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Moose's Mowing
02-08-2012, 10:16 AM
What time do most of you guys usually get started in the morning? I have a dilemma, I am a school teacher full time and I'm starting a side business to make ends meet. I'll be doing some light construction but mainly I'll be doing lawn maintenance. The spring and fall might be tight for me time wise. In other words, I'll have to do my mowing on weekends only. I don't have time to mow after school, I don't get home till after 5. Once school is out for the summer, it's not an issue. I'm not looking for a million accounts, but to make this work I need 15-20 lawns/ That's doable in 2 days. But I'm wondering what the customers feelings would be if I show up at 8am on Sunday morning. I'm thinking Saturday shouldn't be too much of an issue with starting early, but maybe on Sunday I'd need to wait till 11 am or so as to not disturb the peace.

What do you guys think?

R&S Lawn Service
02-08-2012, 10:26 AM
Monday - Friday we start at 7am ... From 7-9:30 we cut all commercial so we do not wake residential customers up, after 9:30 we cut both residential and commercial.
Saturday - We do mulch, shrub trimming and side work this day so 7am if its commercial and 8:30 if it's residential.
Sunday - Day off =]
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KrayzKajun
02-08-2012, 10:38 AM
Monday - Friday we start at 7am ... From 7-9:30 we cut all commercial so we do not wake residential customers up, after 9:30 we cut both residential and commercial.
Saturday - We do mulch, shrub trimming and side work this day so 7am if its commercial and 8:30 if it's residential.
Sunday - Day off =]
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Pretty much the times I try to stick too. Only yard tht gets cut on sundays is my house & maybe a commercial(tha is closed) if weather during the week threw me off schedule.
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Moose's Mowing
02-08-2012, 10:46 AM
thanks for the replies. Do you guys think it'll be unreasonable to be mowing residential on weekends? I really don't have a choice. I plan to be up front and honest with the customers from the start and explain the situation. Hopefully most will be cool with it, but ya never know, I might lose some clients because of this but maybe I won't. I dunno, what you guys thinking?

Calvert Lawn
02-08-2012, 10:47 AM
Im a teacher as well and have done between 10-15 big estate yards for the last 3 years. It is tight in the spring and fall but can be done. Spring is the worst because of all the rain. If it rains all weekend, it is a mess trying to get caught up. My dad helps me when I get behind so it is always good to have some kind of a back up plan.

R&S Lawn Service
02-08-2012, 10:49 AM
Only yard tht gets cut on sundays is my house & maybe a commercial(tha is closed) if weather during the week threw me off schedule.
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We do have one big commercial that we have to cut on sunday because they have to be closed when we cut(there is alot of traffic with people walking). Other then that i cut my own grass, change the blades and grease the mowers and jetski on sunday.
239353

BTW Krazy i have been reading your thread on my spare time, your work looks good. I'm new to the site and have never really taken an pictures of the lawns i cut but i for sure will when our season starts the begining of April.

R&S Lawn Service
02-08-2012, 10:52 AM
thanks for the replies. Do you guys think it'll be unreasonable to be mowing residential on weekends? I really don't have a choice. I plan to be up front and honest with the customers from the start and explain the situation. Hopefully most will be cool with it, but ya never know, I might lose some clients because of this but maybe I won't. I dunno, what you guys thinking?
You can explain to the customers your situation and try that sure, but the problem going into neighborhoods to early sometimes is the neighbors complaining. Also almost all cities around here have noise ordiences in residential areas...you might want to check that.

Moose's Mowing
02-08-2012, 10:54 AM
Hey Calvert, thanks for the advice. I have 3 guys lined up as backups in case of weather. My dad's neighbor who's pushing 70, still mows a few yards, a buddy I used to work with is a solo LCO who says he might can pick up my slack, and I can my neighbors college-aged kid with my equipment if I HAVE to. The kid makes me a little nervous, he's a hard worker and I trust him with my stuff, but he's an engineering student that doesn't "have it" if you know what I mean. He's all brains, no brawn. I'd like to avoid all this, it'll mean more money in my pocket instead of somebody else's but I know it's inevitable.

