What to do, what to do

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by liquidforcedude7, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. liquidforcedude7

    liquidforcedude7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from america
    Messages: 285

    Ok heres my situation, theres a lady in my neighborhood who uses me to cut her grass like once a month or so and I usually do the leaves in the fall. Well as anybody from around my area could tell you our fall has lasted forever :realmad: But Im sick and tired of doing leaves, and we still have some trees that have alot still left to fall. But I did the leaves for this lady a few weeks ago (she usually calls and tells me shes ready I know its not good business skills but it works- usually) Ok well she called yesterday and was like hey I need you to come do my leaves, and I told her that im trying to wrap everything up for the season here before I leave on winterbreak (going out of town). And then I told her that I could probably do it sometimes between x-mas and new years. and she said that would be fine. I do her work cuz her husband is a ER doctor and works crazy hours and Isnt ever home. But I rode by and theres no way I can handle these leaves. Theres tons of them and I dont have vaccuum equiptment and she wants them bagged. usually I get everything oput into the open grass and mulch everyhting then put on the baggers and suck it up and dump them into a bag. But theres no way that woudl work for this amount of leaves. it woudl literlaly take me like a good 2 straight days with what ive got to work with. (mower with bagger, 8 hp push blower, homelite backpack blower, rakes, tarps, etc.) This would be my last cleanup Ive allready finished all my other ones for the year. Would it be bad to call her and tell her its too impractical (sp) for me to take on a job such as this and suggest she call a "professional". Oh and here also we dont ever dryout in the winter so working before noon wont work because everything is frozen but then afternoon everything is a very muddy.
  2. LawnScenes

    LawnScenes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    She might understand that. But she might also call a "professional" when it's time to cut her lawn again too. I think the biggest thing is. Do you worry about losing her if you don't do her leaves, or hope that she'll understand. Any way you could sub it out to someone in your area that could and is willing to handle it?
  3. liquidforcedude7

    liquidforcedude7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from america
    Messages: 285

    Nah I wouldnt Bother subing it out, Id could just give her some numbers of people. Im not really worried about losing her.
  4. LawnScenes

    LawnScenes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    I'd give her the numbers and let her know you you've wrapped up for the season. Usually people are understanding. Besides. At least she'll have someone to call on instead of sitting on a yard full of leaves till the spring.
  5. jim dailey

    jim dailey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Not to bust your *****, but you were cutting the grass, going around and around those trees, and you never looked up once? You had to have at least noticed once that there were a lot of leaves on those trees. Lesson learned. Always look around to see what other work needs to be done. And, as you now know, look up at the trees. It is a shame, because you are walking away and leaving money there. Happy Holidays.
  6. liquidforcedude7

    liquidforcedude7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from america
    Messages: 285

    Ok well my dad says I have to do this one this one last time but then I can tell her Im done. The thing is that shes usually likes it bagged but im going to blow it to the ditch and have my friend come and pick it up (hes got the setup). But im really looking foward to being done with leaves...
  7. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    if you told her youd do it, you better get there and do it, once credibility is lost, you never get it back , and she will tell others that you didnt keep your work...

    its not her fault you took on more then you can handle
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Exactly,also don't let your customer dictate how you do your work,bagging is impractical and time consuming,people think it's so easy.I never bag anything and if they insist they get charged much more cuz it is such a hassle.Rake or blow onto tarps,load into a trailer and take to dump or burn or
    mulch it and blow it into the beds or under the trees
    Find a better way.Don't blow it into the street unless it is going to be picked up right then.It may blow onto a neighbors or back into the yard
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    there is a more important issue here....

    This lady is depending on you. I'm sure you have cut her lawn sometimes when it really didn't need it and now your wanting to bail on her because it's more than you think you can handle.

    This is NOT a good way to start, People want dependabilty,

    I had a situwation like this, I left the bag on the mower and when It got full KEEP mowing and sucking up leaves it will Mulch them into nothing.

    Keep doing this untill you have a ton of mulch on the lawn and after your finished if there are spots you can use your blower to thin out these areas.

    Good luck
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I agree with your dad on this one. Normally I would say no but this is your last job, man. Yes, I know exactly how you feel, the last job tends to do it to me, too... Force it, suck it up, git'r done this one time, and it's all over.

    Far as the bagging, no I don't bag leaves.
    Two days? Who cares, look:

    I would rely heavily on that 8hp push if I were you, my first year I did almost 100% of leaf jobs with JUST my 10hp push blower. Yes 10hp is a little more powerful but 8hp is no joke either. It is a bit odd but you CAN do the whole job with JUST the push blower, use it, bring a 5-gallon gas can along and just push the job away. Hell yeah I have done whole yards using just the push blower.

    Sure you get big piles you think you have to use the tarp + rake but here's the trick:
    Section the yard off into squares or small areas, and do one area at a time. Start with the areas CLOSEST to where the leaves are going:
    - IF the leaves are all going in the ditch, then start near the ditch and work away from it. This way, you clear the way TO the ditch and the piles don't get too big for the blower to push.

    So, it uses more gas but no rake and no tarp. Leave the rake and tarp at home if you want and plan on using JUST the push blower, it can be done, I've done it many times when I can't take it no more. Yeah cuz using just the push blower RULES ! Yes, you can blow out flowerbeds and everything with that push blower, just make sure you do smaller square areas, one at a time, and work that 8hp baby.

    Watch, you get out there and just DO it, here is how:
    - Force the truck to start by turning the ignition key in such a way that this happens.
    - Then, force the truck into gear by slowly selecting the proper position with the shift handle.
    - Drive there mindlessly.
    - Then this part sucks but you get out, unload and pull the string on the blower. Dude you need to make sure the ignition switch is ON and the choke is set, you really kind of want it to start on the first pull.

    That way 20-30 minutes into it, you will see what I mean by how this works.
    If it makes you feel any better, I got 15 jobs left and most are wet or frozen.
    I gotta do it, too.

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