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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

What A Freakin' Week!


Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #1  
Old 08-22-2009, 02:43 AM
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Default What A Freakin' Week!

Ok, I'm gonna vent here!
First off, last week I put my mowing accounts aside to do some french drain work for 6 customers because the weather has been dry and hot and the grass has slowed down considerably. Most of my weekly customers have been put on biweekly. So, I finish up with my drainage work and figure I better get my lawn accounts started again because some of them looked pretty bad with all the water grass and crabgrass peeking up. My first account was my church, which I have to mow on Saturdays, because church is on Sunday and they don't want work to be done there on Sundays. No big deal. So I get the back part done (by the way this is a 3 hour job..a little over 2 acres all together) and start on the front part and I start smelling a hot belt. I figure it's about to go so I speed up and try to get as much done as I can before she goes. Well, it finally went so I pulled around to the truck for the tools to replace it with my spare in the backseat. I flip the cover and find one of my tensioner pullys just lying there on the deck. Ok, no big deal, just a little upset. So I finish weedeating to make it look a little better and go home. On Monday I take it 50 miles round trip to the place I bought it from, which also does all my major service work, and pick it back up on Wednesday. $190 and three pullys later, I get it picked up. Well, by now it has rained for two days, and rains on me the whole way there to get it and the whole stinkin way back. It finally quits about 2pm, so I decide to mow a commercial account that usually drains well. I almost get done and am mowing up next to a man hole cover and end up just clipping the edge...so much for sharp blades now. I hate sharpening blades on zero turns because I have to attach a come-along from the roll bar on the mower to the tow hitch on my truck to get underneath to the blades...I'm too tight to buy a mower jack. So, Thursday rolls around, with "a chance" of rain in the forecast..I'm thinking ok, it'll be ok. I start mowing two of my larger residentials and notice that my front tire (I just freakin bought both new about 2 months ago) won't hold air again. I've been getting it plugged for weeks and keep getting holes in it. So I go to get my air pig out of the back of the truck only to find that all the air in that stupid thing has leaked out...definately no way to plug an air pig. So, now I'm getting pretty annoyed, and load up the mower and head back for home to fill it back up with the compressor. I get it filled back up and get the tire back to full and head back out. I get 4 more lawns finished and the damn thing goes flat again! Now I've escalated from annoyed to pretty damn grouchy. So I fill it back up again with the air pig and load up to go the the next account. This one I have to push mow because I can't get my zero in there. I go to start my push mower and the damn thing won't stay running. Now I'm just plain pissed! I pul and pull until I'm about to hurl it into the main highway for a semi to cream and finally it starts. However it only runs at idle now. I said the hell with it and shoved it back across the street and got the zero. I've never mowed this account with the zero because I never thought it would fit, however when your pissed off and determined to get an account done no matter what, funny things happen. I get almost done and I start to notice the left fron wheel is flat again and now the bearings in the swivel act like they're locked up. It starts dragging the wheel when I try to turn and starts scarring up the turf. So, of course I get really mad because I'm a freak about the quality of my customer's cuts, and start yelling obsenities. Thankfully, nobody was around to hear me because I got pretty darn creative with my combinations. I get finished and load up and take my customer the invoice for a free cut and explain that my luck has been crap and my stupid mower just left mud scars all over her backyard.
By this time, it's supper time and I head home for something to eat. I haven't been set down for more than 20 minutes and I hear thunder. What a crock! Hell, I just gave up. I went outside and pulled the zero in the garage and sharpened the blades and replaced the bearings in the swivel.
Now it gets better.
So this morning, I wake up to a light rain. At this point, I'm so pissed I'm just numb. I don't give a damn if it's raining or not, I'm gonna mow! I am too far behind for this crap! I get around and get loaded up and by this time the sun decides to peak out...I think it was just taunting me. I head down the street to a neighbor, who is also a customer and start mowing. Got it all done and get out the trimmer. I always wear my sunglasses when I weedeat, so I got them on and started down the driveway and BAM! A tiny rock hits me right in the freakin eyeball! Went right under my glasses and popped me. I usually just take out my contacts and whatever gets in there usually comes out stuck to the contact. No suck luck today. I ended up driving myself to the eye doctor and had to have him get it out. As I'm leaving, you guessed it, it starts raining again. I get back an hour later and am determined to get this account finished if it freakin kills me!!!! I get out in the rain and go for my leaf blower to finally finish this one and the stupid primer button splits. I give up folks! I couldn't believe that. So I chucked the stupid F'n thing clear across the driveway. It bounced off my trailer and landed in my mower's seat. HAHA! The neighbor was outside, whom I know well, and saw it all! HAHA! He just shook his head and laughed. I didn't find it amusing until now, but oh well. Atleast one of us got a good laugh.
Tomorrow I WILL mow. Do you hear me mowing gods? I said I WILL mow!! There's nothing you can do to stop me. If I have to put a full face helmet on to protect my eyes, floats on my mower to mow in the rain, and buy a conversion kit for my push mower and leaf blower for propane Ito make sure I don't get water in the fuel I WILL!!!
BRING IT ON!!!!!
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2009, 03:08 AM
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
WOW! How about something like this? Would it help?

