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View Full Version : Proper etiquet for blowing grass out of the road?


cmpenn67
04-12-2010, 11:01 AM
So i've always wondered what would be the best thing to do with the grass when its time for the clean up. If the customers grass is long I usually broom it into a big pile and then put it into a trash bag. Whatever is left over I try to blow back into the yard. I try to keep it out of the street as it looks very tacky to me to see yards with all the grass just blown out into the road. Is there a proper way to go about this? or am I on the right track with what I do?

cklandscapingorlando
04-12-2010, 04:30 PM
You always try do discharge the clippings back into the turf. So the chute should not be pointed at the road. Nor pointed at the beds. So take a swipe starting at the house blowing into the lawn. Go to the property line and mow down the line to the road. All blown into the lawn. I would rather mow the lawn twice to mulch the clippings than pic them up. This is not always possible though. Sometimes you just have to blow it in the street

kdexpd
04-12-2010, 11:57 PM
NEVER, NEVER leave clippings in the street. I've fired guys on the spot for that. I make two rounds around the edges of the property and the house and blow into the center (away from the house and street). Then I do my normal mowing. In some cases, in order to get your stripes right, you may have to blow some into the street, however I either use my mower to blow them back into the lawn from the street or I use my blower. Another thing that will get a worker fired is discharging grass against the house. However, I'll make em' clean it off with a broom, or if it's wet grass I'll make em' wash it off before I chew their butt and fire them. I'm a VERY particular person and when I pay someone $10 an hour, they're gonna do it my way and they're gonna work for it. My way is what makes me money and what keeps my customer retention at 100% every year.

CHEESE2009
04-13-2010, 12:15 AM
Can't leave anything on the street.

You should even trim the edge of sidewalks/curbs in front of your customers property, usually weeds tend to poke out & it makes a difference when you remove them.

I remove small stones & sand which has faded off of the curbs of my customers properties, a shovel works wonders!

Steve
04-13-2010, 09:32 AM
This is a very important topic. I can't tell you how many people I have talked to over the years that watch from inside their house what the lawn care company is doing across the street or next door. You may think no one is watching you but they are.

People get really mad when grass clippings are blown into their yard or they are blown out into the middle of the street.

I have seen this done many times and it is no way to win over neighbors to sign up with you.

Have you ever seen that too? Where a guy is blowing grass clippings out into the middle of the street as if they are going to magically disappear?

kdexpd
04-13-2010, 09:29 PM
I have had so many people thank me for not blowing the clippings from my customer's lawns into theirs. That is so disrespectful, and as Steve put it, not good business. You're chances of getting business next door will go down the crap shoot doing that. Too many lawn care companies focus on the "Rush Rush, let's get it done so we can get paid" attitude instead of focusing on why they're there in the first place...to make the lawn look nice!! The customer didn't hire you to see how fast you can get it done! Too many operators think that since the commercial zero turns are fast, that they have to be operated fast. Take your time people and do quality work...after all, THAT is why you were hired! When I first started my business last year, I was taking notes from the other lawn care services I observed working. I was kind of amused at how fast they could go, until I got up close to their work. They left ruts and scars all over the turf from turning too fast and mowing in the same direction all year long. Now, I actually love it when I see people doing that because I know someday I'm gonna get that account from them when the customer realizes they want it done right! I guess my point is this guys: In order to survive in this field, you have to do something that separates you from the sea of other lawn care services..and that's quality work!

mark123
04-13-2010, 09:40 PM
I'm going to differ slightly on the topic. My primary concern is to make the customer's lawn aesthetically pleasing. Even if I did do 2 header strips my mower throws clippings about 4 mower widths so that does nothing to help.

My process is that I just end up throwing clippings into the street. I never leave them there but they sometimes make a mess before I get to clean them up. I try to do the street side last so that I'm right there to clean them up after I throw them down. Basically, it doesn't matter if you get them on the street if you clean them off before you leave. I try to leave the street cleaner than when I got there.

If a car is parked on the street I'll collect the clippings with the bagger but that's just about the only reason I'll use it.

psparaco
04-13-2010, 11:16 PM
most properties i service i do my best to keep the clipping out the street. but between mowing and trimming. this task is harder then it looks. i do my best to blow 95% of them back into the yard. a few traces here or there is one thing but no one is perfect. if you seen the streets i mow on . they do look alot worse before i mowed. trash, leaves, debris lay in the gutters. most of the time i'l blow them back in the yard and mulch them right up. the debris and clippings not the trash. a sheet of paper turns to confetti if i hit it with a mower. lol. i try to always do 1-2 passes along all edges bording a street, sidewalk or other concrete surface then do my normal mowing patterns. this year my fiance is doing all the mowing and she is getting the hang of it. i do all the trimming, edging and cleanup. and the best part i dont have to pay her. she sees the money one way or another anyway lol.

