Problem lawns

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Acute Cut, Jun 27, 2000.

  1. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    I know a few months ago there was a post on here that many people said that they would not even quote a lawn if the back yard was not Lazer accessible. That is unrealistic for me at this time. I am still small potatoes to be demanding anything.<p>BUT, here is my question. I have two problematic customers. One has a chain link fence, bunjeed 5X, concrete blocks at bottom to keep dog in, and falling apart to put it mildly. I spend probably 5 minutes total just opening the dang door. And even then it is only just BARELY 36&quot;. COmments?<p>Customer #2 has three dead fruit trees in her back yard. Not only are they in the middle of this miniscule lawn, but they stick out and have drawn blood and darn near poked out my eye twice. I gave her an ultimatem, lose them or me. Could i have handled it better. (Assuming i wasnt still all bloody and crying-haha) Comments?<p>Have fun ya'll and make hay while the sun is shining!
  2. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 628

    I had a customer like #2. I offered to &quot;trim just a little&quot; off her trees so they would look better (yeah right, but it sounded good), & it would cause less injuries. If they're worried more about worthless trees than you going to the hospital, then say Adios muchachos. Do you like bleeding? I don't.<br>About #1, offer to fixz the dang thing. Tell them it'd be worth it to upgrade to a bigger gate, for THEIR sake. Getting toys, swings, their truck with mulch in, or whatever. Don't necessarily tell them you want it for your convenience. Also offer to install it at a decent discount. I'm one of those who won't touch a fenced yard either unless it has a double gate, or 1 big gate, etc. Too many others out there that are easier to mow than to piddle around with time-consuming accounts. Good luck.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>
  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,180

    Never take your glasses off, my eyes have been save many a time. I just gave away a $100.00 a month account because the customer had a double gate that had firewood stacked against it, they didn't want it moved and didn't want me to move it. I could have taken a rider through the gate but instead had to push mow the entire back yard........I didn't buy my Choppers to push mow back yards and I ain't buying a small walk behind just to do that either. I have a yard also that I spend 5 minutes rolling up hoses and picking up little Johnny's toys. I think it may be given up as well. All of these little things add up to more physical strain, not to mention mental cause I tend to get P.O'd everytime I have to do these things when they know I'm coming. My theory is when you pick up a new yard of equal value, lose the one that causes you grief. You will eventually buld your business the way you want it and not have to put up with crappy yards that you dread going to. I dreaded going to the factory everyday, I felt I couldn't change that but now I have the option!<p>Do what makes you happy, we're fixin' to give up some more problematic, physically draining, mentally stressful lawns to somebody that doesn't mind doing them. I do.<p>The best advice I can give you just starting out is be very selective. Don't take on every thing that comes your way just to say you got it. You will regret it one day or either hate going to it and on that day it is scheduled your attitude will change for the worse. You might even put it off until you develop a reputation for being very undependable. All this comes from a bad decision made one day when the dollar signs looked better than the work in front of you. Pick and choose what YOU want to do or either jack the price up considerably to compensate for the extra work, sometimes that extra money doesn't help when it makes your whole day miserable.<p>Homer
  4. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    Homer, that was the singular most pertinent post I've read yet. I'm printing this one up and taking it with me. I can't tell you how many customers/lawns I have of that caliber where I'm a) not making enough money but stick around out of misplaced &quot;loyalty&quot;, or b) getting put out on a weekly basis because of obstacles or mess.<p>Tommy's gonna cut some fat in the months to come. I may have less money every month for a while, but I'll be making *bank* on the lawns I keep, I'll have more time for additional services, and I'll be ... happy!<p>Hey Long-Time Guys, remember that morning where it suddenly all made sense? ;)<p>-TGC
  5. DanG

    DanG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 234

    i also have a few yards like that, one has a gate thats barely 38&quot; wide and is all hill besides.But I took that into account when I took on the job.Has anyone tried one of those new 52&quot; mowers that folds up to fit through gates? Good , Bad?<br>I think that would cut down on the time it takes to do the job & still make it worth while to do those problem lawns.<br>Also how do you handle the customers who decide they will mow their own lawns & then expect you to jump at their call to do work for them?(their mower broke down etc..)I've had a few like that.Or they want other work done,shrubs pruned, tree work etc..
  6. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    ACUTE LAWN - I don't know how good you are &quot;handy-man&quot; wise, but consider this: For me to pull to old gate posts, put 2 new ones in (wider of course) and install two gate hinges (for new, wider gate) would only take 1 hour for the posts, and then come back the next day or so and spend 15 minutes at the most with the new gate hardware. I'd have the customer buy all the materials, or give me the money to get everything. Do you know how much I'd charge for that wopping 1 hour of service, $000,000,000.00 Lots of zeros, huh!! I know some of the guys will disagree with me on that, but if the money's there and its a good acount, then its well worth my one hour of labor. If this was a good lookin account, except for the gate issue, it would be well worth it for me to give that hour up installing a new gate for 2 reasons. Heres the logic.<p>You don't have to give up a profitable job just because of an obstacle (that you can move!!)<p>and<p>If you take that 1 hour of labor, and even if your labor rate is $75.00 an hour, take and spread that out over the year (at least!) that you'll have that contract. I forgot to look where your from, so I'll go with a seasonal area (april to October) at that!: $75 over 28 weeks = $2 and some change a week , ONLY FOR THE FIRST YEAR. <p>Now if you really use your head and your a good businessman, when estimating the job, incorporate the cost of your labor on the gate project into the job cost. Hope this help, I'm done babbling. Wow that's long!!<p>Anyway, If anyone has questions about fencing ( not the sport, wise ass!) and gates E-mail me and I'll be happy to help. If my fences are good enough to keep an Air Force base secure, they're sure as hell good enough to hold a yuppies poodle!!<p><p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;&quot;Guido&quot;&lt;/a&gt;<br>David M. Famiglietti
  7. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 628

    homer & guido; well said.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    They said it well as a matter of fact I cant say it any better.
  9. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,261

    If I can't ride the lawn I don't cut it. I started out taking everything that came my way. Then I found myself hating to cut lawns using the 21&quot; mower. It's a waste of time. I have a lawn like your problem #2 lawn. I ask them to cut the &quot;sucker&quot; branches back. I'm still waiting for them to do it. Now I just don't cut under the branches. I'm sick of getting jabbed in the face and legs with branches.
  10. OP
    Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    thanks for all the good info guys. I am going to deliver her bill to her monday, i will chat with her then. I am thinking that i might go with a wood frame with the chain link stapled to it. Some hinges and a latch should do it. As for my carpentry skills, ever see a man with no legs and arms win a swimming or running event? No? Well, youll never see me be able to do carpentry either. I can bend ANY nail in 5 swats of a hammer or less. Not on purpose either. lol. <p>Just for laughs: I made an entertainment center once. It took me about two weeks. I built it in my friends carport. When all was said and done it was 7 ft long, 6 ft high, and 33&quot; deep. All made with 2X6 and 2X4's. It weighed about 700 lbs or so. lol. I finally got it up to my DORM ROOM on the 3rd floor with the help of 15 guys. I couldnt turn it far enough to get it in the door. I had to take it all apart and reassemble it together again inside my room. 5 hours it took me to do that. <br>Punchline.It fell over (in my room) three or so months later. I guess i was supposed to put some sort of cross brace on it or something. Who knows.hehe<p>Have a good one yall, and thanks again

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