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View Full Version : Please trim around the 41 new obstacles


promower
08-15-2004, 01:00 AM
I have an account thats about an acre. Takes about 45 min from start to finish. Now the job takes over an hour. Reason: Between the gas, electric, and cable companies there are now 32 flags throughout the yard. When I got there on Friday 9 wood stakes have been added to make a new grand total of 41 objects to go around. The first 2 weeks I trimmed around all this crap, once the stakes arrived I said screw this and skipped trimming. Customer called and asked that I pick up the flags so that there isnt small patches of uncut grass. Looks like they are going to attempt some DYI project, who knows how long before they get motivated to actually do it. Do I tell her it will cost more, or just bite the bullet, they are good customers this is my second year with them and they always pay on time.

MikeLT1Z28
08-15-2004, 01:02 AM
i had a customer kind of like this, find the keyword in my response (hint: second word).

tiedeman
08-15-2004, 01:04 AM
I would ask her, how long are flags going to be there? If she doesn't have a definte answer then tell them they have 2 weeks to do whatever there is to do or you will start to charge them extra.

olderthandirt
08-15-2004, 01:15 AM
Only you know if its worth it. I would charge more if it took longer and if they would not be agreeable to that then we would part company. If you keep doing it with out at least saying something I will guarentee that in the future they will be expecting more freebies from you.

Mac

printer88
08-15-2004, 01:19 AM
Sounds like a headache to me.Even if you move all that stuff,will you remember where the heck it goes back.You must charge more every time there is extra work.The customer should understand.If not move on to a yard that is'nt an obstacle course.

Ryan Lightning
08-15-2004, 02:02 AM
Send the gas, electric, and cable company a bill for trimming around there flags. lol

Fantasy Lawns
08-15-2004, 02:21 AM
I would not trim around em .... give em 2 than mow em over

HOMER
08-15-2004, 08:12 AM
Your a solo operator...........surely your time doesn't matter and you won't lose a thing by trimming around an additional 41 objects...............be nice and give that customer some freebies!!!

Wash their car while your there.......you'll be their friend forever!

jsmonroeCT
08-15-2004, 08:17 AM
I read here to carry a can of paint, mark with the paint where the flags are, pull the flags, cut the lawn and then replace the flags.

olderthandirt
08-15-2004, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by jsmonroeCT
I read here to carry a can of paint, mark with the paint where the flags are, pull the flags, cut the lawn and then replace the flags.

JS- must of missed it but thanks for passing on the idea of the paint could come in handy someday. If I can rmember it then:D

Mac

kris
08-15-2004, 09:10 AM
In our area "first call" markings are only valid for 2 weeks. They should also have a copy on paper of all the markings. Ask them if they have this and get permission to remove the flags.
Their request is unreasonable.

craigs lawncare
08-15-2004, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by tiedeman
I would ask her, how long are flags going to be there? If she doesn't have a definte answer then tell them they have 2 weeks to do whatever there is to do or you will start to charge them extra.

First I want to say that I feel your pain. It seems like every year I encounter this problem. never 41 flags, but one is to many. What really ticks me off is, you never know when they are done using the flags. When they are done using them, they just leave them in the lawn. I have been told by more than one person that you can be fined (heavily) if you remove them before they are supposed to be so be careful. Its to bad there is not a law that fines people for leaving the flags in their yards. Now that would be great. :) After all, cities... townships... local municipalities spend big bucks in enforcing laws that prohibit people from leaving clutter on their properties. How can this be any different. Lawns look like crap when they are littered with these flags.

The idea of marking the flags position with paint before they are removed so you know where to reinstall them is a good idea. The problem with this is removing and installing these little headaches takes time and time is money. After all, that why we invest all this money in efficient equipment. I think you should set a time frame and just tell the customer that if the flags are not removed by the time you set for the customer, than you will start charging extra.


