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View Full Version : The only person that cares about stripes is the LCO.


1MajorTom
03-20-2007, 09:47 PM
Do you feel that statement is true or false?

I'll make it into a poll.

1MajorTom
03-20-2007, 09:51 PM
I'll go first. I think striping is over-rated, and in 9 years in business no one has ever called up for an estimate, met with us, and said, "you do stripe don't you?"

Yes, we take care to keep straight lines, and on certain grasses, especially the ones that are cut at 4 inches, there will be very nice stripe. However, I don't think the customer even notices.

mag360
03-20-2007, 09:51 PM
True, for the most part.

DJ Contracting
03-20-2007, 09:54 PM
I just can't stand NOT seeing those nice stripes.

POPO4995
03-20-2007, 09:59 PM
I like stripes, and if you got some going and they get messed up, it drives me F'ing crazy!:dizzy: :dizzy:

Young Lawn Boy
03-20-2007, 10:13 PM
ya i can't drive away from a job without knowing that i just made some hella striped...i dont care if the customer doesnt like them. i do and chances are people will look at them while driving by

jtkplc
03-20-2007, 10:17 PM
Stripes have a time and place, but if they aren't needed or my customers don't care and it's not in a highly viewed location like on a busy street, then I don't waste the time (yes, it does waste time). There are several mowing methods that are faster than down and back striping.

RedMax Man
03-20-2007, 10:27 PM
I often can't leave a lawn without having the perfect stripes sometime i'll zip back over it if i'm not pleased with the results. Customers also comment on the lawn and stripes so some of them do care but I'm propably more picky.

lawnspecialties
03-20-2007, 10:30 PM
Stripes or not is usually not a big deal.

Crooked stripes or not is a huge deal. That makes a yard look like it was cut by the kid down the street.:)

supercuts
03-20-2007, 10:45 PM
i think im much more picky about lines being perfectly straight. some customers have asked for them

Lynden-Jeff
03-20-2007, 10:46 PM
Its the difference between a good job, and an outstanding job. I don't really care if the customer notices, but some one will notice, and they will wonder who did that.

Cheers
Jeff

ECS
03-20-2007, 10:53 PM
I think it is more the detail for the person doing the lawn than the homeowner. I also think that once they get used to it and change companies and the new one does not do the same detail, as in stripes, that is when they would more than likely say something. People driving by a property do notice it. I have had contractors and carpenters working in the area that paid me many comments on the properties I took care of on one road and how they were the best looking lawns on the whole road. There were 3 big lawns on this road of about 5 miles, all side by side, all stripes from one ran into the next property, the 3 properties had identical stripes each and every week. It did not look as noticable as it sounds because of the berms and trees between each property, but it sure did look nice.

Drew Gemma
03-20-2007, 11:08 PM
they look nice but the most important thing is keeping the height proper to the weather which will give better stripes, color and appear fuller and thicker the stripes only reenforce the color and overall health

Roger
03-20-2007, 11:10 PM
I used to use an Exmark Viking on nearly all my residential properties. It made good, sometimes great, stripes. Last season, after the season had begun, I bought a John Deere 717A, 7 Iron II deck. I was able to use it on about half of my properties. The JD leaves a superb cut, but no stripes. I never received as many compliments than after I started using the JD, "... your new mower does such a nice job." Conclusion: Stripes are not as important as a smooth cut.

Metro Lawn
03-20-2007, 11:11 PM
I have never had anyone ask for them, but I have had customers complain that they don't like them.

Envy Lawn Service
03-20-2007, 11:21 PM
Stripes have a time and place, but if they aren't needed or my customers don't care and it's not in a highly viewed location like on a busy street, then I don't waste the time (yes, it does waste time). There are several mowing methods that are faster than down and back striping.

I'll have to second that all the way!!!! :clapping:

Most of my customers do care and like the stripes. But I'm always the first one who has ever done that to their lawn... and I'm one of the extreme few here that does/can stripe.

But for the ones who don't care, or don't like it, I gladly don't do it because it means the same money for me in a LOT less time.

cutbetterthanyou
03-21-2007, 12:30 AM
I have never had anyone ask for them, but I have had customers complain that they don't like them.

I 2cd that

Mow It All llc
03-21-2007, 01:28 AM
I actually lost a job cause the stripes were off. I strip ost of my lawns exept for the small dirt pits

jeffex
03-21-2007, 07:08 AM
I have never had anyone ask for them, but I have had customers complain that they don't like them.

