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View Full Version : Michigan (midwest) minimum amount of cuts


Expert Lawns
01-05-2004, 08:22 PM
For those of you in the midwest region (michigan impaticular), how many MINIMUM cuts do you put on your contracts? I"m thinking of going April 5 - October 31, then every 2 weeks as needed. but how would I word that?

Metro Lawn
01-05-2004, 08:37 PM
I write mine for 30 cuts, or as weather allows. 4-15 thru 11-15

MOOSE
01-05-2004, 11:52 PM
Ya I do mine for 28 cuts for April 10-15 to October 31

It's up to you.

justmjc
01-06-2004, 01:10 AM
I'm doing about 26 but I know this last season I could have added another few cuts. I don't state the number of cuts in my contracts but you can believe I will start soon. I'm a little PO'd that I lost out on a few weeks of $.

Runner
01-06-2004, 02:33 AM
One thing, is that if you state 30, you always have the option of doing less, if the weather, such as dryness calls for this. If you run a bit short on the hot months, you always have a sort of a cushion to go into the Fall season. Many of times, these Fall cuts are great, because they can really mulch up alot of material - saving you work in the end.
If you sell yourself short, - like with only 24 cuts for instance,... then you find yourself having to do further communicating with the customer to work it out if more cuts are needed toward the end of the season. This happened to me one time with an apartment complex I did for a few years. The last year, they wanted (insisted on) fewer cuts for the season. I advised them heavily against this, but they were persistent. So, I gave in. Well, at the end of the season, their cuts were up, but guess what. Yep. The grass kept growing. They waited and waited, then when we got yet another nice warm spell, they called and asked if I could come and cut it one more time. I did, - but after that, it was ME who decides when and how long the cutting season lasts.

mtdman
01-06-2004, 04:49 AM
I figure for 26 cuts. That's about average over the years I've worked. There are some years when you could go longer, some years when it's freezing in October and the grass has stopped. And that includes any skipped mowings in the summer when it's dry as a bone. Rarely have I gone over 26.

David Haggerty
01-06-2004, 07:56 AM
I'm with mtdmaster on the average number of cuts.

April=5
May=6
June=5
July=4
August=2
Sept=3
Oct=1

That's for a normal year. Fertilizing & water can affect the # of cuts required.

I always cut "as needed" but I decide when it needs it.



Dave

CamLand
01-06-2004, 08:31 AM
we state 30 cuts from 4-15 - 11-01

Grassmechanic
01-06-2004, 08:59 AM
Why state how many cuts at all? My contracts state that grass will be maintained at xx inches, cut no more than once a week. This includes leaf pickup. Then, if you think it will take 27, 30, or 35 cuts, price it accordingly.

mtdman
01-06-2004, 09:10 AM
What if the grass grows so fast that mowing more than once a week is necessary?

The only time I worry about the number of cuts is for my season prepay price. I always base it on 26 cuts. Other than that, my mowing service is based on weekly cuts. I state that I start in mid April (usually around the 15th) and cut regularly through October. After which I am available for on call service until Thanksgiving. By November I am busy doing leaves, and can't do both leaf cleanup and regular service. And usually in an average weather year, regular mowing isn't necessary in November anyway.

I think defining a range of dates when regular mowing will occur is probably better than the number of cuts. Stating that regular service will occur, other than call offs for weather, and reserving the right to decide whether the yard needs mowing or not should cover it. That way people can't try to weasel out of mowing because they are cheap.

TreffertLawnWrx
01-06-2004, 09:40 AM
I base my contracts on 24 cuts from May 1- October 31. This has worked great for me so far. Last year we did have some really dry weeks but almost all of my accounts are on a prepay account or a yearly contract. Infact i have 28 accounts half of which prepayed this year the other were a monthly set price. This year I will try to keep all my accounts on a monthly installment to help keep my winters a little less stressful. (ie. praying alot for snow :))I have not had any problems with custmers not paying and feel very blessed to be in a an area were people dont mind handing you a check for $1,500-2500.00 without having done any work. This is were good referrals and references have played a major role in my business. I was in the car business before I went solo and I (think I) know how people need to be treated. I really go out of my way to make people happy. Sorry for running away on the subject. Scott :)

Grassmechanic
01-06-2004, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by mtdmaster
What if the grass grows so fast that mowing more than once a week is necessary?

