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Large area aeration

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by Midstate Lawncare, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. Midstate Lawncare

    Midstate Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Hello folks! I got my first big contract on tuesday, and it doubled in size on thursday. I am now responsible for almost 9 acres of baseball fields.... and my main question is how do you price the aeration. I've read in the archives already but $20 -$30 per k ft2? are you serious? Roughly 350k ft2 = $7k at $20 per k ft2?.... C'mon what do you really charge? If I bring a price like this to the owner, he'll probably slap me. Thanks in advance.
  2. RGM

    RGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Baltimore Md
    Messages: 979

    Those prices are more for smaller properties you have to get to the job unload and set up do the work and load up you couldn't do 9 acres of small lawns in a day but you could do a 9 acre field. You have to price on the time you will be there. For cutting lawns I like to get $50- $65 for a one acre lawn but if I go to a 9 acre lawn I'm certainly not going to try to get that price per acre I would probably go with about $25-$30 an acre for cutting. The same goes for aerating base your price on time.
  3. Midstate Lawncare

    Midstate Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Thanks rgm. I have to say that the prices here are much lower (I wish I could get 60 an acre resi... more like 40 here) So I guess my next question is how long does it take to aerate an acre with a pull behind? I know how long by foot a 5 tine turfco from my screw green days takes lol. I've never used a pull behind. Thanks.
  4. cod8825

    cod8825 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Midstate it is also about what type of equipment you bring to the table we rent the large ride on units and such. I do not if we are within ballpark range but we charge $500 dollars an acre which breaks down to $11.5 per K and with our ride on units we can do an acre in about thirty minutes but our cost to rent is $200 for the day for the tow behind units. I am hoping that the rental store will carry the new turf areator from Lawn Solutions.


    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    is this a ongoing gig or year to year?
    price at least 4 grand thats about 10 bucks a 1000
    do they want seed? can you mark that up?
  6. Midstate Lawncare

    Midstate Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    This complex is not finished yet... it should be ready to play on in early-mid april. I will be "new" seeding 150k in weeks, and another 100k in late april early may. (I know it will be a while for these fields) The 3 fields that will be ready for play in april will be sod wich I am only preparing the site for... I am not going to be responsible for planting 170k of sod. lol. I'm a big guy, but my shoulders aern't that broad lol. I am thinking Fall aeration here. I will buy a tow behind and keep it around. Do you really think I could get $4k oh damn make me shiver lol. I was thinking $1,000 -$1,500 for the aeration. then add on for seed and fert. Thanks.
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Seems like I am sometimes good at answering the wrong question but here goes. My opinion is you are not going to make much of an impact on nine acres with a pull behind unit. I'm not sure it would even hold up until you finished. Even if it makes it through the job the quality and number of holes will likely be inadequate.

    The deep tine aerating shown in this thread came in a little under $8.50 per thousand square feet. I just figured it backwards. It was $2,000 for 5 1/2 acres made up by six baseball fields ranging in size from 12 K to 2.1 acres. I made a small markup at the $2,000 price. Sprinklers had to be marked on all six fields and all had fences to work around. Price was based on me keeping the guy busy for two full days. In addition to the fields above, he did another huge baseball field, six soccer goals, and a football practice field. The group above is the only one I have individual prices on at the moment.

    The tines can easily be changed to core aerate if that is what is needed.
  8. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,631

    A tow behind is the way to go.

    I have several customers that have 40K sq/ft + lawns, and I would never do those with a walk-behind. A decent 48" aerator towed at 5 MPH will do about 2.5 acres per hour in a wide open field. You could get that 9 ac done in a day with a 48" tow behind, doing two passes would take 7.2 hrs.

    You can charge $5 per 1000 ($1750) and make a decent day's pay, but if they will pay $7 or 8, go for it.

    Bluebird makes one (I have rented one, it works well). I own a Turf Vent, which is not as well made as the Bluebird. Classen, Turfco, JRCO, and Pro Aire (looks really heavy duty) all make commercial two behinds.
  9. Midstate Lawncare

    Midstate Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Thanks hackitdown. Yeah, I knew they would last... I just didn't want to argue. So 5-8 $ per 1k ft2? sounds good!
  10. RD 12

    RD 12 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    I would do some research on which would be best for your type of soil, Plug -vs- slice. On my field i aerate as much as possible. We play a lot of games plus practices and the compacted soil is the big problem. Do not go cheap on the seed! You may need to feel out the one who footing the bill and go from there.

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