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Grass Is 14 inches Tall...How Much?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Wil22, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. Wil22

    Wil22 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    As I was driving this morning I noticed a yard with grass about 14 inches tall. I left a flier and the home owner called and asked me to come and cut, weed, front and back. I'm a newbie. Right now I only have a self propel. This yard looks like it would be 40-45 for a regular cut. The owner said when you get there cut it, I'll pay you. I'm moving in today. With my self propel I have to hit it with the weed wacker first. How much should I charge?
  2. mastercare

    mastercare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 289

    You may get a hundred responses telling you to run from this job as quickly as possible. the only way I would take it is if they want it cut weekly for the rest of the season. This lawn could kill you and your 21" Mower. What good is it to burn out a $500 mower to make $50?

    If you have the time and patience, take the job. I would charge double for the first cut, under the agreement that you can cut the lawn weekly for the rest of the season. If you hit it with the whip first, you're going to have to rake it all up, or you'll kill that little mower trying to cut through it.

    Just to make it easier, get a friend with a whip and a mower, and cut it together.....give him half the money on the first cut, and then the account is yours for the rest of the season. It sucks to give up 50% of your earnings, but when you leave the yard, you won't hate it so much!
  3. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,454

    I agree with Mastercare. . .what good is a broken mower. Also on the point of making sure you get the account long-term.

    In addition, make sure your price is high enough to make it worth the risk of hitting something in that tall grass.
  4. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    Do you have a "disposable" 21 that you could use for the first cut after whacking? A mower that you won't feel bad for putting a beating on it? I have a tractor that I would use, but if I didn't I'd use my old '75 Johne Deer Self Propel. I just can't kill it!
  5. littlenic

    littlenic LawnSite Member
    Posts: 143

    P.S. You might want to get it in written before. As bad as it's going to be I would hate to get stiffed on top of that.
  6. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    I agree with all of the above. Get a written contract signed by the owner before you tear up your equipment for a one time cutting. The tall stuff is just not fun and shortens the life of your equipment.

  7. Wil22

    Wil22 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    Thanks for the posts. I'm just starting and can't afford to have my equipment destroyed. I have one craftsman mower, 1 hand held Homelite blower with 170mph and a Ryobi Trimmer. I can't afford to have anything break down.
  8. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Will, I agree whole heartedly with the consensus. IF you really need the money though, and you say it's a "normal of $45 lawn" I'd charge them $150 and make sure you At LEAST have a verbal agreement for the remainder of the season... BTW, when you communicate with them about ANYTHING, pay very close attention to their body language and their "way of carrying themselve's" .... You can learn a LOT about a prospective client if you carefully examine their behavior... I hope this helps, God bless you, and welcome to Lawnsite!!
  9. jpp

    jpp LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,128

    One other thing that should be mentioned. If you have to bag it make sure that is in the price. As you probably know bagging is no fun and takes a lot of time.

  10. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    I know you already stuck your foot in it. But in my experience, most people who let their lawn get that high are going to do so again and again and again.

    they have done the math. $45 once a week or $120 every 6 weeks. And more often than not they get some dope to do it for $65 and they watch him break his back while they drink beer and watch the game.

    get a signed annual contract and get paid IN ADVANCE for the first mow. Try to figure out how many weeks it hasn't been mowed in and use that as a multiplier for your weekly cut.

    or price a new mower and charge that for mow one.

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