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Worst fall cleanup i've ever had

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Expert Lawns, Nov 11, 2002.

  1. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    i bid a cleanup 2 days ago. i did it today, IN THE RAIN. well, i use the mulch method. (lets not get another argument going like the closed thread). anywho, i bid it for 1.5 hours. took me 6. i'm furious. the leaves wouldn't mulch fine, they'd chunk up under the deck. i left there feeling like CHit. the lawn doesn' meet MY standards. i feel like i should go back and redo some of it. all cuz of the damn rain. i'm lucky if i even came out on the good end of this deal. sorry, had to vent. anyone ever had this problem? oh, and the leaves that i DID haul away were so heavy that i pulled a muscle in my back. (i'm solo, no help) just a waste of a day :(
  2. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    Days like that SUCK. And to more you think of the money you "lost" due to the extra time, the more fed up you get, which gets you madder and madder. Viscious cycle.

    But it's very refreshing to know that someone else out there has the SAME stress and has bad days too. Cause otherwise sometimes I think that it's me.. That I'm the fool..

    Knowing that leaves, when wet, just stink, and we're all in the same boat is refreshing.

    I know someone on here will mention that if you had a walker, it'd vaccuum them right up and you wouldn't have that problem. Might be true, but I don't have $11K minimum for that kind of machine, right now laying around. <G>

    One question though.. Did the leaf cleanup HAVE to get today.. I mean, if it waited a day or two.. even if you had more leaves down but they were dry, wouldn't of that made things alot better all around?

  3. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    By the way.

    When it dries out, I WOULD go back.. Let the customer KNOW that you did the job today, but it isn't up to standard. Otherwise when they see it, they will feel RIPPED OFF just as much as you..

    I'd ask them to look it over and see if they want another cleanup in a week or 2 and work out a price.. And do it when it's dry.. This way they will be happy and your reputation in that neighborhood won't be shot to heck.

  4. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    Expert Lawn

    This is exactly the reason I've done my leaf removal by the hour for the last 5 years. It completely compensates for those variables.
  5. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    I get to be the first..
    We have a Walker and my wife was out today doing leaves in the rain. You have to pick the type of properties you can do on a day like this. Ones with lots of flower beds to spend time blowing instead of collecting, ones with only a few trees and ones that are hign and dry so you don't make a mess. She did a property where the owner wanted her to clean up the dead stuff out of the beds, jobs like that. After work I met her at one and I did the eavestrough clean outs just before dark. She does most of the work so missing a day this time of year causes back ups real quick. Whenever we pull up to a new place to do a clean up as soon as the neighbours see the walker they walk over and want a price...
  6. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    The Mowerdude, I have been wondering how to handle something like this. We don't do jobs by the hour, we usually give a firm total price for the job. What would you do in this case when the weather was causing it to take much longer? I would think that most customers would tell you to go away and come back on a better day. What would happen if you did two properties of the same size side by side, one on a dry day and one on a wet day? The price would be 1 1/2 hours for one and 6 plus hours on the other one.
    The reason we go with a total price instead of hourly is because of the equipment we use, leaf loader, Walker, back pack blowers etc. People around here would shite at the hourly rate we would charge. Once the job is done we usually have to explain how much the equipment we use costs.
  7. grassworks

    grassworks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    I feel for you expert.... but rain days are almost like "down time" when it comes to leaves (especially mulching). If the customer expected it done , then I would have had to adjust the cost to suit the new parameters of the job. I'm sure in your bid you were not planning on the rain ( wet leaves). the customer should understand this or expect you would be delayed in starting at thier home. I hate just sitting around but maybe it would have been a good day for equipment maintenance or closing some more sales. my 1.5 cents----- thanks
  8. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    I had one like that today, usually takes me 20 minutes to mow, today I mowed it 6-8 times to get it looking okay. Not as big as of a spread, that sucks for you. It started raining 1/2 way through, really bad downpour, I had to go to the door and appologize for it looking so poorly, but promised I would be back next week to fix (this is a weekly customer).
  9. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Lesson learned. Some things just have to wait until it is practical to do it. All you did was get yourself aggravated and beat up your equipment.

    I WON'T do leaves in the rain. It's a waste of my time, money, and equipment.
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I agree, sometimes you're just better off packing it in when the conditions aren't favorable.

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