thats a first for me

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Frontier-Lawn, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    today i go do a estimate for a lady that called me. she has st. aug grass and it's 6" of sponge thick. i find out she waters it 12hrs a week and ferts it every 2 months! so i tell her i cant mow it since my deck only goes to 4" and when standing on the grasss you sink 4". any one here get lawns like this?
  2. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,783

    I had a customer that has a fert service and they fert on top of that, so its two times in one month. Then they go out of town and the sprinklers were set on every night, leaving a swamp and foot high grass. I was mowing with the deck in transport mode, and to top it off they always complain that I take off too much...too much!!!! :dizzy: normally I cut them at 4 - 4.5 inches.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Even with a light 300-lb. Wb that SHOULDN'T get stuck in the mud on a HOT and DRY year like it has been, I got 2 or 3 customers for some reason can't seem to understand TOO much water means MUD, LOL it frustrates me a bit but I just do the best I can and remember to step off the velke and help the mower across the trick areas and if it leaves a mark or two, hey I dun left more than a few, don't TRY to do it but don't worry about it too much, it ain't never killed or hurt nobody and I RARELY get a complaint so don't kill yourself, just do the best you can is all I do.

    Far as grass that is TOO tall or TOO thick, here is my attitude:
    IF it takes longer to cut it, I charge accordingly and if I think it's going to choke my mower, I charge at least DOUBLE rate.
    By choking the mower I mean the rpm's drop so far that I may or may not be able to keep going (and sometimes the machine cuts off) and the whole engine shakes in its foundation the entire time and this is VERY hard on the machine, so at least DOUBLE rate. Man, I dunno if you know much about me but I run synthetic blend oil and a 95-octane racing fuel so I do NOT want to hear SQUAT about my mower is just crap, matter of fact even the standard oil / 87 octane fuel-ran commercial mowers have a LOT of power and there is just NO reason why it should choke other than THEIR negligence.
    If they don't understand that, then let a somewhat more inexperienced Lco have at it because for 2-3 years I used to drive my machines in the dirt for people until I realized I didn't have to do it no more and today I either refuse to do the work or charge ENOUGH to be worth it one way or another.
    Here is what happens when I charge ENOUGH:
    1) They are shocked beyond belief and it shuts them up immediately and this means I do NOT have to run my mower in the dirt and can go cut a nice yard instead and the bs is over before it even starts.
    2) They respect my choice and agree to pay, at which point I am DELIGHTED to prove to them how bad-azz my machine is since they are evidently NOT stupid and once again the 15-hp Kohler turning blades at 3000 rpm is the sound of the fat lady singing 'The bs is over.'

    How to charge ENOUGH unfortunately depends on How long it would take...
    And How long would it take, THAT is the ONLY critical question and again unfortunately until I found out HOW long it really takes, well I did a LOT of yards like that too cheap but once I DID figure it out, I remembered well. And the cheap stuff I did I can write off as the price you pay for education so I think with time AND doing a few more of these rough ones (I did a few for the 'challenge' factor as well, neck-high horse pasture is AWESOME challenge) is what teaches us what we need to know.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Here's some more blablabla :

    My mower is a TOUGH machine, I know this because I have ran it through the woods, I have ran it through horse pasture, I have flipped it end over end and dropped it once or twice and landed it in a concrete ditch and it doesn't even phase the machine, she ALWAYS wants MORE!

    I've hit steel water meters, I've hit roots at full speed so good it bent a blade, I chomped on my own 10-tine pitchfork once when I inadvertently left it out in the grass, I've slammed it into the front or sides of the trailer when I hit the brakes real hard OR when I forget to secure it, and ALWAYS she wants MORE!.. Matter of fact, I once pulled my own CAR out of a (light) ditch with a Wb in reverse by tying a rope to the FRONT caster and yes, the Wb will pull a CAR ! (yes, that last has given me the strong suspicion that I MIGHT be a redneck a few times).

    So Granted you technically need a brush cutter for some applications but really, the Wb cuts sticks and goes through briars and brush and fields like nobody's business. My wb is likely no better than yours, they are all VERY tough machines, they are the M-41 Abrams Tank of lawnmowers, they really are.

    BECAUSE these machines can do what NO homeowner could even DREAM of doing in their wildest dreams, it is worth something and to me that something is called MONEY. Do NOT let them take you for a fool, just because OUR machines CAN do it doesn't mean we SHOULD do it for the SAME price.

    At the same rate, NEVER be afraid of taking on the TOUGHEST job with the Wb, just make sure to charge ENOUGH. One trick with really TALL / THICK grass is to use the side-discharge strategically and drive in counter-clockwise circles so it 'herds' the clippings and clumps ALL end up in piles and once you got enough piles of clumped grass going, a rake and tarp cleans up the piles in NO time and is FASTER than bagging!

    Man, I've cut knee-high grass AND left an ACRE lot clean in 2-3 hours but it is a LOT of work and I didn't charge enough (I think I charged 75 but ENOUGH would've been closer to 120). That is the price we pay for education, NOW I understand the NEXT time I get a yard like that, the price is $120.
  5. twindiddy

    twindiddy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    We're trying to find a way to conceal a spreader on the Z. That we can fertilize while we mow and they won't know it. Watering it is the big problem, though. Gonna have to sneak over to their houses at night and turn the hoses on. :D
  6. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,783

    during the summer. So any little extra watering will make a swamp. I have gotten my little 32'' walk stuck in a yard and its less than 300lbs. A lot of yards just grow real fast during the summer months. But if a yard has gone a couple weeks with out being cut then I charge more.
  7. Maitland Man

    Maitland Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    I've come across a few like that this year....I pass them up as well. With them like that, they have to use a 21 mower that cuts REALLY high....only way. You step in the grass, even right after it's cut, and your foot disapears!

  8. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Messages: 1,053

    Now is a good time to educate them and make some extra money to boot. Get your handi Florida Lawn handbook and copy the pages on proper water and fertilization. Then find the pages on verticutting and tell her that will be $400.
    Thank You very much.
  9. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    HELLO PPL, he isnt talking about his mower getting stuck, he is talking about the 6'' of built up roots and thatch that this lawn has. Got one just like it across the street from me but only abour 4.5'' of sponge layer. PITA to cut, imo, I wonder what it would do if you took it down to like 3.5 or 4''? Would you burn the grass too bad for it to recover or would it regrow just fine with a more resonable spongy layer?

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