Muncipality Contracts....anyone ever do them???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Husky05, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. Husky05

    Husky05 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    I just recieved word that my local municipal community is having the grounds maintenance (strictly mowing/trimming) contract coming up for bid. I went to the municipal building today and got the spec sheets and bid forms. Well to make a long story short I drove around today and looked at everything....needless to say it is very very large. There is approxmatily 10 baseball fields, 2 soccer fields, community pool, municipal building and 3 parks that have swing sets and slides etc. Well I went back to the Municipal building and asked to see the price for the past 3 years since it is public knowledge and a 3 year contract. They guy said it was 37,400. Now I dont know if I am afraid to bid on this or what but it seems like all of this would take me at least 3-4 days to mow with 2 other people working with me. I also have 62 other accounts that I have been doing for sometime now. Do you guys think this would be a good thing to bid on and have intentions to get. Now I have 5 commercial accounts, one of them is 44 unit townhouse assocation and another one is 56 townhouse complex. I am just worried that I may be biting off more then I can chew. Has anyone had anytime of experiance doing this kid of work before. Any suggestions would be much apprieciated. Thanks!
  2. qps

    qps LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Messages: 1,484

    37,400.00??? run don't walk away from that contract;)
  3. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    The key is to be able to take on this job without taking on alot more overhead. Cuz that is what is gonna make or break you at the end of those 3 years.

    For one your probably gonna need a Wide Area Mower, which costs almost what that contract is worth$$$$. Your gonna need another full size truck and probablya dedicated crew to do all the sites.

    What you have to do is get enough work to pay for the equipment, and not break even on this contract at the end of 3years.
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I have tried bidding on fertilize and weed control for a city and found that I was way overpriced on my bid. I tried to imagine how anyone could do it for much cheaper and learned a few things in the process.
    Low bidder is the winner,EVERY YEAR. There really is no quality control so if you want to spray water you basically can. The companies that get these bids are the lowball hacks that don't care what they put down and it isn't much anyway.
    I have stayed away from the mowing contracts because I am no where near set up for massive acreage and all the hazards that go along with it. I personally would not even waste the time on that one but you may be different.
  5. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    Municipal bidding brings out every lowballer in the area. I have done a lot of municipal work over the years, but am doing less and less due to the low bids that have come in over the last 3 years. Around here, Trugreen is bidding work at about half the usualr rate, or less. They are in the hole on every job they have for our city, but do not seem to care that they are losing money.
    Example: They bid a 20 acre water treatment plant, with 32 structures to mow and trim around, and with over 10,000 ft. of sidewalk and curb edging, for $22.00/acre. How about a 2 acre fire station complex for $45.00.
    That is probably why the price you mentioned is so low. Trugreen, or some bunch like them is doing the work.
  6. jgtxusa

    jgtxusa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    Dont be scared by what everyone says on municipal accounts. Although that particular contract sounds low, there are good municipalities to work for and pay good. I was told for two years by the owner of a company that does 4 mill a year in muni work alone that one city was not worth doing. I bid it along with a few more just to see what it was like, got it for almost 850,000 for 5 years and it has been well worth it. Profit margins are lower than the little old ladies a lot of guys deal with, but I bet I still make more net than most of them. I only get one call a week from the same guy that is a real good guy. We bill them line item and they pay in 4 days. Cant beat that. I am not saying all are good, but Trugreen can and does make money on a lot of these projects. Granted Ive seen them in the hole a lot too. Just get out your measuring wheel on the places a figure yourself if it is too low.
  7. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,807

    weve bid a decent amount of mowing work never got it, been close a few times. i was talking to another guy who does county mowing he banks on dry summers. he says when the heat of the summer is on and all the fields he mows is wide open with no irrigation hes lucky if he cuts them once every 4 weeks, but still getting paid weekly...
  8. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    Is that really bad? if it did take him 4 days with another person to do this thats say, 8+hrs a day, 32hrs week making lets say if you service it for 31 weeks spring to early fall? that is $1206 per week .... ok nevermind comes down to somehting like $18~ an hour if you spend 32 man hours x 2 men on it per week lol. aint that much figuring your burning up $6+ in gas per hour
  9. qps

    qps LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Messages: 1,484

    are you kidding??? the equipment alone and fuel not to mention the employess taxes and the hassles that goes along with no acreage figures were given...we mow a 55 acre HOA in one location that pays almost twice what he's looking at. work for free....go right :dizzy: ahead...theres enough that will....
  10. Husky05

    Husky05 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    Well here is an update about the Municipal I was reading over the contract again and the paper that I got from the Borough said for 2002, 2003, and 2004 the price was $37,200 ( I accidently said $37,400) yesterday but that is beside the point right now. It also stated that the montly bill is $4.800.00. This contract is a 7 month contract everyway I divide it out the numbers dont work out. The whole thing seems shady to me now. There are 11 parties that are interested I doubt that all 11 will bid. I think I might just bid high, if I get lucky and get it then I wont have reason to complain, but if I dont get it then Iam not losing anything either. It just sounds crazy like I could possibly make 40K on one job but when you look at everything over a 7 month period that 40K is kaput!

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