So the local school board just posted the results of the tender for the next 2 years for grass cutting. I put in my bids on 12 schools, at what I figured to be minimum prices for driving a truck and trailer w/equipment to a site (most schools are 10 miles apart on average), cutting the grass (most schools average about 5 acres), and trimming. My quotes were approximately $20 - 25 an acre, which I thought seemed fair for a good quality job. Well the "winners" clearly have better equipment that they can run for next to free. The winners are averaging around $10 per acre. So the average school yard runs at about $50, some higher, some lower. Lowest one was $25, yes thats right, $25.00 (and thats Canadian dollars). So, I know I am pissed off and will naturally resent these dufuses, but come on, $10 an acre on 5 acre properties with trimming? Clearly my overhead must be too high or something (and its not). But heres what it works out to on 30 cuts (a good season): $50 average X 30 cuts = $1500 / yr X 22 properties = $33000. (thats around 5 schools per day, so say a 2 guy crew (with a really full day). So take that $33000 and take off gas (be conservative and say $7500 for truck and mower gas for the season) thats $25,500. Now take that and divide by 2, thats $12,750 per man for 7 months work. Doesn't sound too bad, but wait, we broke down 3 times, had to buy 40 mower blades, oil changes - ok we didnt do to bad. Oh man, forgot about that insurance bill, and the Workers comp bill (mandatory for this tender). Now, how am I going to make that truck payment.... maybe I'll go work nights at McDonalds....maybe daddy will buy me that new mower I need next year for this contract.... I don't like to be a ranter, but come on, its no wonder some people look at lawn maintenance as somewhere between Janitorial and Prison workers. At least I know this summer that even though I might be sitting around a little more due to loosing out on this tender, at least I won't be losing my shirt. A lot of my residentials are the same price as these morons are charging for a school.