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daysel
07-18-2007, 07:46 PM
Just wondering if anyone doesn't cut overgrown yards. I turned down a yard today because it was so bad.
I told her it was probably a 45$ yard, but it too out of control for me.
Getting sick of people that want me to let the yard get really long then call me to cut it "as short as you can". And they won't let me come mow it weekly.
This yard was insane. Just wondering what you guys thought.

capelawncare.com
07-18-2007, 08:10 PM
I just quoted a guy 300 for the inital cut, and 125 a month to mainatian a 80x120' lot. Guy has a million dollar waterfront home with St Augustine 3 ft high.

daysel
07-18-2007, 08:52 PM
Well this lady wasn't wanting to hire me for weekly maintenance. Otherwise, I would have figured out something.
This was crazy thick weeds up to my waist. lol

Total.Lawn.Care
07-18-2007, 09:00 PM
I have stopped doing ONE time cuts with the exception of some realtors or some accounts that I can get to on my schedule. If they cannot wait until I am scheduled to be in that area, then they do not get cut by me.

DillonsLawnCare
07-19-2007, 01:17 AM
i broke my clutch cutting high grass, dont cut it if its super high!

Mr Priceless
07-19-2007, 01:36 AM
I never suggest it. Not even if you are desperate. Like dillon mentioned, parts break when you (you machines) bite off more than they can chew.

I had a co-employee beg me to mow her [boyfriend's] yard for it being so high...charged her $35...A STEAL that when I look back on anyone should POUNCE! AFter i cut the 2 ft high nightmare, I suggested if she wanted me to ever mow it again, we MUST set up a schedule, biweekly, or...dare i say it...triweekly. This was in the middle of May when i cut the nightmare, ended up replacing a belt and was very close to replacing a spindle.

ON the Forth of July, she begs me AGAIN to mow her yard due a lein to be issued the following weekend...

I can't believe I wasted a thought and my valuable time even considering the insane request...grass was THREE AND A FRIGGIN HALF FOOT TALL IN ALL PLACES!:dizzy: I tell her my equipment simply cannot handle the overgrowth. Keep in mind that being in this state we've received about 20 inches of rain between the last time i cut her yard and her last request to hack it down again.

On top of that she has only partially paid me for the last time i essentially brushhogged.:( She does have personal problems as far as divorce aftermath, 2 kids, and poor housing conditions (from what i could judge by looking at the run down shack that was in the middle of the overgrown weeds)...but as a business person, your business ethics, if they are in good standing, can only allow for so much sympathy for someone that has made very poor decisions and only being 27 years of age. Oh well, some people just gotta learn.....

Just as a side note, her boyfriend broke down and bown a lawn mower to ack down the grass and ended up getting bitten by a black widow spider while doing it...:nono: AND my co-employee at my place of employment quit the day after the Forth....so I can safely assume i won't see the rest of my payment for the last time...:hammerhead:

Detroitdan
07-19-2007, 05:46 AM
I have a sometimes customer who broke her old mower and let her lawn go for months last year. I spent two hours hacking it with the string trimmer before I was able to mow it. Then mowed it for most the rest of the season. She said she had her mower fixed I thought, but this year she let the lawn go until June then called me. I couldn't even string trim it, it was too green and just wrapped around the head every 30 seconds. Ended up renting a brush hog for $40, cut it 3 times before I could get the mower in the yard, mowed it twice before it looked decent. Took me two hours, I only charged her $30 an hour plus the $40 for the rental. I plowed her this winter too, but I hate doing it because she's a divorcee with kids and always crying poor mouth and I feel bad charging her. But, it isn't my responsibility to take care of her either.
Which brings me to the other lawn. There is a lady nearby who I'm told has been looking for somebody but can't find someone to mow her yard. It has a whole seasons worth of hay, which is now laid down due to the rain. It would need to be brush hogged repeatedly before mowing also. I am not sure if I want to take it on, and if I did I would charge a lot more than the other one. I can't help but wonder what the real story is, if she really wanted to find someone I bet she could pick up a newspaper. She probably wants a neighborhood kid to do it for $5. But I know I could handle the job and I would like to get another account real close to another one I do.

daysel
07-19-2007, 09:37 AM
This lady got kind of mad and said" well it's been raining for 6 weeks" which is bs. She tried to act like it wasn't her fault. I said "well I mow just about everyday.

