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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job
If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.

HELP! Bidding 26 Acre Cemetery


Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2012, 11:56 PM
racerdude711 racerdude711 is offline
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Well so far, I don't know ALL the specifics on the cemetery. I went and looked at it today briefly, but I will be meeting with the owner to discuss further details later next week, possible sooner. As for equipment... I have a 61" Great Dane Stander, 52" Great Dane Stander, 34" Lesco Stander, 36" Walk Behind, and Echo Trimmers and Blowers. Keep in mind I'm also 18 right now, will be 19 in March, so I'm not nearly as experienced as most of you, although I've been running my lawn care company ever since I was 13, but I have really grown in the last two years. All help and advice is appreciated.
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2012, 12:45 AM
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I'm 18 as well and I am really excited for you. I would do anything to get a large bid like that. My advice for you though...

When you meet with the owner be sure to listen carefuly, ask many questions, and take good notes. (You might wan't to prepare some questions ahead of time)

After you have your meeting with him post what he said so we can get a better idea of what exactly needs to be done and the time frame.

Good luck! I hope everything goes as planned!

PS: Also take some pictures and then post them!

After all that hopefully we can come up with a good bid price.
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  #13  
Old 02-15-2012, 02:20 AM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
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I did a 24 acre campground for around $1400 a cut and I thought I was high when I bidded. It only took 1 cut to find out I was low, I shouldnt have done it for less then $2000. These type of sites abuse your equipment and trimming will take one guy a whole day. Expect breakdowns when your mower is running for 8 hours straight.

Cemeteries are harder. At least my site was wide open. You will never be going at full speed. I have a buddy that does a few cemeteries and believe it or not he used 38"-42" ztrs so he could get in between everything. He told me most take 3-5 guys 2 days to cut.
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  #14  
Old 02-15-2012, 07:08 AM
dpld dpld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegroundscrew View Post
Just came up with another thought!

Ask the owner of the cemetery for the name and numbers of the previous companies that maintained the grounds to see what the pros and cons of the job were. Also, ask them what they charged and possibly what their operating costs were. Basically weed out as much info you can from them.

I wouldn't ask the owner what he was being charged previously because their is the potential that he will lie about it and say a number that is significantly lower.

We all just need a little more information on this so we can better evaluate its costs and how much you should charge.

It will also help to know what equipment you will be using.
i have a 11 acre cemetary that i maintain for my church as well as i maintain the church but they are seperate locations.

if it is a standard old style cemetary with upright head stones and not the modern type with the headstones flush with the ground your price of 1,500 is too low.
my little 11 acre site takes 3 guys all day just to string trim around the stones and 2 guys bobbing and weaving in and out of all the stones with the mowers all day.

also, head stones devour string on the string trimmer being granite.
i use three times the string in the cemetary in one day then i use in two weeks with the rest of my accounts and i use probably 5 gals of mix in the trimmers each time i cut it.
i would also recommend not useing the super heavy gauge string in the cemetary either because it will damage some types of stones and the person in the ground may not care but the visiting family members can get very hostile if they see that their loved one's final resting place is disrespected.

there is also the matter of family members leaving little trinkets and knick knacks around the grave over and above the flowers which can spell trouble if disturbed as well as any graves for veterans will have flags and special markers that get blown around from the wind and need to be put back in place.

i can trully say that if i was not obligated to help the church because i am a member as well as my kids go to the churches school i probably would not do it.
take everything about mowing a big place and quadruple it and that is what a cemetary is like cutting.
i can also say over and above the work it is actually pretty intresting and depressing at the same time maintaining a cemetary.
our cemetary goes back a long time and we actually have some graves that go back to the civil war and we also have some soldiers from the civil war burried there.
i also find it depressing because there are a lot of children there as well and i find that years ago we had far more infant deaths then we do today and when you get to a grave that has a picture of a 2 year old childs face on the stone it really kicks you in the gut.

what is funny and odd is that i just about remember every name in that cemetary from walking around it so much cutting the grass.

my only advice is make sure you price it right so you can go there with the proper amount of help to bang it out as quickly as possible and i also would recommend investing in some round up and spray the grass around the stones very neatly to create a 2 to 3 inch buffer around the stones to minimize string trimming.
it will take you some time to do it as well as use a good deal of product but it will save you hours of string trimming.
also make the round up extra leathal and don't do it on a windy day.
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2012, 06:24 AM
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Default Good feedback dpld.

