PDA

View Full Version : How to deal with pet droppings


FaccLndscpng
01-10-2009, 03:42 PM
I am sure that I am not the only landscaper with some customers that have no disregard for cleaning up after their dogs. What do you guys do? I know I can put it in the contract to have the yard clean prior to our arrival but they will either ignore it or just drop us. Any pointers? There are some things I donít mind but I have been in some yards that are loaded with land mines, and it just messes up your equipment as well as the quality of your service.

musician/lawnman
01-10-2009, 05:24 PM
I have notes about surcharges for this in my agreement forms. I also ask when I arrive to do the estimates if they have dogs? How many? & do you clean up after them? If the answer to the last question is no, not really, or they look at ya funny & think for a minute before answering yes add a couple bucks per service for cleaning the sh!t off your tires & dealing with the stink in your trailer.

Steve
01-10-2009, 05:44 PM
I have notes about surcharges for this in my agreement forms. I also ask when I arrive to do the estimates if they have dogs? How many? & do you clean up after them? If the answer to the last question is no, not really, or they look at ya funny & think for a minute before answering yes add a couple bucks per service for cleaning the sh!t off your tires & dealing with the stink in your trailer.

Chuck,

Do you find that you charge the customer with dogs more per cut because they have dogs and then do you add a surcharge if they don't cleanup after their dogs?

Does the surcharge cover you picking up after their dog? How much do you suggest a lawn care business owner charge for their surcharge and should it be per dog or what?

FaccLndscpng
01-10-2009, 05:50 PM
During mid summer I was so sick of it that I was thinking of adding like $5 to every dog sh!t lawn and hiring someone just to pick it up for me. We then have to spend like 10 minutes banging off boots and making sure no one tracks it into the truck. I hate when it gets into the tire tred but a lot of times I can clean it off with the customers hose, but the absolute worst was one day this past season, one of my guys was on a weed wacker and didnít see a pile, well too late, it was shot on him like confetti, good thing we werenít too far from home, I had to take him home to change his clothes. I think that was the main turning point and I knew that I had to do something about this problem. Well thanks I will definitely add some money to the accounts and then hold them to it. Quick thinking during the initial estimate as well.

clarklandscaping
01-10-2009, 06:53 PM
If you own a rider, does it really matter? I used to have a dog poo clause in my agreements but I removed it because I got tired of losing the deal over something so trivial. Really, how much poo can there be on one lawn? I hose my equipment down daily so I could care less if theres dog ****e on my rubber at the end of the day.

Steve
01-10-2009, 07:07 PM
I used to have a dog poo clause in my agreements but I removed it because I got tired of losing the deal over something so trivial.

Do you mean that when a customer read the contract they would balk and not sign it and look for someone else to cut their lawn?

FaccLndscpng
01-10-2009, 07:17 PM
Well crap on the tire is not the biggest problem I hose that right off. The only rider I own is a 48Ē scag walk behind with the velkie, which by the way is the hardest place to clean crap off that little wheel. The big thing was that one of my guys had it thrown on him because he didnít see it or something when he was weed wacking, and then we get it all over our boots and have spend time cleaning them out because I donít really want to smell it in my truck. And the fact that I will loose customers over a ďpoo clauseĒ kinda sucks but may be the answer. And if we were talking about just a few piles I wouldnít care but of all the problem areas, one lady breeds these little ankle biters which normally wouldnít be a prob. Accept for the fact that there is at least 10 dogs crapping in a small area. And the other places all own 2 monstrous dogs. The thing that all these houses have in common is that they all have nice front yards that make the contract worthwhile, then you go to the back yard which are all smaller than the fronts and its like you have to float from one end to the other so you donít step in sh!t. but I am getting to that point where I donít care if I loose the customer because itís a pain in the *** as well as all the complaints I have to hear from my guys about it also.

Steve
01-10-2009, 07:39 PM
I know I can put it in the contract to have the yard clean prior to our arrival but they will either ignore it or just drop us. Any pointers?

There are a couple of contracts in our free lawn care contract section (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7210) that have dog waste clauses in them. See if any of them would work for you and let me know.

clarklandscaping
01-10-2009, 08:15 PM
Do you mean that when a customer read the contract they would balk and not sign it and look for someone else to cut their lawn?

