View Full Version : Weed eating. Proper technique.
Lopes Lawn Care
06-20-2012, 06:40 PM
In an affort to try and do the best job I possibly can being a newbie and all, I was wondering if you guys could share some useful tips on weed eating. What are some common practices to avoid burning or scalping the edges? what direction do you go in? do you drag the head along the ground or let it float along as you go?
I've got my way of doing things but i'm trying to train a new guy and he feels his way is better but it obviously isn't. He does some in the back, some in the front then back to the back, then he'll do a tree then back to the front. he's all over the place and misses a ton of stuff. Including areas that he hit. I tend to do everything as I go along, so i'm not going back and forth wasting time. I also just replaced a spool on a brand new trimmer and i feel it wore out way too soon (machine is 2 months old) so i feel he's dragging it to much.
Some customers might not care if their edges start to retreat from being wacked to low but when you get to higher end customers that are looking for that perfect look i'm sure these tips will help alot of people. Thanks guys.
06-20-2012, 08:37 PM
First of all, in my opinion, start in the front and do EVERYTHING there is to trim there then move to the back. If you have a yard that, that doesn't work as well, work either the entire fence or around the house first then move your way in or out. Know where you've been and what still need to be done. It's not rocket science but for some guys it can be I guess. I'd tell him to keep the trimmer off the ground unless you need to bump the line out. Thats the only time the trimmer should hit the ground. If you have a worn out head in 2 months, its either junk or hes abusing it. I've had the trimmer I have now for over two years and its not even close to being worn out. I'd light a fire under his *** and tell him to buy his own trimmer or head at the very least.
Lopes Lawn Care
06-20-2012, 09:17 PM
thanks for the info man. I appreciate it. Yeah that's what I thought. He's definitly abusing the thing. My last trimmer (echo) i got used and used it for 3 seasons before i had to replace the head. This is a new commerical grade stihl i bought this year and the spool head was worn so bad it wouldn't advance anymore.
As far as the way he goes through yards goes, he's definitly not getting it. I start from one point work the perimitter, hit any tree, landscape area, rocks, whatever the f**k and then follow that line and work the inside around the house. I also work to the left, keeping grass out of beds. He goes to the right kicking it in. I don't know maybe i'm the one thats doing it wrong.
06-20-2012, 10:19 PM
If trimmers spun in the correct direction he wouldn't be kicking grass into the beds.
That said, they all spin the wrong way, so you have to adapt by walking the OTHER direction!
I use a Stihl with the factory bump head and I just replaced it after two and a half years.
Lopes Lawn Care
06-20-2012, 11:06 PM
I'm a one man operation but i have him come with me for a once a week. Just to help with a busier day. But my customers know me for not missing stuff and for always leaving the yard clean and debri free. So I find myself having to touch things up cause it's quicker then explaining it to him. I'm just trying to figure out some tips to help him understand.
Hedge, yeah i was pretty surprised when i went to use the trimmer and noticed it didn't advance at all. I was like "this thing is f**king 2 months old", "how can this thing be worn so bad already". Yeah he's dragging it.
Thanks for the help guys, being new to this whole thing is tough so it's nice to have a place to talk to people about issues. I was thinking I was doing something wrong but it seems just dealing with this kid is what i'm doing wrong. It's tough to find good help thats willing to only work a few hrs a week. haha
06-21-2012, 07:24 AM
Get rid of him and get someone with a brain, or someone that will listen to you, the boss. There are always people out there willing to work even if its just one day a week. Try craiglist, try your local newspaper. Just get someone that isnt going to tear up your tools and will work like they're suppose to. Give then a week or two and if they are'nt listening dump em and go again.
Or do it all yourself. At least thats a good way of getting it done right.
06-21-2012, 07:56 AM
A new head costs $30.
Divide that by the limited number of days he's working with you and see how much it's costing YOU every time he trims.
Don't forget to factor in the time you spend doing what he didn't do right.
06-21-2012, 10:29 AM
1. Always go left.
2. Always keep the head parallel to whatever you cut, even when going in circles.
3. Hop the trimmer up and down to get grass growing on fences.
4. Trim from the top of a hill, never from below.
5. You have more control sidestepping-back or moving backwards when trimming large amounts of grass - you will lose control when moving forward.
Your body wants to lower the trimmer every time you go forward, but move backward and your body will maintain the height of cut or go upward which avoids cutting too short. - safe.
If I'm trimming a property, I may always trim the perimeter of the lawn first, then I trim around obstacles such as trees. Over time, you can do both at the same time in order to save time.
Let's say you are mowing the perimeter but there is a nearby tree coming up, go and trim around the tree and head right back to continue trimming around the perimeter, this makes it so that you aren't back tracking.
If you need to release more trimmer cord but you are nowhere near the street, turn the trimmer sideways and tap it against a fence, or the home itself.
For the love of god, I am going to make another video. I am an excellent trimmer and I have soooo much advice to share but I think we are all visual learners here. I'll see what I can do today.
Lopes Lawn Care
06-21-2012, 04:54 PM
All good points guys. I'm gonna get on him next week when i see him again and go over this **** again. He's definitly gotten better but he's still moving in the f***ing wrong direction. It's just pissing me off that he's ruining my equipment and still doing a bad job. He's a friend in need of work so i'm trying to be patient but i'm too anal with my properties to just over look it.
I'm having a feeling he'll be gone soon.
Cheese, I pretty much trim the same way you do. I start at a point and hit any obsticiles out in the lawn (tree, pool, rocks, dildos whatev)while always returning to the perimeter to where i left off. Makes things easy to remember and alot quicker so it kills me to see him go back and forth.
A video of this might definitley help alot of people. Although it's not rock science by any means, to someone that has never picked up a trimmer it will be gold.
Again thanks for the advice guys. This site is awesome!
06-21-2012, 07:34 PM
Definitely listen to cheese here.
Those are the same rules I have always went by, and if im good at anything related to this business at all it is trimming.
Always use the correct amount of power from the machine required, not too much, not too little.
This business, and a previous job as a manager has showed me similar challenges. Working with employees is difficult, and most of the time more stressful than even seems worth it.
I'd advise you to let him go if you just really can't train him. Ive heard of excellent schools for this kind of thing on this site, might check it out. You should have even more outstanding quality when working with an employee, at a much faster rate. From the sounds of it you are slower, with less quality.
Good luck and let us know what you figure out !
06-21-2012, 08:48 PM
I am looking forward to this trimmer video! Great thread!
Lopes Lawn Care
06-21-2012, 10:22 PM
I'll definitly take your advise on that. I've been doing this for a few seasons by myself while looking for a good job. Unfortunitly I never found one, so this year I decided to register my business and get insured. Take the plunge as they say.
Doing all this stuff by yourself on a toads shoe string budget is definitly tough. I've always tried to do my best and have yet to get a complain from any customer but I know I still have a ton to learn. Actually I don't think you ever stop learning in this buisness. One thing I do know is that i don't want the quality of my work to suffer because of a helper. Learning these techniques and how to apply them to training and daily work is essential.
Hearing these stories, listening to this advice, seeing pictures of work done and videos of people doing the work is HUGE when your learning. So i'm stoked that this site exists. Makes me feel like i'm not crazy. haha.
I'm gonna work on this kid and if he doesn't get it, then i'm just gonna have to start over. Oh well, gotta do what ya gotta do.
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