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Government Contracts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mak2, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. mak2

    mak2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Anyone have mowing and/or snow removal contracts with the goverment? Federal State or local? I was talking to a private contractor at a local federal installation and he said he has had the contract for years and no one can get it, it is never open for bid. He was bragging about how much he made from it every year. He still doesnt know I have a company, I was there for another reason. Are these contracts usually lucrative? Possible to bid on without an attorney?
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    They usually don't need an attorney to bid on them.

    Lucrative?? Sometimes, but once people start cutting the pork from their budgets, then the bids start getting put up for bid.

    Personally, I've got a school district that I mow, that I've had for 4 years now without it going back to bid. I've gotten a "cost of doing business" raise each year about 3%, and the customer is happy, so they don't re-bid.

    I know the guy snowplowing has been doing it for over 20 years, and they're happy with him. If anyone else drops a bid off, it just finds the round file cabinet on the floor next to the desk.
  3. AdamChrap

    AdamChrap LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 935

    I mow for a city, many dif. places and sizes. It legally has to go for bid every year. It is a real good account. Takes one guy about 3-4 days to do it all. we have had it 2 years, but not consecutive. The only draw back is if you don't get that $30,000 contract next year I have to find 4 days of work to make up for it. Their are good and bad parts to it just like everything else. but i have never heard of them being sealed up. Around here they all go up for bid every year. It is usually in the city or county or states rules and sometimes law that any job over "X" amount of dollars has to be bid out.
  4. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Adam -

    Try getting into a meeting over the winter. Tell them that you're interested in getting the contract renewed, that you'll do something for them either free, or maybe only raise the price 2% instead of 4%, or even lock it in at the same rate as this year if they'll renew.

    This is what I have done in the past.
  5. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    I mow a couple of govt. places. You have to register as a contractor on govt. website, better have all insurance and certifications up to date and right amount $ wise in coverage. Quite honestly these places price shop, that is the lowest bid wins. I took one over that I will put a bid in on next year when contract is ready to re bid, but I will bid it significantly higher than it is now, this place is good for visibility only, and there is so much competition for this place that guys bid it way, way to low. Consequently I don't really care if I have this one or not. I make o.k. money off the other property, but I would suspect the fella your talking to is blowing smoke for the most part.

  6. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,661

    Whats real intresting about government contracts is that you can request last years bid under the freedom of information act. But since the wheels of government move slow , request the information way early
  7. cedarcroft

    cedarcroft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    the county I live in has RFP's all the time. A guy I know got the contract to water the center median of a highway and made a s**tload of money on it. he had to run his water truck 2 days a week on his section of the highway and water all the plants and grass. it took one guy a full day twice a weeek.
  8. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    Should clarify I guess, I was posting in terms of Federal & State govt. Some work I've done at the city level can be pretty lucrative, but usually involves working on a project that has been neglected for quite a spell.

  9. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,233

    I recently signed up with my local county website to try and get some work. Found out it only goes out for bid every 3 years, so I'll have to wait 2 more to bid. Just make a few phone calls, or search the web and you can find the right people to talk to and get your foot in the door.
  10. cborden

    cborden LawnSite Member
    from 46140
    Messages: 177

    I've had a few in the past, some are for one year and some like utilities are on a two year contract. If you find one you're interested in, dig around a little and find out who or what committee awards the bids. The same contractors get the bids year after year around here because things are not always advertised that well.

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