Took a lawn from a scrub

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by RYAN, May 16, 2001.

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  1. RYAN

    RYAN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    Here is the situation. A few weeks ago I am going to a stop where I have three residential lawns all right next to each other. On the way down the street I see a scrub mowing a lawn and it looks like total crap. He tried to mulch a lawn with his crapsman and made a huge mess. I laugh to myself and go on to mow my three lawns one of which I 21" the fenced in backyard. It takes me about an hour and as I drive away he is still there mowing and it still looks like crap. Later that day the owner calls me asking for an estimate. Needless to say I got the job but I did feel somewhat bad for the little scrub with the crapsman in the back of his Ranger since that was me at one time but that is the way this biz goes I guess. Score one for the good guys.
     
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Now you know what I'd a done? I would have probably stopped and helped the guy out, got his name and phone number, told him all about the business and how to do it right, or better, or something.........referred him to a few people..............think I had somebody that I could count on cause I helped him out!

    A few months later he would steal an account from me!

    Don't feel bad, he'll get one from you in a year or two.
     
  3. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    He will need to get more practice in areas that most LCO's avoid, like bad neighborhoods or other than weekly accounts. Most of us had to take similar "lumps".

    I do feel bad for the guy, but learning can be painfull.

    You should be happy RYAN that your good work was noticed and appreciated.
     
  4. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    This is not intended to be thrown directly at Ryan, but since this type of subject was brought up again, I'm going to make my point!

    There is always so much talk about those darn scrubs. Scrubs this, and scrubs that.

    But I'm sorry. Just because there are people out there that don't have the best biggest equipment and drive small vehicles, that doesn't mean that they can't do good work. It is always, "that scrub did a terrible job, etc."

    Well I'm here to say that we have seen guys on the road that do have the small equipment and working out of a small vehicle, and guess what? They do good work!!! IMAGINE that!!!

    Not everyone with small equipment does bad terrible work.

    The difference between the professional and the little guy with little equipment is this: Dependability

    At the start of the season, we pulled up to one of our good accounts, and two doors down we saw a guy and a lady cutting the grass. We had never seen them before. They had a small pick-up truck, one lawnboy, one craftsmen, a trimmer, and a small blower. They were just finishing up when we pulled in. They then went across the street to start another one.

    We were surprised to see that they had two good flat level yards. Ones that we would have liked to acquire.

    Each week their yards looked good. Cut with 21's and all bagged. Then two days ago we pulled up to our account, and looked at their two. One had grass laying all over the front yard, the other one was not cut and getting very high. One of the homeowners called us over and said that they wanted a bid. To make a long story short, the homeowner told us that their cutters weren't showing up any more. And the homeowner ended up going out and trying to cut the grass. (That's why the grass was laying everywhere.)

    They were charging $25.00 a yard. We ended up getting both of those accounts. Each one for $42.40 a week. They were willing to pay for dependability.

    Is there anyone else out there that will admit that sometimes
    the little guy can do decent work?
     
  5. jjfehr

    jjfehr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    I think your last statment summed it up! They stoped showing up! That makes them a scrub. How can anyone expect to run a lawn care business and work only the first month of the season?
     
  6. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I'll sure admit it. Anybody that has the sense to pay close attention to the details and do good work is gonna make it, no matter if he mows grass, paints, constructs, mechanics, plumbs, bricks, blocks, landscapes, cleans, etc............... There are many professions that the "s" word could be connected to and it's merely a matter of choice which one we're gonna pick apart today/tomorrow/next week. If this forum was intended for drywall installers then I know there would be folks talking about the new guy doing shotty work and how I , we, you , me got this work from him...........We should be willing to help folks as long as they are willing to respect the help givers. Judge a man/woman by his/her character and his/her heart, not the material matter he arrives on or the equipment he uses when he gets there. The poor sap doing crappy work might have been laid off, needed to pay a light bill that was overdue so his 2 month old baby could stay cool and dry, not hot, rashy, and sweaty..............I think we're all a little too quick to judge others and sometimes we take a little too much pleasure in how we obtained a new account. Take time this week to talk with some of these people and you might find a guy you could help out, or better yet, you might make a new friend. You might also find a guy that just doesn't give a rats azz about anything at all, then you can say he's this or that. Riding by someone and passing judgement is not the way to do it.

