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  #21  
Old 06-20-2003, 03:26 PM
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cos cos is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: southeast pa
Posts: 1,253
Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Martin
I don't charge if I have to go over a lawn twice or blow some clippings off of it. Last year when everybody was all happy about breezing through lawns (because of the droughts) in record times I didn't hear one single mention about giving customers a break on the prices. If the price of gas goes up a little all I hear on Lawnsite is how much to raise the customers prices because of it. How many of those whiners will be lowering the price when gas goes back down?

Before anybody surcharges a customer they need to think about how much it actually costs to do that cleanup pass over the lawn. I hear people talk about charging double if they have to go over it twice. That's crazy! Are they trimming and blowing twice? No! Are they going over the entire lawn twice? No! If the first pass was done at 5 or 6 mph is the second pass done that slow? Of course not! A second cleanup pass is usually only done on the large open areas at top speed. It takes what? 5 or 10 extra minutes? Gim'me a break and stop gouging customers.
I highly agree!!!

The price for doing a lawn is just that, for you to cut it and do it right. You wouldn't cut it once and charge the going rate if it needed double cut? If you get paid one rate for the month, would you double cut? YES. You want to be invited back to do the work again the next year, and want more work to arise from an expert looking lawn. Double cutting doesn't take double the time. Alot of things have to be in consideration when setting your rates and this is one of them.
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  #22  
Old 06-20-2003, 09:29 PM
Ed Ryder Ed Ryder is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Philadelphia Suburbs
Posts: 541
I am screwed with a ton of super fast growing lawns. A double or triple cut won't fix it, so I don't bother. Everything needs to be bagged, but I have no time for that and I'm not buying a vacuum attachment thing. So I have lots of lawns that look like **** when I'm done. I have too many customers. I will not hire employees. A few have left me. And I could easily add more, but I am overwhelmed. It has been 2 months since I cut all my lawns in one week! With all the rain and equipment problems with my brand new 60" Lesco Z2, plus other equipment problems... Geez! I'm so frustrated!

But the worst thing are those lawns that apparently were treated with the same kind of fertilizer that some people use to grow that 1200 pound pumpkins. Man, I can't believe how fast some of these lawns are growing!

My pricing per cut is for a lawn growing at normal conditions. But now I've got way too many lawns taking me like 50% longer because the high grass justy takes longer. That really adds up to lost business. I can't cut it all. It's so frustrating.

I'm great at getting customers, but I am constantly behind. It sucks.

Just venting here. We had a big flood today in the Philadelphia suburbs. There's a car floating in the water right down the road from me. So much rain! It's costing me a lot.

Ed
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  #23  
Old 06-20-2003, 09:59 PM
chitwood chitwood is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: lakeland, Florida
Posts: 11
Yall should live in sunny Florida it rains here every day this time of year. You have to take that into consideration when you bid a job and if the have irrigation for the dry season.
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  #24  
Old 06-21-2003, 05:20 AM
GarPA GarPA is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: PA
Posts: 2,578
Chitwood...you hit the nail on the head. Cos is right that we had it easy last summer becuase of the drought...but...we did not mow them until they got shaggy here and there...and by then the actual time was not that less than "normal" I think most of us are kind of sayind the same thing. At the end of the year, I went over all of the actual times it took us on each property for the entire season. THen I based this years prices on that data. As Chitwood says we need to factor both extremes into our pricing. However....2.5 months of this abnormal growth was not in any historical data. Cos we're not ripping off anyone on our end. If it doesn;t need cut, we skip that week even though we have contracts on every job. Like I said before, it cuts both ways (pardon the pun). Some of you are suggesting we should swallow the loss in droughts as well as in this monsoon season....there's something very wrong with that picture. Nearly every one of my neighbors is mowing every 4 days between rain events....because it is clearly needed. Now if I base next years pricing on this very abnormal year, according to some, we'd be screwing the customer again....and we would be. But taking a loss at both ends of the drought/monsoon scenarios is just bad business practices. Just my opinion. I'll bet many of you are getting calls from businesses homeowners wanting you to cut for them because they are not satisfied with their current guy. We have gottne a dozen calls the past 2 weeks because the other guys can't keep or their equipment broke down etc etc. We cherry pick a few of them but are careful not to get over committed like many guys are right now.
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  #25  
Old 06-21-2003, 01:47 PM
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KLMlawn KLMlawn is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 443
[QUOTE]Originally posted by bobbygedd
[B]if u have one man that u pay $10 an hour, add about $3 an hour to that for comp and other expenses it costs to have an employee. for a $30 lawn, after wages and other expenses, i bet you only "make" about $16 on that lawn.

So you are saying that normally it takes two guys one hour to cut a $30 lawn ???
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  #26  
Old 06-22-2003, 01:26 AM
bobbygedd bobbygedd is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: NJ
Posts: 10,188
no, it does not, however if u take into account traveling time, stops for gas, taking stuff out and putting it away, pee breaks, equipment maint, etc. what im saying is try to figure out exactly what your profit per lawn is, then start subtracting when u r double/tripple cutting
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