Showing up to mow and the &^#(_& sprinklers are on!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jason Rose, May 11, 2005.

  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Ok, so what do you do to your customers that just don't get the concept of NOT running their irrigation on the day you mow? The first two I did today (side by side) were wet due to sprinkler systems. One had watered late at night and the other was running when I arrived at 8:00. It's not a surprise that I am there at 8:00 on wed. morning, I am there EVERY wed. at or around 8:00 am. I had to ring the doorbell and have the lady of the house turn off the sprinklers for me. I was rather gruff with her and told her just how running the sprinklers like that effects my tight schedule. She said her husband did it and that she has yelled at him for watering in the rain too.

    I am thinking about going to office max and finding some stickers that I can run through my printer and print on them the day that the lawn is mowed normally and to make sure the sprinklers are set to NOT water on the day or the night before! the stickers would then be stuck to the door of the controler where they are an instant reminder when programming or hitting the start button. I would supply the stickers to all my customers with automatic sprinklers and HOPE they used them. I don't think they do it purposely they just don't think about the lawn guy.
     
  2. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 590

    Maybe thats there watering day?
     
  3. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    Maybe you should tell them not to water those days?
     
  4. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963

    I solved this problem by offering to program the sprinkler timers. Most home owners don't have a clue about how they work and are happy to have me handle it for them.
     
  5. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    I do this, and some have ask me to "Winterize" the system in the Fall and to turn it on back on in the Spring, flushing out and adjusting, paying me what they would normally pay a company that they have to schedule weeks in advance to do.

    To get gruff with the customer and to vent on her is to bite the hand that feeds you. Its very important that you understand this, lest you want to start back flippin' at Micky Dees. :angel: or whatever crummy job you had before. {if you are full time} The world does not revolve around you. [or your schedule] :p

    The sticker idea is useless. What happens when it rains for 3 days straight and your "tight schedule" gets shot to He** and your rotation is way off?

    Wait until you are back on the same day the next week or mow asap to get caught up? When it will fall on a completly different day.

    What if a customer is not home and you arrive to see the sprinklers on.

    Do you drive away and reschedule for later?

    The valve box for the system is usually near the street, right after the water meter. You could just simply turn it off, mow, then turn it back on before you leave.
     
  6. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Ok, One I have tried many times to convey the message to not water on the mowing day. Two, Most have their sprinklers set properly but still run them manually for some reason unknown to me. Three, most systems can not be turned off unless I would carry a valve key with me and even still most people here are on private wells. Unless you are dealing with sand, it will be too wet to mow for a few hours.

    The point is, that mowing a lawn that is wet week after week starts to take a toll on the lawn itself. No matter how careful one is there is still rutting and tearing the grass due to the wet conditions. I want the lawns to look the best possible and this can't be achived when the sprinklers are running while or before the lawn is cut.

    I don't see why the sticker idea is usless. If I have the lawn scheduled for wednesday and it rains that day I will cut it the following day and as many of my thursday lawns as well. Friday I will finish up Thursday lawns and move onto friday. The following week the wednesday lawns are still on wednesday and so on. Are you saying that if you get a few days behind that everyone gets pushed back? That would mean thursday and friday customers would eventually be monday and tuesdays? That's not how we play. Getting caught up, if it means mowing from 7 am to 9 pm, is the name of the game.

    Also, I have done this all my life. This is my livelyhood. I may get a little curt with my customers sometimes but that dosn't mean it wasn't unfounded. What am I supposed to do? Change my whole route and everyone elses mowing time for the day just because one person can't follow a simple request about their watering?
     
  7. mower_babe

    mower_babe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    I think I would be happy if just ONE of our customers watered. Sheez! Freaking cheap butts.
     
  8. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457


    This is what I try to do with all clients.........
     
  9. ChadA

    ChadA LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 521

    I hear that. There always asking why does so and so's yard look so good. How about watering it once in a while bonehead. I tell them time and time again.
     
  10. FLYonWALL9

    FLYonWALL9 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    I'm too new to say what I have done but I do know what I would do. I would ask them to turn them off and after I would be back in to program them to not come on for that day. When you tell them the grass is stuck to the side walk and the reason is because of the water then prob solved. If not I would go up a bit and cut the crap wet!
     

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