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View Full Version : lost one today due to "your mowers to heavy"


workinallthetime
04-11-2007, 10:56 PM
well guys lost my first account today, he said i did a great job but my mower was to heavy for his wet a$$ lawn. yes my mower is heavy weighing in at 1700 lbs its a diesel kubota zd326 ztr. Last week i was almost done and turned a corner where my front tire droped into a hole where the dog had dug and i was stuck. went home got the tractor and pulled it out, good thing i live 1 mile away. im sad to get fired but not upset. the guy has an anarobic septic system which sprays his back yard with $hit everyday and we got about 3 inches of rain 3 days before my last visit, the enitre time i was just treading the surface while mowing the 18" tall grass hoping not to break through it. he was my first customer but not my only. he said he was going to go with someone who had lighter equipment, he has a point just seems kind of odd that some punk put up signs for 25-35 $ yards yesterday. i was charging 65 for a 1.5 acre lot and thought i was cheep.
30 minutes after his call i got another one which pays 50.00 cash for about half the size of his so its a wash.
question is?
should he come back to me in mid season should i jack up my price cause he droped me?
i love the kubota it mowes as fast as you can hold on and the guys who told me a ztr wont hold on mowing across hills never drove mine. maybe it is because its so heavy,lol

turbo5560
04-11-2007, 11:06 PM
I think everyone has had a complaint like that... i get so sick of customers, but my take on it is that as long as I am honest to my customers, and i do my best work I don't get to worried about losing an account. Every one has that customer who is a fuss a$$. You might have just lost yours, but you will get another, I promise!

THRIFTY
04-11-2007, 11:32 PM
Working with the public is the worst part about running an LCO.....But I still love it...

workinallthetime
04-11-2007, 11:40 PM
oh i forgot to mention this guy has to labs to add to the $hit in the yard plus i had to move the trampoline everytime to mow under, pick up the kid toys and roll up the garden hose. not to worried just gettin it off my chest,lol

bigmudder77
04-12-2007, 08:45 AM
your cheap if you have to move all the stuff to mow id be charging to move that and pick up the lawn. i tell them that if i have to pick up/ move stuff i will be charging a dollar a min. and told them if they didnt want to pay it i needed the stuff to be off the lawn before i show up or ill mow around it. Then charge them an over grown fee when the do move it cause i usually have to pick up all the grass cause its to thick

bigmudder77
04-12-2007, 08:47 AM
i would be charging at least $125 a week for all the time and work it is to move stuff when you need to get off your mower and back on and back off and back on it gets old if you have to do that all day. and it takes time when you could be mowing other peoples yard

GreenN'Clean
04-12-2007, 09:04 AM
If the customer does call you back then I would raise my prices a little more. The customer gets what he pays for and if he gets someone to do that yard for $25 -35 bucks then he will be getting what he paid for

topsites
04-12-2007, 09:26 AM
When I first started reading I wasn't so sure why you'd want to use that big a machine myself, but 1.5 acres is certainly past what most Wb's are designed to tackle, and most of us simply can't afford to operate a fleet of Z's so as to have one for every possible nuance. That you should use a lighter machine is kinda obvious, but for the price you gave there should've been little to no complaint and you should be free at that point to use what you please.
Now if someone wants to do it yet cheaper and per customer specs, all I got to say is L.O.L.

He may never call back, but you're right to be concerned that he might.
So yeah, I'd raise the price to $90 right quick, then plan on using the 48" Wb and make it $120.

Or, to forego the ensuing bs, if or when he calls, say you're sorry but are unable to help at this time.

TGM
04-12-2007, 11:23 AM
you'll still get stuck with lighter mower...as in my case a full walker - they weigh what, around 1000 loaded; but the rear tire sinks as the middle/drive tires rip into the grass. granted knowing your machine and its limits help a lot, but some customers just don't get it.

you ever have those customers that like to have the sprinklers turn on before or during your thursday mow every week? :realmad: :realmad: (thanks old boss who wouldn't change my route).

HenryB
04-12-2007, 11:37 AM
well guys lost my first account today, he said i did a great job but my mower was to heavy for his wet a$$ lawn. yes my mower is heavy weighing in at 1700 lbs its a diesel kubota zd326 ztr. Last week i was almost done and turned a corner where my front tire droped into a hole where the dog had dug and i was stuck. went home got the tractor and pulled it out, good thing i live 1 mile away. im sad to get fired but not upset. the guy has an anarobic septic system which sprays his back yard with $hit everyday and we got about 3 inches of rain 3 days before my last visit, the enitre time i was just treading the surface while mowing the 18" tall grass hoping not to break through it. he was my first customer but not my only. he said he was going to go with someone who had lighter equipment, he has a point just seems kind of odd that some punk put up signs for 25-35 $ yards yesterday. i was charging 65 for a 1.5 acre lot and thought i was cheep.
30 minutes after his call i got another one which pays 50.00 cash for about half the size of his so its a wash.
question is?
should he come back to me in mid season should i jack up my price cause he droped me?
i love the kubota it mowes as fast as you can hold on and the guys who told me a ztr wont hold on mowing across hills never drove mine. maybe it is because its so heavy,lol

