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View Full Version : The lawn don't need cut BUT....


1MajorTom
09-21-2005, 03:13 PM
it's been 7 days, the grass hasn't grown, but there is a light dusting of leaves on the lawn which makes the property look sloppy. Do you cut it? If so, how are you charging? Price of a cut, price of a small cleanup, or do you just skip it till next week? this question I guess is geared more to the guys that aren't on a flat monthly rate payment plan.
Not looking for advice, just starting conversation.

fga
09-21-2005, 03:42 PM
this has caused me grief this year. calls saying i'm cutting too often, when its not growing, etc. i try and explain there's more to do then just cut grass, but what a headache its been.
we haven't had rain here in about 2 months, no exaggeration. maybe a 5 minute drizzle every 2 weeks, but the lawns are toast. and the ones with sprinklers, cutting very little.
i try and do the regular weekly service, and if there's a dusting of leaves like you say, that just get sucked up or blown into a tiny pile and i don't chrage extra. i use that as my reason for even cutting.
if it takes me more time then i usaul, i charge for the leaves. example, if it takes 10 minutes to cut the grass weekly, if it still takes me 10 minutes including picking up a handful of leaves, i charge ther same. if it takes extra time, for example, 20 minutes instead of 10, ofcourse, i add on my final bill of the year, a "leaf charge".
wish we'd get some rain so we can get back to normal.

PMLAWN
09-21-2005, 03:47 PM
Even if it does not really need it we will cut it. #3 is that by next week the few areas that still grow will be really long and it will look bad.
#2 All my weeklies are just cutting and not lawn care so there is a lot of crab grass that has those long shoots that stick up and that looks bad.
But the #1 reason is that we really want only full service accounts so if the people bit@h we can try to put them on contract or maybe they will leave, which is OK.

Plus the banker does not care how short the grass was.
(last rain here was 6 weeks back)

bobbygedd
09-21-2005, 04:42 PM
tell them, that u can give them the equivilent of thier grasscut, in a small cleanup. i'm doing that with quite a few of my customers for the last 2-3 weeks, and the next also. if it's a 20 min cut, for $30, i'll give them 20 min worth of weeding, for $30. for lawns with sycamores and other leaves, same thing. so far, no problems

yrdandgardenhandyman
09-21-2005, 05:00 PM
it's been 7 days, the grass hasn't grown, but there is a light dusting of leaves on the lawn which makes the property look sloppy. Do you cut it? If so, how are you charging? Price of a cut, price of a small cleanup, or do you just skip it till next week? this question I guess is geared more to the guys that aren't on a flat monthly rate payment plan.
Not looking for advice, just starting conversation.


I just charge it as a mow. Never had a complaint. You're performing the same service. Making their lawn look nice. Maybe we should call it, "Lawn Enhancement Service." instead of "Mowing". Covers everything.

Brianslawn
09-21-2005, 05:39 PM
i do a small leaf clean up and charge as a mow. usually if i skip it cause it didnt need it ill get called up (new customers) and ask why i didnt mow. i tell them it didnt need it cause its dry and im saving you some money. they get all excited when they hear that im checking on there yard but only doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. i dont start charging extra for leaves until november. before november we only usually pick them up off the grass, no beds, and dont do much trim/edge and charge as a weekly mow. nobody complains.

waffletown20
09-21-2005, 06:16 PM
I keep mowing unless they call and cancel ahead of time.

jbell113
09-21-2005, 06:48 PM
Ive only been doing lawn service for 2 years now and this is the driest month i have seen yet. Im worried about customers complaining but all of them are on a contract so im sticking to whats in my contract and if there are leaves im just mulching them now until leaf cleanup time actually starts which is dec, jan, and feb for me and its included in the yearly service.

South Florida Lawns
09-21-2005, 06:50 PM
Just skip it till next week.

gman44
09-21-2005, 07:33 PM
Im skipping some and offering clean up or cleaning beds instead of cutting .I have cut a few that looked rough in a couple spots and charged reg. rate for cut ...No problems .

Sir mowsalot
09-21-2005, 07:48 PM
tell them, that u can give them the equivilent of thier grasscut, in a small cleanup. i'm doing that with quite a few of my customers for the last 2-3 weeks, and the next also. if it's a 20 min cut, for $30, i'll give them 20 min worth of weeding, for $30. for lawns with sycamores and other leaves, same thing. so far, no problems

Yep, good idea. This is what im putting in my agreements for next year. Anytime the lawn doesnt need cut due to dry conditions i will offset that with another service for the equivelent amount of time for the cutting. I am currently putting together an "additional service list" of all the extra services i will do if the lawns dont need cut. Sure, i could just not put that in at all, but i know customers will start getting upset if mowing isnt getting done at a regular interval. this way they are happy, and i dont mind showing up doing something else instead of mowing.

PMLAWN
09-21-2005, 10:56 PM
Just skip it till next week.
My concern with this is that I have already drove there and with gas a $3.00 per I need to recover that and the time for the guys to drive there.

