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Lawn just does not need mowed

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mak2, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. mak2

    mak2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    3 of the 7 lawns I went to today just did not need to be mowed. I did not do them because I felt it would be ripping of my customers. But.... on further consideration, should they have called me and told me not to come? Perhaps I should work that into my contracts for next year? Does everyone else have customers call when the grass just does not grow this time of year? :confused:
  2. DaughtryLC

    DaughtryLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    If I think it may not need it I call the customer the night before. Saves me a trip and the customer knows I was thinking of their yard!
  3. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    If they are new customers they are probably used to how you do things. Now the new ones might be suprised the first time you just don't show up. I'm bad about this myself. I just treat them all the same, and kinda forget that I should probably call them and say "hey I went by and noticed the grass didn't grow much and there isn't many leaves, I'm probably going to skip this week if that's ok". On the other hand I have many customers that NEVER get skipped reguardless of the lack of growth. They want it spiffed up every week whether it needs anyhting or not.

    I feel the same as you about ripping people off. Personally I look down on the guys I see out cutting when it's a drought and the lawn is totally dead or dormant, but then again, I don't know, maybe they are like mine that just want it looking clean.... I have asked the LCO doing it a couple times and got the same answer from both, "I know it dosn't need it, but I still gotta make money". To me that confirmed that it's just their greed and not what the lawn needs or what the customer wants. Sad.
  4. cclllc

    cclllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    I try to call a day or two ahead or we work a schedule out for the dry months. I have some that call me when it needs it.
  5. Summertime Lawn

    Summertime Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Quick question; Are you getting paid extra in the spring for all of the extra work you do when the grass is growing faster than normal?
  6. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    I feel the same way most of my lawns are slowing up, I dont like cutting lawns that dont need it. I generally call a couple of days before and ask how the lawns doing and try to condense the route instead of going out and finding out only some need to be cut. Its gonna be in the 50's this week so :usflag: its definately gonna slow down. Time to get ready for fall clean-ups!! Then snow plowing!!!
  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    With experience, especially on particular lawns, you get a good idea of when lawns start slowing down in the fall, based on the weather conditions. I send out a bill for the month and tell them to call me first if they have a problem with my planned schedule. But no running out the front door waving me off after I've arrived. Tis a good idea to specify your policy on this, whatever it is, in writing, before the season.

    And, by a certain time of year, you may decide that doing a "drive by" to check on a lawn is ok with you, in the interests of avoiding conflicts with customers. It also impresses the customer that you care about their expenses, and are not just trying to squeeze "make work" out of them. It's just another thing you factor into the price. There are some lawns I'd do for $30 if I was guaranteed weekly cuts for 36 weeks a year, but since I have agreed to cut them as-needed after a certain time of year as growth slows, they may be paying $33/cut. Everyone's happy. I may only cut a lawn 33 times instead of 36 if growth is slow, but I make about as much as if I cut it on a more strict schedule. Plus I save the extra work.

    Sometimes I'll get irritated at certain customers who call and say the lawn doesn't need mowing in Oct or Nov as often as i'd like to mow it, but then I check and see that they're paying top dollar (for example, one pays $42 for a 33 min avg mow time) and i decide to let it slide rather than get into it with them and have to replace them with another lawn that might not be such a profitable one.

    My experience is that 90% of the hassles come from trying to squeeze the last 10% of income potential out of a customer. I find it easier to just go find an extra few customers. I have a waiting list of extra work to be done anyway. I just use the free time to catch up on that.
  8. grant087

    grant087 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    once u skip one time it will open it up for customers to ask u to skip again if you never skip you never have to worry about it.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    If it really doesn't need cut, then don't cut it. I don't understand the mentality of "I didn't charge enough in the Spring, so I'll have to screw the customer over the rest of the year to make up for my mistake..." Come up with a better pricing scheme.

    If you charge per cut, you should be providing SOME sort of service other than running the mower over the lawn...
  10. MowerMoney

    MowerMoney LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    I'm starting to skip several this time of year. Just as well as it's raining so much I could never keep up if I did them all.

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