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View Full Version : ethical or not?


MikeKle
10-02-2010, 09:28 AM
OK, my good friend that I have been helping take care of his accounts is going out mowing his customers yards even though they really havent grown at all, since the drought is going into the third month now! but I was really surprised at his decision to mow some of them and when he said just make a few passes around the outside perimeter, and these yards are completely brown and almost to the point of going to dirt! I guess he is strapped for cash and has no other choice but if yards do not need mowing, how can someone justify mowing them anyway? On the other hand, the larger mowing companies do this all the time, we see them out mowing big commercial properties that doesnt need mowing anyway, so I guess he isnt the only one? My customers would be extremely pissed if I kept coming every single week even though there is absolutely no growth at all, and probably fire me! I just wonder how the larger companies get away with doing this? Any idiot knows if you dont have any rain in a 2 or 3 month period and the grass is brown as can be, it DOES NOT need to be mowed, yet they do it anyway?????

SNAPPER MAN
10-02-2010, 09:34 AM
Well I know the companies doing commercial properties have to out because their contract states they have to make x amount of visits each year and they cannot break that contract. Residential is a whole different story. I would personally keep going until my customers told me not to come anymore.
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Damian
10-02-2010, 09:43 AM
Maybe this doesn't really apply under the circumstances you describe, but if the lawns don't need it, why aren't the owners calling in and saying skip them that week? I mean, on a non-contract, residential property, where does one draw the line between being unethical by mowing a lawn that "doesn't need it" and being negligent or "undependable" by not mowing it because the operator decides it "doesn't need it" absent of customer input?

MOturkey
10-02-2010, 09:48 AM
Fortunately, I've not been faced with conditions that severe since entering the lawn business 7 years ago. The most I've ever skipped a property is perhaps 3 or 4 weeks. The past two years, we've had only short dry periods, and rarely have had to skip more than one mowing.

But, to answer your question, if it doesn't grow, I don't mow. I have, admittedly, mowed accounts that only marginally needed it, but usually these are either business properties, which need to be kept looking nice, or homes where I knew the owners were particular. If we were in a severe drought, such as we had a couple of years back in the 80's, I'd be sitting at the house. I guess that is why I question how anyone can depend on this business for their sole income.

fl-landscapes
10-02-2010, 10:25 AM
OK, my good friend that I have been helping take care of his accounts is going out mowing his customers yards even though they really havent grown at all, since the drought is going into the third month now! but I was really surprised at his decision to mow some of them and when he said just make a few passes around the outside perimeter, and these yards are completely brown and almost to the point of going to dirt! I guess he is strapped for cash and has no other choice but if yards do not need mowing, how can someone justify mowing them anyway? On the other hand, the larger mowing companies do this all the time, we see them out mowing big commercial properties that doesnt need mowing anyway, so I guess he isnt the only one? My customers would be extremely pissed if I kept coming every single week even though there is absolutely no growth at all, and probably fire me! I just wonder how the larger companies get away with doing this? Any idiot knows if you dont have any rain in a 2 or 3 month period and the grass is brown as can be, it DOES NOT need to be mowed, yet they do it anyway?????

thats almost as bad as stealing your neighbors Internet service:laugh:

TheC-Master
10-02-2010, 10:36 AM
I do year round service, when the grass dies, we do bushes, leaves, and everything else. Contracted.

mark123
10-02-2010, 10:39 AM
I'd rather have a customer mad at me for doing my job too much than for them be mad at me for doing too little. I skip if it doesn't need cut unless there is debris in the lawn and then I'll bag it up. Maybe they are having people over.

44DCNF
10-02-2010, 12:21 PM
It depends on if you are there to maintain their grounds or mow their grass. If it doesn't need cutting I would show up, police the property, scout for infestations of weed or pest, weed beds, fluff mulch, treat any damage to branches, bark, blow off any hard surfaces that needed it, prune/deadhead, etc. I'd spend close to the regular visit allotment of time. I would also not expect to hear any grief over making the decision to not perform work during any given week during extreme weather conditions. Regular visits are what I based my fees on. Having said that, if I deemed the lawn was too crispy to walk on to do other work, and it would cause visible damage to be seen during the drought recovery period, it would be up to me to make that call, based on a mutual agreement with customer. Again, I'm getting paid to call the shots, whithin reason and the scope of my abilities. I do not take jobs on where the client calls the shots on a weekly basis as to if/what service gets performed. I'm be paid to maintain the grounds, not mow their grass when it needs it according to them.

gasracer
10-02-2010, 01:19 PM
Because our season ends in October I start calling the day before to check on my customers around the last mowing. Some I just skip a week others are more. I don't just show up and cut it when it is brown and dead.

