Cutting Height

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sawdust, May 14, 2004.

  1. sawdust

    sawdust LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    Just wanted to know how you all handle people wanting to change your cutting height. We always mow at 3.5 inches [rye bluegrass]. Customers in spring want lowered trying to save extra cutting. Only the cheap customers seem to mind. I also am licensed and fertilize so I like to see lawns cut what is best for the turf. Would you alter your cutting height or would you tell them no possilbly losing customer. Also a hassle trying to change cutting height at every customer account. I have picked up several accounts this year because we cut higher than previous LCO. Please give me your input the good, bad and ugly.
  2. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    I usually don't have any problems with clients not liking my cutting height. When they ask me to cut lower I explain to them the benefits of keeping the higher cut and the dangers of cutting the grass too short. If they still insist, I make a written note of their request and make them sign it, just in case the lawn dies and they try to blame it on me.
  3. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    I have all my clients on contract. So they pay me the same whether I mow 4 times a month or once. So there is no incentive to cheapskate out on a mowing.

    For the really thick headed, I explain that over time cutting at the lower height ... (need I go on) ... but if you really want, I can just cut it short enough to skip all that waiting around.

    No really, most of my clients are told up front that I never cut ST Augustine lower than 4 inches and why. If they insist, I ask can we try my way for a few months and see if your grass doesn't look healthier. They usually agree. And so far the couple of boneheads that wanted it semi scalped are loving their wonderful green lawn.

    If that doesn't work, you could always do like my hero Bobby and get the shovel and smack em in the head.
  4. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I'm the professional, I cut where I want to. ;)
  5. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    I will cut it at whatever height they want. But I tell them the best height for their turf. If they insist on a real short cut I tell then NO Guarantees on health or appearance.
  6. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    Me too. All of my customers never even ask what height I am cutting at. Their lawns look good and green and that makes me and them happy campers. There have been a number of my customers mention about how green their lawn was and their neighbors was turning brown from being scalped and no rain.
  7. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,235

    This sounds like the professional response to me.
  8. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Sounds like the asking for trouble response to me.

    Why is that this is the ONLY industry where we let people who cannot do the work themselves dictate how we do the work.

    Would you tell your plumber how to lay the pipe in your new home and then expect to hold him responsible for the outcome.


    Car mechanic.

    No the professional response it to let them know that you as the lawn care professional will cut the grass where it is healthiest for the grass to be cut.

    If they insist on something different you haven't properly explained (proven) your reasoning for doing the way you do it.

    If they continue to insist I'd drop them.
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    excellent point.
  10. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,235

    It seems to me since the original post thread said he was cutting at 3.5 inches for KBG and Rye grass. Given the fact that many credible industry sources and University's list the reccomended Winter cutting height for these two grasses at 1.5 to 2.5 inches and Summer cutting heights at 2.5 to 3.0 inches would it not be reasonable to manage the turf at a lower height if the customer was willing to water in such a manner to substain the turf at these heights and this was his preference?

    The know it all, self rightous attitudes here sometimes amaze me.

    I actually welcome you dumping your accounts because I prefer cutting shorter, have no problem maintaining turf at 2.5 to 2.75 during the summer and I am sure your client and I would get along just fine.


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