View Full Version : Mowing in the evening

07-16-2002, 08:49 PM
Hi guys, here's one for you.

This is my first season doing any lawn care. I have 6 accounts. Two of them, I do every week, and the others I do every other week (I've read some other threads about this not being the best idea, but so far it has worked out ok, besides I'm sure I can convince them to have me do it more often once the grass starts growing again...lol).

Anyway, since I have a full time job, I have been mowing after I get out of work. I have a buddy who does the exact same thing (he has more accounts), and sometimes he is out until dark. Three of the every-other-week accounts are residences all right next to eachother. They are rental properties and have been snowplowing customers of mine for several years. A few weeks ago, one of the renters (RENT-ERS, not the guy who paid for the service) comes up to talk to me when I got done - about 6:30pm or so. We had a nice chat and then he says how strange it was that I was mowing in the evening with the kids around and such. So I said what's the difference really since the kids are out of school and home all day anyway. He says good point, but would rather not listen to my mower while he's grilling burgers. I told him my situation and that I would try to mow on my days off if at all possible, but no promises. The next time, we talked again, and I told him up front that at least for the next few times to plan on me mowing every other monday night between 5:00 and 6:30pm. He said "ok", but then this last time I heard him complaining loudly to his neighbor about me being there while he was trying to relax with a beer on his front porch.

The next two times I will be able to mow durring the day, but am I thiking too much about this?

Any thoughts?:rolleyes:

07-16-2002, 09:26 PM
Don't worry about it. He don't pay the bills. Talk to the landlord about it. if the tennent doesn't pay the bill, knowingly, then forget him. if he gets too bad, time for a rate increase for pain in the butt factor.


07-16-2002, 09:30 PM
yep some people ,it dont pay to be nice to. they think nice means weak, so dont try to please him . just do your job an go on. never can tell he could have a buddy in the mowing buisiness or
something. goodluck

07-16-2002, 09:39 PM
You should think of the occupant of the home as the owner. The owner doesn't want to loose a paying tenant when there are many other guys out there that can get the job done while the tenant is at work. Been there this is exactly what I was told by the owner and lost the account. Just my .02

Good Luck

07-16-2002, 09:45 PM
where are you from in western mi. I am starting a business next year in the ionia area.

Doc Pete
07-16-2002, 09:56 PM
I'm in NJ, and many fathers get home after 5, eat and mow their own lawn after 6. I've been mowing for almost 20 years and don't start till about 4:30 and many times finish after 8pm..... never a problem. Also, Sat. and Sun mowing is normal from april to june.

07-16-2002, 10:32 PM
Come on guys,, When you get home after a long day at work do you want to hear your neighbor doing his lawn at night while you are trying to unwind, I know I dont, Got enough noise during the day , dont need it at night too..

If you dont make that " tenant " happy He will complain to the landlord, and if he complains enough , you can kiss those accts good by. Bad business to blow off a complaint.. Mow them on a saturday if you can ... Or find another solution and if you cant make them happy help them find a contractor or friend who can do it when they want it done. and accomodate them... ... maybe you can sub those out to your friend untill your able to accomodate their needs your self..... Happy Mowing

07-16-2002, 10:34 PM
PS its againts the county law to work on Sundays in my neck of the woods....and there are hours of operation provided by the law here too , some towns shorter than others.. Something to check into...Cause the tennant , may get annoyed enough to call the police and complain , and he may or may not have a valid complaint....

Doc Pete
07-16-2002, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by SCAPEASAURUSREX
Come on guys,, When you get home after a long day at work do you want to hear your neighbor doing his lawn at night while you are trying to unwind, I know I dont, Got enough noise during the day , dont need it at night too..

Golly, where I am, ALL the parks and fields are loaded every nite with baseball, Soccer, or some other "orgainized activity", with parents screaming at the ref. Even on Sunday and "after" 6 at night too, they're out there. Bascially, it's almost impossible to find a place to just play ball with your kids, just for fun.
Pete (Basking Ridge NJ)

07-16-2002, 10:54 PM
A tenent is one thing. But if I was paying to have my lawn mowed I would not want them doing it after 6. If you tried to explain to a customer that "lawn care is my second job and I can not start until the evening" I would not blame them if they said"that is not my problem, please mow at a decent hour".