Neal0301
07-20-2007, 11:30 PM
Ever thought of burning it? :blob2: :laugh:

sildoc
07-20-2007, 11:43 PM
Moto is 12" or under. No brush hogging for me unless it is a long time customer that has moved into a jungle. I have one semi customer that calls me once a month to cut her grass. She cuts it 3 times a month. It is usually 7 inches. we have understanding it will cost her 2 dollar per minute. I keep telling here I will do it for 30 a cut but she keeps calling me averaging 70 a cut. go figure.

hess
07-23-2007, 06:56 PM
If it later than every 2 week's find someone else to hard on equiment and to much labor if they don't want to pay the right price

dave k
07-25-2007, 04:32 PM
I'm dropping an account tonight, the guy always wants cutting every other week and he waters and fertlilizes the bermuda, I have a 48" SD Walker and going up and down the yard the mower is actually plowing the clippings and than you have to double cut it for the same 50 bucks for a 1/2 acre lawn, not worth it, looking to get a Z this year, need something fast, cuts great and is comfortable, like everyone else wants. Last year I was cutting him weekly but hes trying to save money at my expense, see ya later Charlie!
Just had to vent.

SOMM
07-25-2007, 09:30 PM
true, let the bs-accounts drop!

(they ain't worth it!)

mattfromNY
07-25-2007, 09:38 PM
Just got done cutting one, actually. I cut lots of overgrown lawns. I live out in the sticks, and sometimes it pays better for me to cut the overgrown stuff. I wont even think about mowing it if the lawn hasn't been mowed in the past. I know I'm still taking a chance. I tell everyone up front $100.00/ hour, and it is what it is. I've never had anyone turn me down, I've never wrecked a mower (**knock on wood**), and so far I've made lots of money. So far since May, I've picked up 4 lawns that I mow EOW this way. Doesn't work for everyone, but until I'm too busy to do it, I'll keep mowing, and mowing, and mowing.....

tinman
07-25-2007, 09:51 PM
Just wondering if anyone doesn't cut overgrown yards. I turned down a yard today because it was so bad.
I told her it was probably a 45$ yard, but it too out of control for me.
Getting sick of people that want me to let the yard get really long then call me to cut it "as short as you can". And they won't let me come mow it weekly.
This yard was insane. Just wondering what you guys thought.

Depends on how bad u need the work. Normally these are one time deals so just walk away or charge so much that u are sure they do not go for it & if they do it is worth it..... unless you tear your mower up in the process.

daysel
07-25-2007, 11:15 PM
Depends on how bad u need the work. Normally these are one time deals so just walk away or charge so much that u are sure they do not go for it & if they do it is worth it..... unless you tear your mower up in the process.

I use to cut yards that were over grown, but not anymore. If I do, I charge about 2-3 times a regular mow.
This one needed the brush hog for sure.

americanlawn
07-26-2007, 07:39 PM
We knocked down a couple lawns this spring that were two feet tall in most places, but we made sure they signed up for regular mowing after that. Brush Hog jobs....we sub out.

Langford2000
08-01-2007, 09:46 AM
I agree - if its going to result in a regular customer - then hack away. One time cuts are rarely done.

topsites
08-01-2007, 12:00 PM
At least I'm not the only one catching this crap, I find most are not willing to pay what it should cost, I quoted someone $100 for a 1/4 acre thick knee high stuff earlier this year, just because I get tired of it. And I know it's an outrageous price, but then so is the grass, so, an outrageous price for an outrageous job, it does make sense.

Because it gets to that point I can't deal with it either, every one I do is one closer to where the next time I see that stuff as I'm pulling up I never even stop to estimate, just keep on driving, and it wouldn't be the first time I just keep on driving, done it with the equipment loaded as I pulled up ready to work before, too, just kept on going. But I also get tired of wasting fuel lol.

Half won't pay more than normal price, out of the other half that say yes to a high quote, most of them never really intend to pay, so either way I don't get paid. I guess part of the reason is they just don't care, because if they did it would've never gotten like that.
On that note, if they don't care, why should I?

