Should I take on a 16″ tall lawn mowing job?

It’s tough to turn away lawn care work when you are looking to grow your mowing business. Sometimes jobs will come along that are just too big or require larger equipment that you don’t have. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we look at what you should do when presented with a job that requires you to mow down real tall grass. How to perform the job and what you should bill for it.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am new and have a 21 inch push mower along with a string trimmer. I was contacted from one of my ads for a job mowing a lawn with grass 14-16 inches tall. I am not sure if I should take it or not. If I do take it, what would be the best way to mow this? Should I use my line trimmer first and then mow it? Will the mower catch most of the grass in it’s bag? Or will I still need to hand rake it?”

A second lawn care business owner said “I mow overgrown grass all the time. I cut a normal height and go real slow. If I set my deck height up, it just bends over and doesn’t get cut at all, even with new sharp blade edges. Most time you will need to double and triple cut it to get all the grass. That will take you double or triple the time, which needs to be reflected in your bid price.

Mowing Tall Grass

Mowing Tall Grass

If your mower is bogging down as you try to mow, I’d suggest mowing with your deck all the way up at first. Remember, you’ll need to cut it a few times. If this job isn’t going to be a regular cut in the future, I would pass on it all together though.

When the grass is tall, it can hide a lot of hazards. You need to be aware of this. Walk it first and take it very slow when mowing if you decide to do it.

A third lawn care business owner suggested “I recently mowed a property where the grass was 28″ inches high. With two people doing this property it took us a little over an hour.

We mowed over the grass 4 times. We started by cutting the grass down a bit by using trimmers then mow it over slow at 2nd minimum speed. I charged the property manager $150.00 for the hour of work.”

A fourth shared “you want to do this job with a 21 inch push mower? You have got to be kidding me! I would be honest and tell the customer you are not equipped to do this job properly and you would rather pass on it than have the job turn out less than great. This will go a lot further than killing yourself for a few bucks.

If you are determined to do this job then I’d say rent a real commercial mower for a day, mow high, decreasing cutting height, and mow several times. Charge for the rental and your time to go get the rental, to mow, and return the rental.

I just finished a 1 acre lot with 36″ inch tall grass. I mowed it 4 times down to 3 inches. The job took 6 hours and I charged $400 dollars.

When I was done, the customer was so grateful about the finished product that I now have a signed contract for weekly service @ $75 a week.

I have a 36″ inch stand on mower that is about 4 years old and was given to me falling apart. The time and money to get it working was well worth the effort. If I didn’t have that mower, I wouldn’t have done the job.”

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