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do you charge for storm clnup prior to mowing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GarPA, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    With the wicked weather we've had this fall I was wondering if most/some of you charge a small fee when you show up to mow and there's small branches,limbs, other debris that needs to be cleared b4 mowing can start. I;m not referring to a couple of minutes but rather if you have to spend 10 minutes or more clearing the property. I do add a small charge for this as doing this for nothing on all properties results in at least an hour or more per day that I dont care to lose in billed services. Usually its $10 to $15.
  2. BobR

    BobR LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 714

    You bet... I do a walk over on every lawn before I start mowing. I do not bill my customers for the couple of minutes it takes every week but they know and expect see a 'trash removal' charge at least a couple times a year.
    After a wind storm (like last week) it takes quite a bit of time to pick up downed branches and debris this time is billed for as well as a charge for removal.
    I spend about an hour on a couple of my accounts every week picking up downed branches and misc stuff you do not want to run your machine through plus items the 'lady of the house' piles on the lawn or in trash containers from her gardens. If you were a 'Good Guy' and didn't bill for these services you would not be in business very long.
    Happy Leaf Season
  3. thartz

    thartz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    Yes;the winds have been really bad here lately.Every dead limb that was on a tree is now in the lawn.I'll give 10 min for normal cleanup but bill for any longer than that.I figured last season I gave away 10 hrs just by not charging for the 10 min.I can't absorb more than that.We also have a byline in our contract to cover such instances.
  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    In cases of storms, I will charge if extra if time onsite is more than 5 minutes over normal mowing time. The extra time, whether 10 minutes or 4 hours, is charged at normal hourly labor rates, and a volume charge is also added for anything over 1 cubic yard (to cover dumping fees). Charge itemized on monthly bills as "storm cleanup" and the date(s) are listed.
  5. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    Oh yeah...If you have to do it...charge for it!

    10 dollars-20 dollars is a good rate...gives you the 10-20 minutes you need to get everything in order before you start to mow...saves the risk of hitting junk with the machines and gives you a little more bang for you buck
  6. jason r.

    jason r. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    Yeah, I'm right with everybody else. On the estimate sheet that I give out it states that during bad weather conditions storm clean up will be performed and billed as an extra charge unless prior arrangements have been made. After a storm, I just do my regular route and if it's to wet to mow, I'll just clean up some debris. Some customers have it cleaned up before I get there.
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Not charging is un-american...LOL. 10 or 15 bucks is nothing Gary. Don't feel like you're hosing them or something (99% of them understand that time IS money). The other 1% (complainers and winers) think you should do this for free and they're the type you should drop kick to the curb btw.
  8. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    oh believe me Rod I dont feel like I'm hosing them. More than most businesses, all we are selling is time...and giving away time is not something I will do.

    Glad to hear that some of us are running our businesses, like a business.

    reason I asked was I had one customer ask me why I bothered to add such a small charge($10) when his monthly bill is almost $400. He was trying to make me feel like I was nickel and diming him to death so I politely explained to him that the monthly fee was carefully calculated and is not inflated in any way...therefore, any storm cleanup work must be billed accordingly, over and above the mowing fee."Oh, I didn't realize you had your prices so exact". TOld him that those who dont know their costs, wont likely be around long enough to service him

    Maybe next time I'll charge him $75 for a $10 job....he probably wont whine then....

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