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View Full Version : i hate those big commercial mowers


befnme
10-11-2005, 07:20 PM
i had a potential customer call me this evening and told me that she just let her current lc go because they have those huge mowers and are only in her yard 20 min before they are done and leave.apparently she dosent think she is getting her money worth. you know the " i am only getting 20 min work for $ xx.00 " deal. i am supposed to go there tomm. and give an est. but i dont know if i should take her on. she said she wanted me because i have a "regular mower". what do yall think ?

ed2hess
10-11-2005, 07:26 PM
We charge $5 more to use the mower of their choice, no takers! But we stopped using our ZTR very quick we got several complaints so we are staying with the 36"hydr units. We bought a used Walker and we are trying to sneak into the properties and see if anybody complains. Since the Walker is smaller and not as loud maybe it will be okay.

Tonyr
10-11-2005, 07:28 PM
do they want their lawn mowed or a slave for the day?

I don't do slave work, it's about speed and quality, not about how much she thinks you should be on per minute.

tell her to mow it herself, then see how much she thinks it is worth to get done professionally.

Fantasy Lawns
10-11-2005, 08:03 PM
She could have her choice

a 42" deck or a 60" deck

Jpocket
10-11-2005, 08:06 PM
MAn that sux, are there alot of people like that in your area. Using a 36" would seriously limit the amount of accounts I can do in a day.

CutInEdge Lawn Care
10-11-2005, 08:34 PM
Let her know that you charge a min of $60/hr and bill in 30min increments only. Mam, I will be here as long as you want. How many hrs would you like me to put in my schedule?

befnme
10-11-2005, 08:54 PM
i use a 48" husqvarna and a 48" scag.i am a little slower than most ztr with my tractor but my scag turns on a dime.i dont know if she will think i am too fast also or not.i guess we will see.

befnme
10-11-2005, 08:56 PM
i use a 48" husqvarna and a 48" scag.i am a little slower than most ztr with my tractor but my scag turns on a dime.i dont know if she will think i am too fast also or not.i guess we will see. i think i am goint to buy a cub 22 horse 50 inch cut in march for next year and park my tractor except for aerating and seeding with it.

grass_cuttin_fool
10-11-2005, 09:03 PM
I think I would run the other way hard and fast. I had 1 exp like that and most are older people that will tell you they worked all day for 25 cents. Like I said , been there done that aint worth it unless you are starving

DLS1
10-11-2005, 09:05 PM
We charge $5 more to use the mower of their choice, no takers! But we stopped using our ZTR very quick we got several complaints so we are staying with the 36"hydr units. We bought a used Walker and we are trying to sneak into the properties and see if anybody complains. Since the Walker is smaller and not as loud maybe it will be okay.

I hope you only do residential (less than 12,000 sq ft.) using a 36" mower. I use a 36" for small residential yards and ztr for big lots and up to several acres.

Precision
10-11-2005, 09:19 PM
She will most likely find something else to complain about when you start doing it with your 36". Most people who are so unaware that they tell you about their stupidities, don't only have one.

LB1234
10-11-2005, 09:29 PM
No, problem....$10 per additional 15 minutes...if they want you they'll pipe down right away

lawnprosteveo
10-11-2005, 10:23 PM
I think if it was me in that situation...I'd have to remind myself that I am doing this for the money. And the best way to make money is to mow it fast and mow it pretty. My ZTR does both....it's why I paid nearly $7,000 for it....It will make that money back.... If she wants a small mower on it, she can hire the neighbors kid for $10.00 per mow!

daveintoledo
10-11-2005, 10:25 PM
i have several customers i got because of this problem, i dedicate one to two evenings doing the old people with my old lawn tractor, they love it. They are all small yards, and it really only takes me 5 or 10 minutes more. I use the toro z on my biggger yards, and some small too, the ones who dont mind.....

but from this attitude i have gotten alot of referals, and they dont care what i use.....

seems some old people are just funny that way.... i got one ladys son who has three acres from doing this. He doesnt care what i use.... gives me 120 a week...

Brianslawn
10-11-2005, 10:59 PM
$500 a week and i'll push mow it! :p

Keith
10-12-2005, 12:36 AM
i am supposed to go there tomm. and give an est. but i dont know if i should take her on. she said she wanted me because i have a "regular mower". what do yall think ?


