fee for blade height change?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, May 26, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    my contracts state that standard cutting heights, will be determined by me, pending weather conditions, and will be in the best interest of the health of the grass.it also states that "extras will be charged accordingly". my client base is growing weekly, and i am getting too many requests for "can you cut it shorter?", and, "while you are here, can u take that bundle of branches away", etc. i'll be sending out a "friendly reminder" notice to all clients, reminding them that #1-any requests above and beyond our contracted agreement, will be charged extra. if they don't ask for a price, i will not quote one, but one will be added to the bill. be it $2, $3, or $100, SOMETHING will be added to the bill for anything above and beyond our original agreement. one example is: a new client called, and asked me to be sure to bring a chainsaw next time i come to cut the grass. i did. there was a limb(ground level, and only about 4 ft long) that she wanted wacked. i did it, it took approx 30 seconds to start the saw, cut the limb, and throw it in the truck. i added $3 to her bill. she flipped. another client asked for a price on trimming. it was too high, he then trimmed his own bushes, and left piles of crap in the lawn, which i mowed around. another client, had his tree growing over the fence, into the neighbors yard, the neighbor, cut the branches, and threw them back over the fence onto the lawn, therefor obstructing my mowing path. i mowed around them. the grass is so high in these spots now, i think there is a family of pymies living in there. i'm also getting alot of requests for blade height adjustments, i don't lower for anyone, but, if i can charge for it, why not? i'm thinking of a $3-$5 fee for blade height adjustments. any input on any of this? my regular clients know the routine, but like i said, we are growing rapidly, and i now need to break in a new crop of customers.
     
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    You asking this??????????? If you cut it shorter it leaves more clipping which usually means a double cut. At DOUBLE the cost!
     
  3. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,318

    My question is what height are you cutting to begin with. Since it only takes 30 seconds to change cutting heights I am bewildered as why this creates a conflict for you that would result in a extra charge?
     
  4. LCME

    LCME LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 430

    i cut 1/3 the height of the grass no more no less. so, each property i may have to adjust to get that 1/3. but, i do not charge cut height changes. only if i have to double cut. then i charge extra.
     
  5. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Posts: 365

    I'm not arguing when I say this, but with my JD I am changing the blade height every time I load and un-load the mower. JD has the height dial and a foot pedal to lift the deck. I need to set it at 5" to get in the trailer, and then change it to the height I mow when I un-load. A charge for changing the blade height wouldn't work for me. If I was to add a charge for anything, it would be for a double cut. If I have a machine with set pins, I would probably be cussing too if I had to change them every cut!
     
  6. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    If I were a customer who was charged a $3-$5 fee for a height adjustment I would be pissed. We all are in this to make money, but we can't nickle and dime our customers to death. Customers are always going to ask for extras, it's what they DO and they feel they're entitled to sometimes. If that extra thing takes enough time to warrant a charge then so be it, but little things like a height adjustment, come on! I believe that part of taking care of your customers is occasionally doing those extra little things that put you in a good light in their eyes. I always try to give my customers more than what they expect, and in turn this leads to referrals, and most importantly, (hang on to your hats here) happy customers. Don't bend over backwards for them, but don't stick it to them every chance you get either.
     
  7. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    I could see $5 monthly but not $5 weekly. That is assuming it's a ZTR or floting deck walk behind, forget changing the height on a fixed deck walk behind. :cry:
     
  8. Shawns Lawns

    Shawns Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 638

    Bobby what do the customers say when you go around these obstructions and not cut? Also $3 to trim a branch is reasonable how could she be upset with that, she could have called a arborist and paid $75. :waving:
     
  9. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,458

    As a lawn care professional you should automatically select the proper setting because the quality of your work represents you and your character.

    If you want to charge extra to do the job right then you are not a good representative of the lawn care industry. There are a lot of good LCOs out there who do an excellent job because they have pride. These are the LCOs who change blades because they are not sharp enough, not because they are too dull to cut. There is a difference.

    This is not a minimum effort industry and anyone who would try to charge for adjusting cutting height couldn't wipe a scrub's a**.

    Oldtimer
    "We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails."
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    when a customer requests a height change, it required the height changed, twice. if i'm cutting at 3.25, and i need to lower them for someone, that's one time down, then, one time up again, before i get to the next customer. i charge for everything, that's why i net 70%, instead of 7%, like most of you
     

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