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Hedgemaster
07-06-2011, 11:14 PM
I did a "shrub rescue" today.

The whole front hillside just looked like one, solid mass of... something.
Weeds, flowers, trees, shrubs... all overgrown, and in need of some help.

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2335.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2336.jpg


I started out by looking at everything and realizing I hadn't peeked "inside" these shrubs when I gave the quote. Summinabit˘h!!! Some of the stuff he wanted cut down by half had trunks and branches nearly as thick as my arm!
Guess where my chain saw was? Sigh... back home I went. Lesson learned.

When I finally got started, I realized that there were two "small" shrubs out front, so I started by giving them a bit of shaping as well as the "face" of the massive "wall" of shrub that lined the hillside. I figured I'd work "in" before cutting the height off.

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2337.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2338.jpg



From the yard looking out at the street...
You can see how much I took off on the left compared to the stuff still left to cut on the right.

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2339.jpg


The FS90R with the articulating hedge trimmer attachment. I don't know if it was a good idea, but I cut some thick stuff with that thing today. If you're going to buy the hedge trimmer attachment, don't waste your time/money with the one that doesn't "articulate". Being able to adjust the angle for different cuts is WELL worth the extra money this unit costs...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2340.jpg



I didn't get the greatest "after" shots, but here you go...
There were essentially 5 "sections" to this job. The two round shrubs near teh road, the big juniper that can be seen behind the trailer ramp in the pic below, the "long row" along the hill, and a big holly bush back near the house that isn't visible in the pics.

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2341.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2343.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2344.jpg

Sorry, the truck wanted to be in the picture, so...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2345.jpg



Here's the best before/after comparison...

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2335.jpg

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy309/IntegrityLawnCare/Lawn%20Care/Shrub%20Rescue%20Monroeville/IMAG2342.jpg




It was hot, and the terrain, while not horrible, was uneven, and difficult to work on due to the close proximity of the (also) overgrown pine tree behind all the shrubs.

I thought it would take 3 hours. I quoted $85 and I ended up doing more than I had anticipated. About 3/4 of the way into it, the owner came out to see how it was going. "I'm going to give you a little more than the price you quoted me", he said.

I explained that while not necessary, I appreciate the offer, as the job was "more involved" than it appeared when I stopped by for the estimate.
We chatted for a bit and I continued on with the task at hand. Before the final cleanup, I asked if everything was to his liking. He seemed pleased with everything and was happy to see things getting back to the way they should be. (He's an older gentleman and can't keep up with this type of work)
I loaded up all the debris in the trailer and rather than leaving the grass and weeds standing around the freshly cut shrubs, I got out the string trimmer and cleaned up along the roadway. I just couldn't see leaving a mess around freshly cut shrubs - even if that wasn't what I was being paid to do.

Ultimately, I was given $125 for the job. :) A $40 "tip" isn't too shabby - I was shocked when I saw the check.
He said that he "wanted to make sure I was willing to come back" to do some other work in the fall and spring. He saw the extra effort I put into the job, and apparently appreciated it.

I think I'm going to send him a "thank you" card. It sucks to work hard on a job that you KNOW you've shorted yourself on, and it's really nice when a client recognizes a good job and throws in a little extra.


Note to self: Buy a bigger trailer.
LOL! I forgot to take a pic, but the trailer was nearly filled to the top.

ToastedToad
07-06-2011, 11:57 PM
Nice work! You come by your name naturally!!

How about them Pirates!

Steve
07-07-2011, 07:24 PM
That is some great work! And a great learning experience.

What's your view on why you feel you underbid it? What do you feel you should have bid it at?

How long did you think it would take you versus how long did it take?

Hedgemaster
07-07-2011, 10:04 PM
That is some great work! And a great learning experience.

What's your view on why you feel you underbid it? What do you feel you should have bid it at?

How long did you think it would take you versus how long did it take?

All good questions and hopefully someone reading will learn from my "mistakes"!

I underbid because I lack experience. I have a pretty good handle on how to charge for "normal", straight hedges, but this was simply an overgrown mess that didn't lend itself to a "price per foot" estimate.

If I had to do it again, I think I would have quoted $125-$135.
I think that in the future any "oddball", non-typical hedge job is going to start at $100 and go from there. I mean, really, what does a hundred dollars get you these days? If it's a tricky job that the homeowner isn't willing to do themselves, I doubt they will complain about paying $100 to get it done.

For this job, there were several things I did not factor in:
• The hill
• The huge pine tree that was in my way
• The amount of debris that needed to be removed
• The thickness of some of the branches necessitating the use of a chain saw
• Dump fee and time/gas to take debris to dump

I estimated (in my head) it would take 3-4 hours, but really thought I could do it in 3. It actually took 4 to 4.5 hours - I'm not certain, as I forgot to note my "loaded up" time in my book.

