Would you take this job?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BINKY1902, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Messages: 1,123

    I do about 90% mowing, 5% landscape install and redo, and 5% just trimming, yard cleanup, trimming shrubs, flower beds, etc. I was asked today about trimming all trees on a property that I mow and trim. This will cover about twelve acres and include about 60 trees. Most of them are sweetgums, and the prop owner just wants limbs cut from within reach of the ground with a pole saw. I have all the equipment to do this, but would have to rent a dump trailer. I'm also solo so I'd have to get one of my workers that helps me on mulch jobs and such. I'd be getting mowing customers caught up after the day and a half job, so that wouldn't be a problem. Would you mowing guys take a job like this? I like staying a mowing guy, and stay very busy. Most of the work would just be using loppers to cut at ground level. I was thinking about recommending a tree service, but I don't know if they will come out to just trim some small limbs from the ground. It will be a lot of work, don't get me wrong, but I don't know if I want to fool with it. The prop owner really wants to have me do it. If I turn it down I could lose the mowing job which is good money. Is this something better left to a tree service? My insurance covers me to do minor limb trimming which is the case here, but I would rather not have to gear up for this type of job. What do you guys think?
  2. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    Just charge to make it worth your while. Are you part time or just nervous? Doesn't sound very difficult just a lot of trees. If its a big property maybe you would be better to rent a chipper and sell him on putting wood chips somewhere on the property away from the house or something. Then you kill 2 birds with one stone and its probably cheaper to rent a chipper than a dump trailer.
  3. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 4,076

    Do you have to do all of the work at one time or can you fit in in over a period of time? Sounds like you have everything you need to do the work if you want it. Is the owner asking for a bid?

    I, too, am solo but probably would take the work as long as the owner was flexible on when it had to be done.
  4. NarNar

    NarNar LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489

    It sounds like you don't want to burden yourself with this side activity. If that is how you feel just communicate that to your customer. Let him know that your specialty is mowing and minor tree trimming. Trimming 60 trees on 12 acres is not a minor job. Just make sure you recommend him to someone you trust.

    Now if the money is good, just knock it out and call it a day.
  5. dhunterd08

    dhunterd08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    I would do it in a heartbeat. I love getting big landscape jobs, little retaining wall jobs, and anything to break up mowing. Like you said, you can catch up and like patsfan said charge for it
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh... wait...

    Just the limbs you can reach from the ground?

    Tell him you'd like to do one or two for free to get a feel for things, what I would do.
    Then go do one or two, see how the shoe fits, take it from there.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  7. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Messages: 1,123

    No not nervous. I'm just very busy with mowing. It has to be done during the week, which will take two days off of my mowing schedule. I can get my mowing customers caught up, but I really like to keep everyone on the same day. They appreciate this, and it helps me keep customers. I have everything to do the work, just debating whether I should reroute my schedule for it. It would be good money, I have approval for time and material, no bid. I'm just alot busier than I planned on being, which I guess is a good thing.
  8. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Messages: 1,123

    It's not that I don't know how to do it, it's just putting my other customers behind for it. I was running a chainsaw in my early teens. I have taken entire trees. The work is easy money work it's just the matter of 20 of my mowing customers having to wait. Customers will say, oh yeah that's fine, you can get to it a couple days later, but that may mean, Oh I guess someone else is more important.
  9. rmslawns

    rmslawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    I do this work part time on my days off from the FD so my opinion may only apply to someone with my schedule.

    I try to do work like that at the beginning or end of season so my cut schedule does not suffer during busy months. If I take a day or two for a big project, I have to hope it does not rain on the days I was going to catch up on my cutting. Here is what I do especially for my commercial accounts. I have several friends that specialize in different areas of landscape....tree trimming, stump grinding, irrigation, large tree planting etc. If I cannot do it or do not have time to, I have them give ME a bid. I let the customer know I am getting a price from someone I deal with, then give them a bid. It is like being a contractor. So..when I am cutting the property, I have someone there doing another project and I make a few bucks and my customer is happy. Just remember...be careful saying yes to too much. I try to find work for others if I have it and at the end of the day I know we all made a few bucks.
  10. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Messages: 1,123

    I'm probably gonna take it, I just have so much going on right now. It will be a two or three tripper to the landfill. Oh well, I have a dually that needs a workout, and I have a four yard trailer I can rent for cheap. I guess the point of this post is that I have a whole lot of work for a solo guy, and it's getting to me. I didn't want to have to hire a full time guy this year but I have a feeling I'm gonna have to start running a crew next year so I can tend to other stuff like this. To be honest, I could get big into landscaping next year if I get a crew to mow. Word gets around fast I guess, cause I'm getting plenty of work. I also like taking jobs other than mowing, only if I had more time. Guess that's when you know it's time to hire some guys. I guess the point is I have a big bass boat sitting out back that needs a workout worse than that dually!

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