Cemetary Bid

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by vixlawnservice, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. vixlawnservice

    vixlawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Hello everyone, I am new to the site and this is my second year in the Biz. I mostly do residential lots, mainly 1/4 of an acre to 2 acres. I recently came across a bid for a cemetary that is about 5 acres and has about 50 to 70 graves. Potential client wants only mowing and trimming. I usually charge a minimum of 35 dollars for up to a 1/2 acre and go up from there charging about 15 to 20 dollars per 1/2 acre depending on amount of time consuming obstacles. I am thinking of going for an houry rate at 35 dollar an hour. I figure 3 to 4 hours for mowing and 1hour for trimming for total of about 5 hours. Which would give me 175 per visit. I am hoping to get them into a contract for a twice a month visit. With two visits a month I am considering a 50 % discount on the second visit each month for a total of 262.50 dollars. Not really comfortable bidding on an account this big any help would be great. Also I am SOLO.
    2003 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Extended Cab V6
    5x10 Single Axle Trailer With Dove Tail Gate
    48" Gravely Walkbehind Geardrive
    36" Exmark Metro Geardrive
    22" Bolens Push Mower
    Shindaiwa T231 String Trimmer
    Echo SRM2400 String Trimmer
    Echo PB-200 Blower
    Hand Tools
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Do you have a Z-master capable of cutting 2-3 acres / hour, does the property consist of 5 actual acres but less than 5 acres of it is turf, or what am I missing here?

    If it's 5 acres turf, it would take me 45 minutes an acre with a year-old, 5-speed 6+ mph 48" deck Wb just to cut the grass, then likely another hour trimming around all those graves, and another 15-20 minutes blowing down any debris might've got spewed around, so let me see:

    300 minutes, 5 hours.
    The absolute least I would consider doing it for would be 225.00 (which is a steal), but since there already exists indication that this price is too high, make it 275-300 and walk away.
  3. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    :nono: :nono: 175 for a 5 acrea cemetary?!:nono: Use the search feature at the top of the page and do a search of cemetaries and get ready to get educated. I will say this, whatever time you think it will take you on a cemetary it will take MUCH longer than what you think. BTW, I just went back and re-read the post and see it only has 70 or so graves. Even at that, I still would not touch it for no 175, maybe 275 at the least! And if they add more graves the price goes up. One poster on here used the 100 an acre for cemetaries which I think is not bad.
  4. skeetz

    skeetz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Just wanted to throw my two cents in since I am a mortician by trade(lawn man by heart). Mowing a cemetery(note the spelling of cemetery) is not your everyday mowing. You should consider the hundreds of so headstones, chip one of them and they come after you! All the flowers, decorations(pictures, stuffed anmimals, liquor bottles etc)have to be watched and sometimes moved while mowing, lots of extra time! One of our cemetery men say's that his cemeteries cost him an extra couple hours of work time compared to his other mowing jobs. Not only all the headstones, weather upright above the ground or the flush one's or all the stuff around the graves, but also all the people who come to visit. Some people will go to a grave and sit there for hours. He says sometimes he has to leave and finish later because of all the people. Thought this might help.
  5. palawnman

    palawnman LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 159

    I think that sticks out the most for me is the fact that it is every other week. For starters, like everyone will tell you there will be alot of trimming, so when it comes to peak season, you are going to do alot of trimming and it will have 2 weeks growth on it, not fun. At the very least I would try to get them to do it every week, and when it slows down, go every other. Unless its a cheap cemetery, people dont want to visit their loved ones and the area looks unkempt. This would reflect bad on you. Also aiming for $35 an hour seems low to me b/c it will be a fair amount of work. This isnt 5 acres of just straight cutting, many turns = strenuous. I see that you are going to bid about basically 131.15 per cut, at that price I can almost guarantee you will get it, but after doing it for a little I dont know if you will want it. Dont sell yourself short, this is going to be a tough job, either bid higher or just try to find 3-4 residential houses at $40 a pop, and I guarantee they will be easier. Just my .02

  6. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    Only every other week and you're going to discount second monthly visit by 50%?!?! :confused:
  7. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    IMO that is way low. 1st, I understand that you may not need to cut it every week once the growth slows. Cemeteries are not known for being well irrigated, and are notorious for being wide open to the hot summer sun.

    However, I would not discount yourself that much just to land the job. Cemeteries are more work then most folks realize. What ever time you think that it is going to take I would easy add another 1 to 1 1.5 hours just to be safe. Bottom line is would this job be profitable to you. If it is then go for it, but at the price that you are suggesting I think that you are short changing yourself.JMO. Either way good luck!:)
  8. Bull

    Bull LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 308

    I think most of you are missing the point that this is a five acre area with ONLY 50 to 70 graves. This means under most normal conditions there is a lot of open mowing to be done and depending on the equipment used can be done in less than an hour. I do not see how his bid could be that far off. As the number of occupied plots goes up then so should the cost. Topsites, are you serious in saying that it would take you and hour to trim around 50 to 70 graves? Seems very slow to me.
  9. vixlawnservice

    vixlawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Hello, I did forget to mention a couple hundred feet of fencing at the entrance which needs to be trimmed and a small pavillion (30'x60'). The majority of the graves are concetrated on half the land and the other half has graves scattered. So, there is a lot of open mowing. Thanks for the input so far.
  10. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    the going rate on cemetaries for mow ,trim an blow (headstones have to be blown off an grass free)75-125 acre since the headstones are nicely spaced i would do $350 per cut an every week. dont forget about flowers that fall over around headstones, trash,an all the nick nacks that people leave. an believe me if you go every 2 weeks you will be getting alot of ass chewins. the kin folk of the deceased always ***** about something especially if the grass is high or if the headstone gets grass clippins left on it. believe me i have done cemetaries for years an you have to bid high an do not,, i repeat do not,, be the low baller. hope this helps ya an please dont make a mistake ya have alot of people under ya that are watching!!

Share This Page