market for those 2 services per time? I don't want to lose money this year, but this definitely pays the overhead over the summer.

Also I was only using 52" mowers this past year because they're what i had for this year. I am planning on buying at least one 60" mower in spring, and maybe another 60 or 72". How much in reality can I expect to increase my productivity / effeciency?

Thanks for the help
 
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Lawnut101

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
West Bend WI
A little more info about my situation: In spring i bought a skid for landscaping. Last year we did about 75% landscaping and 25% mowing. This past season it was about 80% mowing and 20% landscaping. It was an unlucky guess on my part, buying the skid instead of mowers. But I'm over it. About half my other jobs could fit a 72" mower and most could fit a 60" in some part. What would you guys invest in? Two 60" or one of each? Used or new? I've never bought used ztr's before.

Any help is appreciated
 

Swampy

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Montello, WI
I would look into two 60inch machines. Reading your equipment list if you went with a 72in machine you'd have to find a wider trailer as well. I know a lot of local lawn services use a 60in deck on again almost everything, almost to the point it is a standard. Also if your looking at many man hours on a machine I'd look into a diesel machine. I wouldn't look into anything bigger unless you can justify purchasing it.

80hrs on shrub trimming? I need to see before and after pictures.
 

Jimslawncareservice

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
mn
If.you have a lot of town homes or a lot of beds, homes,cars, ect.... I would look at 2 deere mod decks. In the fall you just close it and mulch leaves. You can also open it and blow leave away from objects so a blower guy doesn't have follow you or be right in front of you.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

MOturkey

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Bolivar, MO
I started this business with a 50 inch Z, which I used for 4 seasons, then upgraded to a 60. From my experience, it will decrease your mowing time on larger properties, but not as much as most people would think. Technique in operating a machine is probably just as big a factor. My wife and I operate identical 60 inch Gravely's. She has a tendency to push the speed a bit more than I do, but I tend to be more precise on the overlap, plus waste less time by planning the way I cut a property, so in the end, I can virtually always mow a large lawn in less time than she does, even though she pushes the machine more.

Going to a 72 would undoubtedly make more difference on large areas, but from what I understand, scalping is more of an issue with a larger deck, plus resale value is a consideration. Sixty inch decks are much more common in most areas.
 
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Lawnut101

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
West Bend WI
Lots of good advice, keep it coming. I will probably be looking to pick up a few 60" mowers!
 
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Lawnut101

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
West Bend WI
If.you have a lot of town homes or a lot of beds, homes,cars, ect.... I would look at 2 deere mod decks. In the fall you just close it and mulch leaves. You can also open it and blow leave away from objects so a blower guy doesn't have follow you or be right in front of you.
Posted via Mobile Device
I really like Exmark, but will look.
 
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Lawnut101

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
West Bend WI
I would look into two 60inch machines. Reading your equipment list if you went with a 72in machine you'd have to find a wider trailer as well. I know a lot of local lawn services use a 60in deck on again almost everything, almost to the point it is a standard. Also if your looking at many man hours on a machine I'd look into a diesel machine. I wouldn't look into anything bigger unless you can justify purchasing it.

80hrs on shrub trimming? I need to see before and after pictures.
That's a good point. Might as well keep using my trailer since it is still nice. I am looking at getting a couple slightly used machines and saving some cash.

I don't have good pics of the shrubs. Its a lot of work for sure.
 
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Lawnut101

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
West Bend WI
80 hours of trimming shrubs. I think I'd pass on that job!
Posted via Mobile Device
I can't be super choosey right now. So I at least wanna bid on it.
 

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