The problem is it has to cost more and a lot more, it not only takes longer but it's really hard on the machine. I do most like these with the Wb to where the engine shakes in the frame, we're talking 15hp's here can't hardly keep up, one yard like this is like a week's worth of wear and tear, it really ought to cost 10-20 times normal price if you ask me, you never know what kind of solid objects you run into while cutting and how much money you'll be out of in parts + labor for maintenance.

Truth be known it's really not bad with a Z, on mine I can set the cut height on the fly, so I start out with a 5.75" setting and the machine hardly strains... Go over it one time then lower the cut 1/4" and go over it again, repeat this until I'm down to 3.5" or so... I did one earlier this year, got it down to 4" before I got tired of fooling with it, the guy still hasn't paid the $50 I quoted for his 1/4 acre knee-to-waist high. So they don't pay, it's not the work, the work in and of itself is tolerable, but they just won't pay what it should cost, or they don't pay at all...

topsites
08-01-2007, 12:12 PM
Best I can think of is quote sky high, then payment in advance, credit card, cash or money order preferred.
You probably won't get the job, at least I usually don't, but what's the difference, seeing how I'm not getting paid anyhow?

Langford2000
08-01-2007, 12:15 PM
As far as price - unless you are starving you come up with a price your almost embarassed to give them. If they bite then its prepay. I have a policy - first two cuts for a new customer I get paid before the gate drops. If they are honest its not a problem, if not then I dont get paid & their junk don't get cut.

Charles
08-01-2007, 03:29 PM
Moto is 12" or under. No brush hogging for me unless it is a long time customer that has moved into a jungle. I have one semi customer that calls me once a month to cut her grass. She cuts it 3 times a month. It is usually 7 inches. we have understanding it will cost her 2 dollar per minute. I keep telling here I will do it for 30 a cut but she keeps calling me averaging 70 a cut. go figure.

Do you have much Burmuda in Oregon? I don't think you would cut 12 inch high thick Bermuda or 8" for that matter. 4" is a killer when you try to bring it down to 2.5":cry: Really depends on how much you have to lop off. I don't think the highest setting on a lazer would get through 12". Taking down Bermuda 2" or more makes a hugh mess and/or lots of bagging

Vikings
08-01-2007, 04:06 PM
I stopped taking crap jobs to, I don't do storm windows, I don't go across the city and no more over grown lawns.

sildoc
08-01-2007, 09:29 PM
Do you have much Burmuda in Oregon? I don't think you would cut 12 inch high thick Bermuda or 8" for that matter. 4" is a killer when you try to bring it down to 2.5":cry: Really depends on how much you have to lop off. I don't think the highest setting on a lazer would get through 12". Taking down Bermuda 2" or more makes a hugh mess and/or lots of bagging

Only bermuda is what you don't want to have. We have mainly rye and some fescue lawns.

GLLawns
08-02-2007, 05:31 PM
I stopped taking crap jobs to, I don't do storm windows, I don't go across the city and no more over grown lawns.

Agreed, and don't forget no more gutters. I will not even stop as others have said if it is out of control upon pulling up. The only way I will consider anything overgrown is if they agree to weekly service, and understand it will take 2-3 cuts to get it back in shape. I hate the turds that think the lawn should go from a foot high with weeds mixed in, to golf course standards in one cut. These are the ones I say have a nice day, call so and so he can take care of you.

Stillwater
08-02-2007, 07:06 PM
Just wondering if anyone doesn't cut overgrown yards. I turned down a yard today because it was so bad.
I told her it was probably a 45$ yard, but it too out of control for me.
Getting sick of people that want me to let the yard get really long then call me to cut it "as short as you can". And they won't let me come mow it weekly.
This yard was insane. Just wondering what you guys thought.



nope I would not have cut it I only provide service to "owners" who care.

daysel
08-02-2007, 07:40 PM
I should have made her pre-pay, and just mow one strip down the middle...or a few crop circles.

LawnMowerMan3875
08-14-2007, 08:31 PM
When I have a customer call me to mow an overgrown yard, I call the guy down the street who has a tractor and brushhog. I tell the customer that I will mow it on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule and rate after this guy knocks it down to a mowing highth that my machines can handle. But like you Daysel, I would love to cut a few crop circles in it and make it read: Call before gets too high....

lawnprosteveo
08-15-2007, 11:20 PM
I usually turn them down unless I think I am going to get more business from it.

