New Commercial Account

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SpringValley, Jan 29, 2001.

  1. SpringValley

    SpringValley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    New Commerical Account

    I have a big question. I heard that a local factory is going to contract their groundskeeping this year. I have already wrote a letter asking for a meeting to discuss this. If they do contract, I will need to hit the estimate on the head to get the job and not lose my butt. I will have two ZTR's, a 46" wb, and plan on getting a 72" 3 point for my tractor (for the really large areas). We are talking 10 acres plus here. Any tips on the estimating? I have never taken on anything quite this big.

  2. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    Try to get a walk thru and tellum what you
    can do.Then bid what your gut tells you
    you need to make this a keeper.Im assuming
    you have beenin this a while.If not it would
    be nice if you had a good friend who has.
    But it does work for me.
  3. What size ZTR's are you going to use? I have bid on a industrial plant site with a good 10 acres of mowing, and I will be using one 60" Dixie Chopper to cut this. It is hard to give you an idea what to bid this site without having a little more to go on. Just roughly I'd say $ 35 to $45 per acre for basic maintenance (mowing, trimming and edging). Now if there are other services that they wish to have performed then you could include them in a total maintenance package or bid them separate. If the market can bear a higher price for these services then you can charge more per acre.
  4. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    I'm sure this will sound INSANE to most people out there. What I have done in the past is give a sample cut. This allows me to bid much more accurately and show the cust. my quality of work. I also visit my comm. properties everyday whether I'm cutting or not, just to keep trash picked up and check on things.My comms are very impotant to me so I go the extra mile to show the cust. I appreiate the faith they have put in me. These accounts carry me through the slow months! Trustme it looks good to a comm. bus if they see you around alot. I'm the only lawncare person in this area I have seen do this. I think the bus. really feels they are geting what they pay for and more. Hey, maybe I am INSANE.
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

  6. SpringValley

    SpringValley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Well, I was able to speak to the purchasing guy this afternoon. He will get the total scope of work defined by the end of next week and we will meet then. I drove by again and if I need to mow it all it is probably closer to 20 acres (I own 13 acres). We have been in the landscape business 5 years and this is my second year of mowing. I have friend who mows commercially and he has helped me quote in the past. He may actually GIVE me 6 accounts if a high school kid doesn't take them. I was able to get 3 cemeteries from him last year as he is downsizing. I will have two 60" ZTRs and may go with a 84" 3 point if my tractor will pull it. I will try to get a demo at the dealer with my tractor to see which one of the 3 point mowers would work best. Then all I have to do is get enough butts to fill the seats!!

    I will let you all know next week how things go.

  7. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,117

    you really don't need a pull behind unit for a tractor if you already have 2 ZTR's. As long as they are at least 60" ZTR's you should be able to cut 20 acres in less than 5 hours. I guess it just depends on the terrain and amount of trimming as to how much I would bid.
  8. Pauls Mowing

    Pauls Mowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207


    Out here in the Great Plains, we call that customer service. They have already paid for that little extra service in my billing, they just don't know it. And it sure goes a long way!

  9. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    I cut up to 40 acres on my horse farm, depending on time of year, grazing turn-outs, etc, about half of it for looks. I mowed the smoother lawn-type areas with a JD935 front mower 72" deck and a couple of years ago wanted a pull behind for the groomed pastures. I compared several decks and bought a Woods 72" rear discharge grooming mower which I pulled behind my 35HP Massey Ferguson tractor. It cuts clean, no scalp and discharges evenly--it does a great job.

    I got tired of the poor cut quality from the JD on the lawn and just bought a Lazer 60" with 27LC Kawasaki. I've mowed twice and I may not even use the Woods again! This thing is fast and it will cut high grass.

    If you really need a rear pull mower look at the Woods, but I bet you can do just fine without since you have two Z's. I've seen several posts here about guys cutting major acreage with a couple of Z's. Good luck. Will
  10. SpringValley

    SpringValley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Well I met with the purchasing guy and the maintenance guy. They currently use a 60" Gravely lawn tractor, a 72" 3 point pulled with a 850 JD and a 15 foot brush hog pulled by a 5510 JD. They mow the heavy areas every other week. There is irrigation in the nicer areas in front of the building. We are looking at about 30+ acres of total mowing. I am looking for someone to do the brushhog work as I have no desire to own that type of equipment. Looks like about 6 man hours max to mow with the ZTRs and trim. Also there is a phenomenal amount of chain link that needs sprayed. Thinking about subbing that out too as I am not licensed. They are supposed to get me an architectual print this week so I can evaluate the total acreage.


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