Do you walk away from churches and cemetarys?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GarPA, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    the son of a customer called me yesterday abi out needing mowing for their church grounds and an adjacnet cemetary.
    I asked what happen to the guy doing it last year? He says he sprayed roundup around the tombstonesand the families of the dead didnt like...I guess they didn't want the Rndup to leach in the skeletons. Well I thought about it for about 5 seconds and proceeded to tell him we do not do work in cemetaries and I gave him the names of 2 local companies that I know do graveyards. I walked away for these reasons:

    1. its a church and I;ve heard countless horror stories about working for churches.
    2. its way too easy to knock over wobbly tombstones and then be responsible to fix them
    3. then we have the grass clippings in spring blowing all over their easter flowers placed on the graves. (many of which will be in the way of mowing most likley)

    I rarely blow someone off like this (although I was very polite and gave him names of other companies) but this just looks like a headache waiting to happen.

    Do you run from these like I did?
     
  2. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    Yep. IMO, you are right on.
     
  3. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    Most of the cemeteries around here have their own in house crews, so its not an option, and if it was I still wouldn't do it. We mowed the grass for our church, for free, for two years.Still had people complain: too short , too long , cut too often, too noisy, etc..So I quit doing it.Took the last 1k of turf area and turned it into an ornamental bed for the old ladies flower club.Now everyone's happy..:D
     
  4. Q-Team Inc

    Q-Team Inc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 120

    Here in town they request bids for the cemeteries. Usually some guys with a crapsman rider and weedeater trimmer win the jobs. They can have them. But I do mow 1 private cemetery a few times a year. Its worth it. The stones aren't too close and the old ones are elevated so my Lazer can't get up there. Best thing is the elevated ones are all moss so it doens't need it anyway!! It takes 2 guys about 2-2.5 hours to do and I bill out at $255.00 per mow. Its great money if the situation allows it to be. I will never bid for the towns cemetery. They would never pay what it is really worth.:)
     
  5. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    Afterthought__--__-There are a few cemeteries I have seen that do not allow headstones, only inset stones in the ground.There's one in Uniontown,Pa I have seen like that.The guy comes thru on a JD with an 11-12' gang set up, and it looks like a golf course.Dont really know about the clippings laying on the face of the markers, if they come thru and blow them off or not. That would be the only type of cemetery I would consider bidding on.<a href='http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb008' target='_blank'><img src='http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/8/8_1_35.gif' border=0></a>
     
  6. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    I would probably pass on the cemetary also. I do a church and its been a very good customer.
     
  7. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Yo Impact...your logo is VERY nice....quite easy to remember...did you do that? or hire someone?
     
  8. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    Hey Gar-Thanks man, that's what I was going for in the design! I had the great staff at Gopher Graphics design my logo a few weeks ago.I'm going in my fourth year and wanted to start really branding my image.The new logo is going on everything...trucks,shirts,hats,letterhead,web page,invoices,yard signs,cards,direct mail flyers, etc. Look under designs from MattZ.He did the logo for me.Thanks again!
     
  9. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,507

    I had a church that wanted the LCO also dig the graves , by hand
    since there were some unmarked graves form the 1800' s in the grave yard.
     
  10. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    Kind of ran into some of what you are talking about today. I went to the church up the road. New building but their lot looked crappy all last year. Two gals with homeowner units were mowing it, never did mow along one side where it was rough, and did no trimming at all except right around the building, as far as I could see. Probably an acre and a half, some pretty rough, plus about a quarter mile of barbed wire fence that should be trimmed under.

    Anyway, went in and introduced myself to the minister, and stated my mission. He then started to tell me about the ones currently mowing. He was kind of thinking while he was talking, and said he wasn't sure whether they were paying $70 or $80. My mind is churning, thinking I can do it for that, and give them a better cut than they have ever had. Then, he said that was a month! Burst my bubble, for sure. Then, he said the ones mowing had been doing it for two years, and they sure did a good job and he would hate to even consider switching. I thanked him for his time, gave him a card in case the situation ever changed, and beat a hasty retreat. Now, this guy may be a great preacher, but he sure doesn't know much about a good mowing job. LOL Neill
     

Share This Page