KTO Enterprises
08-16-2007, 12:18 AM
Ill do em with the tractor.

250 for the first hour. 125 for every hour after that.

Oh and its not going to be cut pretty or level and the clippings will probably form piles as they come out the back.

LawnBrother
08-16-2007, 11:19 AM
I would offer to kill it off and install low growing ground cover, since they don't want to mow anyway, then some idiot with a ww can hit it twice a year. Problem solved. But yeah, I'll cut it if it's no higher than 2 feet, and charge accordingly.

topsites
08-16-2007, 12:59 PM
You know it's funny, but something about customers who have a pre-set price in mind...
ALL customers, just about every single last customer has some kind of a figure in their head as to what it should cost.
Understood, that's their opinion, but there's not much can be done, if someone thinks $30 then $30 to them it is, quote $60 and watch out if they say ok, they'll end up getting that extra $30 some kind of way, or they just don't pay.

That's what happened with this one fellow, called me 2-3 years ago for a leaf cleanup... The yard and driveway was a bit deep but not too bad, I figured put all of this in the wooded area and be done with it, I can't remember but I think I quoted 2-300... Oh wow he called back FAST...
Turns out he wanted the wooded area cleared up, too.
I get a few of these, they suddenly want the leaves out of the woods...
And now I could see it, this guy was thinking 6-700 for all of that...
We're not just talking a few trees here, this was a considerable size area, then he talks about he wants to grow lawn there, later.

I told this guy it would cost 3-4000 just to clear up enough of the BRUSH and small trees out of the way so I could get my blower up in there, the leaves on top of that, still he needed to consider the lawn would cost... CLICK! (he hung up)
That was the end of it, or so I thought...
This year I see the area all cleaned up, like back in April-May.
Some fellow was working on it, looked pretty good, then he brought in dirt.
Nice topsoil, really nice, piles and piles of it, stretched the whole wooded area, we're talking maybe 1/4 acre to be later spread out.
Today, and yes I mean right now, the piles are still sitting there, as is.

So you know what happened?
The customer finally swallowed that he was going to HAVE to spend 3-4g...
But as I said, it still doesn't work, sure enough he must've bargained for a lot more.
That's what always happens, once they have a price in mind you CAN'T go over.
I feel kind of sorry for that Lco, but am glad I saw this one coming.
Meanwhile thou, I got 3 accounts fixing to go to a collection agency, similar bs, a whole lot less money.
It's ALWAYS like that, if my quote is more than they had in mind, it's over, even if they agree it could well be bad news.
So yeah, pay in advance, it all depends if you need the work bad, but me thinks you're better off not bothering either way.
Unless they pay in advance.

johnsonslawnmanagement
08-18-2007, 04:00 PM
im with tlc, dont do anything you cant handle or anything that risks damaging your equiptment.

pj550v12
08-18-2007, 04:38 PM
I'll cut any overgrown lawn. Be it 6 inches tall or 3 feet tall. I'm confident in both mine and my machines ability and have never had a problem with overgrown lawns. I look at it as an opportunity to charge the pants off them for the possible risk, and they almost always accept because they have no choice. I've learned not to make a fuss and explain all the dangers I'm facing with possible mechanical failure to the home owner, I simply quote the job and do the work, this seems to impress them the most and land me more jobs, usually a full time mowing customer out of these properties. The trick is taking your time, mowing slowly, and removing grass as you go. Is it a pain, heck yes, but charge accordingly.

Now if the area is so overgrown it has turned into more of a brush removal job than a mowing job, that is a different story.

SKAPES
08-18-2007, 05:15 PM
YES CUT IT! Charge for it and get your money.:hammerhead:

LawnMowerMan2003
09-26-2007, 08:16 PM
I suppose everything has a price. lol
If I had a $3000 mower I might be more reluctant but then again, the equipment would be tougher.

I have turned down really bad ones, because my equipment cannot handle it; the other ones I charge more for, but sometimes I think not enough so make sure you don't underestimate if you decided to do it.

My disclaimer if I do it:
"It's not going to look that great the first time"
I tell them because I have to mow it higher and I use mulching mowers so it won't mulch everything. I'm not going to rake stuff up, if it doesn't mulch.

