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  #1221  
Old 05-16-2013, 09:48 PM
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PAlawn PAlawn is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Bunola, Pa
Posts: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by OakNut View Post
And after battling two weeks worth of jungle growth, I put in my two weeks notice today for the three crappy jobs.

I told them I would cut once more in two weeks unless they find someone else before then (prays hard for that to happen) and that would be it.

I feel bad because all three are elderly/disabled and are honestly great people, but "nice" doesn't pay the bills.
I underbid them during my first season. (this is my 3rd/4th depending on how you look at it)
Ultimately, it turned out to be a TON of trimming work due to crap lawns and crap IN the lawns. That coupled with the excessive growth of a biweekly cut had me spending too much time on each and I refuse to leave a job looking half a$$ed, so I suffered through it.
I now have other clients who pay MORE for jobs that take a quarter of the time each of these take.
THEN there's the fact that I need to take a plastic grocery bag to pick up all the trash that the low income trash toss into the yards.
I've found everything from McDonalds bags w/food, to weaves, to aluminum cans, to bottles of cheap whiskey. Then I nearly hit a freaking BRAKE PAD last time. Screw that.
THEN there's the fact that I have to leave my truck where I can't see it and worry that my equipment will have grown legs while I'm around the corner mowing.
On top of that, they are the only ones I have in that area, so they don't mesh well with my schedule.

Next to finally taking a shower after this long, hard day, this was the best thing to happen today.

Heck, it's 9:45 and I'm waiting for dinner to be delivered. That's what kind of day it's been.
Defiantly made the right choice on those lawns. They are not worth keeping from that description and you have other work to take up your time anyway. I have turned down two jobs like the ones you described. Even though I don't have a lot of work (yet) it just is not worth it.
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  #1222  
Old 05-20-2013, 09:09 PM
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DoubleClutch DoubleClutch is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Conneaut Lake, Pa
Posts: 165
Just got word that a local guy that was mowing in may area just decided to give up. I got 3 phone calls today from his customers and they all said he didn't give them a call , email or letter saying he was going out of business. They tried to get hold of him and he wouldn't return there call. Guess this week on for 3 weeks now. Myself I couldn't do that to someone.
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  #1223  
Old 05-20-2013, 10:51 PM
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93Chevy 93Chevy is online now
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Pittsburgh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleClutch View Post
Just got word that a local guy that was mowing in may area just decided to give up. I got 3 phone calls today from his customers and they all said he didn't give them a call , email or letter saying he was going out of business. They tried to get hold of him and he wouldn't return there call. Guess this week on for 3 weeks now. Myself I couldn't do that to someone.
That's terrible man, I kept my customers very appraised when I ended my services. I tried my hardest to find them somebody who would do good work for them after I was done.
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  #1224  
Old 05-20-2013, 10:58 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: McMurray, PA
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The practice of just dropping off the end of the world seemed to be pretty common in late August or September. College kids worked for the Summer, went back to school, and just never showed up. In some cases, they didn't even collect the last payments. They just vanished, and the customer never received notice, or even call-backs upon inquiry. Several years running, I got new customers in that time frame because, "they just never showed up any more." I think last season was the first in a few years when none showed up. But, previous years, many new jobs.

No, ... don't get it, ... especially not collecting the last payments.

Gotta like the young kids ... NOT!
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  #1225  
Old 05-20-2013, 11:34 PM
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OakNut OakNut is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,336
I was mowing a lawn today when a public works truck pulled up at the vacant (for sale) house next door. The grass has not been cut this season - at all.

Pretty ironic, as I had just given the owner a quote of $160 for the first cut and $45 biweekly after that. He said "no". "That's too much."

I asked the public works guy if he was there about the grass (he was obviously writing down info while looking at the "lawn")
He said he was and a letter was going out.

I told him that I had quoted the owner $160 this morning and he turned it down.
"Fair price", he said - "should have taken you up on it."

Screw it. I'm not doing two months of work for nothing.
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  #1226  
Old 05-21-2013, 10:41 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: McMurray, PA
Posts: 5,799
Recurring oil leak - ZTR rental(?)

Some of you may remember I posted in February about an oil leak on my Kaw 19hp - JD 717A Z-track,

http://www.lawnsite.com/showpost.php...postcount=1134

The problem was supposedly fixed, and I too thought it was fixed. After getting the machine back, I ran it several times, and saw no evidence of any further leaking. The simple repair was to tighten the valve covers.

I had some doubts, but oil can make its way to strange places. I started the season, and the problem did not show. But, after a week or two, one drop, ... then more drops. The leak has gotten progressively worse. It is to a point where 3-4 small spots (1/2" diameter) are found underneath if it sits for 10 minutes on pavement, or a place where the spots are easily seen. I think I am adding about 2 cups oil about every 10 hours of running.

