View Full Version : Out the window with Gates and small mowers!!

08-23-2004, 09:09 PM
:blob2: Ok guys tired of carrying around a 36"mower all day for just a few lawns. What does it take to change these gates, digging wise and labor wise for a metal chain link fence. How do you work it out with the customer, they pay, you pay, free labor, 50/50 split. Help me out here. Happy mowing

LB Landscaping
08-23-2004, 09:30 PM
I only have one that I mow that takes the 36" so its not too bad. I did just pick up a large Day Care that has gates all around, thought I'd have to do it with the 36" but with a little manuvering my Walker 48" just squeezes through. I usually price the gated houses a little higher because of the PITA factor.

08-23-2004, 09:32 PM
Why don't you put all your gated lawns together on the same day why waste your time doing all that work jus for a larger mower.


08-23-2004, 09:33 PM
I don't touch yards anymore that I can't fit my 52's into. I don't even carry around push mowers anymore for the most part. I cut a lot of yards with gates but all of them have the double gates so I can fit inside without a problem.

08-23-2004, 09:38 PM
I do schedual my gates in the same day or two but still I'm a small operator and just would not like to have the extra mower and im not willing to push mow. Its really just about the $$$

08-23-2004, 09:38 PM
Dear Sir;

If you will pay (insert name of you local fence co here) the $100 he will charge you to replace your 36" chain link gate with a 6' gate, your next service is on me.

Thank you:

Your Lawn Care Professional.

Now obviously if you are getting $250 a cut and the fence guy charges $100.....Then you ask if they will allow you to have their gate replaced professionally.

Or an even sneakier way to do it is to simply replace their gate. "I'm sorry...but my man tried to cut real close to your fence and he rammed it with my Exmark....not to worry, I will replace it no charge".

I can say this: I once bought a house that had ONLY a 36" gate into the back yard. I could see where the seller (who had lived there 20 years) had taken a section of fence down everytime he needed to get a pickup truck or something through there.

For less than $100.....I had the 36" gate replaced with a 12' "butterfly" gate.

In fact, the day the fellow came to give the estimate, he sunk one post. He went home, made up the gates, returned the next day and collected his $100. Total time spent on my property? 30 minutes.

I suppose that he may have had $40 in materials...but I doubt it.

This happened in 1997.

08-24-2004, 09:01 AM
Here's how I handle it. I tell them my mower won't fit, and they'll have to find someone with a smaller mower.
I used to have a couple of customers with small gates, my old mower fit, my new Scag didn't, so I'd schedule them together, end of the day. Go home, switch mowers. I dumped one by raising the price, the other one just never did understand, no matter how many times I explained it, why she had to be at the end of the day. I tried to talk her into a gate at a very cheap price. She said, "I don't want to get into the fence business." Shortly after that, a man claiming to be her son called me, and said he would be taking care of her lawn, and my services were no longer needed. Hooray! No more phone calls from Mrs. PITA, "Are you coming today? What time?" Why is it that these little ol ladies, home all day, need to know what time you're coming?

08-24-2004, 10:13 AM
You can always do the work yourself under the deal that they sign a contract with your for the entire year. That way life is easier on you and you have income from the account to recoup your cost of doing the work.


08-24-2004, 10:39 AM
Actually, you have to "sell" them on the gate idea. Here are the points that you bring up.
You say. "Due to the labor factors involved, and time restrictions by having to use smaller equipment in your fenced area, unfortunately, the price of our services will have to be adjusted slightly to accomodate for the extra time used to complete your service. However, one way to avoid this, would be to install a larger gate to accomodate the appropriate sized equipment to perform the task more efficiently. If you (or we can) upgrade your gate to a size that will accomodate these needs, no price change will be necessary. Another advantage to a larger gate, is that YOU will have easier access in the event that you move something in or out of your fenced area (without taking fence down). The price change for the service is $X per cut. However, if you figure up the low cost of a larger and more useful gate, you will find that the cost will actually pay for itself rather quickly, and you will have a better gate for use, all the while. We are currently able to upgrade your gate for the low price of $X or we are able to recommend a reputable company that can do your upgrade with a minimum of inconvenience to you. Please let us know if there is anything we can do, and if you have any questions, please give us a call. Thank you for your consideration on this matter."
A letter like this, or just talking to the customer and bringing up these points will help. I hope this helps, and good luck to you.

08-24-2004, 03:51 PM
right now I am happy to say I do not have a gated fence anymore. The last one was for that $400 discount cusotmer (remember him). I used to have to carry around the 21" lawn mower. Not fun. There were a lot of days I would forget it, so back home I went

08-24-2004, 04:00 PM
We only have 1 property left that is fenced with a small gate and I either won't accept anymore like that or will add a very high premium to the quote if I bid. I have found that ther are time consuming and in most cases more trouble than they are worth.

08-24-2004, 04:44 PM
Around here, at least in town, Gated props are just a hassle that isn't easily avoided, In fact, It seems the whole Gulf coast is this way..I just jack the price on them and basically give them the choice that Runner described, and yet it amazes me that they still don't wanna widen the gate. Good example, I've got a client that I charge $47.50 a week, If they would have gone with the gate deal, they'd be getting charged $40 weekly ( has a lot of trimming ), I just don't understand their logic....

Mico Landscaping design
08-24-2004, 04:55 PM
I can do any back yard with chain link fence i hook it up so i can go under it gets tight but it worth it not to bring the walker :) thats my 2 cents peace

Fareway Lawncare
08-24-2004, 04:58 PM
70 percent of my accounts are gated w/37" Gates & We Do Well Over 500 Props....No Way I'm Widening Anything...Just Need the Right Type of Mowers for these Accounts....No Belt Drives & Lots of 21"'s !

08-24-2004, 06:13 PM
This is why we LOVE our Gravely 34Z!!!!!

08-24-2004, 06:20 PM
I used to "dismantle and reassemble" this womans split rail fence every week in order to get the ZTR in the back. That is, until she saw me do this one week and called my boss and cancelled. Oh well.

08-25-2004, 02:54 AM
Someone wants me to mow they have at least a five foot gate. If they don't have one I tell them inorder for me to mow they need to get one. If they don't know someone and don't want to do the work themselves I give them a couple of cards of reputable fence people. When they have the wide gate call me. I'm not walking or pushing anything. If it can't be mowed with a Z. I don't take them. Period no discussion. I have relatives that have other people mow because they won't widen the gate. They all think I'm difficult but I don't care. They still come to my cookouts!

08-25-2004, 03:01 AM
Or save up and get a Gateway mower...