    We're all guilty to some extent, I for one am and I have also been burned by some that I tried to help out................I made a post about changing my attitude but still find myself making excuses to help folks, guess I'll never learn huh!

    This is meant to be a general statement and not intended to offend the original poster.

    The thought occured to me, what if some of us on here were to show up in another town, we chat on here using ficticious names and get along fairly well.................would we if we were to pass each other on the road or at a job site? Would we snub our noses at each other and pass judgement or would we stop and make conversation.............like we do here?

    I guess it would be interesting wouldn't it.

    Having met several of the people on here in person and spending time with them I think their all a great bunch. If I met some others on here I would think the same thing I'm sure.

    For the next couple of weeks I challenge everybody that reads this to do exactly the opposite of what you normally would when you see somebody that you would call a scrub. At least try it on one person and then post your findings..............they either were what you thought they were or they turned out to be somebody other than what you thought and had a reason to be the way they were. Might be interesting.

    I dare ya, no, double dare ya! You ain't got a hair on your (blank) if you don't do it!
     
  7. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    That's why I mentioned dependability.

    The quality of their work was good, the grass looked good.
    Small equipment, small vehicle does not mean scrub. That was the point I was trying to make.

    Another example:

    We lost a real estate account this year. A week before the season started we got a call from their office. They wanted to check to see how much we were charging to service their account. They said they needed to know for budget reasons. I told the lady $53.00 per cut. ($212.00 a month)
    One week later we are unloading the equipment and the broker comes over and says that he has been meaning to call us. He found someone else to service the account at a cheaper price.

    ggggrrrr, we were mad. Couldn't wait to see the quality of the work.
    The following week it was cut. And damn, it looked good!!!
    Just last week, we finally saw who is cutting it. They are using small equipment and they have a small truck. But it looks good.
    Question is, how dependable will they be?

    I guess I just find it odd that rarely does anyone on here say that a competitor, big or small, does a good job.

    It's always, "that scrub with the small equipment was doing a terrible job". What's up with that?
     
  8. if dependability is what characterizes a scrub then label me a scrub. i have so much stuff going on right now that it is hard to keep up with the lawns, with the large side projects, and so on. last week i think i only cut 2 lawns out of 13. some didnt need to be cut, but i could have done them all and gotten away with it. one woman complained, however i assured her that we would be there end of this week. i try to schedule in my day each week for grass, but now with all this side work paying so much better than the lawns i feel myself putting grass a day back, another day back. it doesnt pay to start another crew to just go out and cut grass one day each week. but to be able to leave people on one job until it is finished would be nice. today we were at one place doing a thatching job. i will not go back there for a couple of days now because i have other people on my back to get their job finished. the year starts and my work list is small other than spring cleanups. then people start in with "oh we want this done" so i try to do it when i can. and they say we want it done by this date. and usually that is when everyone wants it done by. i got this one woman today, she paid me no problem but she wants stuff done asap. i told her whats goin on and no problem. we got some stuff done. this other guy though wants his stuff done now. he got me in the beginning of the busy season to do some real garbage work and wanted it done in 2 weeks from when i met him. what do these people expect? really. do 3 months worth of work in 2 weeks? really. come on people. it is like they think you are only working for them. or that they are paying you "such good money" that you should be there whenever they want you there. i am sick and tired of it. i am so busy now running around for my work that i have kind of been neglecting my yard where they are asking me to do stuff to pay the rent. (barter deal) i havent been able to do it now. they wont complain but i really feel like a scum bag for not being able to do it quicker.
     
  9. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    jodi, i'll admit it i seen a guy with a 48" and a push mower, he was cutting the front lawn with the push (not sure on what brand it was) but he sure was a part time cutter. the lawn looked good, and everytime i've went to cut 1 of my lawns i drive by his and its done. but i haven't seen him their for a few weeks sure hope he's still in the game.

    jodi just pondering are you a girl??//:confused:
     
  10. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Lawnboy that doesnt make you a "scrub", it just makes you too damn busy at the moment. And if it does make you a "scrub", then i'm one too.
     
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