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Just won a big one...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Herrick, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. lawns Etc

    lawns Etc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,277

    THe old farts are really gonna have a problem with a 60" Z I have seen them flip on big WBs good luck
  2. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    I came up with $66,150. Equivalent of 70 1/3 acre lots.
    70x27 cuts per year=1,890
    1890x$35per cut= $66,150

    And I normally do 1/3 acre lots for $40 or $45 per cut.

    I guess I REALLY wouldn't have won the bid.
  3. truthnlife13

    truthnlife13 LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 51

    I can't really say either way if you made out good. I would need to see it in person and your equipment/expenses. I do 2 retirement communities although not for myself those are part of my "regular job". So i just get an hourly rate and don't use my equipment. Everyone wants to talk to you. I dont get complaining just a lot of talkers. Of course I get paid by the hour there and I am encouraged to interact with the residents so I dont mind but if it was on one of my own accounts it would drive me nuts !

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    congradulations. i hope it goes well for you
  5. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 2,314

    Congrats on the bid. However, I have to agree about it taking too long fro a solo person. I'm solo and bid on very large properties and one man can only do so much!!! I have to be careful and get jobs that are a lot of riding and not much else-once you leave the mower, the work begins. I used to do a retirement community a lot smaller than yours and it would take me half a day. Just the blowing alone was a chunk-front porches, back porches,drives. Those little old ladies won't tolerate clippings on their porches or in their flower beds for long. I also have to agree about the noise for three days-that's not efficient and you may get complaints. That property needs a three-man minimum to get in and get out and move on. If it took the last guy 55 hours, you can take that to the bank. I was awarded a 25 acre Solo cup plant this year and it took the last company 10 hours with four guys and that's what it's taking us and that's with me wide open on my Scag TT-no exceptions. Good luck and prepare for the unexpected.:waving:
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,449

    Congrats I think. We do one retirement area and the problem is the people are home all the time and don't have much to do except look for problems. I doubt that you are going to get away with not edging the entire place every mow. And they aren't going to like you hanging around working all week. They want the noise gone so their normal life can go on. They worry that you are going to hit the building, run over their cats, hit their cars and until you are finished they are on pins and needles. And boy do we get a lot of feedback and most of it not good. But you got to just nod and do better.
  7. IndyChad

    IndyChad LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 216

    Are you the guy that started a thread some time ago that stated "you did not know why LCO's were not charging $100 per man hour?" Then come to find out you have a helper and that "$100 per man hour" was really equal to the guys your were calling out for charging $50 per man hour. Not trying to be an a** but please save the math lesson.:laugh:
  8. Tyler7692

    Tyler7692 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    :laugh: Yeah, a few people on here do that stuff.
  9. Tyler7692

    Tyler7692 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    Are you saying it only takes 10 hours with just you by yourself? And they had 4 guys doing it in 10 hours?
  10. lickliss

    lickliss LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    I am sure the original poster probably will not get this reply, as he is trying to revive himself from all the negatives quickly tossed his way. If so too bad, because you have to be able to learn from negatives to succeed in anything.

    I do a property similar to this and would like to offer the following suggestions, some of which were covered by others.

    1. Bust butt this first year, take notes.
    2. When you make a mistake, admit it immediately. There are hundreds of people on a property like this. Most all of them have at one time or another in their lives mowed a lawn. They are EXPERTS. They will not hesitate to discuss you and your practices at every opportunity. If you weed whack edna's daisies by accident. Shut of the equipment, knock on the door and appologize. I suggest business cards with a note if no one is home.
    3.OCDC and trimmer rack on ztr. Spare loaded spool on ztr. Think about small qty of trimmer fuel on ztr too.
    3. Track your hours every time. Take written notes on any trouble spots on the property, where you need to use a 21, who comes out and complains about scalping etc.
    4. Find a trainee asap and pay him/her well. I really like female employees on a crew at a place like this, sometimes it generates positive feelings/comments right away.
    5. Negotiate a fuel surcharge. You're lean on this job, they know it.
    6. Be friendly, I gave a couple of gift certificates for a raffle when my clients opened a craft shop on their campus. Every resident said thanks for a week and I raised the billing to cover mowing the areas around the shop. I drop 2 dozen donuts off at enviroservices office at the beginning of the season.
    6. When you make it work, ask for written multi-year deal. Think about adding services, aeration, fert etc and try to achieve a better profit margin.
    7. Ask for the reference when you bid your next similar property.
    8. Make absolutely sure that if your mower goes down you can get a backup.
    Congrats and good luck!

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