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View Full Version : Mowing Season Started Today


picframer
04-08-2010, 04:04 PM
And I had two University staff start back early so I sent them on a chipping job and took my new helper to our largest client, 7 homes, 9 acres. We cut the grass, swept the lawns to remove thatch, trimmed and blew in just over 7 hours which I thought was excellent. Everything worked perfect, it was a very long day mowing, man this is a lot of grass, now we will start spraying Monday and the spring wheight restrictions are off so we can start landscaping and drains next week.

Here is a pic of one of the set up's we use, I use the X500 for pulling the Agri Fab sweeper, the X749 sips fuel, 7 hours and 1/3 of a tank of diesel.

CHEESE2009
04-08-2010, 04:51 PM
That set up is so cool.

I can't wait to start mowing! I wanna get out there!

I'm at the point where I'm just taking calls & scheduling customers.

Though as soon as the weather is nice, for once... I can start some dethatching jobs.

I'm gonna look into that sweeper, I bet it's a lot cheaper to rent. (Kinda don't wanna spend anymore money right now, so buying is out of the question)

A dethatcher is what, 2K to purchase? I have considered it but spring cleanups aren't really my best interest. It gets way to hectic to book clients, the weather is such a drag.

How well do dethatchers/sweepers work on wet grass? You answer is important to me :P

picframer
04-08-2010, 09:33 PM
I am not really sure what a dethacher costs, I looked at them last April and what I didn't care for is we had to clean up piles of dead grass, I like thinks quick, easy and as little manual work as possible, I had used the Deere sweeper on my own yard and it worked good, they I read a review on these smart sweeps and bought one, we now have three, they work very good.

When it comes to wet grass I don't know that anything works great, yes the sweeper will work but you may have to take two or three pass's and empty when half full or so.

I am surpsised you are not mowing yet, Montreal is generally two or three weeks ahead of us, the grass for the most part where we were today was 4 to 5", now we did start treating these lawns in September last year with our Organic products, almost all of the clients calling asking us to start are on our spray program.

Very few other lawns that I have seen need mowing yet, I still haven't seen any other companies out and about yet except today, the company we took this contract from stopped by and watched us for half an hour.

CHEESE2009
04-08-2010, 09:45 PM
what I didn't care for is we had to clean up piles of dead grass

Yeah that was one of my concerns also. Though I suppose a quick pass with the back pack blower might make an interesting pile... hmmm...


I am surpsised you are not mowing yet, Montreal is generally two or three weeks ahead of us

The grass is just turning green now. Unfortunatly the snow melted away too early & the weather was still freezing... The lawns in my city are all destroyed. Lol, it's tragic! That's why I'm starting to focus on spring work now, the money is there.

the company we took this contract from stopped by and watched us for half an hour.

Don't you love it? Hahaha!!! I saw a few companies out giving estimates today, though I'll probably go to the exact same homes & hand out my flyers.

If I see an interested homeowner, mind as well take a shot at them myself.

picframer
04-08-2010, 09:59 PM
I haven't received one flyer in the mail yet which I find strange. We hand out post cards as we drive by properties, it has proven to be the best way to get new clients, well other than referrals. I don't have a marketing plan for this year as I can barely keep up with what is coming in, I think we will just coast, I am afraid to start anything as we won't be full staff until May and even at our current pace it's desperate hard to keep up, now that landscaping can begin, well I have to be very selective what I take on.

As for the other company stopping by, this has to hurt, we took three private communities from them on this road so far and I haven't even started.

I was shocked today at the stripes the X749 was leaving as I haven't put the striping kit on and based on what I saw there is no need to, the homeowners at this site are all retired and were home, it was a beautiful day, short sleeves. Anyhow they kept commenting on how great the lawns looked, loved the trailer and a couple of the older guys wanted to sit on the tractors:) The one condition when I was receiving feedback was they didn't want to see machines flying across their lawn, they pay big bucks to have us so for us to slow everything down is fine.