like dpld, I have maintained a cemetery these past 5 years (16 acres with headstones,interupted by dividing access roads)
It takes one guy with a 60" ztr and one guy with a 36" WB, 10 hours (one day) to mow our midwestern cool season fescue/crab/misc. grass cover.

we string trim every other mowing, three guys x one 10 hour day = 30 hours and lots of string

You must take the suggestion about round up around the stones VERY seriously, he knows what he is talking about (must do)

you must have a clear understanding about decorations. ie: what is allowed to remain around the stones, who removes them,
Insist on seeing the actual cemetery rules that apply to the grounds/decorations that all the families are expected to follow.
if you need call me for more help 573-356-5026
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  #16  
Old 02-17-2012, 03:46 PM
racerdude711 racerdude711 is offline
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Ok so I just talked to the guy in charge of the cemetery. Here are the specifications.

a. Mowing every 10 days
b. Trimming every 20 days
c. Removal of fallen leaves, brush, debris as needed prior to mowing
d. Preservation of headstones from damage
e. Trimming bushes (there aren't very many)
f. Pulling weeds and maintaining landscaping around the Octagon building (small area)
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  #17  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:52 AM
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Do you think there are any ways to get customers from mowing a cemetery? Can a lawn sign be put up front at the entrance? Would that even be helpful?

It seems a downside to cemeteries is that they don't pay too well, they area a lot of work, and there is not much word of mouth advertising that comes from it.
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  #18  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:16 PM
racerdude711 racerdude711 is offline
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I would have to agree that the cemetery would not offer much room for word of mouth advertising. But, the cemetery is located about 40-45 mins away from my service area, so I'm not sure I would want any little jobs there anyway. I met briefly with someone that is associated with the cemetery, but on Thursday I will be meeting with the City Manager, who wants bids on 5 other small properties in the city. This is a small city. What do you guys think I should bring with me to try to prove I am capable of this job. I know I give off the first impression that I'm just some kid looking for money because I'm 19, even though it's 100% the opposite. I'm planning on taking a list of references, photos of previous work, photos of equipment, and proof of insurance.

Also, I'm still struggling on finding that magic number to put on the bid. Do you guys think I can cushion the bid a little since the cemetery is funded by the city? Also, he wants me to bid for this year, and 2 years later. How much more should the bid be for, 3 years from now?

I would really like to get this job, but there's no way I can survive doing it if it's not making me enough money. I should have more info on it by Thursday night.
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  #19  
Old 02-22-2012, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
the cemetery is located about 40-45 mins away from my service area, so I'm not sure I would want any little jobs there anyway.
Are you going to be able to make up for that almost 2 hrs in travel time to get there and back, in your bid price?

Quote:
What do you guys think I should bring with me to try to prove I am capable of this job.
I am sure if you look presentable and show them you have the equipment to perform the job and the insurance required, that will be fine.

Quote:
Do you guys think I can cushion the bid a little since the cemetery is funded by the city?
I am thinking these jobs are going to be lower paying jobs so I doubt there is going to be much room for an extra cushion. Try it out though and see what happens.

Quote:
he wants me to bid for this year, and 2 years later. How much more should the bid be for, 3 years from now?
Do you really want to lock yourself in on a 2 or 3 year contract doing this property? Would it be better to just see how the first year goes before you rebid it? You might find after performing the job once or twice there is something about the bid you would have liked to change.

Quote:
I should have more info on it by Thursday night.
Good luck and keep us posted.
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  #20  
Old 02-23-2012, 07:02 AM
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it will help us, help you, if you were to post some photos of the grounds in question.

based on the 16 acre cemetery I do it would be marginally profitable @ $60 acre per mow plus travel expenses (fuel, man hours spent sitting in the truck, wear and tear on vehicles, tires and depreciation)

cemeteries are not good for word of mouth advertising.
be glad its in another area.
It may however be good as a reference for other cities mowing contracts.
A rear discharge deck,chute blockers are a must on a project of this magnitude (if upright stones)

This type of mowing is a specialty in my mind. you cannot afford to treat it like a residential account with perfect lines. perfect trimming, no clippings showing ect. ect., Unless they are willing to pay for those type of sevices.
Which is very unlikley, being a City owned property. (there is a reason it is up for bid, and somebody from a different area is being asked for a bid, I would not go for that 2-3 year deal, unless they paid me to mow and trim it once)

Good luck on your business, (young does not have to equal dumb and you are proving that by getting asking for help.)
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