Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by olderthandirt, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    How do you price a cemetary mowing job for a village? I have the chance to bid on a 2 acre cemetary and 6 smaller ones for a small village but have no idea of where to start for a price. They already informed me they don't have a lot of money,but I live here so I thought it would be a good way to get the name around. I would be mowing with a 48 in.Z and have to trim ''as needed'' I figured around 4 hrs. just for the 2 acre one at around $60 hr. I never did commercial mowing and I'm probably wasting my time where I figure I need to be for the $ but its worth a shot. Any suggestions?
  2. keifer

    keifer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    Why dont you count the head stones,trim one then add it up.might get you a little closer to a set time.
  3. Yeah, get caller ID and don't answer the phone when they try to call you back.

    I apologize for sounding so cryptic, but I've never seen a cemetery worth working for.

    #1 They're always underfunded, especially if they're full

    #2 They're both religous and political at the same time. Someone's always complaining.

    #3 They're just plain hard to mow.

    Just my $.02 worth

  4. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    Ditto what David said,


    #4 They are hard on equipment

    #5 they are rough

    #6 the familys of the people buried there dont care what their own house looks like, but you better not screw up the grave of dear ol' aunt Betty.

    My own family has been on the board of a cemetary that my Great Great Grandmother donated in the 1800's and I wont put my equipment on the place.

  5. sdwally

    sdwally LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    We have about a 130 acre cemetery that we take care of. Just to echo what has been mentioned above, cemetery are time consuming and hard on equipment. We have 4 operators that mow with 8 different units(4 reel units and 4 rotary units) and are able to mow it in about 4 days. Average life span of one mowing unit mowing full time is about 4 years and then the unit is basically junk.
    Line trimmers also take a beating. Line trimmer(commerial grade) were designed for being used for a small amount of time many times through out the day. Not for 4 to 6 hours at a time in one day. Our cemetery has about 4 to 6 people that line trim about 4 hours a day and around Memorial Day it is about 8 to 10 people line trimming about 6 hours a day.
    Another thing to consider is are the grave markers flat stones that you can drive over or uprights that you have to mow and trim around. If they are flat stones are they all level with the ground and not stick up where a blade might chip or damage one? Some familys get real upseat when their loved ones' stones get chipped or scratched.
    My sugestion, if you decide to take on this job is to have a trial period of a month or two. This way you can get a handle on what it will take to do the job, before entering into a long term contract.
  6. gorrell

    gorrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 536

    You gentlemen are exactly correct on your summations of cemetery work. I mowed 3 cemeteries for 6 years and never received one compliment, but miss trimming one grave and guess who's going to show up? If I do any bidding on cemeteries now, I usually bid it at 1.5 times my normal rate because as I've stated, they're nothing but headaches..........Lynn
  7. Commander

    Commander Banned
    Messages: 116

    A guy who I met last year used to do a cemetary. He lost it last year due to what he calls "politics" He did the grass there, I don't know if he really made any money doing that though. However I do know that he had the contract for digging the graves with his backhoe, so that usually stayed there. He also did a little tree work there every once and a while and what not.
  8. Andy Miller

    Andy Miller LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    When I was a young lad, I worked at a cemetary. The degree of difficulty is high, specially in the older cemetarys with above ground stones. They eat the metal away from the mower deck, you have to use walk behinds because of space limitations and the trimming. Terrible and unprofitable. Might as well dig a hole and bury your equipment.
  9. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Thanks all, I talked to a trustee tonite and got a little more info,They been paying a guy 9 dollars an hr. to use there equipment which they bought new before last yr. I guess he tore the He-- out of it. It was a garden tractor and it took him about 20-25 hrs a week to do it.{At least that what he was charging them for} I bid it out at a little over 15,000. I figured 6 hrs. mowing and 4 trimming 26 times a yr. I have a good chance of getting it the trustee thinks becouse there tired of messing around each yr. with someone new. I'm beginning to think maybe its not worth it, any thoughts???
  10. shawn'slawns

    shawn'slawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    this was the biggest mistake of my life. i would take another cemetary if you paid me $50,000 a year and since that is not going to happen never again. i had a guy that was going to spend all week in my 5 cems and he puttered out half way through the first cut. i was able to get out of the contract about 2 mo. into it.

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