No reason to raise him if he calls back. Your taking it personal and you shouldn't. It's just a bad match a 1700lb ZTR and a wet lawn. I'd love to have your machine but I know it's too heavy for my accounts. If he complained and you did not get stuck or rut the lawn then he's just a PITA but thats not the case.

workinallthetime
04-12-2007, 11:04 PM
well guys i see most everyone agrees with the things im thinking. one thing to mention in the kubota's defense is it has 26 x 12-12 tires on it and just in a quick look at a couple of other models i see most have 10.5-12 or smaller. so the weight is spread out alot, i also failed to mention that the yard was wet enough that my boots left imprints when i walked BUT he wanted me there that day or the next (it rained the next day, alot)
i did real good and if that dang dog had not dug a hole i would have made it around the entire place w/o getting stuck. the day after it rained i saw so many lawn guys out and i knew it was to wet so i waited and he called.
i guess your right im taking it personal but its like getting fired, and ive only been fired from one job in 20 years,lol.
thanks for all your input, i just needed to hear im not the only one who thought i was giving the guy a good deal.
oh ya all my accounts are at least 1/2 acre or i give them away to someone else. gas prices are to much for me to drive all over town doing little yards and to many kids around here mowing the hoods. my push mower is a brand spankin new mtd yard machinie 200 buck special,lol

why do guys like chicks in leather?
cause they smell like a new truck,lol

cward
04-13-2007, 09:00 AM
If he calls you back, don't raise your price just to get back at him. Be professional with him. If you have a legitimate reason to raise the price do so. However, your price was good enough at the beginning of the season, it should be good enough later on. We all have PITA customers and crappy yards. It just comes with the territory. As long as they pay there bill, I'll mow there sandbox or whatever they want.

BobcatBoy06
04-13-2007, 11:15 AM
Yea don't feel to bad we have a customer that thinks only have of her lawn is mowed each time we go, she doesn't understand the striping concept she thinks that the dark side is the only side cut, and that the light side is just laid over and not touched.

MarksTLC
04-13-2007, 01:04 PM
Don't sweat it. I had a customer that wanted to know what I did to her lawn. She didn't like the stripes. She liked the way her husband used to cut, it looked better.
You know, cut around each tree and flower bed, in bigger and bigger circles, until it all was cut.
Who knew???? :hammerhead:

workinallthetime
04-15-2007, 01:04 AM
sux to be the next guy,
next week will be the start of week 3 since i was there and we have gotten about 2 inches of rain in the past 3 days. supose to be in the 70's next week and only a chance of rain tuesday. that stuff is going to be 12" tall.

cks dad
04-15-2007, 03:49 PM
I lost a customer last season because she didnt like the big tire tracks left in her yard.She wanted me to use my little 21" push mower on her yard.I told her i would but i would have to raise her price from 20.00 to 30.00 and she said no she didnt want to pay the extra so she told me she would find somebody else that uses only small mowers.I told her good luck.

kip huddleston
04-17-2007, 08:54 PM
hey you lost one and before the day was over you had another one so dont let it bother you. and if he calls back if you have the time you take it back if you really want it back if you dont have time or dont want it give it to somebody you know and trust to take care of it like you did its still your name on the line if you give it to somebody.

topsites
04-17-2007, 09:20 PM
I did a lot of re-thinking on this because of my own Z, and what I said here...

This is correct...
The footprint of the tire is designed so as to equalize the impact of the weight per square inch of turf, yes, 21" light weight mower and what you have is these tiny 2" tires, take a Wb and the tires get fatter and take a Z and they get fatter still so it spreads out the weight. And as far as getting stuck initially or rutting, I think if the mower is going to sink then it's all the same regardless of the machine (except fixed decks lol).

BUT ...
I have learned the damage gets worse when getting out of there, we've covered getting stuck, it's the method one has to use in getting unstuck that makes it so bad, and in that sense the lighter machines have the least impact (unless your Z has a winch), even a float deck Wb is too heavy for me on wet yards (both of mine are fixed decks).
That might've been what the customer was talking about.

The other thing is, I find a fixed deck Wb to be the only thing that can tackle a wet turf, if any mower can handle it, it's the fixed deck (the 48" is about 200 pounds lighter than either the 44" or 52" float deck). And in the case of Wb's, the tires on both the float and the fixed deck are the same, compared to a Z the fixed deck is still the machine of choice on tricky turf.

Once they are stuck, a Z is the absolute worst piece of crap to get out, I had one last year took me dang near 2 hours, I finally got it out with a hillbilly winch and all in all it wasn't too bad, but I did not charge the customer for the service (just a grass cut but still) and I still felt bad. Just one rut, one tire, ~8 feet long thou...

