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BIG Residential Accounts?

We have a new account lined up for next year. It is fairly large with about 8-10 acres, its hard to tell exactly how much, i'm working on taking a picture from the air next time i go flying to get a better look.
We plan to price the job by the hour, i've been having difficulty pricing this job by the visit. It will be done twice a week through the growing season. Also, There is also another 4 acre section that only gets done when necessary.
I plan to charge by the hour, atlesat at the begining so i dont loose my shirt if the estimate is off.
How much should i charge(buy the hour) for two of my guys, one 61" turf tiger and one 48" walk behind? There is about one hour of trimming and atleast another 15 to blow off the drive way, which is prolly a 1/4 mile.
Any ideas questions or comments are welcome. I believe that we bid most accounts very well, but not have come across one of this size to date, so it has stumped me a bit.
Travis Tyler
Tyler Associates LLC


LawnSite Member
You could get the a lot map from the city assessor's office and subtract out the house, drive, woods, etc with a combination of measuring wheel and estimation based on the map. It's not as fun as flying, but it sure costs less! good luck..


LawnSite Member
I do some large areas and I've been charging,on average, $30-$35 per acre if the land is fairly level...I add a little more for land that is hilly.If there's alot of trimming and blowing, I would add about $50.00 hr. If this lot is fairly level, and is 10 acres, I would price this job at about $350.oo. With those mowers, you will probably be done in under 4 hours..Good Luck...Clean-Cut


LawnSite Platinum Member
Central Florida
The last really big non-commercial we bid, we didn't take the time to estimate it correctly. We were not completely sure what the homeowner expected. It was approx 8 acres with only about 5 that were improved areas that would require regular mowing and only about three that would need cutting every week. It was well landscaped and the owner expected an all inclusive bid. That would require knowing how often the "natural" areas would need brushcutting. We simply just didn't have enough info and the guy was in a hurry. We bid high and didn't get it. The owner seemed somewhat shocked at the bid, and it probably caused him to refine his requirements a little bit, LOL.

If this is an account you want, you need to be fairly accurate in your calculations. Know exactly what the customer wants. If not you may price yourself right out of it or worse, lose money.



LawnSite Senior Member
NE Ohio

With the equipment that you have mentioned you can cut about 5.5 acres an hour (assuming you have a sulky for the w/b) at 80%. And you have a total of:

Weekly 8-10 acres: = 2 hrs
Biweekly 4 acres addl: = 1 hr

So for argumens lets only look at cutting time. You want to charge by the hour so lets say you do $75 hr (?????) that would mean your only looking at 225 per cut (with the addl 4 acres). Now lets look at flat rate per acre of $35 (sounds more reasonable). Every week your going to get $315 ($35x9), then in the other week your going to get an additional $140.

Then you can take and figure in your hour and a half for trimming and blowing and put it on top of the flat rate. That is a much more appealing job now isn't it. Lets compare: Hourly approx $300 max
Flat rate appros $390-530

Just my .02
I figured around 75 an hour for the job, travel time is about 20 mins from the shop, though i didnt really factor that in. We have jobs near by but once a week the trip will be solo to cut this place since it needs to be cut twice a week.
Any ideas for a cheap wide cut mower??
How much is the turf tiger worth? its a 99 61" 25hp kohler 525hrs, very good condition, well maintained.
Only losers that work for wages work by the hour.

The whole idea of being in business for yourself is to NOT
be paid by the hour.

Again if you are too lazy to buy a wheel and measure the site you should go back to working for the man for you will never have the knowledge need to BE THE MAN.

How do you expect to apply the proper amount of fertilizer or pesticides if you have NO IDEA of tht ACTUAL size of the turf?