How to bid a 10 acre lawn mowing job.

If you live in a suburb you probably had mowed a few average suburb sized properties before you got your lawn care business started so you could pretty much bid those sized jobs with ease. What do you do however when a larger job comes your way? How should you go about bidding a 10 acre mowing job when all you have done up to this point is mow small residential properties? That is what one member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum wanted to know.

He wrote “I got a call today to bid on mowing a 10 acre ranch. I am totally out of my element with this job and not sure how to go about biding it, any help would be appreciated.

Another issue is I would have to purchase a larger mower to handle the job. I was thinking about scaling up my equipment anyway even before I got this call so I could start growing my business by expanding into mowing larger properties. I am currently set up for residential lawn care customers only. I am not sure at the moment, what kind of equipment I would need for such a job.”

A second lawn care business owner responded and said “have you seen the area the customer wants you to mow? I mow a couple of smaller farms and the areas are wide open. One property is about 8 acres the other closer to 11 acres. To mow these larger properties I purchased a used PTO driven wide area mower that will attach to my tractors allowing me to cut 12 feet per pass, so it will go pretty quick. Some ranches can be cut with a variety of equipment and a lot of it depends on how fast you can do it.

I do a lot of acreage mowing and I have found that once we get a place under control, it never needs weekly mowing so don’t plan on a regular income from that job alone. It is a big step to go from residential mowing to acreage mowing. The equipment required for larger areas is bigger. I know that is stating the obvious but think about your initial outlay in purchasing the equipment needed to do the job quickly and properly. You will also have service costs for the equipment, breakage costs etc.

I will charge based on the terrain. If it is a rough area or the area has a lot of slopes, I quote accordingly and if they don’t like the price I have set then I don’t lower my price just to get the job.

Without trimming my rate to mow that 10 acres would be in the $400 to $600 per week range. To mow 10 acres of grass, with that set up, assuming there is not a lot of trees and gardens, would take maybe 5 hours tops. But the key to mowing such a larger sized property efficiently and profitably is to have the proper equipment. If you don’t have the proper equipment and decide to go out there mowing it with anything smaller, it could easily take you 10, 15, or more hours and would not be worth your time to do it. Furthermore you wouldn’t be able to competitively bid on the job and your price would make the customer find someone else.


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