I stopped taking chances with my Z, that beast is plain absurd, I'd much rather manhandle my Wb's any day (and I used to think they were heavy lol). On inclines, too, Wb first, that Z is something else.

So, perhaps the customer was a pita but I also think there are some lessons to be learned, specifically concerning wet turf and big machines, the heavier the machine = the worse the damage IF you get it stuck good. Price-wise, I think you should've charged more to begin with, because unfortunately they all expect AND deserve the same level of service.

workinallthetime
04-17-2007, 11:47 PM
umm the only marks i left in their yard where where mt 2 back tires spun and i cleaned those up. the z's front tire fell in the hole and when i tried to get out the back ones broke the surface and i knew i was stuck. i went home and got my tractor and pushed it out by my self. the spot i had this happen was in the back corner of their back yard, and i fixed it while i was there with the front end loader on the tractor. i just used the bottom og the loader to smooth it out and while i was there i fixed the dog holes also. i apreciate your reply but the kubota is the only mower i have for now and i only do big yards. this yard thing is a suplement to my tractor business, seems most of my tractor customers wanted me to do their lawns and most of my tractor business comes from landscape customers. im new to all this and you guys have been great at helping me get through the transition. no one here would have recomended the z i have, but i love it.
thanks again

Nik_Danger
04-26-2007, 10:21 PM
I don't do any big pieces of property like you guys...mainly just residential stuff. Most of the time we use a 37 toro wb or a 44 toro z. Lately we have been receiving torrential rains and the next day EVERYONE is pushing 21's. Its kinda funny:usflag:

MOWEMJEFF
04-26-2007, 11:19 PM
Isn't your first customer kinda like your first dollar, you keep it hanging on the wall. I live in Maine. We deal with wet lawns all summer, if I get my walker stuck i feel like it was bad judgement on my part and I should have trimmed or passed on the wetter spots and I'd feel obligated to repair it and even lay down seed if its that bad and give my apologies. Unless the guys a huge PITA and is never paying in a timely manner 65$ should be a dollar a minute at least.

Scagguy
04-27-2007, 12:11 AM
oh i forgot to mention this guy has to labs to add to the $hit in the yard plus i had to move the trampoline everytime to mow under, pick up the kid toys and roll up the garden hose. not to worried just gettin it off my chest,lol


After reading that, I figure you just got a raise by losing him.

MOWEMJEFF
04-27-2007, 10:16 AM
I guess I'm partial to the dogs cause I have 2. But that can be more business, 10$/dog to clean up the crap and dog walking can be another service offered while your small. I have dogsat twice in the last year just because my clients know I'll do whatever services they need. I only have 19 accounts so any work is good work.

zz4guy
04-27-2007, 10:20 AM
well guys lost my first account today, he said i did a great job but my mower was to heavy for his wet a$$ lawn. yes my mower is heavy weighing in at 1700 lbs its a diesel kubota zd326 ztr. Last week i was almost done and turned a corner where my front tire droped into a hole where the dog had dug and i was stuck. went home got the tractor and pulled it out, good thing i live 1 mile away. im sad to get fired but not upset. the guy has an anarobic septic system which sprays his back yard with $hit everyday and we got about 3 inches of rain 3 days before my last visit, the enitre time i was just treading the surface while mowing the 18" tall grass hoping not to break through it. he was my first customer but not my only. he said he was going to go with someone who had lighter equipment, he has a point just seems kind of odd that some punk put up signs for 25-35 $ yards yesterday. i was charging 65 for a 1.5 acre lot and thought i was cheep.
30 minutes after his call i got another one which pays 50.00 cash for about half the size of his so its a wash.
question is?
should he come back to me in mid season should i jack up my price cause he droped me?
i love the kubota it mowes as fast as you can hold on and the guys who told me a ztr wont hold on mowing across hills never drove mine. maybe it is because its so heavy,lol

Could you just use a ligher mower? That is a damn heavy mower. Like maybe a walk/stand behind unit. My WB only weighs 300 lbs.

workinallthetime
05-14-2007, 01:17 AM
just an update if anyone cares, i went by there last week and the yard was finally getting done. those poor guys were doing the yard with small honda push mowers. i know they had to be charging the guy alot the grass was probably 18" and had not been touched since i was there. maybe the jokes on me for not getting out my push mower and doing it but im just not into pushing a lawn that is 1.5 acres.

zz4guy, what do you have that has a zz4 in it? i put one in my wifes old vette a long time ago.

Nik_Danger
05-14-2007, 03:19 AM
sounds like the joke is on the property owner...also sounds like you did the right thing...unless you really want a job like that making you resent your work. 1.5 acres with a push mower will make you hate your job real quick ;-)
You made a sound decision =):usflag: