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Do you mow overgrown lawns (fields)?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by crusty_crab80, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. crusty_crab80

    crusty_crab80 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 426

    Just wondering how most people approach overgrown lawns?
    A great example the other day mowed a lawn (aka field). Grass was about 24 to 28 inches tall. Tallest weed I found (measured with a tape) was 47" freaking inches. Now its on a contract and the money was ok, but its obviously hard on eq, and takes a ridiculous amount of time.

    Would you accept a job like this if it was a one time only?
    If yes, charge hourly, or 1.5x regular rate (tall) or 2x regular rate (really tall)?

    Just curious, asked a friend of mine and he said he wouldn't touch it unless there was a contract for mowing weekly/biweekly after initial mow. Too much wear and tear and sometime the mower "finds" things in the grass.
  2. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    I used to, not sure when the last time was...
  3. 360lawncare

    360lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 962

    Don't normally around here in some towns of the lawn gets over a foot they have a certain amount of time to get it cut or pay a 250 dollar fine so we get the calls for those people and we charge allot to cut them but they don't mind since it keeps them from paying the 250 fine.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    I would charge 3 to 4 times the regular mow rate. Have to include a brush hog rental cost because there is no way of knowing what junk is hidden in that junglelawn that will damage your mower.
  5. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I always charge 3x regular rate anything over foot tall
    Always trim first so I see what's in the lawn plus before doing the job I call dig rite to have water boxes mark and phone and cable boxes mark

    I don't know what type mower you use But I use my 2006 3372 and I will only cut half my deck on tall growth I cut it at 5.5''
    Its like double cutting on one pass most lawns only takes one pass doing it this way
  6. tundraman

    tundraman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 884

    Make sure you have extra shear pins for the bushog. I went through about five cutting my property. Hit a bunch of old railroad ties that once were used as fence posts. If using a mower bring an extra deck belt as I smoked mine on my finish mower.
  7. gebby

    gebby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    I have in the past and, will continue. I walk them first and note and or remove anything that will damage the equipment. I use my Z mower with the deck all the way up. Yes it takes a while and can be hard on the equipment but, I charge accordingly. I have several lots that I mow every 4 weeks at that height. The customer knows the finished height. I also spray them 2 times yearly with 2-4-d to keep the weeds under control. The first cut is always the worst. Under the right conditions, the money can be very good. Under the wrong conditions, the money can be very bad. You stay in the drivers seat, not the customer. Charge accordingly.
  8. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    That's the key. Mowing like this really needs to be done, at least initially, with a tractor and shredder, and yeah, you need shear bolts and tools for them on hand. My shredder has a tackle box bolted to it that's full of shear bolts and a few cheap wrenches to change them with.

    I wouldn't mow that with my precious grasshopper or even my Bad Boy for any price short of an agreement for the customer to foot the repair bill.
  9. GoPappy

    GoPappy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,151

    I've bought 2 pieces of property that had to be cleared. I'm clearing the 2nd one now. On both of them, I've hit all kinds of metal fence posts, brake rotors, radiators, folding lawn chairs, etc. It's hard on a shredder with a slip clutch or shear pin, let alone a lawn mower.

    Plus, I've found several large varmint holes of some type. The tractor tires roll over them, but I'd sure hate to roll a lawn mower's caster wheel into one of them. I usually drive a long t-post into the ground to mark them until I can come back and fill them.

    I've even found "new" stuff with the lawn mower after I already mowed it with the shredder. It was stuff that I missed when I cut about 6" high with the shredder, and then mowed at about 4" with the mower.
  10. JeremyKuhn

    JeremyKuhn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    I'll walk a property and if it looks okay and there isn't anything laying around I will mow it at 5+ inches and gradually go down. If I see much at all in the way of junk then I am in no way putting my mower on the lawn without a brush hog or tractor going over it first so I don't destroy my equipment.

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