View Full Version : Do you change your mowing height for a customer request?

06-07-2011, 11:46 PM
I cut at a healthy 3" but we have had wet weather and I have a lot of customers asking to lower the height.

Do you switch your mowing height at every stop?

06-07-2011, 11:47 PM

06-07-2011, 11:50 PM
If they request or if it looks better. thank God for floating decks!

06-07-2011, 11:50 PM
I have them range 2" to 4". I keep a list of heights for every stop.

flex deck
06-07-2011, 11:51 PM
Never - It is like the old "I don't want you to mow my yard in the rain!" deal. My response is "We promise to make every effort to mow your yard on Wed., and sometimes those yards we do on Tues. have to be mowed in the rain to be here for you on Wed. This week, God chose to rain on you, and to fullfill our promise to those we mow on Thurs. we are now mowing your yard in the rain.

06-07-2011, 11:53 PM
No, hell no!

06-07-2011, 11:58 PM
Sure i do whatever they ask for..normally ill explain to them that its not really good for the grass to go more then 1/2 inch outside of what i cut it at . its no biggie for me really cause i cut so many different grasses during a day im always changing heights.. just explain to them the shorter you cut it the faster it will grow.. nobody wants to belive it but it is the way it is

06-08-2011, 12:00 AM
customers, and yourself do NOT decide on the cutting level,
weather, grass types, and the season do.

if your letting your customer tell you how to cut grass, you need to go make hamburgers.

06-08-2011, 12:05 AM
exactly. I mow all my properties between 3 and 4 inches. Thats a good mowing practice for our area based on our lawn type. If we go any lower, the lawn will start to brown up, heavy weed development will occur, etc. I simply explain to my customers that we mow based on the lawn it self. If it grows a lot due to heavy fert/irrigation etc we are going to cut it higher becasue it will look better and the lawn will strive. Thiner lawns that dont grow a lot we will go down to 3".

Dry spells we may lower the 4" accounts to 3.5, and the 3.5 to 3 I generally wont go below 3. heavy rainy season, things get raised up a little. I have one accoutn that the lawn grows so much because the entire yard drains into the back, that we cut it at 4.75

Lawn Pawn
06-08-2011, 12:16 AM
customers, and yourself do NOT decide on the cutting level,
weather, grass types, and the season do.

if your letting your customer tell you how to cut grass, you need to go make hamburgers.

Amen..... I mow a commercial office building, nothing big or fancy. No irrigation... never any weed control or fert. just mowing.

I cut at 2.25 2.5 3.0 3.25 and 3.5 because it's all different combinations of weeds and grass. And YES..... most of it is all one continuos section of lawn... and it looks darn nice when I'm done because I am very careful to make them all blend together.

I'm sure the client never notices what I'm doing or could care in the least. But I'm proud of how nice it always looks.

Florida Gardener
06-08-2011, 12:33 AM
customers, and yourself do NOT decide on the cutting level,
weather, grass types, and the season do.

if your letting your customer tell you how to cut grass, you need to go make hamburgers.

This is how a true pro responds...well said

RSK Property Maintenance
06-08-2011, 12:50 AM
my customers never have had to ask to adjust the deck height , they know I have experience in what I do and see the final product of their lawn after every cut, and are satisfied. I do change the cutting height from 3.50" to 4". but no one asks me to. so lawns that are only getting 2 or 3 cuts a month to save money get cut a little higher then they should. and the ones that get 8 or 9 cuts per month get cut at 3.50" either way they look great after every cut.

06-08-2011, 02:34 AM
We change cutting heights all the time. It all depends on the current weather and grass as someone else has stated. I mowed one property that was so tall for the first time on Monday that we cut it at 4" then dropped it down to 3.5" and cut it the opposite way to make it look presentable. Also I never state what height the grass will be cut in a contract due to the fact that some might go out and actually mesure it and complain if it wasnts cut at the right height. All you need to tell them is that the heights may vary .5" week in and week out. They (customer) typically understands. If not just explain to them why.

Grass Shark
06-08-2011, 02:45 AM
perception is everything "sure Ill lower it", the deck does not move and they say thanks

LHS Lawns
06-08-2011, 08:18 AM
I cut between 2.5 and 3.5. I wa cutting yesterday late afternoon at 3.0 on one lawn and the grass was tough, not cutting clean. Dropped down to 2.5 and that took care of it. I think 3.0 is a perfect height to cut on Fescue and I try to cut most that way but when I do drop down its no lower than 2.5.