Brianslawn
09-21-2005, 11:06 PM
My concern with this is that I have already drove there and with gas a $3.00 per I need to recover that and the time for the guys to drive there.


good point. we run tigh routes and charge on average $10 more per cut than everyone else around here. part of that extra charge covers driving an extra block or 2 to check a yard. the further out ones we guess based on how it was the previous week or call before going out to them. some of the customers want us to mow every week reguardless.

waffletown20
09-21-2005, 11:16 PM
Sir Mowsalot, what type of services were you thinking of putting on that list. I would think they would have to be things that could almost always be done. It sounds like a great idea!

lawnprosteveo
09-21-2005, 11:20 PM
I would clean up the leaves...either mulch them or bag them and charge for a mowing.

Sir mowsalot
09-21-2005, 11:30 PM
Sir Mowsalot, what type of services were you thinking of putting on that list. I would think they would have to be things that could almost always be done. It sounds like a great idea!
Here is some i got so far. 1.Spray weed killer around curbs, sidewalks , patios, etc. 2. Fluff beds 3. edge beds 4. weed beds. 5. plant flowers (customer buys ) 6. trim, prune 7. water plants, etc
I was also considering giving the customer a choice to accumulate the time for each missed cut, and put them together for a larger job they might want done. For example , if theyre mowing takes 15 minutes, and i missed say , 4 mowings then they accumulated an hour that can be used for a big shrub trimming job or whatever they would want.

wacamaster
09-21-2005, 11:34 PM
You should know weather the yard will need cutting or not. I've mowed a good majority of my yards for years now and know whether I need to drive to it or not. Obviously if you cut the week before and it barely needed it then and all you got was 90 degree weather and no rain since then.. it's not gonna need it. If it is a new account I will inform the people that cutting wouldn't be beneficial to the yard so they will be skipped a week.

pgiambat
09-22-2005, 03:22 AM
The way I look at it...

I'm there to keep the lawn looking the same way each week.

If it looks the same as it did when I left it the week before, then no cut.

Else... cut, trim, blow and Go.

Richard Martin
09-22-2005, 06:36 AM
I try to do every lawn every week but if it gets to the point where running my 1200 pound Dixie Chopper over it will damage it I skip it. Through years of experience I have learned how to easily deal with the few leaves that are falling in a 2 week period . This is the first week I have had to skip a lot of lawns and it's just something I will have to deal with (money wise). I will be doing a lot of over seeding and aererating later to make up some of the lost revenue. I'm just glad the drought didn't start in June.

bobbygedd
09-22-2005, 08:34 AM
sirmowalot, i hate that idea, i'll tell you why. at the beggining of the season, i want to sell those services, as an extra, at an added fee. if i suggest these services be done, IN EXCHANGE for grasscutting fees, then no one will buy them, you follow me? the only time i offer the extras, in exchange for mowing fees, is when they were not originally purchased. or, conditions are extreme. one example is...because of severe drought conditions, we have had leaves/debris falling here for months. normally, there would be an extra fee for the cleanup of this stuff, but i worked it so that, instead of mowing the lawn weekly @$30, we come every 2-3 weeks, mow + clean, for $60-$90.

Sir mowsalot
09-22-2005, 01:45 PM
sirmowalot, i hate that idea, i'll tell you why. at the beggining of the season, i want to sell those services, as an extra, at an added fee. if i suggest these services be done, IN EXCHANGE for grasscutting fees, then no one will buy them, you follow me? the only time i offer the extras, in exchange for mowing fees, is when they were not originally purchased. or, conditions are extreme. one example is...because of severe drought conditions, we have had leaves/debris falling here for months. normally, there would be an extra fee for the cleanup of this stuff, but i worked it so that, instead of mowing the lawn weekly @$30, we come every 2-3 weeks, mow + clean, for $60-$90.

Yea i can see what your saying. I only do the mowing and aerating and fert. sometimes i will do the other stuff but not very much, so it would work for me, but not for you. I am only thinking about it right now, because if i decide to offer the other stuff down the road then it will interfere this way. I really cant see my customers being happy when im not there for a week and they are still paying the same monthly bill. I might tweak the wording a little, and possibly put it like this " in the case of severe dry conditions and regular visits are missed for 3 or more weeks in a row, i will offer other services" i dont know, i still gotta think about this. One thing for sure is, im not doing the per cut thing anymore after this season is up.

twindiddy
09-22-2005, 05:17 PM
unless they call, i say mow it.

scagwildcat
09-22-2005, 06:58 PM
a friend of mine has been a landscaper for 16 yrs, he told me last year to mow the lawns that i would normally skip, anf if someone complains, just tell them your there to clean up some leaves, well, i tried it, no one said anything, but when it came time for fall clean-ups, kmost of them said that the yard was clean enough and they didnt need a clean-up.. i ended up loosin $$$$$$$$$