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Old 08-22-2009, 08:39 PM
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Steve you made my day!

I just got back in from trying to mow the church again..for the third time. And guess what...I broke down AGAIN! This time the other wheel bearing decided to bust into little pieces...I would scream, but now I'm starting to worry about my mental health...I almost wanted to just laugh hysterically. And not a happy, joyful hysterical laugh either! Luckily, Auto Zone had the cone bearings in stock and the grease seal, so all I had to do was go to Westlakes and get me another 3/4" lock nut. I packed the bearings and put them all back together and now it works again...until tomorrow when I try again. GEEZ! I'm beginning to wonder if I've upset God because this is the third time in a row I haven't been able to complete the church. This time, however, I started on the front part and got it done before I broke down. Atleast it will look nice for morning services. I'll just have to finish mowing the back and trimming all over on Monday.
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdexpd View Post
So I get the back part done (by the way this is a 3 hour job..a little over 2 acres all together) and start on the front part and I start smelling a hot belt.
That happened to me this week. I was doing my school on Thursday and i started the schoolyard. Doesn't take me long with the Zero turn, about half way. I start smelling something burning. So i look behind me at the motor, wasn't the motor. Then I see big cloud of smoke under the mower where the deck is. I look underneath, it was like a little fire that was about to happen for a bit of grass getting into the deck/belt. I stop my mower. Then I remove as much grass as i can from the deck. I notice that my blade spindle was bent and it has seized up and i had a hard time moving it freely with my hands.

So i'm out of commission with my ZTR until Monday, my dealer had ran out of spindles. He orderred some more.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:53 PM
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Ya that's why I carry a small fire extinguisher on board my zero. Everyone thinks I'm a nut, but with a machine as expensive as ours, we have to be prepared. Thankfully, I haven't had to use it yet, but the other day with the belt, I was afraid I might have to. There's nothing worse I can think of than to stand by and see my mower burn up right in front of my eyes and there be nothing I could do about it. However, now that I think about it...I do carry a bunch of sodas with me all the time...I guess I could put it out with Pepsi! Pretty high tech if you ask me! Maybe I'll just strap a six pack to the roll bars. HAHA!
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
I just got back in from trying to mow the church again..for the third time. And guess what...I broke down AGAIN!
I am sorry about all this happening but I am glad you are pushing forwards. It seems sometimes like we get these challenges all at once and at times, they are enough to make people do something else with their lives.

If only we pushed through them, everything would be fine.

It's a great lesson to learn.

Keep us posted on how everything is going.

Also I'd love to see a picture of your ztr and where you have your fire extinguisher. I think others should follow your lead on installing one as well.
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:10 AM
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Ok, just an update.
I went to the parts store and found some cone bearings to replace the ones in both front wheels. They ended up being cheaper than I expected (12$) each. Each side takes two, so I replaced both sides. Then I got a primer bulb for the leaf blower..it works now. Then I troubleshoot my push mower and found out it had a bunch of water in the fuel. I put some fuel dry in and she fired right up. My eye is doing much better. I think it was just a little scratched. The deck on my zero mows fine now...considering the whole damn thing is practically new now except for 1 spindle.
Other than it's raining again today, this week has been much better.
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