Industrial Lawn Mowing - Highway

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ColePyck, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. ColePyck

    ColePyck LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 208

    got a call from a customer we did mulch for last season, he works for the state and there is 3000 acres that need to be mowed, in three counties around me. I told him the price would be anywhere from 50-80 per acre, and I wasnt familiar with bidding anything for the state. I am meeting him Friday to talk about it more. Anyone have any advice for me? Where would I even start on buying those huge industrial mowers at anyway. The mowing would also be done along the highway. Kinda nervous but hell at 100 dollars a acre multiplied by 3000, minus 100000 in equipment, i might be able to make out pretty nice on this deal. Thanks
  2. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

    You're not going to be able to get 50+ per acre. If they're accepting bids it'll go for less than $20/acre. You can make money at 20 if you have the right equipment and work efficiently. I charge between $25-28 per acre on property from 5 to 20 acres.
  3. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    Yep - fool is right. When u purchase a Deere 1600 wam(4wd) or tractor with wing mower 15" or other wing mowers on the market do not forget that you can cut 15 acres an hour. So @ 15 acres X $20 = $300 an hour. That is where you should try to be. Not telling you what to do but you can score this kind of contract @ $16-$20 per acre - If others are bidding you will need to be @ the low end of the scale- get your foot in the door and slowly raise your price. Factor in fuel and if others are bidding I would be @ about $19 an acre but that is because we are slammed busy. If I were hungry I might do it for $17 an acre.
  4. NELawnCare

    NELawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    I don't know much about this amount of work, but I gotta believe the equipment would cost more than $100K as mentioned in the original post. You gotta be looking at some big rigs and hefty shredders.
  5. prosperity

    prosperity LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    I did roadside mowing for years (not for my business).

    Make sure you look at the entire area (miles and miles) to me mowed. I used to use a variety of equipment - the major piece was a boom arm mower mounted on a large JD 4wd tractor.

    This was great at getting at banks, and behind the guide rail, but is slow - moving at about 2-3 mph.

    For areas where you can get a tractor on, we used flail mowers - one side mounted and one 3 point hitch mounted - you can move along at a pretty good pace there.

    Also, check into the state requirements for mowing along the road - you quite possibly will need a pilot vehicle - a vehicle, with lights and flags, that shadows you all day - really adds to the cost...!

    And, don't forget the insurance - Those boom mowers, or any rotary mower for that matter, will fling rocks like they came out of a .22 rifle (hence the bullet proof glass on the side of the tractor). Always made me nervous about hitting something while a vehicle passed - worse yet is a motorcycle. Once I hit a dead deer in the weeds, and it flung it out on the road big time just as a motorcycle was passing - luckily he avoided it.

    So, a lot to think about when bidding!
  6. Mike Fronczak

    Mike Fronczak LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    If it's a state job they have to show you last years contract. This will let you know if its worth your time.

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