Ditto! although I do get compliments from neighbors sometimes the homeownes have never told me they like the stripes. I have seen neighbors try and stripe with their 21" mowers trying to duplicate stripes so someone notices them. Mostly complaints from old ladies saying I forgot to cut part of the lawn.

rodfather
03-21-2007, 07:55 AM
We should be more concerned about the health of the turf than cosmetics IMO.

alwaysgreener
03-21-2007, 08:51 AM
Most of our residential clients don't care..BUT all my commercial lots like to see them they think it gives a cleaner look and attracts potential clients to there business..

Jim-n-i
03-21-2007, 09:06 AM
I have one on my hustler-z. the only people that has asked is the business or the ones that compete with their neighbors. my small coustomers dont care but it still makes their yard stand out. I personaly like the stripes it looks perfonsional but you got to take your time to get them stright or it looks like child play

JayD
03-21-2007, 09:47 AM
I like the smoothhhhhh look myself. But on some jobs, the stripes do look good. Some yards just don't look that good with them.

big_country
03-21-2007, 10:40 AM
I believe it separates the professionals from the Joe's in most cases, but some places it just can not be done.

rodfather
03-21-2007, 10:44 AM
A couple of years ago when this topic was brought up, I remember one LCO saying a few of his customers did NOT like the stripes and asked for him to cut the lawn so they didn't appear. That really confused him. Seems as if they wanted the lawn to look like some big lush carpet instead of a checkboard. I could see their viewpoint.

stumpslawncare
03-21-2007, 10:59 AM
I love stripes, but your right I have never had a potential customer ask if our mowers stripe.

Mowman16
03-21-2007, 11:23 AM
It makes other landscapers look :laugh: . Do you ever notice a customer's neighbor trying to make them with his push mower? I get a real charge out of that.:laugh:

mattfromNY
03-21-2007, 11:40 AM
Its in the eye of the artist (the LCO).... look at 'fine art', a bunch of lines and squiggles, my 3 yr. old daughter makes nicer stuff!!!!
I love to make and see nice stripes, but not everyone else does. In one year of business, I had one customer ask for them, and one customer tell me NOT to put them on her lawn.

cward
03-21-2007, 12:13 PM
Wouldn't mow without them. Having nice striped yards has gotten me several yards. They couldn't stand the neighbors yard looking better than theirs.

1MajorTom
03-21-2007, 04:04 PM
A couple of years ago when this topic was brought up, I remember one LCO saying a few of his customers did NOT like the stripes and asked for him to cut the lawn so they didn't appear. That really confused him. Seems as if they wanted the lawn to look like some big lush carpet instead of a checkboard. I could see their viewpoint.

Ya this topic defiintely has been discussed before. The reason I brought it again because I think it's funny sometimes to see how the "tide" can change on the forum. I can remember way way way back when Fareway lawncare was around, and Eric ELM was here. Fareway made a comment about how stripes weren't important, and everyone dogged him to no end saying a lawn without stripes is "unprofessional".
I think now the way it seems, most LCO's think stripes look nice, but they realize that a lot if not most of their customers really don't notice.

rodfather
03-21-2007, 05:59 PM
Ya this topic defiintely has been discussed before. The reason I brought it again because I think it's funny sometimes to see how the "tide" can change on the forum. I can remember way way way back when Fareway lawncare was around, and Eric ELM was here. Fareway made a comment about how stripes weren't important, and everyone dogged him to no end saying a lawn without stripes is "unprofessional".
I think now the way it seems, most LCO's think stripes look nice, but they realize that a lot if not most of their customers really don't notice.

Hey Jodi, I was gonna ask ya. Do you remember reading (it may have been even more than one guy) saying that about how people didn't want stripes in their lawn? I figured you would remember.

lawnguyland
03-21-2007, 06:55 PM
Stripes are unimportant to me, but I will try to make the lines relatively straight. I'm not getting a roller or anything though. Ahh ha ha ha FAREWAY. Scrubs, double blades, banishments....

Daner
03-21-2007, 07:07 PM
I think Some customers...see the stripes, and just think It looks like It's done by a pro. Most will not know how we do It.
All In All...I'm for the stripes.

Uranus
03-21-2007, 07:14 PM
I always hated it when a coworker critisized someones lines. Who cares. (some of you do). Never used a striper and never will. they look good on the larger properties but when I get to some of the 1/4 acre lots and have 4 stipes in the front yard it looks dumb.