So, go give here the estimate. Who knows what was going on with the last guy. Maybe he was cutting corners and doing a shoddy job. You'll never know what kind of customer she is til you get the job. She may turn out to be fine. If not, you'll find out soon enough. :p

LB1234
10-12-2005, 12:52 AM
i have several customers i got because of this problem, i dedicate one to two evenings doing the old people with my old lawn tractor, they love it. They are all small yards, and it really only takes me 5 or 10 minutes more. I use the toro z on my biggger yards, and some small too, the ones who dont mind.....

but from this attitude i have gotten alot of referals, and they dont care what i use.....

seems some old people are just funny that way.... i got one ladys son who has three acres from doing this. He doesnt care what i use.... gives me 120 a week...

What you have is a nice marking niche...hey if it is working for you great. If it is that big of an issue in your area (general speaking...with the older community) then I bet you would get a better than normal response rate on flyers if you placed something like "tired of the big guys ruining your lawn with their larger equip" or something along the lines and not so harsh...

Envy Lawn Service
10-12-2005, 01:34 AM
i have several customers i got because of this problem, i dedicate one to two evenings doing the old people with my old lawn tractor, they love it. They are all small yards, and it really only takes me 5 or 10 minutes more. I use the toro z on my biggger yards, and some small too, the ones who dont mind.....

but from this attitude i have gotten alot of referals, and they dont care what i use.....

seems some old people are just funny that way.... i got one ladys son who has three acres from doing this. He doesnt care what i use.... gives me 120 a week...

Yep... and some folks really do have a LEGITIMATE reason to complain. Guys coming in and tearing their lawn all to crap. They blame it on the big mowers because most often it is some guy with a big ZTR in a big hurry. Or they have one of those tender and uneven shade lawns that get torn easy, like atleast one spot every week, and they fill in slow by nature.

I have one of these folks and their complaint is LEGITIMATE in nature... just not entirely correct. This person has a solid complaint, but has assumed the wrong reason. This person thinks my mower is too big for their lawn, which is not true, because the lawn is good size and I have never scalped or gapped turf, ever. Their lawn is simply just too weak and tender to cut with any zero turn mower.

rodfather
10-12-2005, 07:09 AM
You have to explain to them (in a nice fashion) that you don't want to make a career out of being on their property mowing their lawn and you will do everything in your power not to damage the lawn in any way. That's all...

daveintoledo
10-12-2005, 09:44 AM
there are lots all over town where the ground is pushed up against the trees like a volcano, where the went around the tree real fast and the deck just kept building a berm , week after week...... shaded big old trees, with soft ground.

GreenUtah
10-12-2005, 12:22 PM
time costs , if she wants a 21" used, fine, charge accordingly(twice the time, twice the price, an effective way of letting them really measure the value of what they want done). I encountered a guy on his hands and knees with grass shears once working a residential front lawn. As long as he was charging what he felt was fair for his time, so be it. If that's not the kind of commitment you want to make, there are plenty of other customers out there..lol

befnme
10-12-2005, 08:12 PM
well i went by there today and gave her a quote she said she likes it. i was even able to upsell some other services. wow. went better that i had expected. i bid the job as though i had to include string trimming but everything has been herbicide about 1 foot out.less work for me and same pay. i guess we'll see how long i last.:rolleyes:

Precision
10-12-2005, 09:58 PM
good luck.

I try to avoid the obvious problems or at least quote prices accordingly.

DistLawns
10-12-2005, 10:13 PM
I had an account this year I had looking top notch. An elderly woman owned it and started asking me to go slower on my big mower(exmark 52 Z) I accomidated her by slowing down on an already nice looking lawn. Then she complained every week about the big mower, even though the lawn looked great, I finally gave her another card and said "Maybe the neighbor boy is a better fit." Her lawn looks like crap now when I drive by, and I bet she calls me next year with no complaints on my big mower.

Mbsausage
10-12-2005, 10:19 PM
i have a idea!!! park the truck in front of the house. pull mower off, play with gas cans a bit, the have lunch! just kidding, find out what day she's not home. then mow

Jason Rose
10-12-2005, 11:38 PM
We bought a used Walker and we are trying to sneak into the properties and see if anybody complains. Since the Walker is smaller and not as loud maybe it will be okay.

Isn't that a funny thing? I noticed the same thing, even though the walker weighs in at around 1,100 pounds it "looks small and light" that and it's slower, making the customer think you are doing exactly what they wanted... not using that big fast machine...

I have a 12 patio home community I mow, about 90,000 sq. ft. of lawns. I use my 50" Z on 95% of it and the other 5% are 2 small back lawns that have been fenced off and have gates. There has been very little complaints about anything for 3 years and I am always proud of how it looks every week when I leave it. All the sudden this season the 'president' changed and a few of the homeowners don't like him. They are taking it out on me! One couple is now so mad about my "big heavy mower" that's "rutting" their lawn they went out and bought a 21" mower and mow their part themselves, even though they PAY for the service as part of living there!

