Overgrown lawn handled with modified lawn mower.

Sometimes having the right tool for the job requires you to make the right tool. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one member who altered his lawn mower to allow him to mow down overgrown lawns faster. Although this design may be a little too dangerous to use, the fabricator was pretty pleased with the outcome of the job and the amount of time it took. Review the discussion and the property pictures to compare how much you would charge to mow such a property.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I have had a lot of bank owned properties that needed lawn care lately. Real estate agents need to learn to not let their bank owned properties get this bad otherwise the costs to maintain it go way up. On top of that. the grass was going to seed. I needed a two man crew to knock it down with my mower/ghetto brush cutter ‘Frankmower’ and then eventually get it bagged.

lawnmower-1With my customized lawn mower, I can adjust it to any height you would with a normal home owner mower but I can also go higher. I mow at the highest setting at first and then drop it, and finally, bag with another mower.

It took two guys, myself and a co-worker, 5 hours, drive included, and we charged $250, edged and vacuumed the grass. It would have been a complete wash without Frankenmower though. I didn’t really take consideration of size when I bid it, just threw the highest number I thought I could get.

I used it on another customer’s lawn today too because they initially wanted to do the lawn themselves but eventually their back got too sore, so sorry it’s 30″ tall in the backyard.

overgrown-mowing-job-1I’m actually pretty content with my price. My employee and I made $20/hour after gas costs, saw a wild deer in the lawn while mowing, surely somebody will notice the massive renovation so that adds to my rep, although I would value it at $350 because all the hay did in-fact get vacuumed up. But it was a GREAT trial run for my Frankenmower!

Frank is a 6 HP briggs engine which is really needed. For grass that’s damp or really dense around two feet, it bogs down, needs to take two or three passes (but doesn’t clog!) to cut the grass evenly.
Grass over two feet requires me to take 12″ passes moderately slow or it wraps around the blade.

When making such a bid for tall lawns, I always say I’d have to rent a VERY expensive machine to do any better.

What would have you bid on this lawn? I’m curious as to how much I might have messed up this bid.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “I really can’t tell how much yard is there, but it definitely looks to be in the $200 - $250 range. I just did an apartment lawn about 10000 sq/ft for $175. I had 6 hrs in it because I tried to do it with my new troy-bilt 4 cycle line trimmer. I wanted to see how it would do and it sucked for this. Oh well I’m learning. I changed to my push mower and completed the job.”

overgrown-mowing-job-2A third shared “it’s hard to tell the full size of that lawn, but I’d guess around $300-$400.

Then again, I doubt a bank-owned property would pay as well as an actual homeowner in that situation. I’d say in the $225 - $250 range for a realtor. Good luck getting the realtors to cut a check any higher than that! They don’t understand our line of work.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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