Stripes look good, I dont intentionaly make them. But yes my mowers stripe on their own and all my yards have straight lines in them.

EJD Lawnpride
03-21-2007, 07:18 PM
I have pictures of striped lawns on my flyer. One person asked if I could stripe theirs like the one on the flyer.(diaganols)

Just Cut
03-21-2007, 07:40 PM
I have had people complain about strips, they think the mower is doing something adverse to the grass, most people that i service just want a fair deal and good job and someone that is dependable

Uranus
03-21-2007, 07:44 PM
JODI:

Great Poll! :D

tacoma200
03-21-2007, 07:50 PM
I'm not seeing a consensus! But it looks like its leaning toward stripes not being important to most customers.

Myk
03-21-2007, 10:59 PM
WOW I thoght I was the only one that cared so much about striping. I've even caught myself telling my employee to stripe it this way it looks better and it was on a normal residental home. I'm for the striping just watching a baseball game seeing the stripes makes it look so professional. and yes I go over twice sometimes to get a better look sad thing is the customers don't care.

1MajorTom
03-21-2007, 11:34 PM
I'm not seeing a consensus! But it looks like its leaning toward stripes not being important to most customers.
I'm seeing a big consensus. 139 people saying only the LCO cares about stripes or just a few customers notice.... compared to 27 people saying that more than just the LCO cares, the customers care too.

Envy Lawn Service
03-22-2007, 12:50 AM
Hey Jodi, I was gonna ask ya. Do you remember reading (it may have been even more than one guy) saying that about how people didn't want stripes in their lawn? I figured you would remember.

I've had some tell me flat out they didn't like the stripes...
Which always pleases me because I get to do the job faster for the same money.

It seems to me that with stripes, 90% of my customers marvel at the patterns I do, 5% don't notice anything unless it's un-cut or the clippings are plastered to something, and the other 5% think the stripes are an eye-sore or are too modest to like the flashy look.

I've had neighbors to my accounts inquire about hiring me and ask if I could give them a "regular" cut that nice but without the stripes because they like my work and reliablity, but do not want others to think they hired me to "keep up with the Smith's" across the street.

So I give them a perfect, but 'low-key' cut.

1MajorTom
03-22-2007, 01:21 AM
Hey Jodi, I was gonna ask ya. Do you remember reading (it may have been even more than one guy) saying that about how people didn't want stripes in their lawn? I figured you would remember.
Oh ya, I remember a few of those threads were customers were asking for no stripes. but at this hour, I just can't remember who started those threads. :hammerhead:

DuraCutter
03-22-2007, 02:14 AM
We should be more concerned about the health of the turf than cosmetics IMO.

Very true.

Stripes seem to take a lot of time and in lawncare there is very little profit, so IMO it's a waste of money and time. That's what I seem to be getting from reading the various posts.

If people love them so much, it should'nt be too hard to "charge extra".
That would be a definite test to see if the customers appreciate the stripes!!

:)

Richard Martin
03-22-2007, 04:00 AM
I think that most people don't notice or care about stripes. I have been hired on my abilities to stripe before but those customers seem to be far and few between. When I sold my company last year only 3 customers out of 30 requested that the new LCO be able to stripe their lawn.

Roger
03-22-2007, 09:41 AM
Several have commented about the extra time required to do striping. I obviously have missed something about the fine art of striping. I never did anything differently on any lawn to "do striping." Either the nature of the turf, the quality of turf, height, direction of sun, etc. determined the outcome. I never used a device, such as a roller or dragging chain, so maybe I never did any striping.

Perhaps the first post in this thread should have defined striping. It sounds like there are many definitions. But, since so few care, ... probably just a waste of more time.

LawnMower
03-22-2007, 12:32 PM
In my aria, stripes are the way to go. All my customers that I do stripes, love them. One customer of mine wanted me to mow his lawn a few times wile he had surgery. After I laid a mean stripe pattern by going a different way each week, he kept me for the season.

Stripes don't take up any more time then going in circles.

Envy Lawn Service
03-22-2007, 12:48 PM
Several have commented about the extra time required to do striping. I obviously have missed something about the fine art of striping. I never did anything differently on any lawn to "do striping." Either the nature of the turf, the quality of turf, height, direction of sun, etc. determined the outcome. I never used a device, such as a roller or dragging chain, so maybe I never did any striping.

Perhaps the first post in this thread should have defined striping. It sounds like there are many definitions. But, since so few care, ... probably just a waste of more time.

