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Whats the one job you wished you passed on?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Albery's Lawn & Tractor, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    What was the worst job that you took on? Did you even make any money on it?
    Mine was cleaning out a ditch for a old guy behind his fenced in back yard. I was just starting out and really, really wanted some work and I thought well I can knock it out in a day and hopefully get it in two loads. What a f@$%ing idiot!!! First it was all tangled in vines that were coming from the neighbors yard, so that made it twice the fun. Then we had to cut it and throw it over the fence and and drag it to the truck about 50 ft away. From first glance it didn't look that thick. Yeah two loads, try SIX!!! Plus it was during the hottest part of summer. It ended up taking me almost 4 days (weather was also a problem) and I had a helper that I payed $100 a day. Luckily I was able to dump all the debris in a burn pile on my property. I used about $50in gas and $100 fur use of the dump truck... So I made roughly $150. I was so made at myself.

    How do some of your stories compare to mine?
  2. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    We cut a HUGE old locust tree down (and ground the stump) for $500.00. I never checked with the town about a place to dump the debris (my town has a public dumping spot for branches as long as they arent over 6 ft. long), we had to haul all the debris (4 BIG loads with a dump trailer) to my farm (15 miles), then grind the stump (did I mention it was locust... HARD WOOD!!!!!). It was one of the hottest days of the summer, and my dad was helping, he almost passed out, I sent him home early. We wore out several chainsaw chains (did I mention it was locust? LOL) That was fun. Definately didnt make any $$, but got a whole lot of firewood out of it. Makes cutting down pine (even with all the sap and all) a walk in the park!
  3. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    I won a federal contract to care for about 3 acres at 4 different federal buildings. What a waste of time, security back ground checks, etc, etc. They always paid late, whined, moaned, wanted things done not specified in the contract, but didn't want to pay for it. So much complaining, I was always thinking they hated us, I about fell over when they asked us to renew. I said no thanks. They asked, "Why not? We were really happy with the service.":hammerhead: :hammerhead:
  4. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,522

    I was in the process of doing a leaf job for a new customer. We were half way through with the back yard and the lady that owned the house was telling me watch out for this...watch out for that. Then took it upon herself to try to tell me and my crew how this job should be done. We had been there for about an hour at this point. I started packing up the trailer because I wasn't going to listen to anymore of her sh!&. She asks, " where are you going" ? I said "away" and "goodbye". Then she asks, "so what am I going to do with all of these leaves"? I told her that she was the expert you figure it out.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    11 acre estate that wanted the clippings bagged every week...thank God there was plenty of spots to drop. Even though the money was decent, it was just too much damn work on all of us.
  6. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    Well, about half of my leaf cleanups last fall. Between people bitching about EVERYTHING, neighbors, and charging WAY to low on the first half of them, it kinda ended up making me like NO money. I did learn a lot to help me this year. For one, I ain't doing cleanups ever again with a handheld blower, that just was NOT productive.
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Especially the type with a long cord behind them :laugh:
  8. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    Yea, had like 300 ft of cord, but it was all the the indoor 10ft sections, all put together... pretty sweet setup:laugh: :laugh: LOL, J/K. I have a Stihl BG85 commercial blower. Had a Deere commercial one before that.
  9. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    Just starting out and tryign to drum up business, I call a realtor that had an unoccupied house in a very nice neighborhood. The grass was 8-10 inches tall. I ask who was doing their lawn care and I told them the condition of the yard. They said that someone was supposed to have been by each day for the last three days, and they were surprised it had not been cut yet. So, they hired me, but it was too late in the day to cut then, I promised them I would be there the next day.

    I arrive after work to cut, and it is drizzling rain. Not much, so i unload and go for it. I get halfway through the front yard, and the bottom falls out. So, here I am with half of this extremely tall grass cut and it is raining cats and dogs. I suck it up, and finish mowing. But the bad part is, half the street in front of the house is covered with grass, and it is all soaking wet. I took 25 minutes to cut the lawn, and an hour and a half to clean all of the wet clippings from the street and drive. I will not do that again...
  10. FinalCut05

    FinalCut05 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    I had a customer that wanted in the middle of november 05 that wanted 35 yards of mulch laid, with that weed guard fabric laid down under it. I should of never taken that job cause by the time the weed guard was down it was getting cold and snowy out. So instead of me ordering the mulch when we first started, all of my suppliers were out of mulch cause it was mid december. So I went to Home Depot and ordered 9 full palats of BAGGED mulch for me to spread by MYSELF. What was I thinking??? by the time that they got there Half of them were frozen bricks, about 100 pounds a piece. I was soo pizzed off at myself. I had to come back in early spring and finish the job. I only made about 500 bucks though the whole thing. I learned a very important lesson thou, Nothing is as easy as it looks and if you don't have the manpower, pass it on.

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