Cutting grass "as needed"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by godjwood, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. godjwood

    godjwood LawnSite Member
    from RI
    Posts: 137

    We offer three different frequencies to lawn mowing:

    -As needed

    Weekly and biweekly are concise definitions.

    However, "as needed" I have been having issues with because it is so vague. Because in Rhode Island, it is generally slow the last 2-3 weeks of April, grows like crazy until end of July, then slows in August with the heat, speeds up a little in September and slows again in October and November.

    So the majority of customers will need weekly cutting during the peak months but can go bi-weekly during droughts or the slower months.

    The problem I am having is defining this to my customers and employees in a concrete, concise manner, in order to set expectations for employees and on contracts for customers.

    What I put last year was "As needed (weekly May-Sept, bi-weekly April & Oct-Nov, weather dependent)" but I was not satisfied with this definition, it was still too vague. Maybe I need to put a # of cuts figure in there too?

    Any ideas?
  2. torotorotoro

    torotorotoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 510

    too many ways for confusion, as needed is a terrible idea. get rid of as needed. weekly and biweekly only. i hope you are charging more for biweekly
  3. nortonlawncare

    nortonlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 307

    as needed!? do you drive by and take a look at the lawn or wait for them to call you? waste of time and money stick with weekly and bi weekly guy
  4. PK Mows

    PK Mows LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    The way around it is to sell it as a maintenance package. In other words, you have them on a set monthly payment but instead of setting a cut schedule you contract to maintain the property for a certain appearance. Not at all uncommon to have accounts like that around here where you may have a more than one type of turf area. For instance a large industrial lot where you maintain the irrigated turf at 3" and the rough field out back at 6". During the spring you're bushogging that field every week or so but once it gets hot, you may only need to do it once a month. Sell yourself as a Landscape Maintenance Company, not just a mowing company.

    If this is all regular residential, then you could also just upsell those "as needed" cuts to a regular schedule. Convince the Customer that they need you on the property weekly. There's trash on the curb, the beds get weedy, the turf always looks better when it's kept freshly mown, whatever.
  5. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,903

    there's a few i have that do the as needed thing. personally i don't like it. i try to say weekly or bi-weekly but they are like well when things are dry it doesn't need to be cut. i try to tell them at those times i can simply skip the yard and cut it the next week. i think they just feel like they wanna be in control rather than letting you decide when it needs to be cut. i find it funny because they end up calling me every 2 weeks anyways. i'm thinking to myself what is the difference? :laugh:
  6. scotts lawn care

    scotts lawn care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    For my schedule of 5 days/week of mowing, i convey to customers that it needs to be weekly or bi-weekly. I have had many new customers ask about mowing every ten days, and once i explain that we work in a different area each day of the week, they understand. Unless its bone dry, i never agree to mow any property every 3 weeks. Just my .02
  7. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    For me its weekly with only one exception. If a lawn is a rough cut property that the owner has no issue with looks I will consider bi-weekly. That lawn must not grow as to stress the equipment which means basically little to no growth. It absolutely gets cut no longer than 14 days in between.
    As needed is a recipe for interpretation as you said. For me 99.9% of the lawns are needed to be mowed between every 5 to 7 days. Simplify your life and put more money in your pocket. Drop as needed.
  8. Wright48

    Wright48 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    I DO NOT CHARGE BY CUT NOR SHOULD ANYONE ELSE !!! I charge by the month no matter if i come every week or once its the same price. When people start barking at when i say i tell them look at your garbage company you pay x amount weather you have garbage or not there coming. People in this industry need to get away from charging by cut and move to a monthly fee. Also bi weeklys tho i have a few of them that are next door to other accounts do not pay in the long run because the lawns do not look as good and your there a lot longer then if the lawn was cut everyweek.
  9. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Posts: 4,137

    I sure would like to charge per month. I think you would have to get together with other lcos in your area. People see us as lower than garbage people. It sure would make budgeting easier. You wouldn't have to worry about droughts, late starts, early snows and what not.

    As for the op. I've never heard of cut as needed. When people hire me I use my own judgment when to mow and they trust that. I do have a few people call when thier mower breaks, they go out of town, and one that calls when her grandson is in jail and can't mow because she needs to work to bail his ass out
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  10. Tizzy

    Tizzy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 383

    we do as needed service agreements. it is as follows

    april 1 to june 30- weekly
    july 1 to sept 1- 10-14 days
    sept 1- oct 30- 7-10 days
    usually final cut first week of novemeber durring cleanup.

    dont know if that helps

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