Any one in the same boat?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Film, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Film

    Film LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I know there are a lot of threads about this, but I guess I’m just hoping Im not the only one here, and how are others handling this.
    We are just south of Atlanta Georgia, smaller operation, primarily Maintenance with a few small jobs in the mix. The rain the past few weeks has absolutely killed us.
    Even if it isn’t actually raining, the ground is so saturated we can’t do anything. And when we can, everything is so tall it is taking us twice as long to take care of yards. Some clients understand, but of course a lot don’t, phone calls and complaints are worse than ever.
    This is our 6th season, and I think this is the worst we have had it.
    Any one else in this position. Maybe anyone have any new tricks or advice?
     
  2. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 18,320

    Raise your decks a half inch or more. Cherry pick lawns you can service.
    Cut in the rain. Some bag extra clumps. Grit your teeth.

    This too shall pass.
     
  3. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,514

    Wow, just happened to get on to see whats been going on....been busy here and haven't been on LS much.

    We are pretty much in the same boat. Some are fine with it, others have a problem. We had a lot of rain over the last few weeks, one weekend we were rained out from Th-Sun. It cases like that, not much we can do.

    My policy is NO REFUNDS, if we are rained out, they still need to pay so we can spend extra time trying to clean it up on the next mowing. Most understand this, only a few had a problem.

    Then came the tall grass. There is only so much we can do, but of course some will have an issue. If I get any complaints from biweekly customers, in a more polite way, I tell them switch to weekly or deal with it.

    For any customers who don't understand or don't seem to grasp the concept of 'what happens when there is a sh!t ton of rain', I do as best I can to explain it. Either they get it or they don't. Either way, with the amount of rain, it's going to take a few cuts to get everything cleaned up. Communication is key- I sent out a mass email the day we were rained out with info on why it's bad to mow in the rain and what happens if we mow when the ground is too saturated.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  4. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 18,320

    Oh, they "get it." they just don't want to pay for it.
     
  5. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 2,586

    My agreement says that in extended periods of bad weather, lawn maintenance may have to be skipped for the week and resumed the following week. I put that in for hurricanes and tropical storms, but it works for days of rain too. I also email people reminding them that I’m working on maintaining the schedule, I appreciate their flexibility, and also to remember that I will be doing what’s best for the turf which may mean skipping mowing to avoid rutting the lawn. So far, my people have been understanding on a day or two delay.
     
  6. hal

    hal LawnSite Silver Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 2,510

    Ya in the same boat, we may have to use a boat, cutting bermuda that is growing 6 inches a week, turf guys still fertilizing (tru-green). People wondering why your there when it's wet and why your not there when it's dry (scheduling).
     
    hort101 likes this.
  7. OP
    OP
    Film

    Film LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Exactly, on some of the times we have been able to mow, we have had multiple clients call and say “well it’s not raining now, I’d appreciate if you sent your crew over this afternoon”
    Well sir, the other 80 or so clients would probably also appreciate it too.
    I may be handling this he wrong way, but we basically wind up catering to the complainers, and/or people we know will complain, which throws the schedule off even more.
     
    grassmonkey0311 and hort101 like this.
  8. hal

    hal LawnSite Silver Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 2,510

    When I was doing 75 house a week solo, maintaining the "schedule" was top priority. In 1995 when it rained every day (it seemed) I cut whole properties with a weed eater because it was jut too wet to maintain the schedule.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  9. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,514


    No, they've never hired a lawn service before, so they don't understand it.
     
    sjessen and hort101 like this.
  10. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,514

    That's pretty much the only way to handle it. Keep the complainers happy and the rest will see us when we eventually get there.
     

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