Dealing with cutomers crap in yard ???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Synergy Ground, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Synergy Ground

    Synergy Ground LawnSite Member
    from Zone 8
    Messages: 94

    Most of my clients keep their lawns very clean. Its normal to have to pick up a cup, lid, etc.. However, My biggest account is another story. I mow his lawn and his daughters next door, plus all their rentals. They have about 3 acres of lawn, and 4 dogs. Every time i show up I have to pick up chewed towels, shoes, bottles, ruggs, cups, McDonalds bags, rope, etc... Also have to move all their farm equipment out of lawn, Tractor, Gator, EZ_GO Workhorse, Farm Truck, Hay Wagon, etc...What the hell do you do ?????????????????? I dont want to loose the account, but it takes me longer to pick up & move equipment than it does to mow & weed-eat. How do I charge for all this extra time and aggravation ??

  2. lawnboy858

    lawnboy858 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    i would add on 70-80% of the original price if its really taking you more time to move THEIR equipment then to mow and trim their lawn. Or, another alternate to solve the problem, you need to recommend having them move the equipment for you, while you mow, so they do not incur a price increase. Hope this helps.

  3. Turf Professionals Inc.

    Turf Professionals Inc. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    I would send them a nice letter with a letterhead first. In the letter, be polite and curtious, but let them know that you plan to charge your hourly rate to pick up the excess garbage. If they have not improved within a couple weeks, charge them your hourly rate. When they complain (and they will), they will either shape up or you will have to drop them. You will probably have success with the letter though.
  4. tinye

    tinye LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    If they know you come every monday, they at least have enough notice to move whatever need to be moved and cleaned up. i have an"excessive trash clause" that states anything that takes us more than 5 minutes to move, pickup will be charged extra. I have some customers that leave there dogs in the house on cut days, and clean up before we come. They will respect you more in the long run. Or take advantage of you...your choice. Good luck. It might just take a simple conversation as to "I just don't want to ruin your towels, or kids toys " to get them to comply
  5. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    I'm certainly not saying that this is the solution but I've "mulched" a few garden hoses in my 18 years of mowing. After that nothing was ever said and no garden hose has been left out since.
  6. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    I just cut around it. Especially something like equipment. Would you move a car off the lawn? I will get off and move a few kids toys, but not equipment.

    What happens when one day junior puts a scratch on the Gater, dosen't tell Dad, and dad assumes its from the lawn guy moving it? I know you could get blamed for hitting it wotj your mower, but 99% of the time you can dis-prove it buy prking your mower next to the scratch and it doesn't match where your mower would have hit it.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Depends on your financial situation, you may have to deal with it for the time being, sorry for the news but we ALL get that. One way to deal with it is to find quick clean methods, no reason in rolling up that 100 foot hose, I just pull it out of the way unceremoniously, not trying to leave a worse mess than what I started with, but out of the way... This works in some cases, even if the hose is left out every time, if all it takes is a minute...

    But for the most part these are exactly the kind of lots I stopped servicing this year, I put up with it for the most part, but like you said, a few things is ok but when it's always a total disaster... I just couldn't do it anymore, thou it didn't help my finances either, this is the dilemma I am having a tough time with right now... I sure wish we could use a JRCO leaf and debris plowing rake.

    Do we really HAVE to deal with the $&%^ to make a living?
    To a point you know we do, not sure of the final answer yet, I'll let you in maybe next year.

    That's something that works too, I just get tired or dazed somedays, I see the obstacle but brrrrrr whack-whack-whack oooops!
    By the way, do NOT do this with a newspaper, I hear say extension cords are bad news, and I know dog leashes are.
  8. rogerwb

    rogerwb LawnSite Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 94

    I mow around the stuff. Yes I will move a hose or a couple toys. I had one house that had a dozen toys on the side of the house. The grass got very long.
  9. ltw77

    ltw77 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    We have one account in particular that gets a great price for being with us for a while and always pays on time. It seems like every year they add one more major item to the back yard. First it was one of those nets that you practice pitching into(always left out). Then it was a full size trampoline(only time it moves is when I pick that sommamabi*&# up). Now this year she decides I like this small birdbath and some rose bushes to go around it(won't plant them and I have to move them off the lawn to cut then put back). I have a feeling the next item up for bid may cause a serious conversation regarding everyone's expectations and responsibilities.
  10. JJG84

    JJG84 LawnSite Member
    from OH-IO
    Messages: 97

    i ran over a newspaper the other day....

    was cutting one of my $400k homes and next thing i know...

    im off the mower frantically picking up 1,000's of pieces of shredded up paper and shoving them in my pockets as quickly as possible so they do not catch me!

    ....good thing the neighbor gets the newspaper! (my customer got it that day ;) )

    but anyways Synergy, this decision of how to deal with this customer is a call only you can make...

    you have to decide what is worth more > your sanity? or your money?

    alot of people in this world do a lot more work then moving stuff out of the way for a small buck...

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