new customer requests to use a 21" this year

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Chop Stuff Up, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. Chop Stuff Up

    Chop Stuff Up LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    I have 5 new customers so far. 3 of them requested for me to use a 21", 2 of them who made the request were dropping their existing lawn service because they damaged their property with a large mower. They are small lawns and I priced accordingly, and they were fine with that. I was wondering if you guys are getting many of these requests and if you follow through.
  2. mrgreen3

    mrgreen3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Yes,as they say,the customer is always right..Usually and within reason
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I might suggest giving them the option to call 3 references of yours (so they may verify that you are not the same inexperienced Lco they got) but as for me I unfortunately don't own nothing smaller than 48's and that's what I usually say, now I've been using these machines for 4-5 years and rarely do I leave a track, it happens but it really is rare.

    Just be careful, best I can say, but I wouldn't myself touch no 21" because I can't service any lot of mine cost effectively with those things. As for getting stuck, that sux but you need some rope or chain (a good 50 - 100 feet of it) and a come along or hook it to your truck to pull it out, don't ever try to pull it out under its own power because you'll rut the heck out of their turf.

    Mind yourself, once I get stuck one time in a section I usually remember it well, and it's usually the last time it messes me up, there's little I hate worse than having my 300 pound beast stuck dead in the muck (the Z is worse, way worse lol). Way I do it is if I foresee it coming, I just linetrim that one little section real careful, practice makes perfect, I can usually linetrim a smaller area so good you really can not tell the difference but it does take time (what better way, you have to start practicing sometime, right?)

    That's how I do it.
  4. Frosty03

    Frosty03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    I don't use a 21 unless the situation dictates it, NOT the customer. For instance, I have one backyard that my 36" will not fit through, so I use the 21". Small areas, I use the string trimmer.

    I've got a couple of customers who have been jaded with the larger mowers that their previous guys used and tore up their yard. These customers don't want a large rider on their turf. Fine, the yards are not large and I walk it with the 36". I tell them I won't ride it, but I insist on the 36" Exmark and tell them I will cut it once with no obligation. If they aren't happy, they don't have to use my services.

    So far, they are so pleased with the cut and look of their yard, I have the neighbors asking.

    Now mind you, I charge a bit more for this. Once you get to walking fast behind a 36", you can get through a yard fairly quickly and a whole lot faster than with a 21".

    If I had to put it into money, I figure the time difference for walking it. Let's say it takes me 30% longer to cut than with a rider, so their bill is 30% more. But on smaller properties, that is harder to figure out as some I woudn't use a ztr on anyway.

    With a 21", I would charge them at least double if not more. But then again, I don't think I would do any yards entirely with a 21" unless it was a postage stamp size and I don't have any of these.

    Good luck.
  5. David C.

    David C. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    One reason the yard gets "tore up" has nothin' to do with the yard but has everything to do with whos on the machine.

    I've seen guys who have the need to "get in and out" as fast as they can. They run the Z "full throttle" and speed through the yard making turns like a horse running barrells-----they get to their "turn around" and turn around full speed---the wheels spinning and throwing up turf like a drunk man throwin' up lunch-----makes a mess out of the turf.

    Slow down and watch your "turn arounds"

    Two-----the operator has a machine he can "hot dog" with---and he does---and the customer sees him "hot doggin" on the machine in his fine yard---and its a complete "turn off!!"

    If I had my choice---I prefer my 52" over my 21" in an open acre---wouldn't you??? But you get some of these "Garden Home" yards----absolutly no room for the 52"---you gotta use the 21"
  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Yes it happens
  7. paolaken

    paolaken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 699

    don't even own a 21". 36" is the smallest
  8. Shades of Green LService

    Shades of Green LService LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,011

    If i go on an estimate and the job requires a push mow. I walk. I only have 2 small backyards where it is impossible to get my 36 in, and the only reason i haven't dropped them is because they are full service accounts. Other than that. No more pushing for me.
  9. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

    I use my 36 alot now ,where I use to run the 21...way faster...I just tak It cool...and there's no damage to the turf.
    But still there Is a place for the 21.
  10. Frosty03

    Frosty03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    No denying that, but thats like getting a bad mower. It may be the best thing out there, but if you get a lemon, you don't want another.

    That was my customers lemon, which is my gain as I am in and out of those two yards with my 36" walkbehind in under 28 minutes for about $40.00 per cut.

    I believe too that on smaller yards, it is faster for me just to use the 36" rather than the 52", then go back to the trailer and get the 36" to get into the backyard. I can have it all done with just that one smaller mower in about the same amount of time. If the customer is home, I just go slower. :walking:

Share This Page