How to handle your schedule when it rains!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by K.Carothers, May 12, 2006.

  1. Killswitch

    Killswitch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 438

    Just had a call back from another client. Agreed with the decision to cut twice or even three times next week if need be. I only have 10 clients....large lawns.

    The thing is too that these cooler temps are gonna keep it wet longer but imagine if it was 70 or 65 at night.

    The lawns would be growing two inches a day in this rain.
     
  2. lowballer17

    lowballer17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184


    Our customers want their lawn cut before the weekend. Gator blades on all mowers. If the property is swampy we use the w/b. No clumping occured. Additional time was needed to blow out the clippings from the curb. Once we're done the property looks great. All those seed pods from the trees are blown off porches, sidewalks and driveway. No tire marks left. Echo 651 has the power to move.
     
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Sorry guys... of course you know that Bobby and I are on the same page on this one.

    So long as you continue to bill by the cut, you will always fall short of peak gross earnings per account for the season, rather it be for missing due to lack of rain, or too much rain... and you will have several situations where you take a loss on catch-up work.

    It's a no win situation that NEVER balances out in your favor... even if you charge 1.5x the following week.

    Now, I get paid a flat rate regardless, else I don't take the job, and even though this is the case, I still don't whimp out because of rain. I don't get crazy about it... but I show regularly and amaze my clients with what I'm able to do with their lawns despite the weather, and I do so at times when no one really expected me to.

    When rain comes along, I adjust things by priority that is in my own best interest.
    So far in all my years of doing this, I have never had a 'valid' complaint about how I handle things due to rain.... and we have had a TON of rain the last several years.

    I had one invalid complaint from one Indian guy who brought it up when I showed to collect his delinquent winter payments of his 12 month contract, after having completed the work. Funny how that happens huh? He wanted to argue his way out of payiing was all, so he complained about a couple of skips. One was due to water standing on the property for several days after several inches of rain... which was covered in the contract. I had to wait 10 days between cuts... never actually skipped. Then on one occasion where the property was waterloged from rain, AND he had a broken irrigation line leaking, which I discovered too late... AND HE failed to repair... so that I SKIPPED. Not my problem.
     
  4. Killswitch

    Killswitch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 438

    I suppose. If you use a lightweight mower and get r done....whatever, but you shouldn't be on those lawns when they are that wet. I hope you do realize that at least, and trust me. Your clients are more inclined to agree with me than you.

    You just dont know it yet, and they may not bring it up, but they think you're nutty.

    Cutting wet grass like that causes all the chlorophyll and N to leach from the blades.....they wont look good next week I gaurantee.

    But....I understand your predicament.
     
  5. lowballer17

    lowballer17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    agreed. Ideally if it's a stray shower we'll hold back a bit. But the forcast shows rain for a solid week. No way we can hold back that long. Our customers want that grass cut before Sunday. One day lag no big deal, two, three day lag? Trouble.
     
  6. out till dark

    out till dark LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    I do it on my full service accounts.
     
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    See... and in the same town too.

    So much for "can't be done".

    It's not a matter of rather or not it can be done, but rather or not you are willing to covert your regular service billing to a flat seasonal rate. So you have to have the gonads to implement it and the internal strength to turn away and walk away from that tier of client who bucks your system.

    It's not easy, but for me it was something that had to be done for ME and MY personal SANITY more so than even the money.
     
  8. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,511

    Whatever mow it! If it is growing then mow it. If you can't learn to slow down a hair make an extra trim pass so you can tear drop your turns then why are you doing this? Anyone can mow when the conditions are perfect. Only time I skip is if we start to cause ruts. I know my lawns we just skip the extra wet spots. My clients don't think I am crazy they think I am dependable and hard working. I am always one of the first guys out cleaning up and mowing in the spring. Come fall I am the last one mowing. Why because I get paid to keep the property looking good. It is not hard what we do like anything else in life add will power, desire and the ability to look for solutions not excuses then you will succeed. I am mowing again tomorrow 3 days of straight rain and guess what when all this goes away and ppl are calling for install work and your telling them it will be 4-5 weeks I 'll be telling them I want half down and we'll be here in 2 weeks. We only have a 8 month window to get every dollar so when it calls I answer. Besides when it rains do your bills stop coming in. I only mow 65 props a week and it can be impossible to keep up sometimes. Just think of all the ppl who mow 200 plus a week.
     
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Good post!

    That's how I look at it, despite the way I get paid.
    I still deliver when possible.

    But I'm NOT making a muddy mess and I'm not getting out and getting soaked on purpose.
     
  10. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    I'm glad you are able to do that.

    Are you talking residential or commercial?
    How many accounts are you talking about?

    I still stand behind my statement that that method is hard to break into .


    kc
     

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