Ducke
07-08-2011, 05:12 AM
Its amazing how you can find those nice round bushes in among all that mess.
Very nice work two Thumbs up

Steve
07-08-2011, 08:31 PM
Once you got the job done, do you try to schedule another visit in the future to keep everything looking in tip top shape?

cruzgardening
07-09-2011, 02:05 AM
Nice Job! looking good i'm sure they got lots of quotes but people didn't know what the charge them since it was such a mess
how much is the hourly charge for trimming in your area?

jymie
07-10-2011, 09:30 AM
Excellent job on those bushes they look awesome!

Hedgemaster
07-10-2011, 06:15 PM
Nice Job! looking good i'm sure they got lots of quotes but people didn't know what the charge them since it was such a mess
how much is the hourly charge for trimming in your area?

Thanks. I'm betting that he had other quotes that were at least $125 or more, and decided to give me something more in line with what he was "expecting" to pay.

I don't know that there IS an "hourly" rate and if there is, I don't know what it is. LOL

Ducke
07-10-2011, 07:53 PM
Hedge
How do you like the Sthil Trimmer/ weed whacker.
My old Sthil weed whacker is on the way out and I was looking at buying a new one and may consider one of the combo units.

Graham

Hedgemaster
07-10-2011, 11:21 PM
Hedge
How do you like the Sthil Trimmer/ weed whacker.
My old Sthil weed whacker is on the way out and I was looking at buying a new one and may consider one of the combo units.

Graham


I'm very happy with the Stihl.
I bought it last summer and it's been good to me. Lots of power and starts easily.

Note that this isn't a Kombi System. ;) Just about everyone assumes that it is because they see the attachment and it looks almost the same, but note the shaft - no "split".
I was going to get the Kombi System, but right off the bat it's $100 more (than the FS90R) if you are looking to start with the "powerhead and a string trimmer attachment. Since the dealer knew I was interested in "attachments", he steered me towards the FS90R, as it has a detachable head and accepts various gearbox attachments while keeping the strength of a straight shaft.

For me, personally, the only disadvantage (to the FS90R) is that if I want the pole pruner (chainsaw) attachment, there is no additional "reach" beyond the length of the shaft as it is. With the Kombi System, you can get an extension to give you a longer pole/added reach. Otherwise this unit takes almost all the same types of attachments. (except they don't have half a "shaft" attached to them - these attachments are not compatible w/Kombi System btw)

Here's a thread with some better pics of the trimmer attachment.
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13790

I've gotten a lot of use from the trimmer attachment... well worth the money.

cruzgardening
07-11-2011, 02:55 AM
I'm very happy with the Stihl.
I bought it last summer and it's been good to me. Lots of power and starts easily.

Note that this isn't a Kombi System. ;) Just about everyone assumes that it is because they see the attachment and it looks almost the same, but note the shaft - no "split".
I was going to get the Kombi System, but right off the bat it's $100 more (than the FS90R) if you are looking to start with the "powerhead and a string trimmer attachment. Since the dealer knew I was interested in "attachments", he steered me towards the FS90R, as it has a detachable head and accepts various gearbox attachments while keeping the strength of a straight shaft.

For me, personally, the only disadvantage (to the FS90R) is that if I want the pole pruner (chainsaw) attachment, there is no additional "reach" beyond the length of the shaft as it is. With the Kombi System, you can get an extension to give you a longer pole/added reach. Otherwise this unit takes almost all the same types of attachments. (except they don't have half a "shaft" attached to them - these attachments are not compatible w/Kombi System btw)

Here's a thread with some better pics of the trimmer attachment.
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13790

I've gotten a lot of use from the trimmer attachment... well worth the money.

i have the same stihl but i have not used any attachments is it hard to add them? i mean what kind of toold do u use to change the head and add the trimmer?

Hedgemaster
07-11-2011, 08:11 AM
i have the same stihl but i have not used any attachments is it hard to add them? i mean what kind of toold do u use to change the head and add the trimmer?

If it takes you more than 30 seconds to swap them out you probably shouldn't be allowed to operate a motor vehicle, let alone power tools. :D

Look at your Stihl. (or the pics in the link above) See those two "screws" on the top of the string trimmer head where the shaft ends? Take the included tool (seen in pics in the link above - it's essentially a "star" screwdriver) and loosen both of them about a half turn, then slide the head off. Slip the attachment of your choosing onto the shaft and tighten the two screws. Done.

Growing Green
07-11-2011, 05:40 PM
I have the 110R Kombi system that I bought a couple of months ago. I have the straight lawn edger, adjustable hedge trimmer, straight trimmer and the pole pruner. It is awesome!!! Saves me a ton of time and takes about 20 seconds to switch out.

