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spin2098
06-17-2009, 11:50 PM
And here is the situation. I have a lawn that I have been cutting for years now. At first I cut it with my walk behind but the walk-behind was slowing me down with my other jobs so I always brought the zeros. I started cutting this lawn with the zero and personally I think it looks great. However this yard is in the upper class neighbor of Pittsburgh and anyone who reads this from Pittsburgh can narrow it down to 3 or 4 of the areas I am talking about. Anyway the guy asks me to start push mowing his yard. With my zero it took me 30 minutes and I was done charged 35.00 for it. Now it is taken my guys and 1 hr to 1 hr and 15mins to cut it. I can't charge this guy 35.00 anymore. We also have to double cut with the push mowers since he has a treated lawn. This will stop now since the spring rush is gone. How much would you guys up this price? I also cut his business but the whole month of May that is how long it took us 1 hrs 15mins. How high would you increase. I am thinking 60.00 is that unreal?

GravelyGuy
06-17-2009, 11:55 PM
I had that same problem years ago when I got my first ZTR. Customers with smaller lawns really prefer the pushmower and get spoiled. Why can't you go back to the walkbehind? Or are you refering the the pushmower as a walkbehind?

LouisianaLawnboy
06-17-2009, 11:58 PM
Tell him it's either the ZTR or 80.00.

spin2098
06-17-2009, 11:59 PM
Well I have since sold my walkbehind I just had no use for it amymore. So that is why all I have is the pushmower now.

GravelyGuy
06-18-2009, 12:03 AM
I wouldn't jack his price way up or your guaranteed to lose the account to someone who has only a pushmower and willing to do it for cheap. Instead try asking him exactly what he's not pleased with and try to work with him. You can normally persuade people, sometimes it's jsut small things that upset them.

kaferhaus
06-18-2009, 12:04 AM
I woldn't worry over losing a 35 buck job. tell him it's the ztr or the price doubles

LouisianaLawnboy
06-18-2009, 12:23 AM
I wouldn't jack his price way up or your guaranteed to lose the account to someone who has only a pushmower and willing to do it for cheap. Instead try asking him exactly what he's not pleased with and try to work with him. You can normally persuade people, sometimes it's jsut small things that upset them.

That would be the way to do it if you want to keep the account.

Alpha Property
06-18-2009, 12:51 AM
the problem is you've already cut it for a month for $35... so you can't raise the price without informing him, send him this invoice and explain that for $35 you really only have about 15-20min that you can spend at that house before you start losing money and if he wants to continue with the small push mowers the price will have to reflect the amount of time spent on site

spin2098
06-18-2009, 01:06 AM
Maybe I should have explained better. That 1hr 15min is a double cut. I never had to double cut with the zero once an done it looked great. But the push mowers don't have the same power as the zero. At the beginning of May I was on the property personally and called him at the office. I talked to his wife and told her that with us push mowing we have to double cut and will have to charge. I will find out tomorrow how long it really takes once the guys get back to the shop. So 35.00 for the first cut and another 25.00 for the double cut is that un reasonable. Hey if people want to pour the fertilizer on then they need to understand.

Hawg City Lawns
06-18-2009, 01:30 AM
personally i would say $45.00 to $55.00 if nicer neighborhood lean toward the higher price

topsites
06-18-2009, 01:40 AM
Well I have since sold my walkbehind I just had no use for it amymore. So that is why all I have is the pushmower now.

LMFAO Noooo!!!

hahaha, oh man :rolleyes:

whoopassonthebluegrass
06-18-2009, 01:51 AM
Just explain that if you're not clearing "x" amount per minute, you're not pulling a profit.

Then explain that you'd have to charge "this much" to stay profitable. I'll bet he's okay with the Z.

kaferhaus
06-18-2009, 09:11 AM
personally i would say $45.00 to $55.00 if nicer neighborhood lean toward the higher price

The "neighborhood" should never dictate price. Time is the only concern in this business. Want to lose all your accounts in "nice" neighborhoods then price them differently.

The first guy that comes through there selling his time will be moving you out of there anyway.

Icepuck72
06-18-2009, 09:17 AM
If you're in a high end neighborhood, you should be charging no where near $35. That is way too low...The lowest I go now for anyone is $45.

Roger
06-18-2009, 09:34 AM
I understand what the OP is saying. Perhaps his neighborhood is close to me. In my area, we typically mow the front yards with a hand mower. Only one do we have where my ZTR is used -- 70% of the yard is in the front, small back yard that is done with a hand mower.

