holy cow this grass was tall.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mike lane lawn care, May 11, 2006.

  1. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    i went to do the first mowing at a new clients' today, while it is lightly raining. when i got there i saw the front yard, a little overgrown but not bad. then i get to the back yard and the grass is literaly touching the headlights on my mower! i had to use the trimmer and trim it down to 18" then i tackled it with the tractor. The mower went right through it, no problem but they flipped when i billed them twice what we had agreed on because of the tall grass. they said mowing was mowing, but took the bill and paid right then and there. i said thanks and they said see ya next week. but wow, i will be spending a lot of time tomorrow cleaning and sharpening the mowing deck. anybody else have this happen.
     
  2. lowballer17

    lowballer17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    Not to mention fuel consumption on the mower. My rider is a gas hog on long grass.
     
  3. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    Kind of, i had one client who wouldn't pay so i stopped mowing, they were behind $260, never returned my calls or replied about bills, so i stopped. Then one day i get a call about how she just got my bill and any my phone message (probably the 10th one) and said shell pay it right away and wants me to keep cutting. Well, i had to triple cut it with the honda (didn't have eXmark at the time) but before that had to use the trimmer on a lot of it. I billed her 4 times the original rate as it took so long, but she never really complained, and after that she was good about paying bills and staying in touch!
     
  4. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    tell me about it, i used up what i had left in the cans on a previous job and thought, "it's only a small yard, i can do it just fine" then when i am done it runs out of gas just as i put it o the trailer, talk about lucky. i used about 1.5 gallons on this little yard, i was just amazed.
     
  5. lowballer17

    lowballer17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    My sister in law wanted me to cut her 2 acre property using my 34" Gravely rider. Of course this was last week, never been cut this year. I said hell no. I'm a lowballer but not a sucker. Last year I cut it to be "nice" and used 3 gallons after 10 cuts just to make it look half way decent. The longer the grass, the more gas your mower will use.
    Discourage or pass on the biweekly cuts this time of year.
     
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,949

    They had every right to flip out if you agreed to one price and then billed them for a different price. They had every right to pay you for the original agreed upon price. You should have either not done the job or told them of the price increase before mowing. Maybe I am misreading what you mean?
     
  7. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Yeah I remember my old boss did a quick estimate on a standard 5k or so lawn, $30....he was in a rush and never looked in back...the people had been mowing the front only and never touched the back...which was 3+ feet tall and thick.

    He had to suck it up and stick with the $30 :laugh: :laugh:
     
  8. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    the grass was overly tall and required extra work, plus it took a lot longer. the price we agreed on was the weekly mowing, and this yard hadn't been mowed in a month and a half. so i charged extra because i would have just about broke even between the gass, the extra time and stress caused to the equipment.

    plus it actualy was an estimate, which is an estimate, not a bid. the estimate could be for $2/wk, and i could bill $2000. sorry didn't clarify earlier.

    oh and even more: i had to move plastice "jungle gym" and a heavy wooden hammok that they were storing in the yard until the shed was finished.
     
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    As a tip, most of the time in cases where the grass is so tall, I use the older machine because I never know what I might find in the grass. I've found hoses, cords, bottles, pipes, rocks, stumps or roots, water meters and concrete culverts, you name it: I find it is a lot easier to tolerate when my 1998 Wb finds that stuff than when my '05 finds it, not to mention I use some of the oldest blades as well (still sharp, just worn down from sharpening). This way if a blade eats it or the Wb suffers, it's not so bad in the maintenance department.

    That's funny, I had a customer kind of like that, would let the grass grow by delaying me when it already needed cutting badly until one day I charged her extra. Took a while to get caught up and all that, but she's still my customer today and one of my better ones.

    The only part I hate about tall grass is when it chokes the engine or worse yet, smokes that 50 or 80-dollar blade belt. Thou blade belts do last for a long time, unbelievably so.
     
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Yes but sounds like this customer was unaware that the first cut would cost more, you should be upfront about that sort of stuff in the future....
     

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