Bob Minney
07-16-2002, 11:09 PM
I'd call the landlord and explain.
Let it be his call, either the tennant will have to live with it or he need to make other arrangments.
I'd handle it right away and not let the LL get a call from a p.o.ed tennant.

Doc Pete
07-16-2002, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by marley
A tenent is one thing. But if I was paying to have my lawn mowed I would not want them doing it after 6. If you tried to explain to a customer that "lawn care is my second job and I can not start until the evening" I would not blame them if they said"that is not my problem, please mow at a decent hour".

Jeepers, we're just trying to make a living.... I guess people in NJ are just more understanding...... Every landscaper that I see, is always mowing after 6 on a regular basis........That's just how they do it here. If you ain't mowing after 6, youre starving in the summer...........worst, you're out of business....

Darryl G
07-16-2002, 11:30 PM
I wouldn't worry about pleasing a tenant, but I would not mow if there are kids out in the yard. At least, not anywhere near where you're mowing.

Lots of home owners mow their lawns when they get home from work, sometimes even in the dark. One of my neighbors was cutting his hedges with a gas-fired trimmer in the dark (by floodlight) about a week ago! Better than at 8:00 Sunday morning I guess.

One last point, I believe that cutting in the evening is the best time for the health of the grass. It's had a chance to dry, it's cool, and it has time to heal before the heat of the day hits it again.

GreenQuest Lawn
07-16-2002, 11:34 PM
Hey Todd,

I was wondering how you were doing this summer.

You said you plowed this account also so I would call the landlord and explain the situation to him. More than likely he will tell you not to worry about what the tennant says. After all its not like its 8pm or something. I have been out bidding jobs around here 7-8pm and the whole neighborhood is buzzing with push mowers. I am sure it will be no problem.

Just Turned Pro
07-17-2002, 12:02 AM
I personally don't mow in the evening. My goal is stealthy service. My inspiration for this came from a cruise we took a few year back. We never saw our room steward, but it seemed as if everytime we left the room, even for the shortest amount of time, it had been cleaned, the bed was made, and there were fresh mints on the pillows. Even though we didn't see him, we knew that he was there and was providing good service.

BUT, If that is the only time that you can mow... mow at that time. If this guy is a problem speak with the man who is paying you, refer the renter to him as well. If it is not going to work out let it go and move on. Why not look for some commercials that you can do on weekends or evenings such as business parks or offices?

07-17-2002, 01:41 AM
I am almost always mowing until 7:00 or 8:00. I have never had a complaint. I think my customers are happy enough to have their lawn mowed they do not care when I do it. I even mow a nursing home where numerous times I have had to mow on Sunday because of weather conditions. The only thing these people say is how unfortunate I am to have to do it on Sunday. I mow several rentals for a real estate company and many times do it late in the evening. I guess if the renters do not like it they do not have the guts to complain for fear the landlord will say fine, no more mowing in the evening; mow it yourself.

07-17-2002, 02:07 AM
Is it still light out? If yes I would not care at all what he says.

But the 2 who said call the landlord are on the right track.

The Mowerdude
07-17-2002, 04:59 AM
In a tonight show interview with George Burns, Johny Carson asked who were the best audiences and who were the worst. George Burns answered that the best were those who paid the most to attend. They were determined to have a good time because they had money invested. By the same token, the audiences who didn't pay to get in, i.e. free show such as "The Tonight Show," were the worst because they had nothing invested.

Your beer drinking control freak is not paying your bill and therefore has nothing invested. As a result he is unapreciative. One of the luxuries of being self-employed is that I can be nice to those I choose, I can ignore those I choose and I can flip the finger at those I choose. And finally, I can replace whatever customer I choose with another.

Don't worry about it unless it comes to a head. Or head it off by doing some of your own complaining.

07-17-2002, 11:42 AM
To heck with that loser..... He is not paying the bills.

I mow my lawn when I feel like it and my neighbors have never complianed (and they better not if they know whats good for them). I know your a business, and not a neighbor but what would be the difference?

Where you made your mistake was telling him your story. You should have said that you are really busy and have to cut this account in the evenings to keep up. Do this in the future as it sounds more proffesional.

About the kids, and such... This is why I try to stick to Commercial accounts. I can mow on Saturday, Sunday, in Evenings and they dont care. Im still part-time myself and this is why I dont do much Residential work. You can't plan around peoples vacations, family reunions, barbeques, etc. What a bunch of Bull.