Craig

grass_cuttin_fool
08-15-2004, 09:54 AM
I HAD this customer last year that added pavers and all sorts of statues to the yard, it was unreal. Took longer to trim than mow and they placed stuff just where you couldnt get between the house and the object. I had to honor the contract for the year but when i gave the new price for 2004 they dropped me

Bull
08-15-2004, 09:57 AM
ROUNDUP - that would get their attention!

lawnjockey51
08-15-2004, 10:08 AM
I would be very hesitant about pulling up the flags, then replacing them. Consider this; Locator comes out there and does a crappy job, the actual electric line is a foot away. Joe homeowner comes out there with his rented auger, nails the electric line and dies. Neighbor tells Joe's wife, "I saw your lawn guy pull up those flags and stick them back when he was done, I thought he was off by a foot or so." Joe's wife didn't know that Joe told you to move the flags and Joe ain't talk'n. Insurance investigator for the "Locating Company", interviews Joe's wife. You end up in court. Got insurance?

Tvov
08-15-2004, 10:09 AM
With really good customers, we will trim around them for up to a month (In our area "call before you dig" flags are good for a month, then we pull them up), but then the flags/obstacles have to be moved or the price goes up.

tiedeman
08-15-2004, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by HOMER
Your a solo operator...........surely your time doesn't matter and you won't lose a thing by trimming around an additional 41 objects...............be nice and give that customer some freebies!!!

Wash their car while your there.......you'll be their friend forever!

LMAO:D

SouthernFried
08-15-2004, 12:15 PM
Flags are a pain. If you touch them with the weedeater string, they fly out.

I would tell the customer this..that it's almost impossible to trim around flags without the string hitting them and tearing a few outta the ground. Then, you gotta guess where to stick them back. Just trim around the stakes. Hitting those flags can sometimes be dangerous too, I hit one without seeing it, and it came up and cut my cheek, hurt like hell.

Tell her..."Flags are just not meant to be trimmed around. They will get hit and removed...plus it's dangerous. I don't trim around flags for this reason."

The stakes are another matter.

Plus, they are only gonna be in the ground for such a short while...uh, right?

Ask them how long this stuff is gonna be in ground...I mean, this stuff is supposed to be real temporary, 2 weeks mebbe. Customers worrying about grass growing around such temporary flags... is not a good sign :)

And the "paint the grass thing before you mow" is good idea...till you realize after you mowed, where'd all the painted grass go? :)

Precision
08-15-2004, 12:39 PM
retype your contracts for the future that state that you don't deal with that crap without getting paid extra.

mine:

The customer also understands that fence installation, addition of beds, new hedges, ornamental plantings or other major changes in the property will cause a re-pricing of services.

Runner
08-15-2004, 12:57 PM
We just had a conversation very similar to this just a few weeks ago. I was the one that says he carries different colors of marking paints in the trailer for this sort of thing. This many flags is a bit extreme, though. Also, a GREAT point was mentioned about liabilty. No matter HOW much paint we put down, if we move it and replace it, and the original surveyer made a mistake, WE could easily be made the ones responsible.
Here's MY remedy for this. Work with the customer on this. In other words, do not touch the flags, but tell THEM about the marking paint thing. Keep good communication with them in letting them know when you will be in to cut, and since it's THEIR project, THEY can move the flags and put them back. If the flags arent moved, then you mow around them - plain and simple.

Carolina Cutter
08-15-2004, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by promower
Do I tell her it will cost more, or just bite the bullet, they are good customers this is my second year with them and they always pay on time.

I charge $.15 per obstacle. Never had a complaint yet. Isn't it worth $.15 to cut around a tree?????

Shuter
08-15-2004, 01:51 PM
I run into the same from time to time. I either mow around the flag if possible or leave a row of uncut grass with the flags in that row. I would not touch the flags. If they are marked wrong and you had touched the flags last, and a line was dug up, you could be held responsible. I never touch the flags and explain to the customer that due to THEIR construction, ther is high grass near the markings.