Lawn Envy
04-14-2010, 01:19 AM
I've often wondered about this my self. What I find my self doing is blowing the side walk and drive way in the yard before I mow. Mowing usually picks up most of the debris. I will mention that customers notice and will say something if you blow to much into the street. Good luck to ya all..

cklandscapingorlando
04-14-2010, 05:26 AM
It dont matter how far out the clippings go. The key is to leave it nice when you leave. If theres alot of lippings or leaves in a gutter or curb I take and set the edge of the deck on it and mow forward than back to mulch it into the lawn

DANSLAWNCARE
10-27-2010, 03:22 PM
Hey, I Recently Moved To Springfield,missouri From Upstate New York. I Had A Small Mowing Business There And I Wonder Why People Down Here Leave There Clippings In The Street. It Is A Wide Spread Practice All Around Town. I Just Can't Imagine Doing This When I Mow Someones Lawn. To Me This Looks So Crappy And It Overloads The Sewer System. Returning The Clippings To The Lawn Also Returns Some Nutrients To The Lawn. If Anyone Knows Why They Do This Here I Would Really Love To Know The Reason. Thanks

CHEESE2009
10-27-2010, 04:39 PM
This is getting out of hand lol...


MOW THE YARD #1
TRIM THE YARD #2 - (trim areas your mower couldn't reach and the perimeter)
BLOW THE CLIPPINGS #3 (now you actually have something to blow)

Don't blow before #1/#2..... why bother?


I mow, trim, and it honestly takes 2 minutes or less to blow the clippings back onto the yard.

There is nothing to be scared about.


If the chute of your tractor or walk behind leaves a trail of grass - just raise it upwards so it scatters evenly... I use a bungee on the tractor to keep the chute up. The difference is amazing!


Anyway, some people trim before they mow - it works, but personally you want your trim job to be 'level' with the cut your lawn mower made.

_____________

Fact;

If you blow clippings onto the street, it looks awful - though it soon fades away after a day or two depending on the quantity of it.

The blower does require some skill to hop grass over curbs and back onto the lawn, once you master it - there will be nothing to ponder about.


I hope this was informative!

psparaco
10-28-2010, 12:04 AM
If the chute of your tractor or walk behind leaves a trail of grass - just raise it upwards so it scatters evenly... I use a bungee on the tractor to keep the chute up. The difference is amazing!

Ok i have to ask. When the chute is up. Isnt thwe chute not only there to direct the grasss but also as a safety precaution? If you use a bungee to keep the chute like its not even on. Does it pose a risk to injury and also does the grass rain down on the lawn instead of leaving a clumping trail? I think i may have to try this on my lawn first before doing it on someone elses lawn. We are professionals and if we do something considered not safe. how do we look to our customers? Omg he doesnt have his chute down. what if the blade it a stone and the chute wasnt there to deflect it towards the ground verses flying up and taking our that huge bay window. Just a thought scott. Not targeting you. just trying to be efficient and safe at the same time.

Paul

CHEESE2009
10-28-2010, 12:20 AM
Ok i have to ask. When the chute is up. Isnt thwe chute not only there to direct the grasss but also as a safety precaution? If you use a bungee to keep the chute like its not even on. Does it pose a risk to injury and also does the grass rain down on the lawn instead of leaving a clumping trail? I think i may have to try this on my lawn first before doing it on someone elses lawn. We are professionals and if we do something considered not safe. how do we look to our customers? Omg he doesnt have his chute down. what if the blade it a stone and the chute wasnt there to deflect it towards the ground verses flying up and taking our that huge bay window. Just a thought scott. Not targeting you. just trying to be efficient and safe at the same time.

Paul




Very good question. The chute is a deflector - though in all seriousness, I've run over just about everything possible on purpose (lazyness) and nothing bad has happened.

I don't believe the lawn mower has enough power to really launch anything hard enough to make even the slightest dent.

There are no cons that I notice by tying the chute upwards. You will have NO clumping... and you would think the lawn was bagged - as it looks so clean and the clippings scatter so well into the lawn you couldn't even rake them up if you tried.

I noticed that most objects heavier then a blade of grass always tend to shoot downwards.

Damage to anything but your blades is extremely rare.

As for the scattering of grass, if it ends up on the street or any random part of a property grass shouldn't be - a blower will finish the job.

I've done lawns like this for awhile and I'll never lower the shoot again.



Facts:

A chute is always on the right side of your mower, which means you will only be facing it away from a house if you need to do the perimeter. The only time you're closest to the house is when you do the next pass/line/stripe over, which will give you enough room to be certain the majority of objects will not fly far.

Even without the chute, objects that fly out tend to aim downwards, which give them less airtime.




In other words.... raise your chute to get rid of one big problem.

I highly recommend it... It will save you loads of time if.


When I used the chute, the look after cutting lawns was as if clippings were just floating on top of the lawn - awful... Id try to blow them to scatter them around, but doing that doesn't even come close to raising my chute.. The customer wont notice if you bagged or not.

Give it a try on your lawn, its addictive.

mark123
10-28-2010, 06:46 AM
... I don't believe the lawn mower has enough power to really launch anything hard enough to make even the slightest dent. ...
I ran over a baseball earlier this year and I watched it fly so fast and so far. All I could think of is "when is that going to stop?". After it hit the ground it just kept rolling and bouncing. It was surely a homerun ball. If I wasn't so frightened that it may hit someone I would have put my hands in the air and run the bases. That would have surely killed someone had it hit them.

