Scheduling issues (Rain/Rain)

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Trinity Lawn Care LLC, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    Just wondering what you guys do when you have scheduling issues due to inclement weather (say a couple of days of hard rain)? I ran into it a little bit this year and I am sure that I will run into it even more as I grow. I know that this is an issue that we all have to deal with, so I am hoping to gain insight for better time management and good customer relations in regards to this. Thanks...
  2. uspw

    uspw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Trinity, we usually tell our customers that we will get to them as soon as the rain lets up. They usually understand it will ruin the lawn to cut it soaking, and it will look bad.
  3. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    Thanks uspw.

    Do you usually leave room for run off in your schedule. Say room to add 5 more to the next day, and then 5 more the next day. Do try to leave a day of the week fairly open for such an ocassion. Do try to schedule your days based on an 8-9 hour day and then increase that to 11-12 hours to make up service. What have you found to work the best for you?
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Rain? ;) whats that? But seriously here we load up, first by watching the weather and if we see it coming (and we usually do) we are proactive by doing a few accounts early, put in some longer days. Then a couple more long days and no problem. If the rain is a no show we finish the week early :) .

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    What AZ said. One thing we do is run a 4 day/ 10 hour day route with Fri set for maintenance. Fri becomes a cushion.

    Also we have some jobs that are not as rich soil (most of the commercial) so we can cut later into a rain without rutting. So we sometimes move things around. Also play with mulch compared with open chute jobs.

    But AZ said it best-watch the weather a week out.

    And customer communication is very important, Tell them your plans and what to expect when you sign the contract and even put it in. There should be no surprises.
  6. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    First i tell them up front that if it rains or the lawns are soaking wet from a rain, im not going to be there so they don't call me asking where i am and i don't have to call them to inform them that it is raining since they can figure that out on their own. I just tell them that i will get there as soon as i can.
  7. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    Thanks for the good info. Rain has been one of the tricky points in my scheduling. This is my first year in biz and I originally was going to start part time 10-20 accounts, but grew to 60+ accounts rather quickly. I know you may be wondering 60+ accounts must be low balling. Actually, my average lawn is probably $30 a lawn with my highest this passed year being $90
    I say that because I did not want you to think that I was one of those famous people that everyone talks about but you can't say the word. However, 1st year in biz, 60 accounts, you could probably imagine my dilemma when it came to rain. Thanks again...
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    we also try and be proactive... here we have a little bit more of a problem as most of our homes are $1M+ vacation homes...
    the customers all come down on the weekend and don't realize it rained HERE for 4 days that didn't rain where they are from......
    the only saving grace is that we have sandy quick draining soils and warm season truf ( none of that messy when wet fescue/bluegrass)
  9. uspw

    uspw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    To be honest we dont really think about the fact that the rain is screwing up the day, but rather "okay, I guess we're mowing Sunday" :realmad: . But what can you do? You obviously cant control the weather, or it would be sunny and 75 all day long:D .
  10. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    A everyone else had already mentioned...its more of a preventative maintenance as opposed to repairs. If it rains my customers (for the most part) understand. I mean heck...if they really want me to mow in the rain fine, but I'm not going to be responsible for the damage my equipment causes. Actually, our customers seem to like the fact that we are 'proactive', as others like to put it.

    I think it adds to the TLC and 'we are concerned about your image' feeling the customers may have.

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