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Landscape89
08-20-2005, 12:54 AM
Hello again everyone! :waving:

Usually while I am mowing lawns I try to think of ways to make the job go by faster.. likewise still doing quality work. The past couple of days with all the leaves that have fallen on the driveways and walks I tried blowing them on the lawn and then going over it with the mower. This is such a time saver and still makes the landscape look great when I am done. Does anyone else do this?

Richard Martin
08-20-2005, 05:38 AM
Yup. When you have Dogwood, River Birch, Poplar and Sweet Gum around you will be cleaning up leaves the entire year.

Roger
08-20-2005, 06:06 AM
Yes ... with the hot, dry spell we have experienced over the past few weeks, some of the trees have lost many leaves. I have several places that I blow before mowing to get the leaves onto the turf before mowing. Either they are mulched up, or bagged, so the job result is good. Waiting until after mowing to blow the drive/walk, leaving all the leaves on the freshly mowed turf looks like I was never there. And, yes, I blow after mowing too to clean it all up.

The offending trees in July/August are wild cherry. But, they don't all exhibit the same pattern, just on some properties -- never understand that.

bobbygedd
08-20-2005, 07:09 AM
it's called a cleanup. charge accordingly

shepoutside
08-20-2005, 08:39 AM
When I had accounts like that, I use to trim, then blow everything on to the lawn, and as I ran Walkers, I'd then vac everything up :) Always a manicured look.

Precision
08-20-2005, 08:47 AM
it's called a cleanup. charge accordingly

Bobby,

You are preaching to the deaf.

yardmonkey
08-20-2005, 11:29 AM
Any time there is a lot of debris on the curb or driveway, such as leaves or grass from edging, I blow it onto the lawn before mowing. I also blow clippings back onto lawn after mowing. Yeah - it looks terrible to blow a bunch of leaves onto a freshly mowed lawn.

burns60
08-21-2005, 01:01 AM
Hello again everyone! :waving:

Usually while I am mowing lawns I try to think of ways to make the job go by faster.. likewise still doing quality work. The past couple of days with all the leaves that have fallen on the driveways and walks I tried blowing them on the lawn and then going over it with the mower. This is such a time saver and still makes the landscape look great when I am done. Does anyone else do this?

For sure, that way you get'em all before you mow. One thing might even make it faster for you. Most of the time on my accounts I can blow these leaves from the driveway and edge of street with the Exmark and then just go right on with your mowing. This is faster than getting the blower out. Then when you are through you can fine tune with the blower.

south jerz
08-21-2005, 10:27 AM
I see all this agreement on the issue but no one has mentioned how much extra they charge for blowing the leaves. I don't care if it looks nicer, the customer is paying me for a nice-looking mow-trim-blow only. Taking out the blower and doing a free cleanup every time kills your efficiency. Same goes for driveways and walkways: if it's not grass or debris from the mow/trim, it's not getting blown. I should note that I do have a really powerful blower, so when I blow grass occasionally other stuff gets blown incidentally. This a-hole old guy I have kept telling me "his last guy used to blow the leaves on the lawn before he cut it." I said we can do an all-out fall cleanup later, or we could charge $10 extra a week to blow leaves first. I knew 10 was too much (very small yard) and that's why I said it because I knew he wouldn't take it. What I also have done many times is just say that I will blow the leaves before I mow and then never actually do it, no matter how many times I say I will. 95% of customers don't bother asking again and stay with my company. If they drop us, oh well. No point in saying a blunt no when an insincere yes is more likely to keep the customers around. Special requests are business killers. It's easy for you to write it down and remember it, but how about your workers? If you expect them to remember every customer's special chore and do a quality, efficient job then I think you are asking too much. Remember, the best workers start their own companies.

r8derman
08-21-2005, 10:48 AM
Some customers think they are the only people you work for and couldn't imagine doing as much work in a day as most of us probably do. I've found out for those types it's much easier to "SAY YOU DID AND DON'T). Like the idiots who want to cut bermuda every 2 weeks, even though they are fertilizing, and tell you the next week to cut it shorter. I just say OK and cut it the same as the week before. Trust me, they don't know the difference.

topsites
08-21-2005, 10:52 AM
Hello again everyone! :waving:

Usually while I am mowing lawns I try to think of ways to make the job go by faster.. likewise still doing quality work. The past couple of days with all the leaves that have fallen on the driveways and walks I tried blowing them on the lawn and then going over it with the mower. This is such a time saver and still makes the landscape look great when I am done. Does anyone else do this?