If it's so high it's going to keep killing the engine then I'm not going to do it or maybe if I get a side discharge mower, but I'll tell them there's going to be clippings. Reason I don't have a side-discharge is those aren't my normal type of jobs. Many of them are just one cut and if they aren't they probably let it go too long in between mows, so it's your call, depending on how much business you have: If you have plenty of business I would say it's not worth it.

PDuffy
10-06-2007, 11:50 PM
I never touch anything like that. Too much wear on the equipment for someone you will probably never hear from again. If they, push the issue, I will quote them something outrageous and watch them walk.

Stillwater
10-07-2007, 10:14 AM
sure I would cut it nothing is to out of control for me and I charge accordingly

tjaynes
10-10-2007, 10:50 PM
Just one question how do you guys go about pricing yards inclduing fertilizing and seeding and doing beds and all????

ccondie
10-11-2007, 01:51 AM
I dont do one timers any more unles it is for a customer that i have had for a while or a realtor. I cant stand when people let it get 10 ft tall then want it cut to the ground so they can just do it again the next month. Not worth my time.

abraham
06-20-2010, 01:51 AM
thats the way you do it spot on.

SLM
06-20-2010, 04:40 PM
I have ran into this same situation several times. It always seems that people just want to take advantage of you. They want you to take care of their problem and once the yard is low enough for them to mow they will not use your services anymore. When I first started in this business I would take the job and low ball it get a new customer but this seldom works out. 9 out of 10 times they will drop you or only call you when it gets tall again. Plus they expect you to mow it for that cheap price again. I suggest you charge a healthy amount and stand your ground. The work is harder and you may have take multiple bags of grass with you. If you would charge 30-35 for a regular mow on that yard and its 2-3 feet tall I would charge a minimum of 100 dollars. If the grass has to be hauled off I would charge extra for that also. If they say no then let someone else break their back for no money. Remember they are the desperate ones who let their yard get that way.

TheMadOne
07-20-2010, 10:55 AM
I don't find overgrown lawns all that foreboding if you know how to price things. There are some limitations, like knowing when to bush hog over mow, but if there is not a brush problem I've not had problems with my Scag handling any overgrown lot or lawn yet. But again know your limitations! As for pricing around here there are ordinances covering out of control weed & grass conditions. I know what the weed & grass control will tack onto the property tax bill for EACH time a complaint is filed & they have to have it mowed. I usually take what I would normally charge if the lot or lawn was under control & use a multiplier based on the estimated height & time involved in cutting it. Never charge less than at least double, usually 3 times as much as normal & even 4 - 5 times dependent upon conditions.

It's pay cash in advance, no exceptions. Photos of before & after as well as photos of any possible sources of conflict before & after...... saves having to deal with dead beats & cheats. Always do a quick walk through before bidding & usually during the trimming phase again to check of potential hazards or problems, not perfect but usually avoids having major unforeseen problems or damages. If the above conditions are not met or acceptable to the property owner then I walk away.

Example would be a recent "will call" job I did last week next to a new regular account I just acquired. A +/- 10,000 sq. ft. lot with average two story on it, my regular price would be around $45.00. Front had been mowed before or at least someone had tried with a 21", weed & grass height about 12". Back was out of control, grass & weeds 2 - 3 ft., with some small brush & poison ivy (not allergic!). Price was $150.00, I cut it @ top height 1st pass & 3 1/2" inches 2nd & 3d pass, looked pretty fair when done, customer was happy and yes they were able to shell out the $150.00 cash in advance. Either had it in pocket or that's where they went while I cut the new regular lawn, don't care which. I had the money in pocket prior to starting, took me a little more than an hour to do the job, normally would have been about 30 minutes if not overgrown.

Most of these "overgrown" jobs shouldn't be a problem to a lawn contractor who knows & understands his equipment & how to price his work.

Mark J.