Lefet
10-02-2010, 02:46 PM
It depends on if you are there to maintain their grounds or mow their grass. If it doesn't need cutting I would show up, police the property, scout for infestations of weed or pest, weed beds, fluff mulch, treat any damage to branches, bark, blow off any hard surfaces that needed it, prune/deadhead, etc. I'd spend close to the regular visit allotment of time. I would also not expect to hear any grief over making the decision to not perform work during any given week during extreme weather conditions. Regular visits are what I based my fees on. Having said that, if I deemed the lawn was too crispy to walk on to do other work, and it would cause visible damage to be seen during the drought recovery period, it would be up to me to make that call, based on a mutual agreement with customer. Again, I'm getting paid to call the shots, whithin reason and the scope of my abilities. I do not take jobs on where the client calls the shots on a weekly basis as to if/what service gets performed. I'm be paid to maintain the grounds, not mow their grass when it needs it according to them.

My sentiments exactly.

Groomer
10-02-2010, 03:08 PM
Well, we're just across the river and a little north of northern Ky., and I can tell you its been extreme here. I've got lawns that were cut twice in august and haven't been cut since, no joke. 6inch+ deficit and 35 days over 90 this summer have cooked, cracked, fried and dried even the best, with irrigated lawns just hanging on. If your putting mowers on dormant turf thats stressed to the max, your doing crown damage, which ain't exactly what you want! If you drive back by you can probably see your wheel tracks. Your buddy should think a little more long term and do whats right for the turf.

sehitchman
10-02-2010, 05:04 PM
We have had very little rain for 6 weeks. I've stayed busy doing other things and call the customers to let them know that if it does not need it we'll not be cutting. Lots of little jobs, bush trimming, branch trimming, leaf clean up, bed defining, fall annuals.

The thing is, you probably know more about what your customers need done than they do. Don't be afraid to suggest window trim painting, dented gutter replacement, kids playground staining, dead tree branch pruning, loose brick and rock fascia repair, exposed phone and cable wire burying, drainage repair, lower tree branch removal. The above is all things we've done in the last few weeks instead of mowing. Many paid much better than grass cutting. The customers were planning to pay for mowing, show them that the money can be spent on other home repairs.

TMlawncare
10-02-2010, 05:11 PM
Sometimes the decision to mow is difficult even in a drought. Sometimes the grass on the shady side is tall and the rest is dead or the weed are growing but not the lawn. In each of these instances a decision must be made. I always tell my employees that these decision are most important, make the wrong one and watch the complaint roll.

If the lawn is totally fried, stay away unless there is something that warrents mowing.

sehitchman
10-02-2010, 05:17 PM
Sometimes the decision to mow is difficult even in a drought. Sometimes the grass on the shady side is tall and the rest is dead or the weed are growing but not the lawn. In each of these instances a decision must be made. I always tell my employees that these decision are most important, make the wrong one and watch the complaint roll.

If the lawn is totally fried, stay away unless there is something that warrents mowing.

You are correct, most of our lawns are bermuda in the front and fescue or bluegrass in the back, mostly shaded. This week, the back and side yards needed cut but the fronts look almost dormant. So we just did the backs, I knew most of them and had planned for the free time. Went ahead and did the other jobs that were approved over the last few weeks in anticipation. Same labor time, same and better dollars, happy customers.

AzLawnMan
10-02-2010, 05:18 PM
Well I know the companies doing commercial properties have to out because their contract states they have to make x amount of visits each year and they cannot break that contract. Residential is a whole different story. I would personally keep going until my customers told me not to come anymore.
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Could'nt agree more!

TheC-Master
10-02-2010, 09:11 PM
It depends on if you are there to maintain their grounds or mow their grass. If it doesn't need cutting I would show up, police the property, scout for infestations of weed or pest, weed beds, fluff mulch, treat any damage to branches, bark, blow off any hard surfaces that needed it, prune/deadhead, etc. I'd spend close to the regular visit allotment of time. I would also not expect to hear any grief over making the decision to not perform work during any given week during extreme weather conditions. Regular visits are what I based my fees on. Having said that, if I deemed the lawn was too crispy to walk on to do other work, and it would cause visible damage to be seen during the drought recovery period, it would be up to me to make that call, based on a mutual agreement with customer. Again, I'm getting paid to call the shots, whithin reason and the scope of my abilities. I do not take jobs on where the client calls the shots on a weekly basis as to if/what service gets performed. I'm be paid to maintain the grounds, not mow their grass when it needs it according to them.Bingo, hit the nail on the head.