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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jaclawn, Aug 27, 2000.

  1. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 490

    In reading a post eairler about cutting down a small tree, it was said that the tree would take 20 minutes to cut down. Another reply said that 20 minutes would not be enough time to drive, setup, and make that first cut. This got me to thinking.

    We all have a certian amount of "overhead" built into our price for each job. I mean, for each job, it takes time to travel, unload, bill, chat with customer... For each job you do, this is built into your price.

    Getting to my question, do you guys discount this overhead charge for jobs when you are already onsite to mow or do other maintenance tasks? In the case of the tree, it will be more efficent to do the job when you are onsite to mow, taking less total time than if it were to be done on a seperate trip. Do you guys give a lower price if you can do the job that way?

    One think that has me thinking is when I go to the dentist. If I am getting one filling, it is about $75. If I get three fillings in the same visit, it is $75 x 3. Now, isn't half the time involved getting me in the chair, getting me numbed up, getting his tools in order, cleaning up, billing...

    If I were to get the three fillings in three seperate trips, the cost to me would be the same, but the time the dentist spends working on me would be higher. It takes say 30 minutes to do one filling, and maybe 50 minutes to do all three. If I went in three seperate trips, it could take 90 minutes of the dentists time.

    So, my question, do you guys discount for mutiple services done in one trip?
  2. Esby

    Esby LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 662

    Well, thats a great question. Based on my passed experiences with these sitsuations, I would have to say that I do cut them a little break, but you still need to make your money on the job. This is what I base the bid on, what is involved, if its cutting down a tree, then you put into it: the saws, gas and oil, and of course time, if I am already on site and am not making a seperate trip then they dont get charged twice for transportation. Personaly I like to keep my business strickly to lawn care(mowing and trimming and everything else that goes with that), but sometimes I do other jobs if I have a break in my schedule.
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Look at it this way; You're saving themthe time and the hassle of looking for someone else to do it. If someone else came out, THEY would charge full price. Just because you are already there, that's because you are performing another service that costs you to get there anyway. If youtake your car or truck in to have a tune up, and you have a brake job done too, you can BET you're paying full price for both.
  4. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    Seems like stopping the mowing to cut down a tree would wreak havoc with the day's mowing schedule. Also, are you going to haul around the debris for the rest of the day? Save that job for a day that is too wet to mow. Also, you said that it is a small tree. I hope that it is. You should be very clear about what your business insurance will cover and what it won't.
    Discount?? This is not retail. Just treat your customer right. Get a fair price for the work done and do a good job.
  5. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 490

    Lanelle- I did not say that it was me that was going to do the tree work. I was refering to a thread by mykee on 08/27/2000 at 1:07 P.M. EST. See post http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?threadid=4099

    That post was what brought the question to my mind.

    What if the job is a very small one, say 15 minutes. If one were doing it for a one time customer, or requiring a seperate trip, you would need to get at least enough $$$ to cover say 45 minutes, to cover drive time, unload time, greeting customer, billing. Correct? Lets make numbers easy, your hourly rate is $60. You could charge $45 for the job, requiring a seperate trip.

    Now, lets say that you do the exact same job for a regular maintenance customer. You do it on a day when you are there to perform regularly scheduled maintenance tasks. (Your insurance will cover you performing the task, it will not wreak havoc with your schedule, and the debris removal is not a problem -Lannelle) The job takes 15 minutes, what do you charge? Remember, it takes only the actual time to complete the task, no extra drive time, no extra unloading time...
  6. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    You should find another dentist. My doc charges on a sliding scale-as you say, youre already in the chair.

    I will charge a customer less total, if I have multiple jobs at the same time, than if I had to do each job on a separate visit. Only makes sense.
  7. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    If the customer wants the job done and its a little outside the scope of lawncare I am the one who decides if
    1. I can do the job.
    2. I want to do the job.

    If I want to do it then I might tell the customer that they are getting a price break for me being on the property
    (they may in fact be saving 5 bucks).

    But I do not NEED to do any work so when I do its for the same price as the tree trimmer would get. I look at it this way - I would be upset if the tree guy brought his lawn mower and charged the lady 15 bucks to do her 45 dollar lawn while he was there removing her 16 foot birch for 200.
  8. EarthWorks

    EarthWorks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 135

    Generally if I can schedule a job in that works out better for me then that is to MY advantage and not the customer's.
  9. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,253

    Lets look at it from both stand points.

    The Customer "how much to cut that dang tree down" I dont think that joe smith wants to hear that well "cause I have to make a special trip it will have to be ex amount of dollars" Joe smith wants to hear " it will cost you (say) $200" Customer says "ok" Then its on you to make it to your advantage to cut that dang tree down for the said price, whether say during an off day or if its better to do it while you have the man power there. Clean up is usually better with the lawn mowers and a basket. I think you can argue this either way and I dont think there is right or wrong here. When i went to penn state for estimating and bidding this subject came up and the class was split.

    Best Wishes.
  10. EarthWorks

    EarthWorks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 135

    If you have high mobilization costs (moving equipment) then I can see cutting some slack if equipment is already there. But this job will not require and special moving of equip.

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