1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, in the Franchising forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Listen to this...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DieselLandscaping, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. DieselLandscaping

    DieselLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    I went to a bid openeing today...
    8 bids for weekly mowing and sediment ponds
    1) 780
    2) 1300
    3) 1500
    4) 1800
    5) 1400
    6) 2200
    7) 1550
    8) 550

    Sediment Ponds
    avg 3500
    me 5200
    winning bid 400

    The mowing is 15 sites 30 acres total
    Sedimet Ponds is weedwhacking and cleaning up once a year avg is 5k and largest is 1 acre... they only get done 1 time a year with 4ft high grass..

    Ive heard of low balling... but 550 for all of that and then 400 for ponds?

    How do you pay 6 guys and fuel 6 72 z mowers for 550? even if it takes them one day....

    Why why why...

    I just put a 400k bid on a pipeline, went for 242k

  2. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Its amazing what some people will do for work then not be able to deliver. I am thinking you actually know what you are doing in your bidding. I would like you to tell us when the bid gets opened back up because the idiot that won it is hiding out of state or bankrupt.
    Thats one more reason for me to stick with being small and dealing with residentials.
  3. Tyner Lawn Service

    Tyner Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 328

    Me too, I saw the bids the other day for small to big commercial properties and just shook my head at what the bids were. Even debt free a person could not make anything.
  4. williams lcm

    williams lcm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,172

    I am waiting to hear back from a bid for a large HOA. They said that they will not take the lowest or highest bid but will look at the ones in between. That is allright if they dont pick me this time. But I will be keeping an eye on the quality of work done by the future lco. If the quaily is not there I will be emailing the president of the HOA next year. Some people can talk a good line but when it comes down to the work it is a different story.

    RECESSION PROOF MOWING LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    Don't ask "why and how" because you're a businessman asking questions of amateurs who bid what you mentioned. They can't deliver but I know their game so well...city/municipal bids was my specialty for many a year. Here's the game..

    Lowball gov'ment bidders, or larger bids you site, only want to win the bid and control it...making money is secondary. Once in the bid, they will find ways to not do the scope of services. Once in they will find ways to scam the owner, not mow during certain dry patches, invoice early, etc. There's all sorts of ways to skim money for not doing the work. I'll bet you that in mid season this contractor will purposely miss areas of mowing, the inspector will not catch it, and that's what the winner contractor is counting on. When he does get caught, contractor will blame his crew or his crew leader, apologize up and down, never happen again...and because the bid is so damned cheap, he'll continue on.

    Realize now, he's not making good money...nickels on the dollar whereas you and I need quarters on the dollar minimum to make it. I'll also bet that the guy doesn't have real insurance. Many guys in KC, for instance, lie about their surety bonds and workman's comp, etc. only to be found out way later. Many a contractor will offer an insurance man a bribe under the table if he will write up paper, worthless paper, to get through the bidding process. Once in, that's when he'll negotiate a price for coverage. This is how it's done. You don't get good work for $500 that you bid $2000 on. Municipalities today aren't looking for good work...they want contractors that will work for nothing.

    30 acres for $400...welcome to the world of lowballing!
  6. ^I would have walked at that point and said no thanks. Florida HOA's are notorious for being lowballers. I don't bid on them and never will. I will stick with resi's
    Posted via Mobile Device

    RECESSION PROOF MOWING LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    they want to be busy doing anything. making money is secondary. a paycheck coming in makes them smile. being able to say in public "hey, I mow that city park" gets them off. there isn't any business plan or critical thinking going on here. We had a guy bid $30,000 lower on a bid public park here just to keep the park from others. When the inspector asked how in the hell you can bid that much lower than last year, a year in which problems were had, the guy said that he had extra seed from other farming operations that would keep his cost down this year. Inspector told him that the seed alone would cost half of the entire bid he won! Guy got the bid anyway.

    That guy knows how to work the system and will scam the city somehow some way to get his money. Seed is garbage, areas will be missed, my favorite...not mow during the inspector's vacation period. You just got paid for a complete cycle and didn't mow dick! That happens here all the time. Why? Kansas City pimps out mowing bids to desperate whores, best way I can put it. The lowest on the totem pole show up and bid low, city pimps hand out the crack (lowball bids). Just make it to the next cycle, whores...

    RECESSION PROOF MOWING LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    liars most of 'em. they go for the lowest bid most of the time without fail. Just you watch...those guys will do a crap job and your contact will him and hah around...
  9. deere615

    deere615 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,676

    Ahh thats Pittsburgh for us...
  10. Clark Griswold

    Clark Griswold LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 554

    It's in the rust belt, they'll do anything for work at this point!

    The only thing they pay for is gas!

Share This Page