If I showed up with my ZTR in the front yards of my customers, I undoubtedly would get pushback real quick too. Often areas are too constrictive, and grass would be blow in beds, tree circles, or other undesirable places. Or, the terrain would make use of a 48" mower unreasonable. Obviously, each situation is different. That is one thing that makes residential properties interesting in this area -- all are unique, nothing "cookie cutter" about the properties; each one is vastly different from the next one.

If you only have a ZTR, and hand mowers, and do not wish to work the property with the hand mower, then you can politely tell him that your operation, with the equipment you own, does not match the needs of his property. I've turned down many jobs with this explanation, and it is true. I do not want to have a shed full of equipment, some pieces are only used sporadically. Rather, I have a few pieces, and choose those properties where I can make effective use of what I own. I think that is what you are facing here -- needs of the customer vs. the way you work, just don't match. There is nothing wrong with either position, neither is right or wrong. That is just the way things have unfolded.

We work beside another LCO in a neighborhood of very expensive homes. We use a hand mower in the front and sides, and a 36" w/b in the rear. The LCO working next door has a ZTR and three Toro hand mowers. He mows the entire property with the three hand mowers, bagging all the clippings, while his ZTR sits at the curb. The rear yard (~15K sq ft) might work with a 36" w/b, but not his 48" ZTR. I don't know if the owner requested only use of hand mowers, or if that was his decision. They do a fantastic job with the three hand mowers - better than my combination of hand mower and w/b. I am doubting he would save very much time using his ZTR anyway.

spin2098
06-18-2009, 12:37 PM
Well Roger if you think hard you are only 10 mins south of this area and you know how these people are. Thanks for all the input everyone.

Jpeg lawn maintenance
07-02-2009, 10:20 PM
Hey i am from around pittsburgh to and my inpute would be up the price twenty dollars and if he does not like it tel lhim to get someone else and you know yourself tha no one will push mow really cheap unless he finds a neighborhood kid thanks my name is jeremy add me to your friends

jaybow
07-03-2009, 11:04 PM
Your gonna have to get another walk behind. I dont know about you but I have some lawns that dont tolerate a zero turn verry well. Zero turns leave ruts on softer yards and some lawns look matted down especially if the yard is small and there is alot of turning going on. If you increase your price you will probably lose the customer.If not now whenever he finds someone else who will do what he wants. Just ask yourself how good of an area the house is in for picking up more buisness. Or how many you have to mow while your in the area.

Nosmo
07-04-2009, 06:03 AM
You folks may be overlooking one thing he mentioned in his original post. He is reluctant to raise the price on the $35.00 cut because the customer also is a commercial account. He mentioned he also does the guy's business.

I don't know what he is getting for the business account but if he handles the home account pricing wrong he may loose the whole ball of wax.

Nosmo

tjlco
07-04-2009, 08:11 AM
"sorry sir put the push mower is broken" or "sorry sir that machine is for backyards only"
and my favorite......"I don't have a push mower"

hackitdown
07-04-2009, 08:18 AM
Him: "I like it when you use the push mower. Please use the push mower on my yard"

Me: "Sure, no problem, it looks nice with a push mower. However it takes twice as long, so your price will be adjusted up to $70 to keep it fair. What would you prefer?"

Him: "Uh....I guess the rider will be fine"

If he cannot understand, then let him drop you and move on.

kaferhaus
07-04-2009, 08:38 AM
Him: "I like it when you use the push mower. Please use the push mower on my yard"

Me: "Sure, no problem, it looks nice with a push mower. However it takes twice as long, so your price will be adjusted up to $70 to keep it fair. What would you prefer?"

Him: "Uh....I guess the rider will be fine"

If he cannot understand, then let him drop you and move on.

Which is exactly how we respond to those requests.

Some lawns really need to be done with a 21" mower. In that case they should have been priced that way to begin with. We avoid taking those jobs most of the time because our trailer load outs only provide for 2 of them.... 3 man crew... so even with one guy trimming and two mowing it's not quite as productive. Close, and on some lawns a wash (those we take).

But we do have a couple of similar customers where service their commercial account and home that are awful picky about the home lawn. We "make up for it" by overcharging them on the commercial a bit. Doesn't always work but mostly it does.

I won't keep a money losing account just to keep one that's only producing "market rate" revenue. I can sit on the porch for free, not going to work for free.

David Haggerty
07-04-2009, 09:01 AM
Some lawns really need to be done with a 21" mower. In that case they should have been priced that way to begin with..


Yeah, I think we as lawn care professionals can better decide what's the appropriate piece of equipment to use.


I can sit on the porch for free, not going to work for free.

You ought to make that your signature line. That's a quotable line if there ever was one.