Large Commercial Bid - with some of there equipment???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by meets1, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    Just received a call from a school here in town that is getting bids for the grounds. I bid it 3 yrs ago and lost out. Story is the guy that got the bid used all the schools equipment. They have a 72 inch front mount kubota, 3-4 yrs old and a 60 inch bushhog front mount mower that is a yr old and a piece of junk. They went thru 5 trimmers last yr, all were around $79 a piece.

    The superindent told me that they are re-bidding this year cuz the last crew did a good job but they were never done. 6 days a week mowing, at nite, during activities, never seemed to trim but maybe twice all summer.

    Job would be mow all the area but inside the football field/track. Total is 83 acres that the schools sit on. That includes a grade school, middle school & high school. Numerous parking lots, 5 ball diamonds, tennis court area, etc. Tyipical school set-up.

    We can park in one lot and never have to reload till night. My questions is how do i figure there estimate with there mowers along with ours?

    I would take our WAm there and knock the big areas in a day for sure. Use there mowers (maybe) around school bldings, etc.

    Trimming I would set up like our cemetaries, trim every other week - three week during July - August when it is hot. As far as trimming walks, is it more effecient to string trim or use our walk behind egder. Sure you have the blades but once there done for the first time - you can walk as fast as you want. Curbs I would still string trim.

    I am thinking with my crew - 1 wam, schools 2 mowers and 1 of my z's, mowing time - day to day in a half.

    I could also throw our other WAM in there and cut the WAM mowing in half and put one of those guys back onto another of our Z's or have them two start trimming/blowing.

    I am thinking effeciency, money for me and trying to conveince the school that there saving money by having me there in 1- 2 days vs 5-6 days with other crew.

    Total estimated time 40 - 50 hours give or take on the trimming. I am also thinking about asking them they pay for fuel in all mowers.

    Any other creative ideas to market this proposal to the school would be great as well.
  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    when their equipment breaks and youget behind, whose fault is it....and who pays for the repair. and sicne youa re down do you stil get paid.

    I would think the school would want someone else to take on the risk of maintianing the equipment.... That does seem weird.

    Personally I would not not want to use their equipment. sound like it was ridden hard and put up wet on many occassions.

    If their equipment breaks, and you have to use your equipment to supplement, do you get a Higher rate of pay since you are putting your equipment on the line...
    Good question to think about and ask...
  3. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    I wouldn't use their equipment, period. Also, it doesn't sound like your at any loss for equipment, why are you considering it???
  4. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    Why am I considering the job? I try to keep the plate full and everyone runnen. That is another day of work, even if it means nightly, the WAMS are mowing and not sitting for an extra day doing nothing.

    A job is a job. I try to go after everything regardless. I know some will say that isn't good or whatever on this site but summer time we roll.

    In regards to there equipment breaking down - I am going to say in the proposal that if that machine goes down, we have a back up Z to use and that will be an extra X / hour that the Z is used servicing this account.
  5. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    Good call.

    In the winter time when I was in florida. I did it all too. install fences, pressure wash, ect. you still have to pay for equipment even if it sits. might as well make some money and keep the employee's paid.
  6. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    Thats not exactly what I meant. My question was why consider using their equipment. It sounds like you have plenty of equipment and could probably do the job more efficiently with your own equipment. So, why not try proposing it this way. Using someone else's equipment that may or may not be up to par with your's and may or may not be up to date or maitained like your companies' equipment just doesn't sound like the best plan. It might be in thier best interest as well.
  7. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    meets1, what did you bid a few years ago, and do you have in mind for now? i would def. string trim the sidewalks. you'd be there for days with a walk edger. id consider usijng their 72" kubota if they are willing to allow that, but the z's are most likely more efficent. im just currious what you think its worth
  8. desii

    desii LawnSite Member
    Messages: 193

    Not that this would affect you, but since the other guy used all of their equipment (I'm not sure who paid for repairs, I'm guessing the school), wouldn't he be more of an employee than a contractor?

    I think that if they require you to use "only" their equipment, you may risk the same situation. JMO. Also, I'd stay away from any $79 trimmer...LOL.

    I agree with the comments regarding not using the schools equipment. It seems as though it would get a little complicated with repairs, fuel and to 1099 or W-2.

    I would suggest that you offer to be the contractor and supply all labor and equipment to complete the job, thereby removing any question as to who takes care of what.

    Good luck and let us know how this turns out for you.
  9. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    Yes, the $79 trimmer just won't cut it and I wonder how the school let the other guy get by with purchasing 5 of them last year?

    The school is decent to work with. I do all there paint striping for all the parking lots and one play area. So the relationship is there but now to capitilize on this situation.

    So what do you guys think thus far in regards to price? I think I gave you all a pretty good idea and I understand your not looking at it but the WAM area is nice, flat, little to no ditch work, easy to get around. The Z area's are in blocks where sidewalks meet the road, the school or the parking lot. But there nice even areas to mow.

    Thanks for the replies and I'll see how things go.
  10. green acres lawns

    green acres lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    I mow schools too and the biggest problem I have is not being able to mow around the school buildings during class time, or near sports activities. The trash kids throw on the ground these days is unbelievable, and it has to be picked up before mowing. (its in the contract). After hours people use the school grounds for a park to have picnics and family get togethers. Even had girl scouts camping out on the play ground. Theres always some kind of construction going on, and teenagers cutting donuts in the grass with their cars. And then theres the weather. But with all that, we mow 59 acres starting Friday evening and finishing by Sunday afternoon. In season the baseball diamonds, socker field, and football stadium are mowed the day before the scheduled games. I have lights on the mowers and have at times had to mow late into the night to keep up. The good thing about it is no travel time, 3 year contracts, Garanteed income, and a lot of public recognition.

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