First thing to look for

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by George777, Mar 11, 2001.

  1. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 305

    What do some of you first look at when doing a residental bid? I first introduce myself and find out what the customers needs are and then measure off the turf. I look how much string trimming needs to be done and edging. I then will consualt with my partner and we decide how much to charge and give the customer a choice of a weekly service or bi-weekly at either 10 months or 12. The needs of the customer will dertermine the price.

    I was just wanting to get some help with this. My first customer was telling me his needs but I was pushing for a weekly service. He called back and I told him I would be happy to service him on a bi-weekly agreement for 10 months and he said fine.

    I'm finding out now how important it is to listen for that need and then show them hoe you are going to fill it.
     
  2. Pauls Mowing

    Pauls Mowing LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    Your last paragraph pretty much says it all.

    Paul
     
  3. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 305

    Thaks Paul, I was wanting to see if I'm doing it right.
     
  4. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    Dont forget to survey the property when you are measuring. Some site conditions will detremine what equipment can or cannot be used for maintenance.

    Keep an eye open for things such as landscape lighting, invisible fencing and irrigation. This will determine where you should not run Aerators and Power Rakes.

    Also look for those areas that will be considered wetlands, or berms/uneven terrain when determining how to tackle the mowing as well.

    Good Luck this season!
    Kris
     
  5. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 305

    kutnkru, thanks for your input. I would hate to scalp a customers lawn. I have a potental customer asking for aeration. Should I have him sign a statement that states I'm not responsible for low power wires or improperly installed sprinkler systems.I have herd of people putting sprinkler systems in and only put the pipe a few inches into the ground.
     
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    ABSOLUTELY

    If they dont have a diagram left by their IC(irrigation contractor)as to how the irrigation was installed, I would definitely have them sign a waiver because you should not be held responsible for improper workmanship on the part of the IC.

    If they do not, I would advise that you manually operate the system to mark all heads. I would charge them for one hour labor for this task. Use flags when you have the system on and then go back thru and cut back encroaching(sp) turf to improve the performance of the system. Make a rendering of the site, keep the original and give them a color copy.

    None-the-less, make sure that you abide by the Golden Rule:Cover Thy Own A$$ First!

    Hope this helps.
    Kris
     
  7. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 305

    I have not aerated a lawn yet and I was thinking about roots as well. Do you just go aroung the roots? I would think the the tines would get damaged if they hit some roots.
    I told the potential customer that we need to wait until the end of March because if in the event we get some more frost. Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm thinking that frost might hurt the root system.

    Good point Kris about flagging all sprinkler heads and looking at the diagram.
     
  8. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    kutnkru basically said it all, also look for trees in the yard and next store for the fall and leaves. i look at the yards and see how well they took care of it before, basically you said the type of customer you really would not like to have. you really don't want to have a biweekly customer in the spring and fall because thats when the grass grows the fastest (common sense) and most likely it is going to be hard for you to cut it in the time you desire. this should play a role in price i tell them if they want it done like this and the grass is 8 inches high the price just went up some more, and if they say no i walk, but i tell them as soon as i get to the site. and when i walk they call me back the next day and want to try and figure a way out on how i could get there every week for now. if not i have 4 people calling me and wanting a bid. there's to many weekly jobs out there to stick with someone thats wants biweekly.
     
  9. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    Visible roots I would avoid. As for those that will be within the first 5ft of the tree just slow down as you pass by. This will prevent the machine from throwing you all over the lawn.

    You definitely do not want to aerate too early in the spring. The snow is usually gone by the first wek of April here, and we start our aerations late the second week but no later than the third. This is a judgement call that has to be made based upon the weather conditions you are faceing for each particular spring.

    We have had some seasons where we cannot mow until May and others we have almost 4-5 cuttings in by then. It all depends on what the Good Mother has dealt us! :)


    Hope this helps.
    Kris

    [Edited by kutnkru on 03-12-2001 at 03:47 AM]
     
  10. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    When you get to the yard and are doing your survey the first thing you do is point your nose to the sky and spin 360 degrees. If your observant you will know real fast how much the fall months are going to affect your bid. Never bid a yearly based on what you see in the spring and summer, always base it on what WILL be there for you in the fall. October thru January are rough months down here, be prepared to work harder then than in the growing season.
     

Share This Page