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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone ever have a customer change the yard somehow, with landscaping, etc, that affects your ability to mow?

I have a good customer that just took her nice big 5 foot wide passage way from the front to the back and landscaped it down to about 2 feet. No way I can get into her back yard with my mowers now. I approached her on it, and she asked why I can't mow the back with a push mower, 21 incher. She has about 4000 square feet back there. It doesn't take long to mow with a big mower, but no way am I pushing a 21 inch mower through the back, and I told her. I would have never taken the job if those conditions existed from the beginning, I can't be expected to mow that way no, can I?

She said she'd speak with her husband and make a decision. I am kinda bummed because I'm going to lose her as a customer, but also I'm mad. I don't expect her to consult me before landscaping, but come awhn, use some common sense!

:mad:
 

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:D Well--- for what its worth to you. I once had a customer who brought her mother to live with her. I had worked the property for about a year. One day I unloaded, cut the front, went to open the gate to the back yard. As the gate opened I stopped dead. The mother had relandscaped the back yard in such a way that I could't get even a 21 incher into the yard.
When I told the customer, she said, "can't you pick up the mower and walk it back there?" No I can't----- find yourself another man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't even want to THINK about pushing a 21inch mower back there. I'd be all day. It's not worth it to me, and if she had asked me to push from the beginning I would have told her 'no'.

I have a 48 and a 52 inch wb. No 33 or 36, and I don't see justifying the purchase just for her.

:dizzy:
 

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if you can, just tip back on the WB mowers for only the back wheels touch and wheel it back there..unless there is something major blocking it
 

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tiedeman has a good idea and with that you maybe able to stradle the bed and lawn.


Trying to think if that happened to me over the years.

What would bother me most is the lack of consideration to talk to me about what they intended. Heaven help them if they hired another company for the landscaping.

Well, I have dropped customers for just about any reason. So I would drop them, now that they made the work impossible to do, the way we do it.
 

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Damn, the only thing I ran into is a customer that likes to plant tiny plants all over the place. Put a 8" diamater of mulch around em, and tell me to keep the grass out of it.
:confused:
 

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Originally posted by mtdmaster
Anyone ever have a customer change the yard somehow, with landscaping, etc, that affects your ability to mow?

:mad:
I thought they were supposed to change them weekly.

Try a hill hard as h..l to mow , add a sprinkler system running too much , then too make it easy for the mower guy add 15 landscape lights right where you have to try to turn arround !
 

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We have a customer who just had a new deck put up and before they started they asked how much room we needed so we could continue to use our big mower in the back yard. After getting up off the grass then decided on the best way to do it. We ended up making the deck the size they wanted by removing a slow growing cedar tree to allow us in.
 

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Originally posted by Live4Mowin'
Dont most fenced in yards have two ways to enter?
Yea! In fantasy land.

Up the price because you have to work harder. Wait work smarter not harder.
 

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First of this year I picked up a new customer. Only after learning the correct way to cut the property for time sake and quality of job they decide to add about 40 yards of mulch. Good thing I run mulching kits!

So I show up for the next mow and WOW! You have to be kidding me. It was everywhere. They did a good job, but it sure changed how I cut the place.

Other than that its the usual small tree here, or dog toy there......the usual stuff. :D
 

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Originally posted by mtdmaster


I have a good customer that just took her nice big 5 foot wide passage way from the front to the back and landscaped it down to about 2 feet. No way I can get into her back yard with my mowers now. :mad:
If the yard were this way when you gave them a quote when you started working for them, would you have quoted them the same price?. . . Adjust accordingly. If they are reasonable, they will understand. If not, her husband will understand when he's push-mowing his own yard in 100 degree heat!
 

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Have a customer with a 2X5 spot of grass in front of their house. About 6 landscape lights:angry: Hard to manuver a 21 in there and the lights are plastic and I dont want to break the with the weedwacker.
 

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One of our customers removed a swimming pool and replaced it with grass, doubled the yard size. I upped the price and he was cool with it. This guy loves mulch, has it everywhere. Another time, we pull up to mow and he's out spreading mulch in a brand new flower bed. He told us that he was doing it to help us out, so we'd have less to mow. We don't use mulching blades, and I just LOVE trying to get clippings out of mulched flower beds...NOT!

Monday we were mowing another regular. Good sized yard, wide open, very little trimming. Anyway, we pull up to mow, and she has 3 new trees in the yard to plant. They're about 10-15' feet tall. So this will give us some stuff to mow around that wasn't there before. She'll put mulch around them, I just know it.

If it doesn't change the type of equipment you need to use on the yard, I wouldn't sweat it too much. But if I had to push mow a yard that I bid as a riding (or walkbehind yard), I would change the bid accordingly.


What can you do, it's their yard!
 

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Originally posted by mtdmaster
Anyone ever have a customer change the yard somehow, with landscaping, etc, that affects your ability to mow?
Nope, never, because all the yards i mow i also maintain the landscaping and my customers allow me to do what looks best.
 

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Yep, I’ve dealt with this. Most of the time they add a little bit at a time. Now, part of my routine when I first get a lawn is to take pictures, and tell them the photos are for “before & after.”

Later on, if they continue adding obsitcals, I have a record to show them what I bid on, versus what they’re wanting now. So, as in your case, just re-bid.

Like you, I wouldn't even consider accounts like that if it was a new cutomer. Therefore you may have to drop her. You might mow it one time at the old (or slightly higher) price to get the actual time, before you re-bid. But stick to your guns, shoot for a profit!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Originally posted by ------
If the yard were this way when you gave them a quote when you started working for them, would you have quoted them the same price?. . . Adjust accordingly. If they are reasonable, they will understand. If not, her husband will understand when he's push-mowing his own yard in 100 degree heat!
If it were that way when they asked for a quote, I would have told them "Sorry, I can't get into your backyard with my large mowers and I'm not interested in pushing a small mower back there." I turn down stuff like that all the time. I'm sure I could up the price all I want, I am not going to push that area with a 21 inch mower.

tiedeman, she put a border on the path using rocks, which are too high to roll over, and I cannot go around it. And no, there isn't an alternate entrance. And I don't do landscaping.

I had the same problem last year with a brand new customer. Everything went fine the first 2 weeks, 3rd week he had installed this really lame, 2 foot high fence with 36 inch gates. No way for me to get through, and far too big of a backyard to mow with a push mower. I had to dump him, and he was mad. I pointed out it was his lack of informing me of the pending fence that caused the problem.

It really kills me when people box their yards in like this. Last year I pulled a ton of leaves out of her backyard. No way I could have done it through her new, improved tiny pathway. Not to mention, if she needs tree trimming, or if any utility companies need to get back there to dig, they are going to have to be able to get back there. I put up a gate at my house, I got the biggest thing I could find, big enough to drive through. Seems like common sense to me.

I hate to have to dump her, but it looks like that's the way it's going to go. It sucks because she's right across from 2 other customers I mow, and I was doing all three at one stop. ARGH!!
 

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If possible, why don't you split the difference with her on putting in another gate that will accomodate your equipment. I've done this on numerous properties. An hour of time and less than $40 of supplies and you have a new or bigger enterance. Worth a shot.
 
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