Do you cut more than once a week? I personally don't know of any LCO's that do. If mowing more than once a week is necessary, I'd be looking closely at the fertilizing schedule. In the spring when grass grows vigorously, I raise the height of cut up so that the mowing operation is not taking too much off at a time, generally in the 3 1/2" range.

Runner
01-06-2004, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by Grassmechanic
Why state how many cuts at all?
It's just that SO many commercials, - especialy government municipalities, like to have this in their contract,... so they can budget around that. I agree with you completely, that it is best with no number of cuts stated, and that's how I usually do it. This means better variation for what is actually needed for the overall health of the turf. That is why, like I said, I go with 30 per season. That way, if I fall a bit short of that, no biggy....the people don't mind, and I am not really out, either.

mtdman
01-06-2004, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by Grassmechanic
Do you cut more than once a week? I personally don't know of any LCO's that do. If mowing more than once a week is necessary, I'd be looking closely at the fertilizing schedule. In the spring when grass grows vigorously, I raise the height of cut up so that the mowing operation is not taking too much off at a time, generally in the 3 1/2" range.

I have a few lawns that I mow more than once a week. And not taking too much off at a time is usually the reason for it. Raising the height of the cut doesn't slow growth, only makes the grass length longer. Some of the lawns I mow grow like crazy, especially in the spring when it's raining. And although many fast growing lawns do grow fast because of fertilizing, only one of the lawns that I've had to cut more than once a week in the past even gets fertilized, and she only does 4 treatments a season.

And that doesn't include the customers that request multiple cuts in a week when they have a special event scheduled. I have a woman that entertains a lot on the weekends in the summer, and she'll have me cut once early in the week and then come back later in the week for a second cut to make sure the grass looks nice. Stuff happens, I try to be flexible to accomodate.

:D

Expert Lawns
01-06-2004, 01:43 PM
sounds like there are many different ways of writing it into the contract. I think I will state something like "each account will be serviced once a week; april 5th through october 31st, unless weather directs us otherwise (too dry, too wet etc). after october 15th, lawns will be serviced bi-weekly until the grass is dormant (usually early-mid november or first snow fall)"

This is not final, it needs some revisions, but from the information i have gathered from you guys, i feel this is the best way to word it. any suggestions?

mtdman
01-06-2004, 01:59 PM
April 5th? Last year it snowed 3 inches here on April 7th. I didn't start regular mowing until the 21st, I think. You might want to add something like, 'weather permitting', and reserve the right to revise that date.

Expert Lawns
01-06-2004, 04:23 PM
good call mtd. these damn contracts can get so wordy. that's what i'm trying to avoid, but i gotta do what i gotta do.

Expert Lawns
01-06-2004, 04:45 PM
Runner - I sent you a PM, please get ahold of me as soon as you can regarding another subject. It won't let me email you for some reason. Thanks

Metro Lawn
01-06-2004, 04:51 PM
Hey, I mentioned that way back at the top...^

David Haggerty
01-08-2004, 05:12 AM
Originally posted by Grassmechanic
Do you cut more than once a week? I personally don't know of any LCO's that do. If mowing more than once a week is necessary, I'd be looking closely at the fertilizing schedule. In the spring when grass grows vigorously, I raise the height of cut up so that the mowing operation is not taking too much off at a time, generally in the 3 1/2" range.

All of my customers get mowed on a 5 day rotation in the spring. They've got to if they're going to be cut when they need it.
But these are big accounts. They won't put up with my getting behind on the mowing any more than they'd tolerate my mowing dead grass in August.
Of course that won't apply to 90% of the people here. Just letting you know how things are in my world.

Dave