Labor for 14 acres?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by John kostyz, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,732

    ...and you spot spray weeds the next day?
    No doubt that it can be done. And if your schedule isn't that full, why not? Extremely labor intensive though. I would only take it with a signed contract. Too many tire kickers when it comes to large sums of money. Huge properties like that always concerned me. I've never liked having too many eggs in one basket. I've seen guys base the majority of their business on 10-12 large properties. Things are great until you lose 4 of them for whatever reason (Usually a lowballer). Can be a ship sinker.

    I charge a set price per acre for weed control/fert that waivers very little. I would charge $2800/per app myself. And that would be doing it with a Z-spray. If they didn't want to pay that much, no prob. I've got plenty who will. The question you need to ask yourself after figuring materials is, How busy/hungry are you presently and how busy do you see yourself in the near future? This will help you decide if this fits into the direction your business is headed.
  2. Trueturf

    Trueturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    If need be I will do a follow up spot spray. If weeds are a big concern I am spraying fert and weed control together. I am just saying it works for me and it can be done. The way I see it I can put two guys on it be around 1700 to 1800 labor and materials if I charge 2800 that leaves me with about a grand for a days work. For a small operation like myself thats a good day maybe not for a bigger company but like I said it works for me.
  3. Trueturf

    Trueturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I agree completely about not putting all your eggs in one basket if I where to lose out to a lowballer then I am better off for it, no point in doing work that doesnt make money.
  4. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,732

    You're right, it can be done. Especially if your schedule is pretty empty and you have time for it. Pricing it properly weeds out the tire kickers and assures you aren't just doing it to have "busy" work. If you're in business, you should be "busy" making money.

  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    When a 25 acre Fire Ant job came my way, I already had the Lesco Truckster on the Walker Mower with a boom sprayer. I call it the "Ric-A-Green". But the Ric-A-Green was too small for competitive work on 25 acres. This justified me building Ric's-Ride which is a 150 Gallon Boomless sprayer. I already had Ric's Ride but it was in unusable shape. Now I use Ric's-Ride on Medium to Large accounts where I used to drag hose.

    So re-thinking the OP question. As a Start up in this economy, yes it might be better than nothing. And it might be a chance to grow big. Lawn King, Creech and myself were looking from an established Business point of view. We already have a busy schedule. If we add work it had better pay good.

    BTW The 25 acre job is my one biggie, the other 99% are homes or small business. No one likes losing an account, But I won't miss a meal if I lose any one account.

  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,793

    Factor in the potential that he won't pay. Savvy unscrupulous business to find small guys that can only see the big dollars they are going to earn when they hit the "big time", and usually the owner promises you will also start to treat his many other properties and apartment complexes in the future. And next year he gets someone else. Check his reputation. And get a solid, signed contract. Find out who did his lawn care and other services for him last few years.
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Been There, Had That Done To Me many many years ago. Now I stay away from Real Estate Companies and Small time Developers. I have a friend in the Real Estate Business who pretty much explained this was SOP on Rehabing Forclosed Properties. They start with the small guys to do the clean up work. when that is about finished they fire the guy and claim he is stealing something. Now the contractor is on the defensive and the Scum bag is laughing his way to the bank. In my case I used a Redneck collection agent.

  8. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 1,851

    what are the site conditions is the more important issue? Flat, open? You will get slaughtered without a rideon
  9. Landgreen

    Landgreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I cant imagine walking 14 acres. Divided sections and hills will make that a two day job easy. Also if the grass is tall it creates much more friction pushing a spreader. Short grass helps out.

    I use a z-spray jr on an 11 acre site. Hills, retention ponds, obstacles everywhere. It takes me on average 7-9 hours depending on fert rate and if it needs a blanket spray. Walking it would be horrible.
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  10. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,413

    I would take the job, but find a way to do it with power equipment, even if i had to buy a yard sale tractor and invent the rig myself! You could always sub it out and pocket a couple hundred off the top?

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