Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by turfsurfer, Mar 8, 2001.

  1. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    Any of you guys have problems with companies (particularly the bigger outfits) incorrectly under-measuring lawns and therefore lowballing the prices? One example is a lawn that I measured at 13,300 sq ft and the guy says someone else measured it at 9,000. This lawn had 1500 sq ft just on the curb strip so go figure. My own yard is 11,500 and was measured by a service at 7,500 last year. Another friend of mine in the business says he watched one of the techs from a big outfit eyeball his 16,000 square foot yard from his truck and come up with a 9,000 sq ft number. This is my first year fertilizing so I have been extremely careful about accurately measuring for my records and keeping track of product usage and calibration. The end result is I'm getting screwed on my bids, and these other companies are either shortchanging their customers on applications or the techs are screwing their bosses by using more product than budgeted. I'm estimating about $40 for a 10,000 sq ft lawn. Am I way out of line here?
  2. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    I had a telemarketer call about a free estimate for fertilizing. I said sure come on out. The estimated my 15,000 sqft. lawn at 8,000sqft.
  3. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    Maybe it's just me but I understood the requirements for record keeping to include the ACCURATE size of the area treated. I believe this to be the work of either lazy employees or new techs trying to build up their routes. If the bosses were really behind this they would be better off quoting the lower price for the actual larger size yard.
  4. jrblawncare

    jrblawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    Accurate size and record keeping is a must....sell yourself and then the job.Tell them your not sure how they came up with those numbers,but this is what I came up with,MAKE SURE YOU ARE RIGHT,this is why you are better than the BIG guys.Good Luck,JRB
  5. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    That 7000k defecit in measurement on a 15k lawn will result in the lawn being treated with enough "liquid" to cover a 5K lawn. Did you ever see some of the goofs that apply this stuff. I think they drink it on their coffee breaks:)
  6. Greg Amann

    Greg Amann LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    I'm in central Fl. and have found the salesman for the large spray cos. under estimate there measurements to get the sale. But when the tech comes out to treat he's the one getting screwed because he has to do the labor and is getting paid based on the low ball price. This happens regularly. If a customer questions me I will remeasure 1 more time and explain to them if they are strickly going for the price then they need to take the low bid. But we provide a level of service the big guys can't. Sometimes we get it sometimes we don't. I don't like price shoppers they tend to be the biggest complainers.
  7. Turfdoctor

    Turfdoctor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    I totally agree with Greg. I have several friends who worked for the company we are all refering to. One was a salesman. He admitted eyeballing and said most of the sales force did not even take a measuring wheel with them! They knew they were bidding for price shoppers, so constantly stated smaller sq ft so they could go by the"book" on pricing per sq ft. He made a good living selling services he had no clue about or could care less how much he underestimated size! No wonder thier applicators quit every fifteen minutes. They kill themselves trying to beat that quota! He no longer works at the revolving door network, or even in the green industry! Stick to your integrity and encourage the price shoppers to go with the other guys if bottom dollar is their only concern! You will lose some, but gain trust of the ones you do get. Beleive it or not, many of those who first claimed you said ther lawn was bigger than the other company, will come calling again when the low bidders send a different applicator every 3 weeks and their yard sucks!
    Robert Stroud!
  8. Rodney Anderson

    Rodney Anderson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    its all over, remember, I look at it like this. If the customer has selected a company on price, they will again. Go after the ones who really appreciate the quality, professionalism. I walk away from the so called shoppers. I dont need them, look at the cancelation rate of the big guys and look at yours. see why.
  9. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    Thanks you guys. Now I know why when I sub mowed for TruGreen / ChemLawn all thier footage was off. I could eyebal better than those numbers. I once got into a deep discussion with my rep over a account he wanted me to mow. He was offering me a premium price for what I knew by eyeballing the site, but then he told me the sq footage. He was off by 50% when I finally wheeled it off when I took the account a few years later.

    I never figured there was a gimmic to that, I just thought the rep was nuts or did not measure it correctly. Now it makes since, The reps are screwing the company in the long run just to make the commission.
  10. Garry

    Garry LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    I worked for ChemLawn back in the 80's. We had a 5200 sq. ft. minimum. You can bet, everyone of my lawns were exactly 5200. It was ridiculous. My material useage was always WAY OFF. Everyday it was the same arguement with my boss because we were to bring in $1000 in production. I had to do $30000 worth of actual square footage just to bring in $1000. You could be the greatest specialist in the world BUT if you didn't make your quota, you were a bum. Well here it is almost 20 years later............needless to say.............I'm NOT about to celebrate 20 years with the company.

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