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Thread: Lawnmowing :to mow an acre and how much ???

  1. #1
    GregG
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    Default Lawnmowing :to mow an acre and how much ???

    I finally got to use my scag turf tiger 25/52 this week on a neighbours property as a practice run ( leaflets go out next week ). His property is 4000m to 5000m square with about 35 small trees and 2 large garden beds, the grass was short and the machine could be used at full speed when the terrain allowed me too.
    The lawn took me 70 minutes to do is this normal for a 52inch ZTR that can do 16kph ???

    Also I have just today quoted on a 16 acre property for a cut for $400.00, I have not seen the property however the owners are the signwriting company that I am using for my signage. The cut will be a paddock, but the owner of the signwriting business and an employee are out there today on ride on's mowing it and not at the signwriting business earning money, so my scag should handle it.
    I know I broke an important rule of quoting sight unseen, but does $400.00 seem like on the money for 16 acres that should be straight runs and has been mowed previously by rideon's ie. no rocks etc. It's my first job so I will still do it but I was working on scag's figures of 13.5 acres per 8 hours at 4mph with allowances for overlaps and turns. So on a large paddock the speed should be higher and productivity higher.
    Any assistance appreciated.

  2. #2
    mojo111
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    Way to cheap IMO Thats only $25 per acre.

    I charge upto $100 per acre if its a bit rough.

    but average is $70 per acre.

    but for a prop that size Id would do it for $50 per acre.
    you should be able to cut two acres per hour with the 52''
    $800 for 16 acres sounds better

  3. #3
    mick
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    You did a 1.5acre (give or take) prop and it took 70min.
    Going off those figures, 15 acres should take you about 8.3hrs X $50/h = $415

    No doubt you'd get that time down with practice!
    $50/hr sounds ok to me!

  4. #4
    craig
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    To be honest I don't know much about rideons.My only experience being years ago on an old deutcher when I was a greenkeeper at a bowls club. But I know how hard it is quoting at the start & people will all try & take advantage of you & put pressure on you. A friend of mine gave me a bit of advice 'your better of sitting under a palm tree drinking rum going broke than running around working like a dog going broke'. So work out your overheads,running costs etc give them a fair quote & 9 out of 10 times you'll be as cheap if not cheaper than the next guy. Best of luck Craig

  5. #5
    Tonyr
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    The old debate, do we charge by area or time?

    I normally charge $60 min per acre.

    Charging by time when using these super effecient ZTR's is a sure way of being the cheapest, not too many blokes even using homeowner mowers would work for 25 an acre, heck my slasher contractor wouldn't even think of doing an acre under 45 in fast conditions with a 7ft cut/.

    Our services have to be worth something, an acre of mowing for 25 bucks is just gunna kill your market, you will need soooooo much acreage just to feed you.

    The next guy comes in and beats you and charges 20, next guy beats him, 15, and so on...where does it end?

    25 an acre is just wrecking the market, despite how long it takes, that is your advantage when running fast ZTR's that cost 2 or 3? times more than a 'normal' ride on....I think at that pricing you are shooting yourself in the foot, imo.

    But if you take in as Mick says, time....50 an hour is good.

    Just because you use a fast mower in my opinion is not why you work cheap and charge hourly, but we all do it different...25 an acre despite size is just too cheap, does your business plan say you can profit from running your mower based on 25 bucks an acre?

    my bid would of been $55 an acre for this size, =$880

    Would take under 6 hours....so I guess I'm on $146 an hour, this is why I spent big bucks on a big mower, and I with this mower have no probs getting this here.

    even though $50 an hour sounds great, I don't really think 25 an acre returning 50 bucks an hour is going to be great in the long term for you, way toooo cheap imo mate.

    But maybe your market is different so take more notice of those around your are more than me.

  6. #6
    GregG
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    Thanks for the replies.
    When I was put on the spot for a quote I was remembering what Tony has said before about $60 per acre but also I think that equates to $60 per hour. I considered that as this is a paddock with no garden beds to slow me down, no trimming and no travel between jobs that $400 would be a good price and considering it would be my first job it would give me an idea on speed of mowing ie. productivity. It would assist me in gauging for qupting on othere jobs.

    I certainly don't want to bastardise the market with too low pricing. Also my productivity would be about 10-15% lower than a 61 inch machine. But by the end of this season I will know more about what my requirements are in ZTR size and whether a catcher is the way to go.

