City right of way

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by Nelson Lawns, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. Nelson Lawns

    Nelson Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Anyone mow or bid on city right of way? I have a chance to get this contract and am having a hard time estimating price. Any ideas?
  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    Because its been done on city property, Itis now public record (freedom of information act or something) what has been charged in the past. You could always "revese engineer" it to see if their hours at your rate makes sence. Keep in mind, that all the other LCO's know this tidbit as well and City,state, fed contracts usually go to low bid, unless you are a minority owned business, then you may have an additional shot.

    Keep in mind, that usually working on right of ways, you will need road signs, orange vests, cones, and possibly even some yellow strobes or the Farm triangles on your mowers. Which woudl add to your cost of getting the contract.
  3. shortgut

    shortgut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    And if you do not have it be sure and C.Y.A. with some libility insurance

    RECESSION PROOF MOWING LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    Right of Way contracts are a mixed bag, better be ready for it. Folks these days, for whatever reason, are mowing city grass for free. They want to justify that tractor payment. I was in the hunt for 7 RoW bid sessions and was outbid routinely at 31% under 2005 winning bid amount! How would you like to work for 31% lower wage now that fuel prices are headed to $4 per gallon??? Sound like a good deal?

    Here's the rub. As an insider, what people are doing on these city and state contracts is low-balling to get the contract and then "working" the contract to milk net profit out of them. There are ways contractors cheat the system, don't mow all the cycles, don't do this or that because they know full well that inspectors can't inspect all the vast miles of RoW acres in one of these contracts, and quite literally give "curb appeal" to what they think an inspector would view. Lot of games being played out there in RoW land. They know it, I know it, Bob Dole knows it. And with city budgets being cut to the bone, more and more work is placed into the lap of the survivors as hiring is frozen and/or inspectors are let go. Trust me, all you're really getting on a city or state RoW contract is consistent paychecks with the "opportunity" to squeeze out some nickels and dimes once you get some experience behind you. If you can parlay the money contracts with the break-evens or "loss leaders" then you make a little.

    This isn't the good 'ol days of government contract work where a guy could bid up and cash out. It's "meet you at the bottom" when it comes to RoW bidding. Can you finish mow a Right of Way for 91 cents per 1000 square foot? I wouldn't get out of bed for that kind of money when I've got residential and business customers begging to pay top dollar. But there's 5 other contractors in the room ready and willing to work for free just to put that RoW stamp on their resumes. I bid what one would consider low...and didn't have a chance! Just go into this thing with eyes wide open. If by stroke of luck you win the bid, you're gonna work a lot of hours, put a lot of time on those machines...and wonder why you're net doesn't match the effort and resources you just put into it. Welcome to RoW contracts!

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