Texas Lawn
07-20-2010, 12:25 PM
i give them two options and it always seems to work out:

1. You pay me a lot and ill do a great job

2. I charge you normal and destroy your yard

Most the time they pick #2. So we take something other than the company vehicle and I let my guys get out there machetes and golf clubs and anything they want to shorten the grass, then go over it with push mowers and call it a day. Its actually a nice stress reliever to have a client that doesnt care. I dont need to go to the driving range after one of these jobs

kodak mowing
07-20-2010, 05:30 PM
yeah same goes for me,4-8 inches normal rate,8-16 double rate,after that i givem a bid to bush hogg

bradseabridge
07-20-2010, 08:42 PM
These are the jobs I use my custom brush cutter on. Took an old 21in push and took a cut off wheel to the front from wheel to wheel so the blade sticks out (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME SUPER DANGEROUS) and it would cut a tree down if I wanted it too. I rarely use it because it is so dangerous but on overgrown lots it works great. Then I go over it with the walk behind and the grass catcher and unload it every 3 frikken minutes.

Glenn Lawn Care
07-20-2010, 09:22 PM
I would for sure. I just charge accordingly.

topsites
07-21-2010, 02:20 PM
Yeah and most of them apparently are one time calls but it gets cut my way
and that doesn't usually work if they just wanted something for nothing.

Way I do it is first time it cost a bit over the normal price, not much but it gets cut high,
then I come back in two weeks and cut it again, this time a ways lower, and it might
require a third cut to bring it down to a reasonable level such as 3-4".

And I don't absolutely have to cut it a second or third time either,
they can have at it after I cut it once but I do warn them, I cut it high.

txgrassguy
07-21-2010, 03:26 PM
Over grown lots requiring mowing is work.
Price it accordingly - if the people don't want to pay then don't mow but never turn down work. It's okay to price yourself out of contention but not through a lack of desire.
Overgrown yards or lots can be tough to price properly as often, even if you walk a yard, you may not find all of the blade busting obstructions.
Last one I did was three acres standing about two feet tall - told the guy $325.00.
He said no way so I walked. five days later he called and said to mow it - I replied the cost is now $400 as we had just received a bunch of rain so the lot would be much more difficult to mow. He agreed and I told him I get paid up-front when I am there - so no money means no mowing. He agreed so I mobilized out there and sure as canadian geese crapping everywhere he's nowhere to be seen. So I left. Get a call from the POA president where this domestic train wreck was located to mow - same deal meaning money up front. This time I said it's $450 as the dude was a no show and the POA president met me with a check for the full amount. Took me just under three hours to knockdown three foot tall weeds and found in the yard, among other things, a chevy small block motor, an automatic transmission, a rear deck lid to some type of car and a bunch of trash. So I mowed around all of it. POA called back for me to now clean up all of the crap so I quoted them an additional $500 - again met me with a check and it took me and one of my guys about an hour and a half to load everything up.
Ended up selling the motor and tranny for $250 each and the remaining metal went on to my scrap metal trailer.
Moral of this story, I stood my ground and for right at seven hours of work got paid a little over $1,400.00. Doesn't happen all that often but occasionally I'll get similar calls.
Another example, the local Tractor Supply r-o-w was overgrown with noxious weeds and woody brush they wanted removed. I figured it would take me and two of my guys one full day to clean up so I priced it at $2,200.00. Ended up taking right at five hours so for a total of fifteen hours of work I was paid $2,200.00 and now have the contract to maintain at $375.00 per visit two times per month.

LawnMowerMan2003
04-30-2014, 08:34 PM
When I'm passing out my flyers and see really overgrown lawns, I skip them. :)
Maybe I shouldn't because I could sure use the money, but I don't really have the equipment to do them right now. I might try them with a walk behind, but I'm not sure I'd want to risk damaging it either.

But I'm glad read about people not paying, which I usually don't worry about (it's happened very rarely) but the bigger the job is the more I should be concerned about it. Especially, like people have pointed out here: It seems that either they don't really have the money to mow it or they don't really care. So they might not care about paying you either! I think if I do decide to overgrown lawns I'm going to make sure I'm charging them appropriately, and ask for payment in advance. I agree that it might be worth it if you're sure your equipment can handle it and you do those two things.

CGros31
05-01-2014, 03:02 PM
I have learned through experience that most times it's not worth doing an overgrown lot. Many customers will get you to knock it down initially, only to let you know afterwards that they will be cutting it on their own. The few overgrown properties that I cut come at a premium price. Otherwise, it's not worth it. Recognizing who will become clients, and who will not become clients comes with experience!