How big is the cementary? How do the graves look? They lined up pretty even or all over the place? Looked at one last year headstones every where not sense of order. We cut one cemetary now it takes us about a half hour and we charge $45. The smaller the deck the better how ever we do use are 60in Kubota on it. Hope that helps.
You like running a trimmer? I had a cemetery, took 3 hr 20 min for one man, about 1 hr 40 min of that was trimming. I bagged so as not to have so many clippings stuck on the headstones. Using a 52" Grasshopper. Could dump clippings on-site. After I trimmed each headstone, waved the trimmer over it to blow clippings off, saved another trip around with a blower. Lots and lots of trash to pick up too, all the decorations that came apart as they weathered. I ran as hard as I could to get it done in that time, was doing it WAY too cheap--$95.
I do a one acre cemetary with 285 stones - some places are in lines, and about three areas have extra stones haphazard in the isles. It takes 5 times as long to do that acre as it does a normal yard type acre.
Therefore, I put cemetary bids in at 5X the normal per acre bid.
Good advise above. Do a search, there are several threads on cemetery bidding. I worked at a National Cemetery as a groundskeeper for awhile. Stones all uniform size and in rows. I wouldn't't bid a cemetery because there are too many that think they are just a big yard, but they are much more difficult. By the way, if it is an active cemetery you also will have to avoid running over the new graves. People don't like mower tracks in their loved ones' last resting place, so you have to have room to turn around in the row. You will become very tired very quickly of all the trimming, but you will get your exercise!!
Uh huh, Hawkeye you're right. Most of the cemeteries that I've seen generally have visitors, and these people could have just lost someone they really loved. Can you imagine how they would feel seeing you run over graves with your mower, or even throw grass up onto their flowers that they had just put down?
I never really considered maintaining a cemetery, but it seems as if everyone is correct on how much extra time it would take, not just because of the layout, but also because of the extra "feeling" that you have to put into such a place.
And... hopefully if you get the bid, and do your work professionally, you don't get stiffed by the owners.