On a side note, if you have somebody pick up your route for a week, how do you pay them. In other words, if I sub out to another guy with his own equipment, do you give him 100% of the pay or do you keep a certain % since they're your accounts? I'm thinking of taking 10-15% and paying the sub the rest. I'm thinking that's pretty generous, but wouldn't be much for a small account. On the other hand, I agreed to be a back-up for these other 2 LCO's when they go away on vacation during the summer......

KrayzKajun
02-08-2012, 10:57 AM
I've always looked at it as unprofessional to mow a resi on a Sunday. People don't want to hear a mower at 8am on wht is most peoples only day off. Not trying to be an a$$, but if you are that limited on time lawncare is prolly not for you. What happens when it rains all day Sat & Sun? You will get behind quick & overwhelm yurself, causing you to rush & cut corners just to get the yards cut. But that's just my $0.02.
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R&S Lawn Service
02-08-2012, 11:00 AM
What happens when it rains all day Sat & Sun? You will get behind quick & overwhelm yurself, causing you to rush & cut corners just to get the yards cut. But that's just my $0.02.
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Yeah we mow Monday-Thursday and save Friday in case it rains. If it doesnt rain we do mulch, shrub trimming, side work on Friday and Saturday. It has worked pretty well for us.

scottslawncareav
02-08-2012, 11:44 AM
You can explain to the customers your situation and try that sure, but the problem going into neighborhoods to early sometimes is the neighbors complaining. Also almost all cities around here have noise ordiences in residential areas...you might want to check that.

I was born in 1986

R&S Lawn Service
02-08-2012, 11:51 AM
Oh yeah? We started our company in 1986 =]
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Calvert Lawn
02-08-2012, 12:08 PM
I just show him the yards I want him to mow for me and let him get me a price. If its less than what I charge I keep the difference. If he says more than I say, "damn thats more than I get for them"! ha ha

Lefet
02-08-2012, 12:14 PM
Mow Tues-Thurs, Fri if necessary, (Mon & Fri saved for installs, mulch, make-ups). No resi on weekends, DEFINATELY not on Sun. We did do a few on Sunday last year, due to excessive rain, but we spoke to each property owner and did them in the early afternoon.
I for one would not want to hear and of that on the weekends when I'm suppose to be off.

Moose's Mowing
02-08-2012, 12:15 PM
I've always looked at it as unprofessional to mow a resi on a Sunday. People don't want to hear a mower at 8am on wht is most peoples only day off. Not trying to be an a$$, but if you are that limited on time lawncare is prolly not for you. What happens when it rains all day Sat & Sun? You will get behind quick & overwhelm yurself, causing you to rush & cut corners just to get the yards cut. But that's just my $0.02.
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Nope, no offense taken. You're completely correct. That's what I'm most worried about is getting F-ed by the weather in the spring or fall....then what? I'll just have to make it work one way or another. I can't really do just one or 2 lawns after work, that'd screw me up for the following week. So when this happens, I'll have to sub it out to one of my buddies or send the kid out with my equipment. This is why I want no more than 20 customers. I might be able to pull 20 lawns off in one day on a Saturday if the weather looks bad. I'd like to avoid Sundays for the reason you mentioned, people want peace and quiet. On a side note, I'll be targeting residential areas that are semi-rural so bothering neighbors MIGHT not be a huge problem for me. But I'd still be bothering the home owner. thanks for your insight

scotts lawn care
02-08-2012, 12:24 PM
We are rolling out the driveway at 7:00 a.m. sharp. I like to stay on schedule unless were thrown off due to rain. Saturdays we mow if needed due to the weather, our customers are ok with it if were backed up from rain. Sundays i try not to work at all, maybe a commercial or two if need be, no resi on sundays.

dgw
02-08-2012, 12:28 PM
about 7 am is me too

unless its a stretch of extreme heat, im cutting at 6 am

ralph02813
02-08-2012, 01:09 PM
Nope, no offense taken. You're completely correct. That's what I'm most worried about is getting F-ed by the weather in the spring or fall....then what? I'll just have to make it work one way or another. I can't really do just one or 2 lawns after work, that'd screw me up for the following week. So when this happens, I'll have to sub it out to one of my buddies or send the kid out with my equipment. This is why I want no more than 20 customers. I might be able to pull 20 lawns off in one day on a Saturday if the weather looks bad. I'd like to avoid Sundays for the reason you mentioned, people want peace and quiet. On a side note, I'll be targeting residential areas that are semi-rural so bothering neighbors MIGHT not be a huge problem for me. But I'd still be bothering the home owner. thanks for your insight

