charge extra due to weather??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JML, May 30, 2003.

  1. JML

    JML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    We missed about 4 days worth of cutting last week.. This week with all the rain, fertizling the grass is about 7 to 10 inches. We are having to quadruple cut lawns and still blow off. Do you guys think it would be unethical to add maybe 5 to 10 dollars to each lawn. A 15 minute lawn now takes 40 minutes. In a normal situation I would have no problem double cutting or even triple cutting high lawns, but this is nuts. I don't know if anyone else here in jersey is having this problem, but its killing my crews. thanks
  2. mr.lawnzap

    mr.lawnzap LawnSite Member
    from tulsa
    Messages: 123

    i understand your problem, but its not the customers fault the weather isnt cooperating, suck itup and get em mowed and hopefully itll be smooth sailing for a while and you can get back in the groove.
  3. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    I agree w/ Lawnzap. You can't charge them more for bad weather, now if they requested you to not show up & it is tall, then thats another story!!!
  4. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    I charged an extra 7$ to most my lawns for the extra work. No one complained. They all understand. The weather is no ones fault, but it happened, and the extra work had to be done. Why wouldnt you get paid for it?? I dont work for free.
  5. mowpronj

    mowpronj LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I also am having this problem in NJ. I do not charge extra because of the weather, I dont feel it is the customers fault, although it sucks. Cut a lawn four times yesterday( first time i have ever done that) but looked good when i left.
  6. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    I give them a choice...either I mow every 4 to 5 days...or...there is a small surcharge of $10 to $20 for the avg small yard where I may have to bag or take twice as long to cut. Are you waiting a week to cut your own lawn right now? Not likley....because you know it cant wait a week with this rapid growth. Most prefer to go with the small additional fee...and have not had a single complaint fact 2 different customers actually offered to pay more when they saw how long it was taking us. But then again I have a good group of customers.

    I have no intention of "sucking it up" as we are in an unusual and consistent rapid growth situation. Losing revenue due to a situation over which I have no control is not an option.
    If we were having a "normal" spring, I would just deal with the fast growth as thats to be expected....but this spring is way beyond the norm.
  7. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    Don't understand how a customer can be upcharged for something they have no control over.
    Do you refund them when there is no 'extra' growth and you finishing cutting quicker, I doubt it.
    Does your barber charge by how long or short your hair is for a hair cut? No!
    I know the ladies are often different, and any of you guys that have so much hair they call you Sampson and you feel the need to go to a stylist, get charged large money. But then again it's your choice to have your hair in that manner.

    Can't understand the attitude I pick up from so many postings that make it sound like you guys think you're doing your customers a favor by showing up to cut their grass.
    If I tried upcharging because we've had some rain and a growth spurt, I'd be losing a customer.

    You hired on to do a job at a price, get on with it. Some days it's biscuits and gravy, some days not.
  8. JML

    JML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I was doing the math last night, my crews are losing about $200 to $300 a day, because the grass is so tall. We are beyond triple cutting at this point. I understand its not the customers fault, but it isn't mine either....
  9. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585 contracts state..."every 7 days OR AS NEEDED"...
    it cuts both ways...when we have dry hot weather, its greater than 7 days.
    Its mowed when it needs mowed...that simple. I cut my own yard twice in 6 days this week...becuase it needed it, and to avoid a mess. If a customer has a problem with it, I refer them to Joe's MowandGo Charity Lawncare.
  10. Meier

    Meier LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 269

    ++++I was doing the math last night, my crews are losing about $200 to $300 a day, because the grass is so tall. We are beyond triple cutting at this point. I understand its not the customers fault, but it isn't mine either....++++

    Wow. That's bad. I'd guess there is no way you could charge extra for the additional work you're doing right now. Perhaps going forward, you could be sure and include some verbiage in your contract to cover yourself for this in the future.

    Here in DFW, evertyhing is Bermuda/St Augustine. The cool season grasses, like fescue for example, grow about 4 to 5 times as fast as Bermuda/St Augustine. I can imagine you're having problems up north. Thank God I don't have to worry about this sort of issue.

    One potential pitfall to charging extra for taller growth: What do you say to a customer about the regularly scheduled cut during summer droughts? Is there a discount for that? I'd just be prepared to answer that question as it will probably come up at some point.

    You'll have to be careful about how you address this issue with customers if you decide to ammend your contract to provide for premium pay when the grass grows too much.

    I wouldn't recommend going back and asking for money at this time, though. This wasn't pre-negotiated up front. You've quoted a price and unless you told the customer you'd be charging extra if/when this happened, I just don't think it would go over very smoothly.

    DFW, TX

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