Midwest - How many mowings?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ECHOTURF, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. ECHOTURF

    ECHOTURF LawnSite Member
    from usa
    Posts: 40

    I have recently been asked to lower my contracted mowings from 23 to 21 for 2004 on more then one account. The last 3 years have been 23 mowings, 1 Spring C/U and 1 Fall C/U.

    Being in operation here in the Midwest for the last 3.5 years I found I mow between 19 and 23 times throughout the season. Some visits on my 6-7 day cycle the lawn is an inch longer then I'd like it and others it can be half an inch shorter then I'd like it.

    I have spoke to a few other LCO's and they say it can average 23 to 27. I know fertilizing can make a difference along with good old rain but what's everyone's average?

    So the question is: How many times "On a monthly contract would you mow?" If you do service the account above the contracted price, how would you go about getting paid/invoicing to keep things under control?
    Tell them to expect a "high grass" charge or push in any given month to allow for a 5th mowing charge? I won't get a whole lot of grief on any given way I approach it but 50,000 lawnsite heads is better then one!

    Any feedback on this "very" broad question greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Premium Services

    Premium Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    in Baton Rouge, LA i get 33 on my contracts.
     
  3. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    I didn't know that Baton Rouge, LA was in the midwest.


    In Michigan, I get 26 weeks on average.
     
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    Average for me is 25. Those are ones without sprinkler systems. I actually have one customer in particular that for the last two years I have mowed it an average of 39 times.
     
  5. northside

    northside LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I try to contract for 28 cuts, but 24 is about as low as I'll go. I also mention that any additional cuts are performed at extra charge.
    Some of the stingier customers don't like to sign for a set amount. This can cause problems, because they actually want you to cut their lawn as few times as possible to save money. So when you show up to cut their lawn they'll send you away or say something like "I don't think it needs to be cut for a couple weeks" only to come back to cut a lawn 8" high. I also had a customer that wanted me to scalp her entire lawn and come back every couple weeks to scalp it again. I told her no can do.
    Some high profile commercial accounts want it cut every week no matter what, especially if they have irregation.
    Try to get the customer to sign for the as many cuts as the mowing season will allow. If they think it's too many bring it down a bit.
    :)
     
  6. BOTURF

    BOTURF LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 316

    My contracts call for 28 normal mowings anything above that is a extra charge. Some years with leaf cleanup i seen it go as high as 32 cuts and some years with droughts ect i had it go as low as 23 . All depends on weather , most of all if it all possible you need them on a auto pay system where they pay no matter what, just like a lawyer or other professionals that are on a retainer
     
  7. larz

    larz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Hell I'm doing 36 in DFW, really 35 with 1 scalp. No one has asked me for fewer, except the bi monthly request (won't do). If they don't want a annual contract, I charge 25% more per month.
     
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    Just north of St. Paul MN, I run 24 mowings, 1 spring, 1 fall clean-up. I run the contracts for 6 months, May - October.

    About 1/2 of my properties have irrigation, half wait for the rain.

    I just look at it that some years I'm going to mow 26 times, some years I'm going to mow 19 times. Usually the number is lower than higher. Shoot, we're already starting to skip stuff this year already, it's been 1.5 months of rain May-1st of June, but now it's been nothing but sunny dry windy weather and the stuff that isn't irrigated is already dried to the point of becoming stressed out if I kept mowing it.

    If it were to have been any warmer than 70 the last month, I'd be skipping just about everything that isn't irrigated.

    But, it's just like snowplowing. I charge a flat fee, based on 15 2" snowfalls. Some years I'm going to get 20, some years I'm going to get 7.

    Say okay, you'll agree to it, but that you want it for 2 years. Then, if it's feasible, each week have the customer sign off that you mowed, then at the end of the 21st week, say okay, I'll be back for your fall clean-up when it's time. That means that at about the first week of September you should be done with that property. Just hope you don't get a drought so you've only mowed 17 times for the year :)
     
  9. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,472

    I put 30 for my year. But I really dont think it would be that high and told everyone i would mow a few cuts early and a few cuts late.
     
  10. primecutmo

    primecutmo LawnSite Member
    from SWMO
    Posts: 85

    30 here in sw missouri
     

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