    One thing that I have found with the 52 inch deck is that with virtually no offset on the deck that doing a tight turn around a small shrubbery ( no white picket fence for those python fans ) my inside rear wheel was trying to "mount" the small shrubbery or mulch pile ( 60cm in diameter ). That may sway me toward a 61 inch deck next, as long as my clients shrubberies are not close together as my neighbours were on about 2 shrubberies.

    Enough of this I gotta get another beer from the Engel ( best beer fridge I run it at zero degrees ).

  7. #7
    pbm
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    Just do the job as quoted, see how long it takes you and if you have grossly underquoted..LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKE...if we don't make mistakes how can we learn? It is a much more complex process to quote an acreage than to quote a regular hose block. If you quote say $35 on a regular house block you may be on the money or you may feel you should have quoted $40 for instance. In that instance you are only $5 or so out of pocket. If with this 16 acres after you have mowed it you may feel that you should be getting say $500 you may have to negotiate with the owner or walk away and have learnt a valuable lesson. Whatever happens good luck with it.

  8. #8
    QLD turfcare
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    The other issue you face is that if you get the job again, but lost money the first time, it is so much harder to go back to the client and tell them it will now be twice as much as last time...

    You either have to be honest and tell them you under-quoted last time, or suck it up and add 50-100 bucks each time until you are making money...

    Good luck,

    David

  9. #9
    Tonyr
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    RE:

    Tony has said before about $60 per acre but also I think that equates to $60 per hour.

    ======

    Greg, yes I charge myself out on my average 1.5 acre jobs at $60 per hour from when I had my 48''er, now I charge the same with a 60'' er I finish faster so hourly rate is higher. These jobs have trimmings etc...can't quote these jobs by square metres, it's a time thang.

    Straight acreage and vacant blocks etc are on square metres, while I charge between 65 and 80 for a 1/2 acre vacant block, on big acreage I will charge 55 to 60 an acre, and around here that is easy to get even competing with the el cheapo guys....most times .

    25 an acre is charity work, imo. After feul, insurance etc, your wage isn't high.

    But the flip side is, people generally have limited income, maybe 800 bucks would be way to expensive....this will be the perfect job for you to work out your productivity, only your 1st job mate, a good one to learn on, you will profit, just not a lot, but least you won't run at a loss....

    let us know how you go....gotta love the big jobs!

  10. #10
    GregG
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    Thanks for the information guy's. As you say it is hard to know what to charge when your'e starting out , but I guess you have got to start somewhere and learn from it and I will.

    My aim is to be charging that $60 an acre, it will come with experience.

    I have had better luck with an acquaintance who has an 1000m vacant block to mow, the Jims guy does it for $40 so she said that she will pay me that as well so that should be good for 15 minutes work. But it won't be regular being vacant.

    Now if I could do a heap those I would be happy and I will be chasing the Real Estate Agents for it.

  11. #11
    Translawner administrator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lawnmowing :to mow an acre and how much ???

    Interesting in 2004 What about 2010

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  12. #12
    Member Andy B's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lawnmowing :to mow an acre and how much ???

    I've put down my drink seeing those prices... $40 to do an acre! I thought you fella's with big machinery would have a minimum of ten times that.
    Kind Regards,
    Andy B


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  13. #13
    Member Mick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lawnmowing :to mow an acre and how much ???

    Been a long time since been on here and I see some old threads have come up!

    Prices gone up to $80/hr minimum now.

  14. #14
    Member Of Forum warren higgins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lawnmowing :to mow an acre and how much ???

    Quote Originally Posted by administrator
    Interesting in 2004 What about 2010
    we charge between 70 to 95 per hour depending on conditions now days. we have a number of large machines j deer , new holland , kubota etc so in order to justify using these types of mowers which are expensive to start with, means that us contractors have to charge this, the days of 45 to 65 an hr are becoming things of the past if you do your sums your proberly better off leaving them in the shed if you dont charge accordingly ,cheers warren... NORTH COAST GROUNDS CARE
    Last edited by administrator; 04-05-2010 at 10:31 PM.

  15. #15
    Member Of Forum TassieXJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lawnmowing :to mow an acre and how much ???

    I charge $75.00 per Ha and takes around 45 mins, if wanted it catchered its $120 per HA and takes around 1.5Hrs. (cant remember how many acres there is in a Ha)

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