06-08-2011, 08:42 AM
we got a customer who is a pain...never pays his monthly invoice on time...always get the "I my wife forgot, can you come over now and get it " yes I will drive over for an extra $50 to pick up your late payment.
Anyhow he is now complaining he wants his grass shorter, by 1"............we cut at 3.25...he wants to go to 2.25...I sent him the big long fact sheet on why we cut at the height and what will happen to his lawn if we cut it at 2.25".....he says he wants it short............perfect way to get rid of this PITA......he will have no grass in another month

cut level
06-08-2011, 09:00 AM
Yes you bet ya. I explain why I am cutting where I am and what will happen if I go an inch shorter but in the end I do what my customer wants if they insist on lower then I'm lowering!! I do that cause they write the check that bought my steak and baked tater that I cooked on the grill last night along with my sauteed shrooms, they pa for my hunting lease and all that stuff! So yes I do what they want but not before I thoroughly explain why we might should not,
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06-08-2011, 09:37 AM
Nope, never had a continued client request a change in finished height of cut.

Personally I feel this client requesting the lower height of cut is trying the "it won't grow so fast if you cut lower . . . so you don't have to come out every week = paying less for more work" game.

Part of all of my contract states very clearly I, and not the property manager/owner/whoever, dictate height of cut. Differing turf types, site conditions, climate, cultural practices all combine to establish a uniform height of cut for optimum growing conditions.

Provided your client cannot or will not agree to this process means it's time for them to find a different service provider.

Example and long story short: Had a client that always complained about mowing heights and cultural practices - continually changed the contract specs in an effort to avoid paying the agreed upon contract price. After a several year struggle, during which I was able to markedly improve the grounds at their $3 million + estate grounds I gave up. Less than one year later the wife is begging me to return service since the multiple contractors after my company have butchered the estate grounds. All I said was I have either complete control or no service but this woman is such a nervous sort she cannot relinquish responsibility so I said forget it.

06-08-2011, 08:01 PM
Don't cut below 3" ever. On a 60" deck there is a lot more scalping as well as hitting rocks and roots resulting in bent blades, etc. Will raise the deck though if they want me to.

06-08-2011, 09:11 PM
I've found it is the golf crowd that makes these requests. My cuts are typically 3.25 at this time of the year, a few at 2.75 and 3.0, one at 3.5. But, those who frequent the golf course and see the turf there, come home, and ask, "Why doesn't my lawn look like what we saw at the golf course?"

Making the comparison and an explanation of why the situations are different is enough to persuade them to reverse their request. I can't think of anybody asking the question who is NOT an avid golfer.

Zak's Pro. Lawn Care
06-08-2011, 10:36 PM
explain to them that mowing lower with spring growth does not make the yard look better for a longer period of time...it looks shagy in a couple days no matter what. then if they insist you charge accordingly because you will probably have to double cut if your lowering the deck on an already long yard. before lowering make sure they know you are not responsibly for burning the lawn at the requested lower height

Zak's Pro. Lawn Care
06-08-2011, 10:39 PM
^ that said i never change the height and it has only been requested one time. my customers know that i know what their yard should be cut at

SouthSide Cutter
06-08-2011, 10:53 PM
I cut it where they want it. Its their yard not mine. I explain what is best but they have the final say. Only time I overrule is due to wet conditions. Mine are from 2.75 to 4 inches. I have my scalp rollers set low so at 2.75 I dont have a problem scalping but have to watch turning, have to raise the deck to keep from tearing up turf.

Jims Lawncare
06-09-2011, 12:21 AM
One job today, about 2.5 acres I changed cut heights 3 times..

06-09-2011, 02:23 PM
I change heights per cuctomer request, all of my properties are irrigated. If they pay the water bill....all I can make are suggestions. They pay the bill, I do the service....pretty simple.

06-09-2011, 02:28 PM
the only people that constantly ask to have their lawns cut shorter are the ones that only want it done every 2-3 weeks. i just explain to them that when the grass is that long i cant mow shorter without charging more because it will take twice as long to bag or double cut and make it look nice

06-09-2011, 03:20 PM
our walkers ztrs cut at 5+ inches all year and if they ask for lower we simply adjust one side of the deck to 4'' and trim around the driveway and side walk to give it a lower appearance then raise it back up level and cut . on our gravely's we leave them in transport and cut the lowest we cut is 4'' on bermuda with walkers

06-09-2011, 04:18 PM
No I am the professional and will decide what height to cut at unless they need it shorter for a reason.

06-09-2011, 04:23 PM
I always cut 3.5-4.5 for my mowing (St.Augstine)Bahai(2.5-3)
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