Yeah, I used to hold my ground but I was seeing to many potential customers slip through my hands because of it so I just removed it and decided to deal with it.

clarklandscaping
01-10-2009, 08:19 PM
Well crap on the tire is not the biggest problem I hose that right off. The only rider I own is a 48Ē scag walk behind with the velkie, which by the way is the hardest place to clean crap off that little wheel. The big thing was that one of my guys had it thrown on him because he didnít see it or something when he was weed wacking, and then we get it all over our boots and have spend time cleaning them out because I donít really want to smell it in my truck. And the fact that I will loose customers over a ďpoo clauseĒ kinda sucks but may be the answer. And if we were talking about just a few piles I wouldnít care but of all the problem areas, one lady breeds these little ankle biters which normally wouldnít be a prob. Accept for the fact that there is at least 10 dogs crapping in a small area. And the other places all own 2 monstrous dogs. The thing that all these houses have in common is that they all have nice front yards that make the contract worthwhile, then you go to the back yard which are all smaller than the fronts and its like you have to float from one end to the other so you donít step in sh!t. but I am getting to that point where I donít care if I loose the customer because itís a pain in the *** as well as all the complaints I have to hear from my guys about it also.

I wasnt trying to give you a hard time by any means, I hate dog crap as much as the next man, but for me I had to make the decision to just deal with it.
If its just a couple of accounts and you can afford to get rid of them why dont you just let them know that your not interested in taking care of thier lawn any longer? Let someone else deal with the crap, some pun intended.:D

Steve
01-10-2009, 11:13 PM
Shane for the customers that wouldn't sign a contract with such a clause, would they have been open to paying for a service that picked up the dog waste or were they just not going to pay anymore than the bare bones amount for lawn care?

Is there more money on the table for this type of service?

musician/lawnman
01-11-2009, 11:04 AM
Steve,
If I include it in the estimate don't surcharge them on top of it. Just having it on my paper work seems to be motivation enough. I have clients who see me pull up & come running out with a bucket & shovel to avoid being charged. I have rarely had to impose this fee but if the "crap" gets out of control I can. I'm sure I've lost one or 2 estimates because of my up front approach about it but I don't care. Look the customer in the eye & make a light hearted joke about it... "Hey, if you had to deal with extra sh!t at your job you'd expect to be compensated right? "

My 52" zt is used for front lawns as it has a nice mulch kit on it. My 48" Centar runs the regular side shute so it's used for back yards & has thus been named by my employees the D.S.E. (Dog Sh!t Express) :):D

I have had 2 guys take a dog poop shower from a line trimmer, it's no fun at all, & yet as long as it's not you it's hysterically funny.

Steve
01-11-2009, 12:30 PM
If I include it in the estimate don't surcharge them on top of it. Just having it on my paper work seems to be motivation enough.

Ok so potentially on the estimate it would make a line item note that there is a fee to clean up for the dogs?

musician/lawnman
01-11-2009, 02:24 PM
Well no it kinda reads like :



Premium turf maintenance package to include mowing, trimming, edging, blow off all concrete areas. (fee per service) $_____________
Doggy Patrol : If animals are kept on the property, $3.00 will be charged per visit, per dog kept. This charge will
Apply anytime the yard is left soiled. The fee is to cover the costs & time associated with equipment clean up. $____________

Total per service fee $____________

Steve
01-11-2009, 05:05 PM
I like that. I think if I was a consumer and I had the options to pay for dog clean up service like that, I would be happy with it.

Why not!

I know a lot of pet owners and they don't like cleaning up after their dog. If they can spend a few bucks a week to have it taken care of, then why not!

I almost fee like the $3.00 per dog is cheap! I think it is a good deal for the consumer.

How do most of the customers respond to it?

musician/lawnman
01-11-2009, 05:53 PM
Steve,

That's the thing, at first I I was going to charge for cleaning the yard, but the bottom line is I don't wanna be hauling a bucket of dog sh!t in the truck or trailer around all day.... I charge for having to clean up the equipment, I still aint picking the sh!t up. It's their ****, they can step in it too, so I'll leave it for them.

The only time I've ever picked it up was when I had a vacant house in the middle of nowhere, only neighbor for blocks was right next door. I asked him several times to either make sure his dog crapped in his own yard or to please pick it up. After the 2nd request I made he got snotty with me. I gave it a few weeks & then scooped a bunch on a shovel & put it all just outside his rear screen door for him to deal with.... HAHA! Don't sling **** if ya can't take it back.

Steve
01-11-2009, 06:29 PM
That's the thing, at first I I was going to charge for cleaning the yard, but the bottom line is I don't wanna be hauling a bucket of dog sh!t in the truck or trailer around all day.... I charge for having to clean up the equipment, I still aint picking the sh!t up. It's their ****, they can step in it too, so I'll leave it for them.

