How do you PRO's handle this

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cwarlick, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,711

    A lot of good points here.
    My question is...if it took you 25 min to get there & ANOTHER 25 min to get home......was your effort even worth the cost of your time (50 min drive time) and gas money?

    Doing work for friends unfortunately often plays out poorly as they feel they can take some advantages. Your time, your fuel, your mower tires...and maybe even your shoes all add up to a PITA situation where he got the better of you, imho. I basically steer clear of working for friends...and it works out better for our respective friendships in the long run.
    .02
     
  2. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,486

    I would charge a lot to bag the back yard and cut it at a height so your blades don't hit the dog poop. and secondly unless the customer mentions anything about hauling the bagged grass away, it goes in there woods....if they want it hauled away its an extra 10-20 on top of the extra 20-40 for bagging the lawn depending on how many times I have to stop and empty the bags as well. I learned my lesson with that one. It's an absolute must to charge extra for removing the clippings from the property even if you can dispose of them for free, it still takes extra time to dump the bags into your truck or trailer, and time to unload them. and without a dump insert, or dump truck or trailer it absolutely sucks unloading 2000lbs of grass clipping/leaf mixture, and it has to be done the same day otherwise its even worse. that's how I deal with it. I don't clean up dog poop, I do try not step in it, and I pretty good at avoiding it with my feet and the trimmer, but I run it over with the tires on the mower all the time, that doesn't matter too me. maybe its just me. but when I bag lawns, which i only do after october 1st, and then leave it on for spring clean ups. I use more gas in the mower, and it more wear and tear on the whole machine, plus the bagger unit itself wears out eventually. So you really need to charge for all of that, and for me personally an extra 15 dollars a bag isn't enough especially if you have to stop mowing twice to empty the bags. I would say an extra 30-40 seems adequate.
     
  3. Outlawn

    Outlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 735

    I'm a firefighter/paramedic full time.........I step in way worse stuff on a daily basis.
    I've not had to deal with a poop-caked backyard, but yes I have had my share of landmines. I've hit those beautiful little presents and I know its not fun, or tasty. But I'm just saying, if it's THAT big of a deal, just don't do the lawn. Just tell them you can't do the back or whatever area is in question until the poop gets cleaned up. :dancing:
    Just my thoughts on that.
     
  4. cwarlick

    cwarlick LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    Great info from all. All points well taken.
     
  5. BestImpressions99

    BestImpressions99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 491

    Yes, I totally agree, don't EVER say yes before you see the property. Or explain if you don't have the time to do the bid that either you'll have to see the lawn before you bid it or if he insists on a yes or no, if you know his lawn would be similar to other lawns in the neighborhood you've seen then tell him a price that definitely would make you a profit. Let's say, you charged him 40 for the lawn seeing it after. I would charge 50-75% more for sight unseen. If they drop their jaw just explain that it does them better as well as you if you see it first and would rather. Trust us PRO's, no one needs their lawn done THAT badly.
     
  6. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    I'll do one time mowings but I have a minimum service charge of $40. I charge this not only because I'm changing my route but also because I've never mower a home owners yard that was properly cared for prior to me arriving. Most don't typically edge weekly and usually if they're asking me to do it I'm going to have to hit it three or four times with the mower.

    As for th dog crap and the situation, I would have called him. I always get a phone number from potential clients and always go over a price before I mow so there aren't any surprises.
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