In my aria, stripes are the way to go. All my customers that I do stripes, love them. One customer of mine wanted me to mow his lawn a few times wile he had surgery. After I laid a mean stripe pattern by going a different way each week, he kept me for the season.

Stripes don't take up any more time then going in circles.

I like the look of stripes myself and many of my customers do too.

But that statement is a MYTH.

The effort, turning and driving back and forth in nice patterns is time consuming.
Some lawns more than others.

If you don't believe that, test it yourself on your own lawn or one that doesn't matter.

Roger
03-22-2007, 02:44 PM
Forward/reverse passes vs. round 'n round ... an old topic, discussed here many times. After much debate, hashing and rehashing, all the talk came to no end. Nobody on one side of the matter was convinced of the other position, and, if the topic is continued here, nobody will be convinced otherwise.

AbsoluteH&L
03-22-2007, 03:11 PM
I have to say that most customers wouldn't care if the stripes weren't perfect. I have only 1 customer that has ever really made a big deal about striping, and it is someone in my own neighborhood that I am cutting such a good deal for that they should be happy they got there lawn cut for $20.

grassaholic
03-22-2007, 04:04 PM
I'm all for stripes. I have had many customers over the years comment positively on my striping. I've also had people approach me and ask me if I could stripe their lawn like the one I'm mowing. I've had new customers comment about how great their lawn looks after I've mowed it 2 or 3 times and got a nice pattern going. The only thing I don't like is when guys mow the same direction week after week. In my opinion, doing that just mats the grass down and the tire tracks become rutted. I've picked up an account where the guy before mowed the same direction EVERY week. Of course the first thing I did was mow it in the other direction. Doing this was like taking my mower across one long woop section! The previous guy actually had ruts in the yard from never changing direction.
I do agree that a good majority don't care about striping. I definately have alot of customers that do care. For me striping a lawn helps to take away some of the boredom of mowing the same lawns week after week. When I'm bored with a lawn I'll try mowing it in a different direction and see how it looks. I even had a customer comment about how great their lawn looked when I changed the pattern. They could see the stripes when sitting at the table to eat.

jtkplc
03-22-2007, 06:18 PM
Stripes don't take up any more time then going in circles.

Envy is right about that. Striping DOES take longer. I used to not believe it until I started trying different methods of cutting a lawn that involved the least amount of turns, and it is faster.

LawnMower
03-22-2007, 07:02 PM
Envy is right about that. Striping DOES take longer. I used to not believe it until I started trying different methods of cutting a lawn that involved the least amount of turns, and it is faster.


Your probably right and so is Envy. Stripes are just something I like to do personally. Mowing grass can become boring and monotonous. Ill do anything to kill the boredom. There's so much competition in my area, that an added touch like striping my get you the job over someone else.

JJLandscapes
03-22-2007, 11:40 PM
LCO's have something to prove to eachother

rodfather
03-23-2007, 08:19 AM
LCO's have something to prove to eachother


what is that...I can stripe better than you lol?

lawnman_scott
03-23-2007, 08:35 AM
Being in FL, our grass wouldnt stripe if we tried. And we always get costomers that want this or that because thats the way they did it in ____, wherever they came from (and I did the same thing when I moved donw here), but the only time anyone ever mentioned it was a time I was mowing a commercial account and a guy from Ohio came over to talk to me and he was a landscaper here on vacation.

Other than a huge estate type property I would say its about the same as saying on a flyer that you line trim and not weedeat. Line trim sounds so professional, but the customer doesnt understand what it is.

Precision
03-23-2007, 11:05 AM
Being in FL, our grass wouldnt stripe if we tried. And we always get costomers that want this or that because thats the way they did it in ____, wherever they came from (and I did the same thing when I moved donw here), but the only time anyone ever mentioned it was a time I was mowing a commercial account and a guy from Ohio came over to talk to me and he was a landscaper here on vacation.

Other than a huge estate type property I would say its about the same as saying on a flyer that you line trim and not weedeat. Line trim sounds so professional, but the customer doesnt understand what it is.

Very true.

although you can stripe a well maintained bahia yard. It doesn't really last that well, but you do get the different reflective qualities. The thing is there are so few well maintained bahia hards that it is almost pointless.

I do have some St augustine yards that look striped for about a day, but again, no one notices.

People do notice that I cut in different directions and appreciate that. But they can see that from the tire tracks and that their yards become less rutted the longer my company maintains the property, not from stripes.