I have a ZTR (997 Deere) but she doesn't have the traction to do 80% of this location, I am trading it next week for a third X749, they are the best all around machine for lawn care there is in my experience, they will run everything from a tiller to a sprayer, One house has a 30 degree incline, covers about 1/2 an acre, the X749 plays with this stuff and no worries of spinning or sliding, it's all wheel drive all wheel steer, hydro motor on each wheel, it is shocking where this thing will climb and never offer to spin. The air ride seats are amazing, it's like you are floating on air, you never feel a bump.

CHEESE2009
04-08-2010, 10:05 PM
That is fantastic to hear!

I hope this other company doesn't hold a grudge :P

You have the support from the gopher guild, hahaha!

Oakridge, you have brains!

justin_time
04-08-2010, 10:41 PM
Crazy, we has snow/rain/ice pellets.. all crap. We had like 15 to 20 degree weather and now barely staying above 0 today, I was just getting started for cleanups and now this. Suppose to be +10 Saturday, hope all this crap goes away. Should be a couple weeks before my grass starts growing over here

CHEESE2009
04-08-2010, 10:44 PM
Crazy, we has snow/rain/ice pellets.. all crap. We had like 15 to 20 degree weather and now barely staying above 0 today, I was just getting started for cleanups and now this. Suppose to be +10 Saturday, hope all this crap goes away. Should be a couple weeks before my grass starts growing over here

HAHAHAHA I SAW THAT!!!!!

I checked the weather for Montreal & on the page it says you guys got hit with winterrrrr, that SUCKS!!!

Blame Toronto, they passed their bad luck to you!

picframer
04-08-2010, 11:03 PM
Crazy, we has snow/rain/ice pellets.. all crap. We had like 15 to 20 degree weather and now barely staying above 0 today, I was just getting started for cleanups and now this. Suppose to be +10 Saturday, hope all this crap goes away. Should be a couple weeks before my grass starts growing over here

I guess we are having the weather you are supposed to be enjoying, we have smashed three records in the past week, +26 some days C, for our friends in the states that is 80's and unherd of for this time of the year. The evenings might cool to +10 (52F), grass here is growing like no tomorrow, I would guess we are 4 to 6 weeks ahead of anything I have seen.

Steve
04-09-2010, 06:43 AM
review on these smart sweeps and bought one

What's the difference between a smart sweeper and other sweepers?

The one condition when I was receiving feedback was they didn't want to see machines flying across their lawn, they pay big bucks to have us so for us to slow everything down is fine.

This is fascinating! So it might actually work against a lawn care business to have a fast ztr! Does the customer's desire to slow the cutting down have anything to do with the cut quality or is this simply a mental issue where they feel a rushed job is a bad job?

picframer
04-09-2010, 06:56 AM
What's the difference between a smart sweeper and other sweepers?



This is fascinating! So it might actually work against a lawn care business to have a fast ztr! Does the customer's desire to slow the cutting down have anything to do with the cut quality or is this simply a mental issue where they feel a rushed job is a bad job?

Some sweepers including the Deere unit skip while driving, when on uneven ground one wheel stops turning for a second, the Smart Sweeper has a totally different setup and much larger wheels, it simply doesn't skip.

These private areas are generally people 50 to 80, this is a very rich area, it's kind of a we have money and the world should know it, the homes are amazing, all are on the Ocean and each private community has their own marina.

There is this mindset, right or wrong, that a mower flying across the yard is not doing a good job, I have picked this up on a few quotes, I understand full well time is money, at the same time, if they will spend the extra bucks, we will slow things down.

The feedback this morning from the president of this association is that we did a perfect job and they can't believe the difference in services, they can't get over that we took the time to pick up dead branches and discard them, pine cones, blew every paved driveway clean, trimmed the ditches and the list went on, they have had service providers in the past and in short he said in his email not one comes close to us in quality.

I replied that we really appreciate their business and feedback, at the same time feel free to tell others:)

Rexdale Grass
04-09-2010, 10:50 AM
From the start of the post it's cold here on this Friday morning had down pour all yesterday and now it's 2degees the ground is spongy, looks like im going to be doing my books today. Toronto!

The lawn sweeper are bristles right? Do you this I could get the same afect on smaller lots with the stihl KM110 kombi using the bristle attachment for things like pine needles and sticks just a thought.

