View Full Version : What is "Grass that is too high, or out of control"

07-01-2006, 01:25 PM
I get calls from people now and then who have yet to mow their grass or worse they are "I'll call ya when I need ya" people. Now I have doubled or even tripled my price for the initial cleanup for these people but I have a question that I would like some input on.

At what point is the grass so high that the price goes up? In my experience the grass is usually up to my knee and there is no question. But there has to be a height somewhere in between under control and out of control that everyone uses in their business practice. Would you say 10 inches? Or how about higher than the the top of your mowers deck?

What do you use as a guide?

Fantasy Lawns
07-01-2006, 01:30 PM
Fore me anything that has more than a normal 7 days growth ... is extra

Anything over 14" is excessive n will get a min of $100 per 1/2 acre

ALL Around Xteriors
07-01-2006, 02:01 PM
I would say anything that is higher than the top of your mower deck gets an extra charge.


07-01-2006, 02:05 PM
Fore me anything that has more than a normal 7 days growth ... is extra

Anything over 14" is excessive n will get a min of $100 per 1/2 acre

I am with Steve. But I charge more and value it a little differently.

If the yard is beyond 7 days growth then I charge more. usualy 25-50%
If it would choke out a 21" mower I charge a lot more. $100 minimum (about a months worth of mowing price)
If I have to brush blade it down for one of my big horsepower mowers to be able to make it thru, then I start at $200.

The county and many of the municipalities here charge $250 and up after red tagging a property.

All prices reflect 1/4 acre.

Sure many will say that is very high. YUP. That is the point. I really don't want to do that kind of work, but if they will pay PROPERLY, then I will do it. Paid in advance.

This year I got $480 for one cut on a 3/4 acre property. Then $65 EOW.

07-01-2006, 02:26 PM
Depends on how high and how THICK the grass is. It could be 3 feet high but really thin skimpy grass and would be a cakewalk that I get 2 times my normal rate for or it could be really thick and maybe 2 feet high and i get 3 - 4 times my normal rate.

07-01-2006, 04:20 PM
I'll call ya when what?, I'm sorry sir/madam we are a professional maintenance company. One time or occasional service starts at $75 regardless of size, yes its expensive however its very hard on our equipment and employees. We can set you up with bi-weekly service for xx dollars per month, however you have not cut your lawn yet this year and it will be at least 75 (usually more this time of year) for the first cut, and if you would like us to continue to service your lawn for xx dollars bi- weekly we will need a one month deposit of xx dollars. :weightlifter:

07-01-2006, 04:45 PM
6'' is the cutoff for me. If its higher than that, the price doubles for every time I have to re cut that same time.For instance,triple the normal 40 and its120. I know thats high but most of these people I dont like.

David Haggerty
07-01-2006, 05:58 PM
I go by how much longer it's going to take me to mow. If it's going to be half the normal mowing speed it's going to be twice the price.
Like lawnmaniac883 said. It don't matter how tall the grass is, it's how thick and heavy it is.
I had one this spring that hadn't been cut all season. But it was so thin you could see dirt. I charged double on what was a couple of months of growth.
Each one's different. If they're really heavy I tell them to have it bush hogged twice. One cut right after another. Then I'll show up the next day, and mow every third day until it's under control. But that's here. There's always bluegrass under the weeds/hay or whatever. It's the indiginous ground cover here in Ohio.
I screen these kinds of calls very carefully. I'm not looking to take on someone's problems. There'd better be a very plausible reason the grass is out of control. If someone calls me with an "emergency" I refer them to 911.


07-01-2006, 06:15 PM
any thing over 6 inches

07-01-2006, 06:17 PM
i'm doin exactly what david said on one right now. approx. 1.6 acres. brushhog twice at $100.00 a cut, then maintain at $70.00 a cut with the mower. i have hogged it once, gonna wait a week and do it again, then maintain with the mower. i'll let ya'll know how it works out.

07-01-2006, 08:00 PM
depends how much more time it will take for me to get out the property... sometimes i have cut 2 foot lawns that are less time than a 7 day old cut that is thick

every situation is different

07-01-2006, 08:41 PM
Not to be a funny guy, but I use my foot as a guide.

Seriously, it's unfortunately not as simple as one all-around good-for-all height that suits all. It has a lot to do with the turf, how thick it is determines how much it will clump, and that really does it right there.

Because last week I cut a lot where grass was 1-2 feet high but it was a POS lawn made up of mostly weeds and it was hardly any grass and so the clumping was minor, I got'r done in just about the same time as normal height, it really hardly mattered... But then I have 1-2 lawns if I get there late and the grass is 8-10 inches tall, I'm going to be there a few hours LOL.

So whenever I estimate a lot, I always WALK through the stuff, literally putting my foot into it so I can get a feel for how bad this stuff is.

That is what determines my price, unfortunately it takes experience to know how to guesstimate the crap... So until I gained said experience, I quoted stupid low prices so that I could learn, education is not free but do quote at least the regular price and maybe +10 or so, I dunno, but you have to learn somehow and if you must work for free some in order to learn...

At the same rate, if you can not SEE what's in the grass, double price is not that outrageous because you will find cars and airplanes and boats and things that will chunk up your mower lol. As for me, I kinda enjoy this kind of work but only when my '98 is running, I don't like putting my 1-year Wb through this bs but even with the old one, I's a gonna get paid.

