lawn customer who irrigates asks me to skip a week.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnsaspire, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,721

    This is 100% correct. Happens down here all the time.

  2. lawnsaspire

    lawnsaspire LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    He said the reason he wants me to skip is b/c of drought and endless extreme heat even the sprinklers aren't doing much good. He's an 80 yr. old man, I don't know if his eyes aren't working but his sprinklers are keeping everything green and growing. So what should I do, just openly disagree with him and say that's not true sir your grass is definitely growing?
  3. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Take this time and educate yourself on proper watering techniques, I'd be willing to bet you'd be surprised just how many of your "good" customers irrigate improperly.
    Not only is it costing them more money but they are wasting a precious resource.
    When we first looked into this, we were not just surprised but rather highly so...

    A good number water daily, a fair amount during the hottest part of the day, others have faulty heads and leaking pipes.
    Many have never balanced their irrigation system, there will be areas bone dry while others are muddy.
    Many customers think they need to water more often, when the answer is longer.
    Proper irrigation isn't in the frequency, it's in the duration.

    I'll give hints:
    Three days a week, start around 2am.
    And balance it out, you want even watering throughout and overall, more in sunny areas, less in shade.

    Get a load of this:
    One zone 20 minutes a day seven days a week = 140 minutes
    Same zone 30 minutes three days a week = 90 minutes AND it's way better for the lawn.

    On a yard that gets daily water, decrease the watering to three days AND increase the timers 150%
    So if they had a zone on for 20 minutes make it 30 minutes (150%).
    Some controllers have seasonal adjustment % buttons.

    Takes time, practice and patience, mostly patience.
    The hardest part is getting SOME customers to allow us to fully control their systems.
    Some let us have it readily and are almost glad we take care of it for them.
    Others are not so easily convinced, and a few are flat out impossible to turn around.

    We still have customers who either WILL water during the HOTTEST part of the day or NOT AT ALL!
    Kid you not, we try and try to tell them but they either get their wish or they turn it off completely...
    Takes time, practice and patience, mostly patience.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  4. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    This is more likely an excuse to pay for one less cut. POSSIBLY a case of poor vision, but more than likely it's just a case of "let's not cut until it "needs" cut".

    I have a senior that does the same thing. "It hasn't grown since last week". (Yet incredibly, the blades are taller than the wheel on my push mower)
  5. lawnsaspire

    lawnsaspire LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    So what do you suggest I say, to keep what's formerly been an excellent person to work for who has not once in 4 years called and asked me to skip a week. This is the hard part of the business, trying to communicate with so many different personalities.
  6. DieselMDX

    DieselMDX LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 72

    thank you for your post this is exactly what i do now, i will change to EOD
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    I do agree with this, don't let it happen more than once.

    I am on the fence with this. Good customer, asks you to skip once. I would just do it and move on to next week. If same thing happens next week, then you have a man-to-man and say you can't put up with that stuff when the lawn needs mowing. You get your customers messing with your wallet too much, you are in trouble.

    FYI - I have one good customer in a nice home who waters regularly. I could cut that lawn every FIVE days and still take off 1-2 inches of grass per visit. No way I would go every other week on a properly irrigated lawn.
  8. gdguth

    gdguth LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 443

    Are you really that surprised that he is asking you to skip and he never has in 4 years. Tell me how this year compares to the last 4 years. I think you will realize this is a year like none other. I live in Central Illinois and I know you have to be a dry as we are. Just be glad that you are mowing it every other week. I have some yards that haven't been mowed in 4 or 5 weeks. I also have others that could be mowed, but I have just talked with the customer and know better to just let it go. I wish i had irrigated yards, but I have about next to none. I have a good friend who said he has even been skipping the irrigated ones as they aren't growing either. Also, I highly doubt that if you charge him more the next week he will be happy. There is no way you would have to double cut. I have mowed yards, were I only mow parts of it and that is all I charge for. I want to charge the full price, but I don't want to make anyone mad. All I can say is it is a terrible year and I think if you plan to do this for the long run make the customer happy. Once it does rain again, then you have reasonable cause to tell him it needs to be every week and if he has a problem then, tell him to find someone else.

    Just be glad u didn't have a customer do it themselves because you decided to wait and let there yard grow during this drought. Then like my customer I lost the money I could of made every couple of weeks, beacuse they went and mowed it a lot shorter as well. Total burnt up and I think they realized there mistake.

    It sucks out there in this drought, hang in there. The strong will survive.
  9. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    I water my lawn regularly and I'm mowing every other week sometimes every third week. the longer the grass the more water it will soak up and the less I will have to water.

    I water 2 times a week for up to 4 hours a time. lawn is the best looking lawn in the neighborhood. my lawn looks better than some of the people who have an irrigation system because they are still insisting there lawn get cut weekly.

    the drought and high temps are really taking a toll this season.
  10. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    everyone runs there business different but I just do what the clients say unless they purchase my premium service.

    after all they are the ones paying me. if they call up and tell me it doesn't need cut (which I prefer over driving out there myself to find it doesn't) I say see ya next week then.

    90% of my business is basic mow, trim, edge, blow and go. they are actually required by me to call and cancel so I don't waste a trip out there. either they call or if I go out I either cut it or charge them a fuel charge visit depending on my mood.

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