You must have a nice view as your working on thoes estates lucky man, I only get the occasional front yard sunbather bikinies in April was kinda funny.

picframer
04-09-2010, 11:31 AM
From the start of the post it's cold here on this Friday morning had down pour all yesterday and now it's 2degees the ground is spongy, looks like im going to be doing my books today. Toronto!

The lawn sweeper are bristles right? Do you this I could get the same afect on smaller lots with the stihl KM110 kombi using the bristle attachment for things like pine needles and sticks just a thought.

You must have a nice view as your working on thoes estates lucky man, I only get the occasional front yard sunbather bikinies in April was kinda funny.

We havent used the Kombi sweeper for grass, we do use it to remove gravel from plowing but you have an excellent idea if we were not able to get through a gate or something. Yes the sweepers have the same brissles as a Kombi.

The few is just amazing from quite a few places we do, as for sun bathers.....well our average customer age is pretty high so it would be a scarry sight. I do have one however that owns a few spa's, boy she can turn your head and knows it.

Down day here, I just started a fire in the stove, probably 4 degrees and raining, paperwork day and sleep, behind in both. I was going to go spraying but this is the first day I have had off in a long time, working 7 to 9, 7 days a week has worn me down, I will be able to take it in a few weeks.

Well I should spend some quality time with my dog and count sheep:)

Fresh Cut
04-09-2010, 12:31 PM
all of y'all in Canada? :confused:


I need to find some southern people, yes, southern. I'm in ATLANTA, GEORGIA!

Where the FLA guys at? South Cack? Tenn? Anybody from Jawja?

CHEESE2009
04-09-2010, 01:47 PM
The lawn sweeper are bristles right? Do you this I could get the same afect on smaller lots with the stihl KM110 kombi using the bristle attachment for things like pine needles and sticks just a thought.


That's an interesting question.

I have a KM90, I wonder what it's capable of????????????????

picframer
04-09-2010, 02:37 PM
That's an interesting question.

I have a KM90, I wonder what it's capable of????????????????

We run it on the 110 and it is amazing, I don't have all the attachments but we have the ones we need and use them on a regular basis, they work great. at the same time, the sweeper attachment is around $350.00, you can buy a tow sweeper for that.

justin_time
04-09-2010, 04:05 PM
We run it on the 110 and it is amazing, I don't have all the attachments but we have the ones we need and use them on a regular basis, they work great. at the same time, the sweeper attachment is around $350.00, you can buy a tow sweeper for that.

I just borrow the sweeper attachment from the local golf course. They have the same attachments as mine. So when I need to borrow it, i just go pick it up. It's the only attachment I'm missing lol

Steve
04-10-2010, 06:47 AM
I understand full well time is money, at the same time, if they will spend the extra bucks, we will slow things down.

This is really interesting. How should one bring this up when providing an estimate? Should they say, we mow slower than most?

Also, should you offer them the option of you mowing slower and charging them more for it?

It makes me wonder if a postcard promoting the slower mowing would be beneficial?

picframer
04-10-2010, 10:28 AM
This is really interesting. How should one bring this up when providing an estimate? Should they say, we mow slower than most?

Also, should you offer them the option of you mowing slower and charging them more for it?

It makes me wonder if a postcard promoting the slower mowing would be beneficial?

I simply ask what is it you like and dislike about your current provider, we all have strength's and weakness, prospects have no issue telling you what is on their mind so based on their feedback, you know what not to do. For the first few mows I will ask the customer for feedback, both positive and negative so that they do not store up little issues that become a mountain.

Steve
04-11-2010, 09:14 AM
Have you ever gotten feedback that you totally didn't expect? Where you thought something you were doing was ideal, only to hear the customer really wanted it done another way and it was a big deal to them?

picframer
04-11-2010, 01:00 PM
Have you ever gotten feedback that you totally didn't expect? Where you thought something you were doing was ideal, only to hear the customer really wanted it done another way and it was a big deal to them?

Never had feedback along the lines "That is not really what we were expecting" I make sure we both have a clear understanding of the plan from the start.