07-01-2006, 11:35 PM
I go by several factors. Type, density, water content, lay over. Like someone said before, if it's beyond normal 7 day growth, it's long. If that's the case, I go by the hour not the bid. I tell them as soon as it's cut once to get it under control, then I charge 40/cut or whatever.

07-02-2006, 01:37 AM
Ok. If a person hasn't cut it once it's a lot of work. Usually you need to bag cause mulching will leave tons on the grass. It's hard on the blades like crazy. It's almost like a spring cleanup minus the aeration.

Why just double? I just did a commercial site and my price was 5 times what a normal cut was. I charge $100 per cut and it takes about 1/2 hr for two people. I charged $750 to cover all the wear and tear and the customer had no problem with it.

Man, if they haven't done it yet, they will pay, you just need to gather the balls and stop wanting to be their friend or be fair. Who gives a $$% about their feelings. They are sloppy and they should pay. Every other trade does it so why not lcos.... :hammerhead:

07-04-2006, 04:12 PM
Many many thanks for the input!

07-05-2006, 05:59 AM
hello, everbody prices slightly differently and yes it is higher in price as soon as a lawn has more growth than a regular client plus height penalties. Higher the grass the higher the price, simple.[wet/dry grass-ground ,hilly, access etc]Nobody mentioned penaltiy for damage to machine, to many "snakes" in the grass. [concrete/steel bar] tomo

07-05-2006, 05:31 PM
I have heard this before and wondered whether or not I'm off track. I hear mention how folks say that mowing heavy makes for more wear and tear on the machine. I suppose this is correct but only from a time point of view IMO. If you are using the machine so that you're not over doing it (in other words slow down) than, you shouldn't be overworking it any more per hour than if you mowing regular grass.

I have mowed several "overgrown" lawns this spring and this summer, and my belts all look good as new. Sure, if I hit a hidden rock, or soemthing (I usually walk the property before I mow) than I might prematurly dull a blade. I simply pull the handles back and slow down so that you can't even hear a strain in RPM or anything else. And it's all at 60-70/hr:clapping:

07-05-2006, 06:56 PM
I have a realtor selling 2 homes currently back to back, he tells me to cut them in 2 weeks, hell its been 3 already, lol, when i see it tomorrow im calling him up and telling him its twice as much because its so tall.

I dont deal with this a whole lot but i do have people expecting $40 lawn cuts for well over a months worth of grass.

What do you do when you cut all that leave it dead on the lawn/turf? I would charge $150 per hour of mowing like that or $75 per acre or $200+ if they want it actually cleaned up.

07-05-2006, 07:02 PM
hello, everbody prices slightly differently and yes it is higher in price as soon as a lawn has more growth than a regular client plus height penalties. Higher the grass the higher the price, simple.[wet/dry grass-ground ,hilly, access etc]Nobody mentioned penaltiy for damage to machine, to many "snakes" in the grass. [concrete/steel bar] tomo

yeah tell me about it, ive seen rabbits, snakes, turtles etc in high lawns that people "neglected" for a month or longer, it pisses me off because i wont run over any animals on purpose or knowing theyre there, ive spent over 20 minutes fishing rabbits and 2 box turtles out of one womans lawn that was nearly 2ft tall once, i kicked myself in the a$$ since i should have charged her stupid self a lot more. Ive also hit large construction boards and seen huge rocks/boulders that i barely missed. A 30lb rock would definitly wreck something on the mower deck, be it a $50 belt, blades, spindle, or whatever Id certainly bill them for damage. I state on all of my lawn contracts now and bills about lawns being kept clean and debris free. They cannot negate at a later time, oh well he told me but my lawn was 2' tall and its not my fault the rock was in the yard, whatever, if they dont pay the damage if its excessive ill take them to court.

Dont go easy on these people, theyre usually the cheapskates that dont like paying weekly or bi-weekly, and also try to run down your price, claiming they just want it "cut" or knocked down then ***** to you 20 minutes later that your not TAKING ALL THEIR GRASS WITH YOU! HAHAHAH

07-05-2006, 07:28 PM
Had one like this today. The guy across the street from a corner lot I mow stopped and asked me how much I would charge to mow his over grown corner lot. The guy said "just run the mower over it, dont worry about trimming or anything like that" He then asked me if ten bucks would get the job done...I wanted to laugh in his face but resisted the urge. Told him that it would be quite a bit more than 10 bucks more like 60 maybe even 70. Of course that was just too much and he will get his "normal guy" to do it; after he said this he was waiting for a comeback from me like negotiation style ya know? The disgruntled man just drove off when I didnt say anything.

Now a little background here. I looked at the lawn when talking to him and this chit was like almost waist deep real heavy stuff ya know. I could also see some large palm frans laying in the yard. What the hell is wrong with these people thinking we will abuse our equipment over pennies? Hell, I couldnt even fill up the mower for 10 bucks. Funny part is the guy though I was gonna be paid real well or somethin, him givin me ten bucks to cut it ya know? This isnt the forties ya jerks, grow up and accept the fact that 10 dollars isnt worth much.

07-05-2006, 09:46 PM
lol maniac, thats funny, yeah ive had guys say oh can you do the hedges for $20 too? or asks me since both neighbors have houses that need cutting, instead of $40 each can you do both for $45? like uh NO gtf outta here lol

another guy asks how much to use his supplies to lay block around one tree, i said $120, since i know he doesnt have all the small stuff, gotta run to the store, spend a couple hours myself probably, then hes like how about $100 cash! i said how about $150 and ill save you the tax lol, jerkoff, id like to smack 70% of these people. NO COMMON SENSE. i forget im not normal