how do u guys do it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    one of my lawn clients called about a tree that was damaged and needed to be romoved , because of the storm. i thought i gave a fair price considering the amount of disposal, and the level of dificulty(wires on 2 sides, house on the other, only one way to bring it down, and its actually touching the wires and house) . told her a price to remove, and dispose, but the stump remains, i would send someone over to grind the stump, for an extra $100. she says go for it. on the morning the job was gonna be done, she called, said someone saw the damaged tree, and knocked on the door, and made an offer , MUCH, MUCH CHEAPER, which included grinding out the stump. someone please tell me how on earth you make a living charging 1960's prices. this is not the first time this has happened. i get outbidded by , not a few bucks, but hundreds on jobs that are less than a grand. how do u do it? or are u just happy being poor?
  2. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    Tell her if the guy removing the tree is not insured and he damages the power lines or some other property that SHE will carry the liability. Most homeowners policies will be voided if the homeowner uses an uninsured, unlicensed tree removal service. Homeowners policies will cover damage from storms and such, but insurance companies look for every way possible to avoid paying a claim and using an unlicensed and uninsured tree removal service is an easy way out for them.
  3. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,297

    the scrubs without liabiloty insurance and a liscense can charge cheap prices. you will learn very quickly that cheap and quality are opposites.

    stand by your work, do it well, people will know your name and associate it with quality, with quality comes a good price

    good luck:cool:
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Then again, it may have been a legit service that just happened to be going by. Those guys have the trucks, ALL the saws right with them, chipper, and perhaps even a stump grinder coming a little while later. I know these guys can take down a tree and remove it alot cheaper than I can! Then again, I can mow a 5 acre lot alot cheaper than a guy with a pushmower, too.
  5. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 614

    One of my clients had me do a spring yard cleanup a couple of years ago and she insisted she wanted to be there when I do it. I had two of my friends help me and man,.... this lady sat down on a lawn chair and she had us just about clean out her whole yard and trim down all the trees and shrubbery. I hauled out truckloads of s...t out of there and when I gave her the invoice of $360 she almost s...t herself. She said I'm being unreasonable and that's not what the rate is and the workers at the Public Works that does this kind of work gets paid $9 an hour and she watched the clock and I only worked so many hours etc., etc., etc..
    I felt very sorry for her, but I did the work and she just had to pay me. I told her that if I wanted to work for $9 an hour I would probably not have been available to cleanout her yard and probably be working at the Public Works.

    I still mow her yard. Those weeds in the flowerbeds and the trees and shrubbery and in the rest of the yard looks worst than a jungle. She refuses to ask me to clean it out because of her spitefullness, but she's also not getting another contractor to come in and clean out her "jungle" either. She probably did ask someone and he was more expensive than me.

    With this situation I have just decided that I am the owner of a professional lawn maintenance company. It's not only costing me money to operate this business but I am working my a.. off. I am not going to allow people to slave me and that to their own benefit $$. I am in this business to make money and if they want my service they will pay me my fee accordingly.
  6. maple city

    maple city LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 305

    There is no way a LEGIT tree service is going to underbid a lawn service. Chippers, bucket trucks, stump grinders, ropes, saws, all of it is pricey. Our best friend does tree work. He's an insured, certified arborist. There is no way we will ever bid more than he does.

    I don't know if you are like us, Bobby, but I don't really feel comfortable doing tree work. I don't want to do it, so I usually refer it to our friend (unless it's really small easy work). When I bid a job that I'm unfamiliar with, such as taking down a tree, I estimate, second guess, think the homeowner will have a heart attack about the price, lower my price, then give it to the homeowner. I think a lot of us do this. We are going to take down a small walnut tree Wednesday. When I got the call about it, I asked our friend to look at it. He looked at it and told me that we should do it, it's an easy job, easy money. The tree's trunk is only like 3" in diamter. It's in some wires, which scared me away. So, in my mind, I'm thinking I'd charge like $50.00. I asked my buddy what to charge, and he said don't go under $140.00. That's what I'm charging. Just shows you how far off I am on tree work because I'm inexperienced at it.

    You probably gave a good estimte on the work you were going to do. Don't sweat the small stuff.
  7. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    Last year, before I got back into the business, I did a favor for a friend by removing a large tree next to his garage. Right behind the garage were some power lines. Had to top it out first, and then bring it down in sections. Didn't have to haul any away since he took care of that. Only charged him $400 so I could make rent for the month. One of my friends in the business told me later that he would have charged $1200 w/hauling due to it being a high risk job. Maple, you're right on about not knowing how to bid tree removal if you don't do it for a living. Not only that, but one heck of a way to get yourself electicuted.
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    you know how these punks can underbid? because they sacrifice a quality life, they send thier wives out to work two jobs, they shop for clothes(every 5 years, when thier toes start sticking too far out of thier boots) at k mart,etc, etc.they have no health coverage, they are content drawing a paycheck for $400 a week. they must think thats all they r worth. then, when dec. 15th hits, they are lookin for a job at a gas station or supermarket to hold them over. pathetic. and maple u need to get into higher value work. i like cutting grass, and think its very proffitable, but there is nothing like makin $5-6 bills for 2-3 hrs work.
  9. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    I resent that:(
  10. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Tree service in my town doing 8-10 grand a WEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKK.

    Too bad I'm scared of heights.:dizzy:

    He stays busy almost every day of the week and he's set up to do the work. Got everything he needs with him when he hits the job site.............I agree, there is more money in trees than grass but I'll keeo my feet in the ground anyway.

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