Bottom Line: I am not going to work through the season with an ever-increasing oil leak.

The work was done at Steel City Mower and Plow, Rt 88, South Hills. I've talked with them, and we agreed to make a gasket change on the covers. I bought new gaskets, and mounted them, but it changed nothing. I expect that the problem is crank oil seal top or bottom, or both top and bottom.

I think I have run the machine about 80 hours since the first repair. It now has about 1,900 hours on the meter.

I don't need to remind anybody about the need of 100% availability of equipment at this point in the season. This machine is critical to my operations. I run solo, use the JD 717A 48" deck, an Exmark Viking, 36" deck, and a Honda 21" hand mower. I use the JD on about 75% of the jobs, the large ones as one can expect.

I am now confronted with the likelihood of having to give up my machine. One place quoted me three weeks for the absence of the machine. Another has quoted "a short time," but no more specifics. I am awaiting phone calls back from a couple of places.

If I am missing this machine for a week, I'm sunk. I am now working mostly 11-12 hour days, 6 days. Yes, I can manage some properties with the 36" w/b. Others would take much longer than I can handle.

Simple question: Is there somebody in this area that rents ZTRs?

There used to be a company in Swickley that rented w/b and ZTR (Ferris, I think). But, I have not seen anything from them in several years.

Anybody have a suggestion for a spare machine for a "short time," period yet to be determined? It was my plan to be certain to have this problem resolved in February. I knew that once the mowing season began, 100% availability was a must. I realize that having no back up machine is loaded with risk. But, at this stage, buying a second machine as back up is probably not an option.

Thanks.
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  #1227  
Old 05-22-2013, 11:27 AM
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McG_Landscaping McG_Landscaping is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 14,632
I don't know of anyone who rents mowers but call 4 seasons power equipment in Hampton on route 8. Its a hike for you but since im a landscaper he normally turns my stuff around in a matter of 3 days because he understands the critical need. He may be able to lessen your wait
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  #1228  
Old 05-22-2013, 07:03 PM
Pressedun Pressedun is online now
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 32,970
We. Need. Rain.
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  #1229  
Old 05-22-2013, 08:25 PM
StockmanLawnscape StockmanLawnscape is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Some of you may remember I posted in February about an oil leak on my Kaw 19hp - JD 717A Z-track,

http://www.lawnsite.com/showpost.php...postcount=1134

The problem was supposedly fixed, and I too thought it was fixed. After getting the machine back, I ran it several times, and saw no evidence of any further leaking. The simple repair was to tighten the valve covers.

I had some doubts, but oil can make its way to strange places. I started the season, and the problem did not show. But, after a week or two, one drop, ... then more drops. The leak has gotten progressively worse. It is to a point where 3-4 small spots (1/2" diameter) are found underneath if it sits for 10 minutes on pavement, or a place where the spots are easily seen. I think I am adding about 2 cups oil about every 10 hours of running.

Bottom Line: I am not going to work through the season with an ever-increasing oil leak.

The work was done at Steel City Mower and Plow, Rt 88, South Hills. I've talked with them, and we agreed to make a gasket change on the covers. I bought new gaskets, and mounted them, but it changed nothing. I expect that the problem is crank oil seal top or bottom, or both top and bottom.

I think I have run the machine about 80 hours since the first repair. It now has about 1,900 hours on the meter.

I don't need to remind anybody about the need of 100% availability of equipment at this point in the season. This machine is critical to my operations. I run solo, use the JD 717A 48" deck, an Exmark Viking, 36" deck, and a Honda 21" hand mower. I use the JD on about 75% of the jobs, the large ones as one can expect.

I am now confronted with the likelihood of having to give up my machine. One place quoted me three weeks for the absence of the machine. Another has quoted "a short time," but no more specifics. I am awaiting phone calls back from a couple of places.

If I am missing this machine for a week, I'm sunk. I am now working mostly 11-12 hour days, 6 days. Yes, I can manage some properties with the 36" w/b. Others would take much longer than I can handle.

Simple question: Is there somebody in this area that rents ZTRs?

There used to be a company in Swickley that rented w/b and ZTR (Ferris, I think). But, I have not seen anything from them in several years.

Anybody have a suggestion for a spare machine for a "short time," period yet to be determined? It was my plan to be certain to have this problem resolved in February. I knew that once the mowing season began, 100% availability was a must. I realize that having no back up machine is loaded with risk. But, at this stage, buying a second machine as back up is probably not an option.

Thanks.
Give Jeff or Kenny up at Penn Hills Rental a call. Great guys and they always help us out if we need anything. I think they might rent ZTRs. Wouldn't hurt to give them a call tomorrow.
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  #1230  
Old 05-22-2013, 10:06 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: McMurray, PA
Posts: 5,799
Thanks, McG .. and Stockman. I will follow on the phone with them tomorrow.
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