240 cuts @ $35 or 360 cuts @ $30?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by steve122, Jun 1, 2003.

  1. steve122

    steve122 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    I've got a customer (realty management co. that deals in repossesed home), that I just started with 4-1-03. So far we've averaged 120 houses cut every 2 weeks for April and May. Was a real fight last 2 months with the rain and fst growing grass. Grass is just starting to slow down. Got a call Thursday, they wanted to got to 3 cuts/month for June and July while the grass was growing so fast!!
    I laughed and asked why they didn't do that for April and May and they said it had taken this long for mortage holders to listen to them. So now they want 3 cuts/month but want to reduce price by $5 per cut for those 2 months.
    My first comment to them was 'If I drop price some brain trust is going to get the idea I can do it for the reduced price all of the time'. Naturally they said that wouldn't happen.
    Its a little over 1000 miles to make the whole route in 2 weeks. What do you guys think? I'm having to bite my tongue real hard to keep from telling them just how dumb it is to go to 3 cuts per month now, instead of for April and May. By July most of these yards are going to be dustbowls anyhow.
     
  2. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    I guess I don't understand why you are mowing every two weeks for for $35...grass has to be tall. :confused: For $20 (the third cut) a month more they expect you to drive the entire route again?

    I hope you are getting paid on time, be very careful not to allow them to build up debt...
     
  3. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    First impression would be to stick with original price no matter how many cuts, and explain that is just the price and if you lower it you'll have to make it up somewhere else.

    They won't what to that frequent of cutting for long anyway, unless your contracting them to it, and we all know how fluid contracts can be anyway.

    As a last resort try going a dollar or maybe two if you have to. That's to make them feel like you're trying to work with them, but put a sales job on them when you do it.
    'Just don't know if it will really be worth my while to do it at that low of a price, but I'll try.'
     
  4. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    1000 Miles every 2 weeks??!!! You drive 500 miles per week???!! Wow. You better seriously re-look at your numbers. How much per hour do you average cutting and driving for this co???

    Look at it this way...I am going to make some assumptions here though.... 60 lawns per week, assuming 2 guys can cut 2 lawns an hour, is 30 hours. (60 man hours). Driving 500 miles, assuming a constant speed of 40MPH (which is high) is another 12 hours (24 man hours.) So now you have 84 man hours to make $2100.00. That is $25.00 per hour per man. How much are you putting aside for equipment and other extras?? (insurance, taxes, gas, parts, maintenance)

    Just trying to help you out. Alot of guys think they are making money because they are busy, but you have to look at the numbers.
     
  5. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Ken, I was thinking the same thing, just didn't have time to figure any numbers. Heck, even if they did average 40 mph that would be 12.5 hours a week driving, making no money, an entire day just driving...
     
  6. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    Actually you and everyone else that are cutting yards every two weeks for $35 are actually doing them for $17.50 per week! Don't anyone bad mouth scrubs cause you are really cutting your own profits by doing it that way. Actually you take longer to do them and put more wear and tear on your equipment. Hard for me to understand.
     
  7. steve122

    steve122 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    Yesterday I left my house at 7 am drove a total of 160 miles, cut 32 yards and was mowing my church (a gratis job) by 6:30 in the evening. This was by myself, no help. 32 x 30=$960 by 11.5 man hours comes to 83.48 per hour, including drive time. Can do this day in and day out on this route. I don't see where you guys are always complaining about every 2 week jobs. If thats what the customer wants and is willing to put up with the clippings (we don't bag a thing), what do I care.
    A lot of you guys think that since your doing upscale residential or fancy commercial that everyone is supposed to do the same. I'll do whatever the customer wants. I prefer high weed complaints (code violations) for local communities, realtor's just wanting to keep the place looking good until the place is sold, and low income housing complexes. They aren't worried about quality, just lowest bidder.
    I don't understand the logic that I'm cutting the lawn for 17.50. That would be true if I went there twice, or if I went over it twice. So many of you guys think every lawn is upscale or that every client wants a manicure, or that every LCO should do it your way. If 4-5 inch tall grass is putting a strain on a piece of equipment then its not much of a piece to begin with. You don't understand because you only look at it from your point of view.
    I've thought for a long time that most people on this site define a scab as anyone who bids lower than them. I carry workman's comp, 3 million in liability should, god forbid, someone is hurt or has an accident, pay all of my taxes and pay unemployment on 6 employees and make what I think is a good living. Am I still a scab because I cut yards once every 2 weeks? We cut some jobs weekly, some every 2 weeks, have some jobs that are once a month. Don't be so quick to look down your nose at someone who doesn't do it just like you.
     
  8. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    Why would you cut 32 lawns by yourself if you have 5 employees???:D :D

    A quick question, this is not a knock...but how do you average 4+ $30.00 lawns an hour by yourself??
     
  9. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    The logic? Ok look at it this way. If you cut that same property every week in four weeks @ $35 you would have $140 but every two weeks you have $70 so you are doing cutting four weeks worth of grass for two weeks pay. That is the logic.

    I do not do all upscale properties either. Nor do I charge by the cuts. Everything I do is on a yearly basis. So I may cut a place in the summer four times and make $100 but cut the same place in Jan. one time and make the same $100. That is just the way it is here. Where you are at is different I know, but every two weeks just seems like alot of work for less money to me. That is my logic.
     
  10. landscaper3

    landscaper3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,354

    Ken I had the same question, didnt add up?
     

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