Highway right of way

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by oldturf, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. oldturf

    oldturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    City called and wants me to bid 5 miles of right of way along both sides and center median of major highway. Has anybody bid these and what is customary.
    Can I use wide area mowers ( I would prefer this) or do I need a 40 hp tractor with flail mowers. Just got the call this evening and will meet with them this week to iron out details, but would like a little input from someone who has done this before. They indicate that mine will be the only bid if I am in reason, now if I can get them to tell me what they think is reasonable and I agree, then I may be in new territory.
  2. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    What do they want? Manicured in city limits or 3-4 times a year? That will make the difference in what you use.
  3. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    aroudn here they copmany uses tractors with bush hogs....and they use large ZTRs to get in and around the road signs and armco barriers that way the guys in the tractor don't have to get as close to things....

    My biggest fear would be the traffic, and you might have to do some retrofitting of safety equipment on your mowers. Flashing, guys would have to wear safetly vests, you'd have to buy some roadsigns (mowers ahead), and I would with out a doubt make sure my discharge shield or an OCDC or a mulch kit would be installed. Ther are gonna be rocks, bottles, tire chunks....all sorts of good stuff to get run over...

    Also, remember the slopes, ROPS and maybe get a shade canopy for the mower as well....High way, Summertime, Lotsa heat

    A big ztr or a wide area mower could work. If the grass is 12" high take the 1/3 rul and you could knock 4" off the top. But being its ROW you coudl proably cut 12" down to 4-6" with no i'll effects.....
  4. oldturf

    oldturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    Some of it is in city limits and will be cut like a park. The bulk of it will mow once a month. I have 72'' JD 997 and 62'' Toros for part of it, but need something else for the bulk of the mowing. I thought that if I could use a wide area mower it would be more versatile than a large tractor with flail mower. But, if I get the flail mower, it will open up some state highway contracts that require flail mowers. Just trying to decide.
  5. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,807

    our state guys that cut the grass now have guys in attenuator trucks following them... what an additional cost that would be!
  6. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    I'd be gentle using the 997 on rough ground. For all its size it's not into eating rock and pieces of tires. If its manicured lawns with a months growth it would be OK. I've seen flails with wings that can be raised or lowered to do ditches or steep hills, but that is going to take some tractor to drive that.
  7. Potomac Lawns Inc.

    Potomac Lawns Inc. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    I have bids some ROW in my state and the contract with specs and all is around 100 pages, they specified what type of equipment is to be used and also when it is to be cut, also there us no guarantee that you will cut it every month they basically call you when they want it and you have so many day to get it done at the price you bid. Also some contracts provided signs some did not, I also had to get a traffic managers card to setup the work zone. Good luck on your bid.

    Steve :)
  8. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    I have done a bunch of right of way and roadside mowing.
    For all but the deepest growth, my 25hp 60" ztrs were used, and did quite well.
    For the really nasty areas I have a 4x4 tractor and Bushhog shredder.
    I have slow moving vehicle triangles on all of my equipment, you can use the adhesive ones - very inexpensive.
    I typically have one crew truck with a rotating beacon on top either following the mowers or acquire warning signs and post them at each end of the circuit.
    Once you are set up in this kind of work, you will really like it.
    Governmental organizations are loath to change contractors, in my experience pay quickly, and once you are in the door more opportunities arise.
    The blades I sacrifice are older, soon to be retired ones, however are sharpened and balanced prior to start.
    Typically, you have to have proof of commercial liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, employees have to be in uniform, with eye and ear protection. Also, you may be expected to sign a indemnity statement releasing the governmental agency from implied liability from your maintenance efforts.
    I'd say go for it!
  9. Jeff's Lawn Care

    Jeff's Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    what amount of insurance r they gonna require?
  10. oldturf

    oldturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    I will find out all particulars next week, the city mgr had surgery today and that put us off a bit. I currently carry 2,000,000 in liability along with workmans comp-unemployment etc. I don't think that insurance will be a problem. I intend to use the 997 and toros on the areas that are kept like a park and on tight ares. I have located an 85 horse JD with 3 flail mowers
    and an air conditioned cab with 4 wheel drive in good shape for $18,000 or possibly a new 43 horse Kubota, 4 wheel drive with hd 84'' flail mower for
    $22,000. I am kind of excited about some new toys and getting into a new area of the business. Hope I quote it right to make money, but you have to start some where and take your lumps while you learn the hard lessons. I have learned that the grass is not always greener but am looking forward to this venture anyway.

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