estimate help...!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KDLAWN, May 29, 2005.


    KDLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I am putting in a bid on a comercial property that is about 122000sqft. It is pretty flat and appears to be a pretty easy job.. it is a 12 month contract. guy says that it takes the current company doing it now about 7 hrs to do it.. I was going to get about 3 guys to help me pay them @ $10.00/hr. this property is cut twice a month.. and I will need to buy another mower(EXMARK 54" cut ) looking about $6000.00. but my question is, would $1200.00 a month be too much or not enough for this property..

    here is my figures / month

    lawnmower payment: 300.00

    give me your input please!!!

    thanks!! Kent
  2. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    122,000 sf is less than three acres. A mower with a 52" deck can cover about an acre and a half in one hour at 3.5 mph. So two hours mowing assuming you won't need a smaller item for areas a 52 can't get to. If it's four guys (you and three employees) at 7 hours each time, that's 28 man-hours per service. Sounds like a lot for three acres. Even if it's just 21 man-hours, that still sounds like a lot.

    $560/month labor is $280/service. Sounds like you're paying yourself the same $10/hour as your employees are getting.

    If you're not sure about this bid, maybe it'd be best to mow it once and see how it goes. But one thing is sure: I'm very leery of twice-monthly cuts. That usually ends up a real screwup unless there is something very unusual about solar exposure on the lot in question.

    There are also some here on Lawnsite who are leery of buying a new piece of equipment for just one job. Not saying it's taboo, but it there are hazards, especially if you don't have a pretty bleeping solid contract behind you.

    Look at it this way: $1,200/month is $14,000/year. Buying a mower for six grand and all the rest is just not worth it if the contract falls through after one year and this is the only work you need the new mower to do.

    KDLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    ok.. understand that.. well I know this guy has 8 other properties that I will probably be cutting if I get this one.. but they will be prices seperate.. thanks for the input.. I have reworked some figures and dropped a man and now I am looking at $981.00/month.. this is without having to buy the new mower.. I do have a 42" walker and 21 in toro walkbehind.. does this look better as far as pricing goes?...

    Thanks!! :)
  4. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    Don't mean to shoot your prospects down, just leery of going out on a limb like that. Not saying I've never done it, just know it's not the best idea in the world.

    If the other properties average the same size/amount of labor, can you hire enough to cover it all? I guess the thing that throws me is that one guy should be able to handle mow/edge/trim/blow on three acres in one day. Is there a lot of other work involved? Fourteen hours every other week for landscaping is a lot...unless the fee includes materials like fertilizer and mulch and so on.

    If you are looking at 21 man/hours each service, that's 42 hours per month during season. Down in Alabama, your season has to be at least eight months or 336 hours a year (how many hours in the off-months?). That's $42 for each man/hour, which is not as good as some here at Lawnsite are doing, better than others.

    Just not sure what you're looking at, so it's tough to say. How exhaustively have you broken down all the work and other costs?
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,369

    I would think that 7 man-hrs seems correct and at $40 per hour that would be around $300 a mow. Another way to look at it most guys are reporting $50 -$100 per acre and that would still be $300. It all depends on what kind of competition you have in your area?? I would not invest in a big unit for this one property assuming you will have it long at $1200 a month.

    KDLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    so your saying that $1200 a month is too much??


  7. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    Not necessarily. How long does it take to service the property? Is there more to the task than just mow-blow-and-go?
  8. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    You said it was flat and appears to be pretty easy.. Why does it or would it take 7 hours to cut 3 acres :confused:

    Is the current company a one man show or crew?

    Why is it every other week cut?
  9. E.L.I.T.E.LawnCare

    E.L.I.T.E.LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    Well i just got our church this season at $500.00 per cut but it's 9.4 acres ($53.00 per acre). The longest it took us so far was 6hrs. that's because we had to double cut it usually takes 4hrs. so $125.00 hr. i can't complain
  10. KDLAWN

    KDLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    there is weedeating to do onthe backside and infront.. and it is about 700ftX25ft the property manager said it took the crew that is doing it now about 5 hrs to do the whole thing.. he said they had a crew of 4 out there working.. evey other week deal is just what the owner wants I guess.. this is a 12 month contract also.. not sure I said that earlier...

    what type of profit do you guys make off of a commercial property like this.. just asking to see I am close to what I need to be,.... my biggest expense is the hired help.. I am going to be paying them 10$ an hr and looking at 2 to begin with.. total of 3 of us on the property..

    thanks.. again

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