Pricing Athletic fields in PA

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Puttinggreens, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. Puttinggreens

    Puttinggreens LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from southeast PA
    Messages: 400

    I am currently bidding on 11 acres of private high school athletic fields. From my golf course background I have plenty of experience with the required apps. and work involved. Cushman mounted boom sprayer and Vicon spreader on a Kubota. My inexperience is in pricing larger apps. I believe I'm only bidding against one large company who has been servicing this customer so long they feel they can charge anything. I found out one or two of his very high prices. I'd like some input on prices, I want to be fair but make $ at the same time.

    1. 6 soil tests @ $25 each (has not been done in last 3 years)

    2. Lime app.
    Has not been done in at least 3 years. Around here that means a recommendation of 50#/M will be on the soil test report. That is doable but requires a lot of time. It is close to 10 pallets at 50#/M.

    3. Aerate with pluggers on tractors and seed. April 1st.
    Is $15 to 20/M + cost of seed to high for 11 Acres. Local golf courses are paying about $15 on fairways but that closer to 25 or 30 acres plus additional business throughout the year on greens.

    4. Fert + .13% Dimension
    I've seen anywere from $4/M to $7/M. Any ideas?

    5. May 30th - 0-0-7 + Merit
    Apply on the 5 irrigated areas with a history of grubs. Cost for materials about $650. Charge $3.50/m + materials?

    6. Mid June - Slow fert app.
    $3-4/M Not sure which way to lean.

    7. Late Aug. / early Sept. - Slow fert app.

    8. Nov. 1st - Aerate and seed.
    I know this is late but their tight fall schedule won't let me in any earlier. This 2x per year is standard at this school and should not be an obstacle. Again, what price is reasonable.

    9. Early Nov. quick release fert.


    I try to use my golf course background and Turf degree at Penn State as a selling point for new customers. (basically my education) It is the reason I am able to bid on this project so I probably have some leyway on pricing this project. Just need some input on pricing.
  2. Puttinggreens

    Puttinggreens LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from southeast PA
    Messages: 400

    5. should say "apply to 5 irrigated acres"

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    prices r all over the place in this area so good luck with the bid
  4. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    Here' s what I would do, for fert program maybe $28-32 per k then divide that by number of apps , (6), so 11a should be $13,000 per season or $2200 per app.
    You would have a better understanding on how to price your aerations.

    I do a soccer field complex its 320,000 or 7 acres, and my aeration is $1100.00, I use a 48" millcreek My overseed price is $4.00 per lb to apply. We aerate 4 times a season and over seed 2 times at 3-4lbs per k.

    My normal commerical prices for our 5 step program is $36.00 per k if its over 30,000 sq ft
  5. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    Oh I just saw the lime issue, My prices maybe a little low for the first liming, thats alot of product, you should get prices on someone comming in with those huge lime trucks to do the first lime, then take over from there.

    If you add up your 5 treatments at the low number you put there your only charging $16.50 per K for the season. That's really low in my area, even chemdog charges around $22.00 per K for a 5 step program in my area.

    I think you can raise those numbers
  6. greenerpastures

    greenerpastures LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    Check out my similar post on "athletic field pricing." LOL on nailing something down.

    I have seen bids from $3-$9/K on this forum. I bid $4/K /app on a school account Friday (fert/chem only). They said I'll get the work --- if they choose to contract it out. Problem here is not competition, but affordability.Public schools have very limited, if any, turf budgets. Few have personnel that can apply. Private schools run the gamut. For other schools, I have tailored a bare-bones application program to fit their budgets. One program consists of only three apps in-season. Turf was markedly improved although far from what I would want. But it fit their numbers and they were pleased with the improvement. I do draw the line on competition fields and will not cut corners there---because that is a showpiece for the school and your business.

    You're on the right track to tout your background. That sells in the ed administration circles. Consider meeting with the financial administrator to see if you can get a better handle on their budget and then tailor your bid around it if it is an account you really want. Most administrators are more concerned with making the numbers work rather than the perfect treatment program. Personally, I like the business because of the acreage and the districts are generally very easy to get along with.
  7. Puttinggreens

    Puttinggreens LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from southeast PA
    Messages: 400


    Your info is extremley helpful. Checked out your website and I really like the angle / philosophy.

    My question is at $36/m for a 5 step program are you saying 3 fert apps., 1 fert with Dimension and what is the last app. ? Is it an insecticide like Merit or a lime app.? The Merit app. in this situation will only cover the 5 irrigated acres but I think I need to charge about $8/M.
  8. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    The five step program is what is listed on the web site, For commerical sized over 30,000 sq ft I use the $36.00 per K price. It does include a lime treatment, I switch off between fert-a-lime one year then solu-cal the next year. This dosent include the merit app, that is priced out a $9.00 per K. If they dont choose merit I will still control grubs with dylox in fall, but I dont guarantee no damage.

    Alot of times I have to follow spec sheets for commerical and I have to adjust the program, usually 4 apps with lime and grub. Then I price it out per app, at 7.20 per app. I like using same price per treatment even though my rd1-2 app are more expensive. I think the client likes that better as well.

    I will say that I am no way the cheapest guy out there, I am lucky that at this stage in the game growth is not a issue so my prices are high. When I expand I may have to lower my prices,

    As I am sure you can see, charging $36.00 per K there is alot of room for movement, MY chemical cost are around $11.50 per K.

    Bigger problem here in MA with school work is apply pesticides on school grounds because of the child protection act incorparates lawn care chemicals.

    I hope Ive been helpfull

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