Bed Edger Damage

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Harvestman, Jun 26, 2001.

  1. Harvestman

    Harvestman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    I got a call from a customer today telling me I cut her irrigation line and her electric dog fence. I did this job 5 wks ago. I wish she would have called me right away I could have fixed them my self. But anyway she didnt and the bills total $160.00. I know I'm responsible for the repairs but my question is how to avoid this in the future.Should I have customers sign a statement that they will assume the responsibility if they have irr. or dog fence? Or should I just stay away from these properties. How do you guys handle this. Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Funny you ask. Just yesterday I did a lawn, cut his cable twice, hit an electricl line to the sprinkler 1.5" under ground, and then hit a PVC pipe going to a head that was about 2.5" under. He took it well, said (and I agree) the guy came and fixed the sprinkler head and rigged it. That repaired head was the only one shallower than 6" & he's blaming the irrigation guy and has a repair scheduled today.

    I always tell them I may hit the cable line, they only bury it 1" around here. As for the dog fence, I give the same warning, it's an easy fix so I fix it while I'm there.

    I think I may draw up an agreement that states I'm not responsible for items that are buried in dirt less than 4.5".
     
  3. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    Yeah, this is a sucky situation. I would probably pay it out of pocket, but I would be very clear with that customer that irrigation and such should be installed lower than the edgers reach. There is no reason for it to be installed that high. They probably used and edger to install the invisible fence right along the driveway and road when it should have been inset somewhat.

    BTW, demand the bills for the repair.
     
  4. OBRYANMAINT

    OBRYANMAINT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 555

    if you do a lot of edging this should be on a checklist to discuss with customer BEFOREHAND and you could then hand edge these areas

    after the fact i would think you can only pay the bill with a smile to keep the customer and chalk it up to a lesson learned
     
  5. cope

    cope LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    try a contract that states not responsible for damage. also try calling diggers hotline.
     
  6. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    just a sample of what is in our "Contract of Agreement"

    FANTASY LAWNS INC. will replace or pay for any damages or injuries due by neglect or mowing service activity, directly related to FANTASY LAWNS INC. maintenance operation.

    FANTASY LAWNS INC. will NOT be responsible for damages due to improper installation of Irrigation pipe, wires, cable etc., which are not installed deeper than 3” below ground level near edging surfaces in beds or along cement edges which receive stick edging.


    I'd feel responsible long as I did it .....but 5 weeks late to inform ....I'd wonder when she noticed her dog was gone & when the water break was noticed .....what's the wash out from a broken pipe after 5 weeks of break ....I'd ?? the $160
     
  7. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    Harvestman
    I think that you will find that if you are able to be prepared for these properties that you will not be limited to which properties you can maintain.

    We request that if they have the IF(invisible fence) installed that we receive a copy of the schematic for the lines so that we know where to avoid when Plugging or Power Raking a lawn.

    We too request the same prior to the commencement of work for irrigation lines if they apply. If they dont have it, we turen the system on first, mark the heads and make a quick schematic for our records. Still this can be a 50/50 crap shoot.

    Steve
    I like your clauses about accepting and pointing out where the responsibility will/may lie. Unfortunately I have found quite often that the homeowner hears what they want to hear, and not what has been told to them.

    Kris
     
  8. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Do you have a free service ( we have it here in Canada) It's called...CALL BEFORE YOU DIG ....they give very fast service, a couple days notice is all they need ... saves alot of grief and possibly your life.
     
  9. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 424

    In our area of ontario "call b4 u dig" won't locate cable tv lines or irrigation lines. Even the cable company won't do a locate for you. They figure it is cheaper to come and repair one that is cut (and they don't charge for the repair) Irrigation lines are the homeowners responsibility to notify you of where they are located. Locates for gas, hydro, phone and water are required b4 digging but for normal garden maintenance they should be deep enough not to be a problem
     
  10. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Yes we have that here, thats what diggers hotline is, but that doenst solve the dog fence/sprinkler problem.
     

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