Hit a metal pipe at a new customer !!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Big Clipper, May 20, 2006.

  1. Big Clipper

    Big Clipper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I just got a new customer. The grass was about 18" tall and my mower found a nice copper pipe sticking out of the ground. Just wonder should I say something to the owner and ask him for some extra money for the job? It wreck one of my blades. Should I be charging more for those first mowings were the owner has not yet cut the grass once, the grass was at about 18". I am not sure how to handle this so I would welcome some CLEAN feedback !! I am just starting out about one month ago .
    Serving till HIS SOON return Thanks Big Clipper
  2. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,850

    I would mention it to him casually, don't ask for a replacement blade but let him know you hit something and you weren't too pleased about it.

    As for those monster first cuts, I charge double if i can do it while riding around on the Z or triple if i have to get off my duff and rake up clippings. Consider it lesson learned.
  3. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    Did you have him sign a contract? If "yes", does you contract state that there will be additional charges for anything left in the yard which damages your equipment or injures another person? If "no", guess you'll just have to suck it up and call the lesson learned your bonus.

    You might want to start thinking about using contracts or modifying your existing ones.
  4. All_Clear

    All_Clear LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 443

    A cut like that you always charge more "to get it back in shape" Then once you've taken all the risk out charge the normal weekly price.

    As for the pipe... Depends on what you think.... will the customer shell out to replace your blade? Did the customer just move to the house? Lived there and just let the yard go... Any chance he knew or didn't know the pipe was there... Knowing some of this type info would help...

    Best advise would be explain to the customer what happened... Gage their reaction and decide how to ask for more $$$.... Other wise see if the customer would split the cost half if all else fails....

    All Clear
  5. maxkicker

    maxkicker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 124

    i dont do contracts i always charge double and ask them if there is anything i should know about(drains pipes whatever) and let them know if i hit something they didnt mention its anywhere from $40 to $100

    however if my helper didnt ask them (happened once) i pay lol
  6. Green Grass and More

    Green Grass and More LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Did you walk the property before you started mowing? If not, then I would consider it a learning experience and pay it from your own pocket. I would think that it would end up in your hands to make sure that the yard had no hazards to your mower. Just my opinion.

  7. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    I hit a brick last week so I rolled it over to the neighbours yard, he rolled it back into my YARD! so this week I spotted it and put it in the window well. when I see garbage on my customers lawns I pick it up and put it in my bagger.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Yup, the reason we charge double is not just because of the extra work but quite simply because you almost always will find some hard object. No, not always but fact is you can not see it so if it can be found, you will find it.

    Don't feel bad, I got two almost brand-new blades with chips the size of a pinky fingernail, but the last job the grass was up to my knees and I quoted double the normal price and I got it. I'm still a bit fumed about the blade but at least the double pay helps, it really does.

    And yes, lessons learned... I did it, too, didn't charge enough for a long time, figured it doesn't really take that long...
    Eventually I learned the reason we charge double for tall grass is due to premature wear and tear because it does a number on the machine.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ohhhh wait, liability:

    Here is my rule:
    - My company and I are not responsible for damage caused to or from objects in the yard for any reason.
    - In return for this, the customer is not responsible for damage to my equipment or injury to myself for any reason.

    See how that works?
    We do NOT replace sprinkler risers (heads) when we clip one.
    We do NOT replace broken windows due to rocks.
    Because the customer does not pay for our broken stuff, either.

    That having been said, there has been a time or two where I damaged something because I was hot-dogging and goofing off, I felt bad about that and I also feel it is at that point my obligation to at least mention it to the customer which:
    Anytime something of the customers is or gets broken, DO tell !
  10. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,886

    I do this too and ask the owner about possible hazards. You have to walk over a first time cut high grass yard thats for sure

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