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Advice for cutting really tall grass

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ShorterGrass, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,783

    My point being is that the guy could then demo a couple of different commercial mowers and see which one he likes and potentially make a move on one he does.

    It's like test driving a car, are you supposed to buy it after driving it around?


    .....
     
  2. ShorterGrass

    ShorterGrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    Thanks for your idea's. I will attempt to sell folks on weekly cuts. I think i have established a pretty good relationship with all of my customers, but they all live in lower middle class neighborhoods I dont know that many of them are willing to put more money into their yards.

    I have been thinking about upgrading my mower but its just such a large investment. I dont know enough about the mechanical aspect of a mower to really feel comforable buying a used one and I know im not dropping the money on a new one. Not commercial quality anyway.

    So I guess I will just continue to sharpen blades and double cut for a while.

    Thanks guys
     
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    First problem is doing EOW on lawns that grow 18" .

    I learned my lesson the first year I started up. Old lady wanted EOW. I told her it looks as if her would grow and if it did she would have to go EW.

    Well her lawn grew as if was in steriods and she refused to go EW. First and last customer that I would double cut because her lawn would not look good with clippings all over the place. Also learned that EOW is to be charge 50% more then the weekly price due to the extra load on the equipment and longer time spent trimming and edging.

    You pay for EOW when the grass grows too much, you get to see clippings on the lawn.
     
  4. ShorterGrass

    ShorterGrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    This is my first year, and I have made tons of mistakes. Every account is biweekly. I don't charge nearly enough and Im killing myself for not nearly enough money. I decided to start a lawn business the day I heard that I was getting furloughed. Don't get me wrong, Im making more than enough money to cover my loss from the furlough and for that I feel very blessed but next year I will correct my mistakes.
     
  5. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,145

    Yeah, I would definitely like to highly encourage you to look into getting a nice maybe used Commercial Walk behind around the 48" deck width.
     
  6. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    I'm in west Central Ga. The deck is higher on all Bermuda lawns this week than last week, some higher than I prefer to manage at---zoysia and centipede are ok and retain green much lower than bermuda in times like this. We are having to double cut most, then blow wet clumps upon completion--already surpassed last year's rain fall total south of Atlanta by the end of June. My weekly accounts are mostly aged to 10 days or so, and still double cutting them. Start high, then lower on second pass with sharp blades is my technique. I use much kits on mowers and high lift blades this time of year. Don't do many every 2 weeks, but it sucks everywhere across zone 6-7. It sucks takes 1.5 times as long to mow after my weekly accounts aged over 10 days.--I'm sure several irrigation systems are still running because they won't listen to me and add a sensor. Not to mention every one is due for pruning this week. The idiots are starting to call and ask why we weren't there on Friday. HAHA! Yeah, I'll go variegate and leave tracks in your lawn if you want! We like to refer to a **** job as 'variegating the lawn'.
     
  7. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    Took my business 4 years to make profit. Good luck.
     
  8. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    I hate to say it but you're destined to fail. You can't open a actual business using a old riding mower, then take on customers that don't have money. I'm going to ask even though I know the answer. Did you spend any time doing research and learn what it takes to open a business or did you think, hey, I can mow yards with my mower and make a living? You're traveling down a dead end street.

    Just so you know, I spent almost 20k the first year in business just to open up. It was scary but as long as I stuck with the plan I shouldn't have many problems. Fast forward, everything was paid off in the first 3 years while still supporting a family. I'm glad I spent the time to learn the different aspects of the trade/industry that I didn't know about BEFORE I started. I still haven't spent any money on advertizing and I'm swamped with work.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  9. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,741

    In spite of negative comments by orangemower to the contrary, plenty of guys have started in the mowing business using inferior equipment. Many do fail, but that has more to do with attitude and general business acumen than the actual equipment used. I was fortunate to be able to purchase new commercial equipment from the get-go, but many are not.

    I think most here would agree that people new to the business tend to under price their services, and often have trouble saying "No". You will eventually learn that under some circumstances, no business is better than business that stresses you out.

    I do bi-weekly mows, in fact quite a few of them, but in general they are not luscious, fast growing turf. When it gets dry, they are great, because it has to get really bad before I have to skip service. I have had a couple of places that wanted to go to bi-weekly where it was just not practical, even with commercial equipment. I normally bid properties "weekly, or as needed". Try and convince your customers to go to a shorter interval between mowing with the understanding that as growth slows down in the heat of summer, you will go to a longer cycle. Good luck.
     
  10. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    How did I know that was coming? I might be off a little as for the equipment. Yes, homeowner stuff can get you through the first couple seasons if you're lucky.
    Leaping in head first isn't the best thing to do and expect to talk about if you don't know what you're leaping into.
     

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