I am wondering if your goals are realistic! I think you might want to think about doing a few lawns a day after school - if you can pull off 5 which shouldn't be a problem if you are thinking you can do 20 in a full day, then that would give you 15 lawns with Thrusday through Sat to expand, or catch up in case it rains. A huge factor is going to be how close each is to the other.

Of course the biggest factor is going to be realistic pricing - you simply cannot drive all over town doing lawns for $25 or less.

yardguy28
02-08-2012, 01:23 PM
What time do most of you guys usually get started in the morning? I have a dilemma, I am a school teacher full time and I'm starting a side business to make ends meet. I'll be doing some light construction but mainly I'll be doing lawn maintenance. The spring and fall might be tight for me time wise. In other words, I'll have to do my mowing on weekends only. I don't have time to mow after school, I don't get home till after 5. Once school is out for the summer, it's not an issue. I'm not looking for a million accounts, but to make this work I need 15-20 lawns/ That's doable in 2 days. But I'm wondering what the customers feelings would be if I show up at 8am on Sunday morning. I'm thinking Saturday shouldn't be too much of an issue with starting early, but maybe on Sunday I'd need to wait till 11 am or so as to not disturb the peace.

What do you guys think?

personally i follow my local noise ordinance laws.

mon. thru sat. 8am to 9pm, sun. 9am to 8pm.

commercially zoned areas are open to any time.

Moose's Mowing
02-08-2012, 02:40 PM
I am wondering if your goals are realistic! I think you might want to think about doing a few lawns a day after school - if you can pull off 5 which shouldn't be a problem if you are thinking you can do 20 in a full day, then that would give you 15 lawns with Thrusday through Sat to expand, or catch up in case it rains. A huge factor is going to be how close each is to the other.

Of course the biggest factor is going to be realistic pricing - you simply cannot drive all over town doing lawns for $25 or less.

Yep, since I'm going to have so few accounts, I'm going to be very picky on where and what type of lawns I'll do. I really don't much overhead. I paid cash for some used equipment. So I'm hoping to just pay myself back from those this first season. and since it's part time, I wont HAVE to make a ton of money. This is more of a hobby job to keep me out of trouble during the summer and to get some extra cash to make ends meet. I'm planning to stay as local to my house as possible. I should be good so long as I'm within 10 miles or so. I think I'll take your advice and entertain the possibility of weekday mowing after work. that might give me the flexibility I need in case of weather...

ralph02813
02-08-2012, 03:07 PM
Yep, since I'm going to have so few accounts, I'm going to be very picky on where and what type of lawns I'll do. I really don't much overhead. I paid cash for some used equipment. So I'm hoping to just pay myself back from those this first season. and since it's part time, I wont HAVE to make a ton of money. This is more of a hobby job to keep me out of trouble during the summer and to get some extra cash to make ends meet. I'm planning to stay as local to my house as possible. I should be good so long as I'm within 10 miles or so. I think I'll take your advice and entertain the possibility of weekday mowing after work. that might give me the flexibility I need in case of weather...

And when your used equipment breaks down someone buys new stuff for you. This statement is false:P I really don't much overhead. part of your overhead is putting money away to replace your equipment!

Moose's Mowing
02-08-2012, 03:21 PM
And when your used equipment breaks down someone buys new stuff for you. This statement is false:P I really don't much overhead. part of your overhead is putting money away to replace your equipment!

true, when it breaks down, which it will, I'll fix it, no biggie. but I still don't have much overhead. Either way, it has nothing to do with what time of the day I mow at.

R&S Lawn Service
02-08-2012, 03:24 PM
Ever have to put an engine in a walk behind or rider? What about hydroloc pumps? That will set you back more then you think.
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yardguy28
02-08-2012, 03:29 PM
nope i get rid of my equipment before it needs a new motor or hydro pumps.

ralph02813
02-08-2012, 05:37 PM
true, when it breaks down, which it will, I'll fix it, no biggie. but I still don't have much overhead. Either way, it has nothing to do with what time of the day I mow at.