It seems to me that if someone was trying to offer more upsells, this would be a great way to do it. You wouldn't have to haul it around with you, maybe just put it in a bag that you would leave at the curb or in a can for the next garbage pickup.

FaccLndscpng
01-12-2009, 01:28 PM
Thanks guys for the info, I am not sure what I am going to do yet, I still have some time to think about it, but I think I will charge for clean-up, and if I loose the customers I loose them, it sucks to have to turn down business with the state of this economy where I usually take on any job that’s out there but we’ll see what happens. Chuck, great story about the neighbor, and that just shows how people are, they look at it like its not my problem, and it is. Also great line for the initial estimate if/when the customer asks why were charging more and so on. Also Clark Landscaping, there's no offense, I didn’t take it as you were giving me a hard time I agree either put up with it or move on, there isn’t much you can do about this situation I was just looking to see if anyone had any different ideas. Thanks guys.

CloseCuts
01-20-2009, 10:31 PM
I was charging $5 if me or my equip. got crap on it but then I decided I would just figure it in to the job. It makes it easy because they don't know and you covered what you wanted. Itís like free estimates. There free for me to come out and look at the job but if I get the job I just add the time it took for me to figure the job. That way the customer thinks they got it for free.

FaccLndscpng
01-23-2009, 02:29 PM
Hey Close Cuts, donít spread the secret that "Free Estimates" really arenít free if a customer gets on here and finds that out we will all be busted. Good idea, I am always like one track mind when I hear of dog, because I just go right to thinking about the mess but itís a way not to loose customers over an addition to the contract. Thanks!

lawnsforless216
07-08-2012, 03:45 PM
I think its a great idea to offer a dog waste removal service for a good fee. It takes next to no money to start up, but what do you do with the waste after you remove it from the customers yard? You can't just keep full garbage bags of dog waste in your garage.

SECTLANDSCAPING
07-08-2012, 07:10 PM
I think its a great idea to offer a dog waste removal service for a good fee. It takes next to no money to start up, but what do you do with the waste after you remove it from the customers yard? You can't just keep full garbage bags of dog waste in your garage.

I would chuck it at my competitors trucks. Sorry I'm a bit bitter after some a hole slashed my tires and stole my trimmer.

JeffK26
07-08-2012, 09:51 PM
I changed my service agreement up to add $8 if the owner has a dog.

If they say no, fine I don't have to mess with dog crap, if they say yes and I have them, then the 8 bucks more than make up for it. I have a dog, I pick up after him, so it's not a big gross out deal for me. $32 extra a month per lawn is worth the wiff of dog crap.

BTW, it does say "minimum charge".........I have not had a problem yet, but I only have 2 lawns that have dogs and don't pick up after them.

One customer, I have actually pulled up and they asked me to trim first or ask if i mind waiting a few minutes while they pick it up because it was a late night, etc and they didn't have a chance to.

Godslapper
07-10-2012, 05:27 PM
Truth is you should be so busy that you don't have time to worry about things like that. Just run the crap over get it stuck in the wheels and go on to your next lawn. You can hose it off at the end of the day.

Godslapper
07-10-2012, 07:01 PM
You are very fortunate you are so busy

It's not really about how busy you should be. It's about how busy you have to be in order to make a living mowing lawns. We have a very short season in up state NY. We all have to start in the same place. You have equipment and no customers. Then you get your first customer, and you're hooked. For better or worst you're in baby. BYOB. Be Your Own Boss. Not bring your own beer.

FaccLndscpng
07-11-2012, 12:05 AM
The problem isn't getting dog crap on the equipment its getting it on yourself (boots and pants) which then tracks into the truck and never goes away. Sure, take time at the end of the job and dig it out of your boots...this takes time and time is money. Then the worst part about it is when a trimmer guy is moving along at a steady pace and is in the zone (you all know what I'm talking about) and all the sudden a hot pile of fresh crap gets hit and sprays everywhere! Now its all over the trimmer guys as well as the guys running the mowers (innocent bystanders). Believe me if it was a pile here and there and only getting on the wheels I wouldn't be complaining, I'm talking $hit showers and it aint cool, really it makes you want to end the day early, tuck your tail between your legs and go home.

CHEESE2009
07-11-2012, 09:07 AM
http://smartdogs.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/kill-this-dog.jpg

There is a solution....