You might try also to use the mower instead of the blower by riding up one side of the driveway then down the other with blades engaged, then proceed straight to cutting without having to switch equipment - YATS.

topsites
08-21-2005, 10:56 AM
it's called a cleanup. charge accordingly

Oh please don't get on it about that little bit of pre-cum leaves, if you charge your customers for such minor trifle I can almost see why one of them MIGHT forget to mention the nest of bees in the bushes to you lol.

You remind me of myself about 5+ years ago when I used to drink heavily and that was the only time my tailhole would stay so tight about things and life in general. Not to say you drink but maybe you should loosen up a bit lol.

Precision
08-21-2005, 10:57 AM
south Jerz,

I couldn't agree more. I have people who I give estimates to for full service lawncare (to include hedge trimming). Everything is good until I tell them it will be $200-800 to rectify the deferred maintenance on their property. One place they guy had not trimmed his shrubs and ornamentals in 3 years (according to him). My quote for the one time work was $750 including the dump fee, then $40 per month after that.

He said he really wanted me to do the work because he has seen other properties I maintain, but this other guy was gonna do the clean up for free if he landed the account. So this other genius was gonna give away $750 worth of work to land a $250 a month account (and I doubt he was charging that).

And they wonder why money is tight in their business.

topsites
08-21-2005, 11:03 AM
I see all this agreement on the issue but no one has mentioned how much extra they charge for blowing the leaves. I don't care if it looks nicer, the customer is paying me for a nice-looking mow-trim-blow only. Taking out the blower and doing a free cleanup every time kills your efficiency. Same goes for driveways and walkways: if it's not grass or debris from the mow/trim, it's not getting blown. I should note that I do have a really powerful blower, so when I blow grass occasionally other stuff gets blown incidentally. This a-hole old guy I have kept telling me "his last guy used to blow the leaves on the lawn before he cut it." I said we can do an all-out fall cleanup later, or we could charge $10 extra a week to blow leaves first. I knew 10 was too much (very small yard) and that's why I said it because I knew he wouldn't take it. What I also have done many times is just say that I will blow the leaves before I mow and then never actually do it, no matter how many times I say I will. 95% of customers don't bother asking again and stay with my company. If they drop us, oh well. No point in saying a blunt no when an insincere yes is more likely to keep the customers around. Special requests are business killers. It's easy for you to write it down and remember it, but how about your workers? If you expect them to remember every customer's special chore and do a quality, efficient job then I think you are asking too much. Remember, the best workers start their own companies.


I guess bobby isn't the only one charges for this bit it really only takes a minute BUT I am seeing a point forming and that is everyone runs their own business and in that sense I guess if you feel like charging them then that is what you do as I must admit I don't entirely disagree with not honoring special requests, the one about changing blade height ticks me as I NEVER change the height of my cut no matter what, so ok, I concede on this point but this is not a special request for me this is something I do without thinking twice about it thus hardly anybody ever ASKS me to do it when it's already being done.

Thou I fully agree with the insincere yes as I have done this on more than one occasion concerning the bagging issue when I agree to bag it then I don't do it lol, most of the time they do eventually figure it out but by then it's already been done so many times that way and they realize they have NOT noticed the difference and most of them are cool with it. Yup, say you will and then don't, one my personal favorites because it really IS faster than arguing endlessly about some trifling thing.

shepoutside
08-21-2005, 10:48 PM
Thats the fun part of the forums. There are many ways to run a business, and many ways to do what we all do. Some ways work for some, some won't, but there is no ONE RIGHT WAY . I include in my quotes, a buffer to include all little things like this, or tree limbs, etc, and just take care of it, without needing to upset any paperwork, and this is what my customers expects from me. They pay a little more, but we never need to nickle and dime either way. My daughter now runs this business, and runs it as I did, as a service type. After my short retirement, I now have a contract with my local region, to mow only, and it dosn't cover any extras, and it is still hard for me to not do the little extras, lol , but I'm catching on fast :p

fourseasonlawns
08-22-2005, 02:42 AM
I bid my jobs on a full meal deal. Super size it if they want shrubs too. I check for trees that are prone to be messy when I bid. I bid expecting that I have to blow, and then mow. And then blow again. I have no mow and blow special. Pay for the full meal deal, or get the kid down the street to do it. Exception to the rule is TRASH and Broken Tree Limbs. These items are extra.

bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 06:36 AM
topsites, PELEEEEZE. one minute? i have accounts that, when i took over, i simply mowed, wacked, and edged. that's a grasscut, right? well, they complained to me, and said "the other guy" used to blow out the beds, and blow off the driveway, and clean up the curb area, on every visit, for no additional cost. HA HA HA HA, like THAT'S gonna happen. sure, it needed to be done, but we never discussed "cleanup", we only discussed lawn mowing. i charge an extra $7-$10 a week for "house keeping" on these properties, and during times when it's excessive (sycamores, etc) i charge $30-$40. nothing ever only takes "one minute". you shouldn't be afraid to charge for your services

Precision
08-22-2005, 07:25 PM
topsites, PELEEEEZE. one minute? i have accounts that, when i took over, i simply mowed, wacked, and edged. that's a grasscut, right? well, they complained to me, and said "the other guy" used to blow out the beds, and blow off the driveway, and clean up the curb area, on every visit, for no additional cost. HA HA HA HA, like THAT'S gonna happen. sure, it needed to be done, but we never discussed "cleanup", we only discussed lawn mowing. i charge an extra $7-$10 a week for "house keeping" on these properties, and during times when it's excessive (sycamores, etc) i charge $30-$40. nothing ever only takes "one minute". you shouldn't be afraid to charge for your services

My basic package includes blowing off debris that I created. If the trees, the client, the neighbor, the county or god/God created the mess then they can clean it up or I can get paid extra.

If I am under contract to do trimming of ornamentals then I pick up palm limbs and stuff like that, but nothing big like 6" diameter pine limbs. But it is almost always the mow and blow only people that want the extras. Getting rid of them as fast as I can replace them with fullservice people.

QualityLawnCare4u
08-22-2005, 07:34 PM
I also have several that I have to blow off before, then mulch or bag then blow off again. A little extra time but I learned real fast that a freshly mowed lawn does not look good with leaves and straw blown back on them. No, I dont charge extra for it, no big deal to me for the well manicured look for a few extra minutes.

dtxwizard
08-22-2005, 08:32 PM
It sounds like a question of taking pride in your work or pride in your money
I take pride in my work and sleep better at night for that reason

Killswitch
08-22-2005, 09:11 PM
Christ all mighty.

Do you guys charge if you have to get your asses off the mower and pick up a styrofoam cup too?

If you cant spend an additional five or ten minutes on each job on occassion to deal with a few leaves then thats what you get for low balling the price to begin with.

You guys in ******* sist on taking on too many jobs, pricing them too low, bitching about having to get off the mower and then whining about having to blow some leaves into the lawn now and then to detail the property like you are hired to do.

If you want to just mow and trim then go mow in the ghetto and leave the high end properties to guys who Do care what the property looks like Mr Thread starter.

south jerz
08-22-2005, 09:40 PM
This stuff is obviously unimportant to you, a wealthy veteran of the Green Industry. What is your gross and net profit per season from mow/edge/trim/blow alone? If you either mow lawns or do small landscaping jobs just to "pay the bills," then forget I asked.

Add up all the little stuff and you have a big problem in your efficiency. 5-10 minutes on every lawn for special chores @ 25 lawns a day= 125-250 minutes a day unnecessarily wasted. I don't have 2-4 hours a day to spare, maybe you do.

Killswitch
08-22-2005, 10:09 PM
Whatever man. You guys always use that what if scenario. Fine....you have a big ongoing issue with a particular clients trees because they arent watering them, or you arent pointing out they have scab or anthracnose or you arent taking advantage of subbing out some proper tree care diagnosis and remedy and handling it that way then thats your problem mr mow edge trim.

Next season make some money keeping the leaves on the trees and keeping the property and your pockets GREEN.