Changed my attitude, happy for every PITA, low paying yard that I have

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by QualityLawnCare4u, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    This post is not a rant or a complaint. Anyone who has read my post know my area is not that great. With that being said Im happy for every lawn I have, I dont care if its 10 bucks a hour or the worst PITA in town. It is as bad as I have ever seen it. My area is saturated with many, many new lcos. Im going to hold on, pucker up and be thankful that Im still surviving. I know I will probably get blasted for this but thats ok, some of you folks dont know how good you have it. Here is a list of some of my not so profitable yards.
    1) 1.5 hours, 45 bucks, lady is first class pita
    2) 3 hour yard plus 1 hour drive time, 100 bucks, great customer, never complains, pays on time. avg. about 25 bucks per hour before expenses.
    3) 3 hour, 85 bucks, good customer also, avg. about 28 bucks per hour
    4) 2 hour, 43 bucks, avg. about 22 per hour
    5) 2 hour, 45 bucks, lots of junk and toys, not a great customer, about 22 per hour
    6) 1.5 hour, 45 buck, lady is HORRIBLE! (but Im thankful to have it)
    7) 2 hour 55 dollar yard, another 77 year old constant complainer, thinks Im expensive, but likes my work, has dropped me twice then calls back when other lco does crappy work LOL
    These are just a few examples. I know that for every one of these yards that their is a 100 that will do them for less than half what Im doing them for. Im trying to keep what I have happy and my work is well liked, only thing keeping me in biz is that. I lost one 35 dollar, 2 hour yard to a person that would do it for 15! That comes out to 7.50 per hour before expenses! No way can he do it for that. Im just so thankful for what I have. Im trying to have a positive attitude to see how this turns out. Ive got to give a estimate tommorow on a 4 acre yard and I really want this one but it is a Dr. and I get the feeling that he is looking for the whole thing for around 100 bucks and Im going with 225 with all the weedeating. This one yard 3 times a month could save me. I did pick up 2 new ones this week, a 1 hour 40 dollar one and a 20 minute 25 one. I wish all you folks well and from what Ive read here Fla. and Texas lco are taking a beating also.
     
  2. ProLawns

    ProLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    What takes you so long to do these yards? You have a 60" mower.
     
  3. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,414

    I seem to have dropped several of my worst customers this winter and I could not be happier I only wish I could force them at gun point to move to your town Poorman so you could get a few more clients. Wish you the best hopefully the season picks up for ya.
     
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    What takes me so long? Well most of these yards are LOADED with weedeating and pine cones, takes about 75 percent of my time. Also I generally use my 48 inch because the 60 is too big. I use my 60 on some large commercial accounts. One of the yards I do takes me 1 hour to weedeat, 30 minutes to pick up all the toys and JUNK, and 30 minutes to mow. The 40 dollar 2 hour yard is on a hill on the river and I have to BLOW the whole thing off, limbs and leaves, One of the pita yards took me today 30 minutes to pick up pine cones, 1 hour to edge and weedeat, and about 25 minutes to mow/bag with the 737. Thats what takes me so lone on some. Now I did a one acre yesterday that took 15 minutes to mow and weedeat, wide open mowing. Weedeating and pine cone pickin takes a lot of time.
     
  5. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Send them on Kelly, send them on! LOL
     
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    Ya Georgia has some big ol Pine trees thats for sure
     
  7. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Yes. that we do! Every yard that I have has no less than a dozen. The 4 hour yard Im doing tommorow has 150. May take me 4 hours may take me 6 depending on the pine cones.
     
  8. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    The biggest thing that amazes me about LS is in the 16 months Ive been here what some of you folks will and wont do: The two biggest ones that would put you out of biz here real fast are the contracts and cutting every week. You dont get no once a week yards here and contracts are bad words.The estimate that I have to give Friday the lady told me as soon as I pulled up that she wanted no contract. I asked her why and she said"you see my yard"? the last guy that did it was a contract and he aint been here in 3 months even though I have sent him a check every month. The yard was covered in cones and limbs. She told me she wanted 2 acres around the house cut every 2 weeks and the other 2 acres every 3-4 weeks. This is as good as it gets! I also like the ones who dont bag (a I hate it too!) and dont cut bahia grass LOL. Like I said, some of you have got it made! payup
     
  9. ProLawns

    ProLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    I understand about the pinecones. I have a few lawns that I have to pick up before I mow. They're starting to taper off now. There seems to have been a surge of pinecones over the past few weeks. In Virginia Beach we have to deal with all kinds of tree debri. Gum balls drop during the winter and they HAVE to be raked. Now magnolia leaves are starting to fall along with the pods. Then there's the tassels from oak trees that fall for a few weeks later in the spring. Soon everything will be dusted with pollen that turns in to a yellow cloud when you blow. Toward the end of the summer the pine needles start to fall and then of course leaves from Oct. to Christmas. Not to mention all the sticks and limbs that fall constantly. Sometimes I feel like my primary business is to clean up after trees.
     
  10. beransfixitinc

    beransfixitinc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 592

    I wonder if you fellas with the pine coones could do something to inprove your effeciency of picking them up? I see these things in the local Sears (and maybe Wal-Mart) advertisement that are some kind of pull behind sweeper pickeruper. How would it work if you rigged up a detachable mount for the front of your ZTR that you could mount one of these things on, run over the yard once, probably are a fairly good speed, let it sweep them up. Take it to your trailer, unhook the thing, and then go mow it. Just seems like this would be much faster than walking around and picking them up by hand.
     

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