Don't cut the grass today....because......

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 1MajorTom, May 16, 2008.


whatcha do?

  1. agree to leave and come back tomorrow.... free of charge, afterall it's not the customer's fault.

    15 vote(s)
  2. tell the customer if you can't cut it today, you'll cut it next week... double charge

    7 vote(s)
  3. drop the customer on the spot, how dare she get her lawn sprayed on her scheduled cutting day.

    1 vote(s)
  4. tell her you'll cut the grass, side discharge, let the clippings lay. it won't effect the spray

    7 vote(s)
  5. none of the above

    6 vote(s)
  1. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    How many times has it happened to you? You pull up to an account, get out of the truck and the customer comes running frantically out and says, "don't cut the grass today because it just got sprayed." HOW frustrating is that?
    So what do you do?
    It's bad enough TruBrown sprays that crap and wrecks havoc on how fast the grass grows, and now this. Being told to leave.

    What do you say to the customer? I'll set it up as a poll just for the heck of it.
  2. tras

    tras LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    I just got a call from a customer last night, wanted to make sure a time when i was coming so he could tell his fert. applicator when to come.

    Im syncronized on most of the yards with the spraying so it never really becomes an issue. Plus a lot of my customers also have me do the chemicals as well.
  3. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    I treat 95% of my mowing clients, so it's kind of a non issue. But I remember in the early days this one lawn I had that got overtreated so heavily that when I saw that little stick in the yard, I'd throw the bag on the mower (I normally mulch) and cut it short - to remove as much of the fert as possible. :angel:
  4. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,167

    I fert 100% of my lawns. No fert program? Call someone else. I won't mow anybody elses fertilizer jobs.
  5. bblawncare

    bblawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    Down here Scott's just sprays or tries to spray while I'm mowing. Twice now on the same account, the Scott's tech has shown up on the property while I was there-first time I asked him to come back (he wanted to spray-said it wouldn't hurt me), I convinced him that he needed to come back. Second time, he sprayed the lawn while I was trimming the hedges-I was on the other side of the hedge trimming the neighbors side when I smelled the chemicals. He sprayed right over the trimmings laying on my customers side. I asked him: "did you not see my van, did you not see the trimmings, did you not hear the trimmers?" He says he thought it was the home owner doing the work. Like that even mattered...:nono: I was livid. I called Scott's to complain-they didn't care. The home owner called and told them to only come Mon-Wed. Haven't had a problem since.
  6. NJT

    NJT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    Charge your customers a monthly rate. If they tell you to come back, too bad. Still paying for it.
  7. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,234

    Get out the rubber boots. Usually someone gets fired at this point, either the spray outfit or me.
  8. If it was broadleaf control I wouldn't mow it off. I'd come back the next day. It's happened a grand total of two times. Once the customer wasn't even home. I just arrived, saw the flags, smelled the fresh 2-4-D and rescheduled it myself.

    Now if it were a springtime LIQUID NITROGEN application I'd still come back the next day. Becase I'd be mowing it every couple of days anyway!
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    I've not had the owner come out to make a request, but I've imposed the rule on myself -- if I know about a recent treatment.

    It is funny this thread shows up now, because it happened yesterday to me. I have two properties across the street from one another. While working on #1, a pickup pulls up across the street from #2. I couldn't see it well, but later saw a man with a spreader, then with a hand sprayer.

    After finishing with #1, I talked to him to ask what he was doing. Since he sprayed for broadleaf weeds, I had no choice but to leave it alone. The fertilizer was a granule application, so mowing wouldn't have been a problem. He finished, put out his small sign, and left. The sign had no time stamp on it.

    My policy is that I will respect the applicator, IF they put a time stamp on the sign so that I know when they were there. If it has been within 24 hours, I move on and return at another time. No, I'm not happy about it, but I will respect their work.

    However, only one applicator that I have common customers puts the information on his sign. Others just do their work, put out their sign, and leave. I have no way of knowing if the sign was put out (read: the application made) one hour ago, one day ago, or three days ago. Customers do not take out the sign after 24 hours, so I cannot rely on that happening. If I show, the sign is there, no time stamp, I consider it yard debris and move it to a bed out of my way. Nobody has ever complained about my practice in doing this. Perhaps I have mowed shortly after an application, I don't know.

    I was not happy about being unable to mow the property yesterday. But, what made me more upset was the applicator's inability to tell me what he was doing. I saw the bags of fertilizer in the pickup, 19-0-6. I asked how much N he was putting down per 1K sq ft. He didn't know! Then he changed his story when questioned, "... I forget." I asked about what was needed for this property. He looked at me with a blank stare. I asked what was on the spec sheet for the customer as to what was intended. Again, a blank stare.

    I suggested to him that his lack of understanding of what he was doing was a bad sign for his company (a large, well-known company doing much application work in this area). He should have known exactly what was needed for this property, and what rates he was putting down the material. This particular lawn has a good soil foundation, has a history of growing very well, looking very good. The same company put down another application three weeks ago, and I have seen the result of that app. If he put down another 1.0 or 1.5 # of N/1K sq ft, a "hay crop" will be the result in two weeks.

    Don't these folks keep records on what they do, and use past history to determine what is required in future work? Every property is different. This is not a "one size fits all" kind of matter.
  10. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,933

    When I did have a lady like that I would tell her about the method described in the poll of side discharging and the fert would remain on the yard.No go! I have a very condenced route so skipping wouldn't matter as much since the next day I would have a lawn nearby as well. I tried that. I made the mistake of letting her call one time and tell me when the fert guys had done their thing. After that she would call weekly and act like she was making a hair appointment. She would leave long messages on how she thought it(her lawn) could go another day but I could decide when i got there. I finally had to raise her price 50% and eventually cancel her. I take full responsibility for this by giving her too many options.

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