I've also launched a 4" diameter stone though my truck window. Imagine catching that in the teeth.

Deflector down for me. It's just too dangerous in my opinion. Expensive, too.

jasonw
10-28-2010, 10:32 AM
How about using a bag on the mower? Thats what I do. What little falls out from edging I blow back into the lawn.

On that note you know what really PISSES ME OFF??? When I am driving my freshly waxed car down the road and some stupid idiot is blowing dirty and grass onto the highway on everyone's car. God I just want to run them down, happen at least once per week around here from the same company

CHEESE2009
10-28-2010, 02:40 PM
How about using a bag on the mower? Thats what I do. What little falls out from edging I blow back into the lawn.

On that note you know what really PISSES ME OFF??? When I am driving my freshly waxed car down the road and some stupid idiot is blowing dirty and grass onto the highway on everyone's car. God I just want to run them down, happen at least once per week around here from the same company


LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

I thought you wrote. "some stupid dirty idiot" hahahahahahhahahaahahahahahahahahaahhah

today is a good day

jymie
10-29-2010, 12:26 AM
Ok i have to ask. When the chute is up. Isnt thwe chute not only there to direct the grasss but also as a safety precaution? If you use a bungee to keep the chute like its not even on. Does it pose a risk to injury and also does the grass rain down on the lawn instead of leaving a clumping trail? I think i may have to try this on my lawn first before doing it on someone elses lawn. We are professionals and if we do something considered not safe. how do we look to our customers? Omg he doesnt have his chute down. what if the blade it a stone and the chute wasnt there to deflect it towards the ground verses flying up and taking our that huge bay window. Just a thought scott. Not targeting you. just trying to be efficient and safe at the same time.

Paul


When you use the bungy cord on the chute, your not supposed to raise it all the way up, if you roll over a stone or some other object that could go flying at say a car for instance, not good. BUT, if you raise the chute, all you really need is to raise it no more than an inch, that will be enough to spray the clippings over a larger area so they will not clump.

cruzgardening
10-30-2010, 03:54 AM
Hey guys i had the same question when i started and i realized that bagging is indeed a good way of doing things faster it takes less then 20 seconds to take off the bag trash it and put it back on unless you are really lazy lol i bag most of my clippings and only in large properties, 2 of mine, do i leave the chute semi opened yes grass gets scattered everywhere but i use the blower to make it into little piles with the other debris that might be in the property and just rake it up after im done yes it takes a few more minutes but its worth the effort.

my clients love the fact i use the blower around their property to get rid of any debris and i have never scattered debris to the neighbors property rather i get some of their debris and clean it up so they dont complain later on :)

happy Cutting :)

Steve
10-30-2010, 07:14 PM
How do you dispose of the clippings when you are bagging them? Do you take them with you or leave them?

Also, what is your view of bagging the clippings vs. mulching when it comes to lawn health?

musician/lawnman
10-31-2010, 12:37 PM
Mowing down here w/ the chute up or off is pretty standard practice if you are not mulching or bagging. The heavy bahaia & st. augustine grasses we deal with are not like the thinner northern fescue grasses & it's soaking wet all the time from june - octber typically, those rubber chutes clump it up so bad you could run it over 5 times & still have pile lines. I have 3 machines, one is full mulch kit, the other 2 have quick chutes... closed they do a good job of keeping grass out of flower beds & off of homes, sheds, & store fronts but other that that they are full open generally.
The other thing is this: I have seen sticks, rocks, & pine cones shoot out from uner a mower deck in every direction.... last year a pine cone came out from under the left front edge of the deck like it was shot out of a potato gun, it flew across the street & 2 doors down before landing on a roof! I was like HOLY $H!T!!!! I hit a piece of wire (like a coat hanger but hevier) last year that came out from under the left side of the deck, bounced of the homes stucco & stuck into the back of my left hand like a damn dart. It didn't hurt much but it bled like crazy! My point is these blades spin at incredibly high rpms & can sling whatever wherever at random, just turning them on at all is to understand the liabilities involved. My employess know if anyone is walking or passing on bicycle or a client comes out the door, we shut the blades down & stop the machine i it's place til they are well out of range. This is a standard policy within my company. even still you car hit cars, or houses, or the people in them. It's a risk of starting your mower up.

Steve
10-31-2010, 06:40 PM
Is there anything else that can be used around the deck to keep things from shooting out from below the mower? Or is the airflow needed to get under there?

cruzgardening
11-01-2010, 08:23 PM
How do you dispose of the clippings when you are bagging them? Do you take them with you or leave them?

Also, what is your view of bagging the clippings vs. mulching when it comes to lawn health?

in the LA Area there is a recycling program for green waste and all the properties have a recycling bin its standard practice to recycle all the clippings in that bin so i leave them, though there are some clients that need me to take the clippings and i do for an extra charge.