No, it doesn't anything to do with the time you mow, I already responded to that and you agreed with me just incase you missed it I was respond to the false statement you made or if you will, the lie you love to tell yourself which is in your words: but I still don't have much overhead


The money you are going to use to fix your equipment comes from the money you get from cutting grass, this money is called part of your overhead expenses.:hammerhead:

mowerbrad
02-08-2012, 06:44 PM
I was mowing lawns through high school, so I was in a very similar situation that you are in. I was able to get home by 3:15ish during the school week, so if I needed to get out after school I was to my first lawn by 4:00 or so. The biggest issue for me was during the fall, since it was a never ending battle with the leaves. With all the leaves, things would start taking 2x-3x longer and I would just get backed up even more, for the most part, I would be working on the weekends. Most customers were pretty understanding (and still are to this day).

You have to be careful about weekends. Saturday is a decent day to work, get a later start and end a little earlier. Sunday is touchy, depending on the people you talk to, this is one were minimal work is better. I have worked Sundays many times over the past several years, it is just a matter of letting the customer know.

Some customers don't care about what day you mow and others would rather you mow on particular days of the week.

If/when you work Saturday, I'd start no earlier than 9am. People like to sleep in on their days off and have somewhat of a peaceful morning. Though ending by 5 o'clock is also pretty important. As far as Sunday goes, Starting much later is important, after 10am or close to 11am would be a decent starting time and again ending before 5pm.

Make sure you talk to your customers before hand and let them know the situation. Most will be understanding, those who aren't understanding are probably not the right customer for you.

Right now, I have my schedule kind of worked out where I can work during the week. I only mow part time, but I try to get all my mowing done either Tuesdays or Thursdays. I do use the weekends for make-up days or during the busy season when I get backed up (leaf season and early spring).

Hoosier Mower75
02-08-2012, 07:30 PM
Depending on the size of the day I want my crews started by 8am normally

martinlawn29
02-08-2012, 08:04 PM
we do not mow any homes before 9am
as for mowing someones home on a sunday that mite be hard with some ppl we have had ppl get mad at us for saterdays even I'm sure you will work it out with the home owners
could you maybe find someone to help you in the spring and fall you may need help with cleanups anyways find a hard working retired guy to give you a hand hope you work it out. That or I'm not sure what grades you teach talk to your high school see if you can get a kid from a school to work program if your schools offer that and show him how to do it have them cut a few hours after school each day that being a high school kid of course 16 17 or 18 years old good luck man

Moose's Mowing
02-08-2012, 08:11 PM
we do not mow any homes before 9am
as for mowing someones home on a sunday that mite be hard with some ppl we have had ppl get mad at us for saterdays even I'm sure you will work it out with the home owners
could you maybe find someone to help you in the spring and fall you may need help with cleanups anyways find a hard working retired guy to give you a hand hope you work it out. That or I'm not sure what grades you teach talk to your high school see if you can get a kid from a school to work program if your schools offer that and show him how to do it have them cut a few hours after school each day that being a high school kid of course 16 17 or 18 years old good luck man

I like that idea....except I teach Middle school shop class and MS Math and tutor the spec ed kids. I used to (and still do sometimes) work with my old shop teachers I had in high school doing construction. I learned more from that experience than I did in all 12 years of school.

school gets out early enough for me, but i have an hour and 20 min drive one way. itd be pushing 5 till I could be packed up and heading out. I guess with the longer days I could still manage a yard or two each night. Oh well, I guess I'll have to figure this out as I go. Thanks for the replies.

martinlawn29
02-08-2012, 08:20 PM
Rite on man.
As for fixing your mowers and getting rid of mowers before they brake its not bad to drop a moter in or fix a pump if you know how we throw new moters in all the time and try to push the mowers out the door at 2500 hours by then they are not worth much so we tend to trade them or keep them as back ups.
We mow 4 days a week with friday as a rain day
but i have 3 trucks that mow every day so that will not help you i would try for 3 lawns a day and rap it up saterdays good luck bud .