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Double cut charge?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Husker1982, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. Husker1982

    Husker1982 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 478

    bobbygedd I totally agree. I bid my lawns based on one cut, trim, blow and once a month edge. I started charging for double cutting cause I look at it this way If someone had to stay and work overtime they want to get paid for it. So do I. It is just a surcharge for when it needs it like in spring growth. I got the idea a few yrs ago when a customer said to me "you should be charging me more if it is taking you longer than you thought." I told him no it is just that in the spring it grows so fast that you have to double/triple cut it to keep it nice. Then he said well extra work means extra pay. (Don't we all wish our customers were like this!) But anyway thanks for the replies everyone.
  2. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Bobby this is one time I totally agree with you.
    This weather is not anywhere near a "normal"spring growth.

    And as you mention, our productivity is way down because the ground is saturated week in week out and we dont want to tear up the turf. We're not fortune tellers who can predict the weather. It is completey appropriate that we get paid for the work we do. Like you said, this isn't a charity we're running...its a for-profit, for-real BUSINESS.

    How many other service providers do not charge for the actual work they do?? None that I can think of.
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    hey, what do u mean, u only agree with me this ONE TIME?
  4. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    heh heh...lets just say sometimes you get a tad INTENSE!!
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i know, i know, but my councelor says im doing better.
  6. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    I double cut when needed, and I dont charge for it on my regular customers.

    What if they dont agree to the double cut price? Do you leave the lawn for POTENTIAL customers to see? The regular Joe that drives by and sees this, and somehow connects the lawn company with the lawn, wont call you. Can you blame him? What about the property owner? Will they refer you to thier freinds and family? Probably not. Will you get the other REAL money making jobs from this customer such as shrubs, beds, leaves, aeration, seeding, fert. ect.? Nope.

    How much does it cost to advertise? More than it will cost to double cut that lawn I'll bet. Your quality will sell more jobs than all the fliers that you can pass out. If you get a referal from someone based on your QUALITY, you are more likely to get the next job at the upscale rate. Simply because half the selling process has already been done by what you left behind at your last (satisfied) customer's property, which was a quality job.
  7. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,143

    Charge for Double Cutting, Definatley.

    I charge by the hour. It works, I get paid for my work and they get a nice yard.

    Idealy, I would like to cut at the 1/3 rule. But, that's just not possible right now.

    I don't have contracts, and I've never had a complaint about the extra charges. I trust that they will pay me for the work, and they trust that I'm not ripping them off.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Double Cut = 1.5 times the normal rate. And yes, we go over the entire lawn.
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    actually, we are writing up a letter as we speak, to remind customers that we must, and will be charging extra , as the result of rain and overgrowth. if i lose a couple, so be it, its better to lose the client than to work for free. have u ever figured out the profit on each lawn? well, ill tell u what, if u have one man that u pay $10 an hour, add about $3 an hour to that for comp and other expenses it costs to have an employee. for a $30 lawn, after wages and other expenses, i bet you only "make" about $16 on that lawn. now, double or tripple cut it, remember that high wet grass puts more wear and tear on your machinery, definitely beats on the body more, now the mower is working harder, youre blowing more, you are spending more time cleaning up, and u are wacking more. and , if u r like us, u edge every other visit, to maintain a nice edge, so when your visits are more infrequent, u end up edging every time. add it all up, now if u r charging the "regular" price cut, u just worked for about $2 on that lawn. sure, the client payed $30, but it all went for expenses, if the slowdown in production doesnt show it, the extra maintenance on the equipment will. stopping to scrape under decks, and sharpen blades, not to mention the mechanical repairs that will be needed, are all gonna add up. so what do u do? afraid to lose the customer? and that big two bucks? u need to look ahead, it will be real hard to surcharge in the future if u dont start now. what if it just rains, 3 days a week, till november? im not tellin my kids they cant have lunch today cus its been raining too much. part of being a homeowner is being responsible for maintaining your property. its thier property, its gods rain, get paid!
  10. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Amen to that...Today when I decided to park the mower for a couple days I got to thinking about this thread and this touchy subject. Started to compare it to guys who remove snow. Granted comparing grass to snow contracts is not exactly apples to apples...but....the logic of needing to be paid for the actual work done is absolutely no different..Last week alone I went thru four sets of blades...and we dont mow as many days as most of the guys here. I actually have 2 customers who see how much more time we have been spending on their properties and asked if they were paying enough...true story. One of them came right out and said, "if you need to mow every 4 days then do it...."I dont want you to dread coming to my house to mow"...her exact words. Reasonable people understand what we're going thru is way beyond a normal spring growth pattern.

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