Matt

Ducke
07-12-2011, 08:35 PM
On a slightly different topic I was out mowing yesterday and while I was driving down a small side street I saw a women trimming her hedge with her $25.00 HD Electric Weed Wacker :eek:
Funny thing is it actually looked good :mad:
I didn't have my camera as it was charging and I was so stunned by what I saw I forgot that my new phone has one in it.
Man it was funny here she was holding the whipper snipper by the throat and had tape over the trigger to keep it going and trimming the top which was at chest height.
Now I find myself wanting to go down the street again to see if I can catch her at it again.:D
What some people will do.

Hedgemaster
07-12-2011, 11:15 PM
Hahaha!

I guess if the shrubs are thin enough you could get away with it, but that's an eye injury waiting to happen for sure!

On that note, you should have seen the contraption I rigged up to trim the top of a huge shrub next to my deck.
The deck is about 10' off the ground (sorry, I don't know what that is in "Canadian" :D ;) ) and there used to be a huge shrub roughly 7' in diameter growing right next to it. I liked to keep the shrub height trimmed to about the top of the railing on the deck. The trouble was that there wasn't a safe place to put a step ladder near it due to the sloping ground, and I couldn't quite reach the far side of it while standing on the deck, so I rigged up a "pole trimmer".

I took an 8' furring strip (board about 1"x3") and slipped it through the front handle of my Black and Decker electric hedge trimmers, with the end resting against the "guard" of the trimmer. I then duct taped ( :D ) the snot out of it to attach it and drove some drywall screws into a few spots to help hold it in position, then duct taped that part as well.

Awesome. Now I have a hedge trimmer attached to an 8' board - PERFECT!
Well, not yet anyway... the thing was too "front heavy" (duh) so I drove a few more screws in near the "front" of the furring strip and tied a length of rope around that point to be used to support the front of said contraption with my left hand while holding the back part of the board with my right.

OK, so after a "test reach", I decided I had the rope attached at a good "balance point", and then plugged the thing into the extension cord. I used a twist tie to hold the trigger in the "on" position, and I duct taped the cord to the board to keep it out of the way, and then went to get my 6' step ladder.
LOL! Nothing says "danger" like swinging electric-powered gardening tools around while standing 4' up a step ladder at the edge of a deck that's 10' off the ground!!!

My wife couldn't watch. :D

It actually worked like a charm! I went up the ladder I had placed at the edge of the deck, and was able to use the rope with my left hand to control where the trimmer went. I just "swung" it back and forth, while holding onto the board with my right hand! Haha! Genius!

Steve
07-13-2011, 03:20 PM
Could you show us a picture of this? This sounds interesting.

cruzgardening
07-13-2011, 11:16 PM
Hahaha!

I guess if the shrubs are thin enough you could get away with it, but that's an eye injury waiting to happen for sure!

On that note, you should have seen the contraption I rigged up to trim the top of a huge shrub next to my deck.
The deck is about 10' off the ground (sorry, I don't know what that is in "Canadian" :D ;) ) and there used to be a huge shrub roughly 7' in diameter growing right next to it. I liked to keep the shrub height trimmed to about the top of the railing on the deck. The trouble was that there wasn't a safe place to put a step ladder near it due to the sloping ground, and I couldn't quite reach the far side of it while standing on the deck, so I rigged up a "pole trimmer".

I took an 8' furring strip (board about 1"x3") and slipped it through the front handle of my Black and Decker electric hedge trimmers, with the end resting against the "guard" of the trimmer. I then duct taped ( :D ) the snot out of it to attach it and drove some drywall screws into a few spots to help hold it in position, then duct taped that part as well.

Awesome. Now I have a hedge trimmer attached to an 8' board - PERFECT!
Well, not yet anyway... the thing was too "front heavy" (duh) so I drove a few more screws in near the "front" of the furring strip and tied a length of rope around that point to be used to support the front of said contraption with my left hand while holding the back part of the board with my right.

OK, so after a "test reach", I decided I had the rope attached at a good "balance point", and then plugged the thing into the extension cord. I used a twist tie to hold the trigger in the "on" position, and I duct taped the cord to the board to keep it out of the way, and then went to get my 6' step ladder.
LOL! Nothing says "danger" like swinging electric-powered gardening tools around while standing 4' up a step ladder at the edge of a deck that's 10' off the ground!!!

My wife couldn't watch. :D

It actually worked like a charm! I went up the ladder I had placed at the edge of the deck, and was able to use the rope with my left hand to control where the trimmer went. I just "swung" it back and forth, while holding onto the board with my right hand! Haha! Genius!

haha a man has to do what a man has to do! haha sounds like fun :P