1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Municipal work

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sidebuz, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. sidebuz

    sidebuz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Here is the job: municipal airport mowing. 5001X75 paved runway and 2003X200 grass/sod runway (needs to be kept mowed shorter than 5"), sits on approx. 205 acres. Actually mowing is about 175 ac. when taking out paved areas and buildings. They want it done by the hour. Here is what I have: 150 hp tractor w/JD 1508 batwing mower (15ft), Kubota ZD21 with 60" deck, Stihl weed eater, and I also use a four wheeler w/sprayer to spray small areas w/Round-Up. What would you charge? Just remember, I'm located in Indiana, not on the east coast. I'll post what I charged this last year (they thought I was little expensive after the increase) after a couple replies. Thanks for the replies ahead of time.
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Pretty good sized area, are youto factor in the cost of a growth regulator? When would you mow it as well, airports seem to be busy all the time. Is a a small airport with just commuter traffic or full air port w/ passenger jets?
  3. MiracleMan

    MiracleMan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    For something like that here, I'd charge $65.00 hr. for tractor/mower work. I'd have one guy trimming while I used my TN65 New Holland w/ a 6' Rhino.
    Of course, that's here in Texas. Don't know what your rates are up north.
    Good luck and stay confident.

    My tractor work is always higher than my regular commercial mower work simply because it's considered heavy machinery, not a mower.
  4. jaybird

    jaybird LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    a year ago we bid 250 acres in lakeland fla airport same deal it went for 1500.00 a cut true story.
  5. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    WHAT?????? $1200 for 250 acres, that is JUST $6 per freakin acre! How can you stay in business at $6 per acre????

  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I am way out of this league but it interests me anyway.
    There is no way I can give a number with any accuracy because I don't know the production rates of that batwing along with many other factors that I can't even think of right now.
    The reason I am posting is that I want to see what you actually bid. David Haggerty is a large area mower and I was wondering if he was gonna post. There was also a guy here by the name of steveair who mows at an airport, he can probably give you some advice.

    You gents have a niche in the market that is seperate from the average commercial mower so I can't see many of our pricing rules apply to your business. Some guys talk the 65.00 per acre rule, add that up for your 175 acre lawn. I will mow for $11,375.00 per cut in my underware in March.
    Interesting topic, thanks for sharing.
  7. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    depending on conditions we'll cut 6- 7 acres per hour with a 15 foot batwing setup.
  8. sidebuz

    sidebuz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    As for spraying a growth regulator, none. That would cost too much.

    Small airport... business jets and little, private, single prop planes coming and going. Most of the time it is dead, then gets real busy, then dead again.

    I should have made one clear first. I'm a farmer first, mower second. I farm their farm ground too. So when comes to figureing cost per hour, I have to take in conderation the farm side and mowing. But I put about 350 hours on the tractor. If that, 150-175 hrs. is on the tractor mowing.

    For the tractor w/batwing mower, charged $60/hr. Increase of $5/hr. They use my tractor w/their snowblower during the winter and have no complaints of paying $60/hr... just for the tractor. Been charging that for the past two years. Make sense? Doesn't to me. Kubota ZD21: 40/hr, increase of $5/hr too. We use to run a Snapper 60" deck and charge $35/hr. Let me tell you, this Kubota runs circles around that Snapper. My per hour as gone up, per acre... down. Weedeater/labor work, $20 hr. Needless to say, I don't a whole lot of weed eating. More spraying with the 4 wheeler and using R-up. I actually figured it up that they are money ahead this way. The old rates were that way for the last three years. So I increased them because I couldn't absorb anymore expense increases (insurance, diesel, repairs, etc.). For this next year, I want to pass along another $5/hr increase.

    I have done some work with the tractor w/batwing in the private sector: $85/hr. The business owners love it. Think it is cheap.

    Thanks for the replies. I hope Dave Haggerty and steveair post a reply. Be interesting what they say.
  9. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    Just my two cents worth, I do better charging by the acre we'll charge anywhere from 22-25 dollars per acre and since we do 6-7 acres a hour sounds a lot better than quoting them 125- 150 per hour not as bad sticker shock.
  10. sidebuz

    sidebuz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    JBLawn- are charging per acre per time? Or per acre for the year? I do like the per acre per time charge idea. Sounds better or less eye popping than saying $125/hr.

    We normally mow the grass runways about five times and the rest of the airport 3-4 times. Around the buildings and the taxiway/runway lights are about 12-14 times because of looks and safety. They have budgeted about 9,000/yr for mowing and the same for snow removal. Last couple of years they have blown their winter and half the mowing budget just on snow removal. I help the person that is responsible for the snow removal. They only charge $50/hr for Chevy 1/2 ton and 7.5 ft blade. I get $55/hr because I have a Chevy 3/4 ton and a Boss 8.2 V-plow. Still too cheap in my book. Thanks for all the replies!

Share This Page