Too many miles to a job?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JonLawn, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. JonLawn

    JonLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    I try to stay very local, 10 miles or so. But as the season slips away I am looking for more work. I received a call for a job that is 30 miles away so 60 round trip and no other work in that area. It is seems that money is not an issue with this client (they say just send the bill) but they say that they have paid $50 for the mow in the past. Should I charge $70 just because of fuel cost? I know I should also account for my time driving but I actually have nothing else to do. Thoughts?
  2. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    If your hard up for the money then take the work but you will not be keeping this account when you get jobs closer to home. It's a money loser with employees and barely palatable solo. Then comes the fuel costs most only get around 10 mpg towing a trailer so thats 20-25 dollars in fuel there plus another gallon to the job so you could be driving out there to make 20 dollars. Then that needs to cover your repairs your tires your brakes your replacement costs for equipment.

    As I said if your hard up for the money and minimum wage looks good to you then do what you must. There is no shame in that but you also have the ability to say no if its not economically viable.
  3. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    I think "sorry but I'll pass" is the easy answer.
  4. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    If you are short of work, you never say 'no'

    But put a realistic cost on it. Price is at a point that you wouldn't drop them if a normally priced contract came up locally. That may mean 85, Or 105 instead of 50.

    He may be in a bind, because the last guy couldn't make it at $50. If you think so, explain this to him too. I find that if people understand where I'm coming from, they are more willing to pay a living wage.

    In fairness to them, explain that it is out of your normal working area, and you are charging $XX extra because of that. But that if you can get another contract, you will split the XX extra between the two contracts. This gives him an incentive to talk you up to other people there.
  5. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Unless there is the prospect of additional accounts in that area, pass. If this were a larger account, it might be worth it, providing you have the extra time. I would also wonder why I was being contacted at all. If price is not the problem, then it would seem to me they would have someone local servicing the property. That is a big red flag to me. If they can't get someone local to mow for them, there is a problem. Just my opinion.
  6. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    or their guy they had servicing the property for 15-20 years has health problems or retired and they are looking for an new service and he's the first one they called, that's very possible. or they did it themselves and no longer want to do it so they called him.
  7. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    You are right, if the property owners were not aware the OP didn't normally offer services in their area. I was just assuming that the OP probably informed of that in during their conversation.
  8. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    There's no way i'd take something that far out. I gave it a good chance with a few accounts, and it just doesn't add up for me. It's also my goal to tighten my radius as much as possible, and i can tell the difference immediately. More time to get closer work, less wear on truck, the list is long. Since i have more time for close customers, one of my customer's (judges wife) wants me to trim a sticker bush for $75, and it will take about 20 or 30 minutes. That's what i'm talking about.
  9. Outlawn

    Outlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    All valid points. I think the fact that you are hesitant and unsure speaks a lot for the way you already feel about the validity of the account for you.
    Conversely, bid it to make it worth your while and see what happens. If he takes it, awesome. If not, maybe try to work with him. Don't sound desperate for work, but explain about the working area. This may be an avenue into more accts in that area that WILL make it worth your while.
    Ultimately, it boils down to if it's worth it to YOU. Not me, not the other guys posting on here, but you. You own your company, you run the books, you pay the bills, not any of us. So at the end of the day, if you are comfortable doing it, and you're not losing money, great.
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  10. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    I don't have anyone more than 10 miles one way and I actually considered dropping those TWO because it was 40 minutes of my day spent traveling to/from, but I ended up with another one in the same area making it more worth my time.

    Most of mine are within 5 miles. My average daily mileage is around "15".
    I think I mowed 14 lawns last Wed and put a total of 22 miles on the truck.

    I quoted one out past 15 miles once. I HAD to pad the price to account for time/gas if I planned on mowing that one, single job.
    I didn't get it (because the price was higher than a local guy's price), but that was for the best in the long run.

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