Another (next door to them) had a yellow rope up today denying my access to the 15' wide strip inbetween the houses. "GRASS IS TOO WET, DO NOT MOW" it read. Yes it's a low area, it's ALWAYS wet, there has never been a week it isn't squishy, sometimes a little standing water. There is not ONE rut anywhere in it, not even a tear mark. The turf is actually super healthy for living in this swamp. But since he's noticed the wetness last week for the first time, now all the sudden it's "too wet for my big heavy mower to be on"

I had a talk with him. Also talked with a couple other homeowners who saw the ropes and wanted to razz me a little... They said they are extremly happy with my service and that it has looked nothing but better since I took it over 4 years ago. That made me feel better! But I know that if one or two are rocking the boat hard enough I could get the boot next year... They may want to find some 6 man crew that can come in and mow the place all with 21" mowers. That's what they (at least a few) would prefer. I can't fathom how many man hours it would take to mow (bagging) 90,000 sq. ft. with 21" mowers. Takes me 2 to 2.5 hours non-stop with a 50" ZTR and that's certianly going faster than walking speed!!!

MOW ED
10-13-2005, 07:02 AM
I had an old crab that I dumped earlier this season. I mowed for almost a month and she was very happy with the work until one day when she happened to be home and saw that I was using a Walker. She wanted me to use a 21"wb and that was a no go for me. There was no reason given, just that she didn't like the big mower. I did give her a price that was double her current rate. That obviously sealed the deal, I am glad to not have that PITA.

befnme
10-22-2005, 07:12 PM
well she got fired yesterday.i went to mow her for the first time. well i did mow then put the mower up and started edging down the drive and around the carport.she comes over all mad and says you're not done yet you missed a bunch of grass all around the place.i said where then she shows me and it's places that i yet have to line trim around.and i told her that so she stampers off.then when i finish edging i start to trim and she catches me around in the back yard and tells me that i didn't even mow around there.i said lady, you had a tremendous amount of leaves on the ground here and now they are all gone and you dont think i mowed here? not to mention the very visable tracks. she says well it's tall so i tell her i cut all my lawns the same height so as not to scalp any high areas and never deveate from that. then she says she is very displeased with my service because i left so much undone. hell she didn't even give me time to finish before she said i wasn't done.so i told her best thing for us to do is part ways right now because i dont let anyone tell me how to do my job. i packed up in the middle of the job and told her to find someone else and left, didn't even want to get any $$$ from her.:angry: dont get me wrong i like to do a good job but when the hint is made that i need to remow lower i got to leave. i dont do double work for single pay. no wonder the last lco left.i think if i see another lc ther i will stop and warn them.:angel:

JMB
10-22-2005, 07:47 PM
WOW, that didn't last long. She is gonna be looking for anything and everything now, I pity the next poor lco....lol.

QualityLawnCare4u
10-22-2005, 10:05 PM
When you first met her did you get that "bad gut" feeling like someone or something was trying to warn you? I got it from just reading your post about the lady. I took on a old hag last spring that I got that feeling from and ignored it, what a mistake! I made her yard have weeds, did not put straw around the trees like the other guy did etc on and on. I should have paid that feeling attention right from the first minute I met her. I will say though I lasted longer than one cut but wished I had ended it sooner like you did :)

Patrick.B
10-22-2005, 10:12 PM
tell her to fine someone else with a push mow ,,,,,,

befnme
10-22-2005, 11:28 PM
i really dont think that i will ever go back to her not even for 50.00 per cut it just aint worth it.because no body can do it "like my husband used to do it":laugh: as she says.dam ol hags anyway.

QualityLawnCare4u
10-22-2005, 11:37 PM
i really dont think that i will ever go back to her not even for 50.00 per cut it just aint worth it.because no body can do it "like my husband used to do it":laugh: as she says.dam ol hags anyway.

Wished I had a buck for everytime I heard "Paul, the god of lawn care, the other LCO just did everything so perfect without me telling him" except would not show up for 2 months at a time.

Keith
10-23-2005, 01:01 AM
Well, you tried. Time to move on :waving:

kmann
10-24-2005, 04:19 PM
Had the same prob. Lady told me my mower was "too fast" and wanted me to drive slower so I would'nt have an accident on her property. Attempted to explain that time is money in this biz. Did'nt understand. I just told her she might want to get someone else.

Frontier-Lawn
10-24-2005, 04:44 PM
i use a 42" & A 22" so far no compalnts. next year i going to use a 42"-48", a 32" and a 22" do do lawns.