Park district mowing questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by weedman_34, Jun 26, 2003.

  1. weedman_34

    weedman_34 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Going to bid a park district with about 15-16 acres of area to mow here is central IL. In doing this I will add a Kubota ZTR with a 72" cut. Can you give me an idea on how you all bid a job of this size? I am used to Residential areas. What do you guys shoot for on a per acre rate or hourly rate? The biggest part of it will be wide open running with about 30-45 min trim work. Thanks in advance!
  2. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Determine the acre per hour capability of your mower, consider the terrain to determine speed, to calculate how long it would take you to mow it. Factor in the trim time . Do you have an hourly rate for mowing? Probably should be about $40 - $50.00 with that beast your going to use. My guess is that you can mow about 3 acres per hour. That would put you in the $225- $250 range.
  3. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Messages: 776

    Why would you want to do work for the parks Dept. when you could be doing more profitable work with residentials? All government work, by law has to go to the lowest bidder.
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I wouldn't go under $600 for that much of mowing even if you have a larger mower. A larger mower means more money to maintain it.
  5. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Tiedeman's right, you gotta feed the beast!
  6. shasta

    shasta LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    The RFP probably reads along the lines of (translation): Give us a check for the entire amount of your bid price. We'll look at your bid, and if it doesn't suit us, we'll give some of your money back, but we'll keep a little to pay us for our time. If we like your price, we'll let you do the work, but we are going to assign a guy to watch you. In order for him to justify his job, he must find things that you do wrong. If for any reason we decide to terminate this contract, (our option), we will cash your check and use it to pay another guy.
    Government mowing jobs may have you walking on eggshells, because you carry all of the risk. Companies are successfull in performing government work by either high prices or volume. (explaining the $600 toilet seats from the 80's)
    A smaller company is unwise to low bid any municipal work that they are unexperienced with.
    I would be inclined to run $75 - $100/acre and avoid a new machine purchase if possible.
    I don't intend to be discouraging, because the work can be valuable, but the rules are different.
  7. shasta

    shasta LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Of course, they may think that you're way to high, which is why a lot of people won't tamper with municipal work at all. It's difficult to invest in an unpredictable customer with nothing to lose.
  8. chaos270

    chaos270 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Here in CT the rate for municipal is in excess of $100 an hour. I have not bid anything formally, on my own. When I worked for an LCO in college, he had a very large municipal contract. Something in excess of $150,000 including mowing, trimming, beach cleaning, and snow removal. I would personally bid it like commercial work because as mentioned above you will be assuming alot of liability. As for your additional mower if you can use it buy it, if this is the only contract you can use it on though account for that in your bid. Good luck.
  9. chaos270

    chaos270 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Sorry, that rate is a per man hour on a 60-72" machine.

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