Too many miles to a job?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JonLawn, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Laurel Leaf

    Laurel Leaf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    If the customer lives in a nice development, couldn't this be a great opening to break into a new area? The drive would not be to bad if you could spend the better part of a day over there.
    Seems like you should either walk, or start a arresting campaign over there.
     
  2. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,304

    I have a client that's 15 minutes from anyone else I mow. I told him up front that I didn't generally service that area, and that I would have to charge $30 per visit just for my travel time. He said that was fine and it has worked out well. If you have employees with you - keep in mind you are paying them to be transported as well. Example: 30 minutes travel for 1 person = $30. 30 minutes travel for 2 people = $60. When you're solo you can pull it off if people are willing to pay for it. Once you get employees involved your profit margins go down fast, or else your prices are sky high. At the end of the day you're the only one that knows what you're willing to work for, how much time you have etc.

    On another slightly different note: I get nervous sometimes when people tell me to just do the work and send them the bill. I spent over 4 hours mowing/bagging a 18k square foot overgrown lawn a couple months ago. The guy just told me to get it mowed and bill him. I didn't have the heart to charge him 260 bucks for mowing his lawn once so I charged him half price and he became a $50/week weekly client. Taking one for the team can pay off sometimes. This guy you're dealing with could want a lot more than just mowing and could end up being a great thing. You could potentially start advertising in this area etc. Consider your options carefully!
     
  3. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    Why is this even being contemplated, man has a 10 mile radius and he's considering going 30 miles out, I don't understand the dilemma here, we're not talking 1 or 2 miles, not even 5 or 10 but 20 past max...It's like if you have a $30 minimum, and a customer asks you "Would you do it for $10?"

    Would you consider working for $10 when your minimum is $30?
    Come on, you'd be in here asking about that?

    Well it's the same thing as when your maximum radius is 10 miles and someone's asking you to drive 30!

    Because my answer would have already been "no but thank you"
    Yeah we're not even getting into WHY the customer would even ask such an outrageous question...
    We'll just pretend the customer didn't know you had a 10 mile radius, then again maybe they really didn't know.
    You know, assuming I need the work, it's not about being rude.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  4. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,485

    yah I agree, I have a problem doing this, I price stuff to close to what local landscapers do when I take a job that 30 mins away each way, it really does eat up my profit, not only the 12mpg my truck gets while towing my trailer but the wear on 8 tires, then the fuel in the mower. I have one old lady out in windsor locks which has me cut her lawn every other week and in the fall she skips and wants it done every 3 weeks because i'm picking up the leaves each time i cut and its 70 dollars total. It is a small yard like probably 5,000sq. ft. but she lives so darn far away, then finally this year I got another account about 1 mile down the street so its not such a bad drive anymore but still eats ups way to much time for the 90 dollars I get every week during the spring or every other week in the summer. luckily the second old lady is very nice and has me do other work and doesn't question stuff, she just gets it done!
     
  5. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Missouri
    Posts: 517

    No if you're looking for extra work/money....you're spending a dollar to make a dime

    Yes if you plan to expand your business and plan ( and follow through) with advertising to expand in that particular area.
     
  6. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    for that much driving, $50 is too little. However, if the area looks like it could be a market for growth, then reconsider. Also, consider how much extra install/maintenance work you think this customer will be requesting in the future. If you do fert and pesticide, will they take you on for that as well? Mowing this will suck, but always look at it from every angle before passing if you need the work.
     
  7. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,647

    I have a friend that puts on almost 200 hundred miles on Mondays for his entire route. One of the accounts his an hour north west fron where he his. He does a bunch of cub food and spire credit unions all over the twin cities.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. JonLawn

    JonLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    That is all very helpful. I am going to give it a go tomorrow. It is a mow and some weeding so I will pad it for fuel costs and see if they balk at all. It is bi-weekly service so I will bill after the first service. Then I can either do it again in two weeks or walk.
     
  9. JonLawn

    JonLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    The entire job with travel included was 3 hours (2 hours of work, 1 hour of driving). Half hour drive, 40 min mow, 1 hour of line trimming massive weed beds, 20 min cleanup, 30 min drive. I charged 110 for the labor and tacked on 20 for the fuel. Didn't charge for my time driving and I feel good about it.
     
  10. Minister Bob

    Minister Bob LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Now to see if you get paid, OR if this is why other guys will not do him. Kindly remember the government allows 55ยข per mile on tax deductions. However our actual cost being pick up trucks, trailers etc. etc. will make that greater as that is for cars. And we can trust the Government figures, can't we?
     

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