Is this guy a lowballer?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by LFD 1249, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. LFD 1249

    LFD 1249 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    I'm in my first year of business. I had the oppertunity to bid a large seasonal mowing contract, 32 acres total. Mostly wide open, sports fields and common areas. This being my first year my overhead is low ( in my opinion), $15 an hr to meet costs. I bid this job at $35,000 for the year. Now with that said I got beat by a bid for $13,000. I'm a solo operation. I was going to hire a part- time guy to help with this job. Am I over bidding this much? Now I'm second guessing myself on these other bids I have prepared.

    Thanks for the help.
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  2. bdlawncare

    bdlawncare LawnSite Member
    from nj
    Messages: 49

    Not really qualified to answer this question... But pretty sure
    Your gunna need to add some details to get an accurate answer. Cheers n goodluck!
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  3. StrokerTurbo7.3

    StrokerTurbo7.3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    I would probably do it for about 85k plus fuel expenses.
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  4. Toro 455

    Toro 455 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    You're high by the amount it cost to hire a helper.
  5. ringahding

    ringahding LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    When bidding or estimating, you must always figure in where your last account is located. In this case, it is right in front of you! 32 acres? You are attempting to put a $$$$ amount on each acre.

    Think about the fact that you 32 jobs @ one acre right in front of you. In other words you do not have to load your equipment 32 times for.

    So, you must recalculate each acre accounting for the lack of fuel used to trailer, wear & tear on your trailer & truck, etc.

    $15/hr? C'mon man, $40 per hour @ the very least needs to be figured in your calculations. At any and every lawn mowing account.

    How long do you think it will take you to mow 32 acres? I mean if this is just you and another worker, you could be there for half a week.
  6. LFD 1249

    LFD 1249 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Thanks for the replies. I have a few lawns in this same town. I never really thought about it as 32 different lawns. I'm not saying I charge $15/hr that's just covers my equiptment cost for one mower. I charge an average of $48/hr. but I have a min. of $35. Most of my lawns are anywhere from 2-7 acre. By myself it would take me about 16hrs to mow then another 2 hr to trim the 32 ac. We only average about 28 mows a year in this area. I bid it as follows. If I'm wrong please tell me.

    $35000/28= $1250 per service

    $1250/32ac. = $39.10 per ac.

    $39.10 * 2 ac./ hr = $78.13/hr

    Most lco around my area are getting $45-60/hr in my area. Maybe I should change things up alittle to land more jobs? And still make a profit and be able to grow. Thanks again.
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  7. Wayne 55

    Wayne 55 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    Your putting together this price with ideal conditions. Not too often does anyone work under ideal conditions! Add a wet spring, or any other weather related problems just to start and delay mowing a couple days and you got to double cut. Add other variables to the equation and you will find yourself cutting your own throat. Sometimes its better to let the business loose a job than loose your business to a job. This is the part of job bids that you will learn from. No one can answer this question truthfully but you.
  8. LFD 1249

    LFD 1249 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Thanks Wayne 55. I'm not really worried about losing this job. But I've got other bids to submit and in just second guessing myself. I agree with you I'm not going to bid on the work just to have it. If I can't make a profit then it's pointless to have the work. I'm going to submit my bids for next year as they are now. And if I get them then great, if not then I will be happy with what I have already.
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  9. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,508

    You can't bid acreage as if it were 32 one acre residential yards. There are guys that do commercial acreage for less than 15 dollars per ACRE.
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  10. LFD 1249

    LFD 1249 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    I'm going to do a search and see how to figure out bidding acreage. Right now I'm kinda lost. Lol. But for my first year it's to be expected. If you guys know of any threads would you post a link. To where I might find the info on bidding and staying competitive. With that said how can a lco profit at $15 per acre? Do they cover their costs with x amount of acres, once they have their costs the price per acre could go down? I think I know what your saying patriot services. I'm going to run some numbers the way I think your talking about. Thank you.
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