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Bi weeklys and their worth.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Kelly's Landscaping, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    It's the same here. The bi-weekly accounts are always the cheapskates who rarely want anything else, won't go for our more comprehensive maintenance packages, cancel during the winter months, balk at our prices for additional services, etc. When someone says they want bi-weekly around here I can tell instantly what kind of financial position they are in. Because in Oregon grass GROWS. The only reason you'd ever do bi-weekly is because you're broke.
  2. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Yes, that pretty much in line with my thinking Woody.

    Here's an example when a bi-weekly account doesn't make sense. I made contact with a potential customer who bought a cord of firewood off me and he asked about mowing his lawn in the spring. I inspected the lawn in late fall/early winter at dusk and figured it would be a slow growth lawn that I'd charge $50 for if it were weekly. I bid it at $65 as a bi-weekly cut. The problem is that a section of it is always badly overgrown at 2 weeks, requiring me to bag it. I figured it would take me an hour tops and it ended up taking me 70 to 80 minutes each cut. He will not allow me to cut it more often than EOW (not in his budget). Due to slopes and obstacles (lots of outcropping rocks) I have to cut it with my walk behind and there is excessive trimming even then. It requires about a mile detour off my route, but that's on a narrow, bumpy and winding woods road, so my total time with travel approaches 90 minutes. Extras on the account ending being a $20 surcharge to deal with leaves on one of my fall cuts, which was questioned by the customer. The customer never paid me according to my Net 15 terms and on a couple of occasions had not paid the previous month by the first of the following month (>30 days). I screwed up taking on this customer at that price but I stuck with it for the season, but this customer will not be on my route next year!
  3. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,686

    I got the honor of Jim posting on one of my threads that is cool I know your seldom on. The point I was making was in my particular area the bi weekly's allowed me to fill up my cutting schedules by splitting them between the 2 weeks as evenly as possible. Thus relieving the pressures that full service accounts would put on my very limited extra work days and fall and spring clean ups as well. My company has an average drive of around .9 miles per lawn i.e we have nearly 200 accounts and drive less than 200 miles a week on the mowing lists.

    I take you at your word Jim if you say that this wouldn't work in your area I tend to believe you. New England is very old and property lines are very strange streams, rocks, even a barn may have been what was used to draw the lines. And very few states were done this way the majority of the country used a grid system as they settled. What it means for us is lawn sizes vary massively in a very small area. 3 miles from my house I have lawns as small as 500 sqft and as large as 120,000 sqft and everything in-between. The tight developments often have some nice healthy thick lawns and you wouldn't consider going anything other than weekly. Where 1 or 2 streets over it will be a street that has 40 to 50 year old homes and a few that date back 200 years all with heavy tree cover and sickly shade lawns that are perfect for bi weekly mowing. And so here if you want a thick mowing list you need to take on the old non conforming neighborhoods that are spread through out the towns in-between the newer developments. If the road is wide enough and the parking is there I'll take it. Now there are 1000s of homes near the beach that I can not touch with my rigs but interestingly here the beach area is the slum so no loss heheehehe I told you our state was weird.

    And yes Jim I know Oregon grass grows it's where all the grass seed we can buy here comes from. I would guess other than logging probably your number 2 industry there.
  4. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Honor? That scrub used 21 inch mowers for 16 years before finially breaking down and buying a used 36 inch belt drive mower, and here he is posting like some sort of elitist! :laugh::laugh::laugh:

    Just teasin...lol.
  5. I don't think the guys who don't cut and prune year round will get it. There is always something to be done on my properties. I agree, the bi-weeklies here are cheap and really don't have the money to be spending on maintenance.
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  6. 2ExploreTech

    2ExploreTech LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    I understand that in urban or sub-urban areas, doing biweekly mowings may not be that desirable, particularly with small yards. With larger yards or landowners, biweekly mowings aren't that bad. As mentioned from some earlier, they usually are not fert. and irrigation is rare. Yards have more 'breathing room' so using wider mowers are possible. They often have secondary mowings included -- trails, orchards, pond lots, along the road, maybe even an old cemetery.

    One suggestioned that I have used, if the property is large enough, is to mow 1/2 1 week, then the other 1/2 the next. Trim accordingly and clean up weekly, not counting storm damage or leaf season of course. Yes, this just became a weekly, I know. In one case the owner works down in the city, so having someone keep track of the property and be responsible enough to take care of things as needed worked out well. [Almost embarrased to say it, but one of the selling pts was that the deck would be level with sharp -not bent - blades -- just because the lawn isn't a golf course doesnt mean the mower should scalp it]

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