View Full Version : Manual Reel Mower Why??

01-10-2002, 02:39 PM
I have a customer (wealthly senior doctor) after 10 years approaches me and says. Could you cut my grass with a walk behind manual reel mower (not gas powered). He said he would pay me extra and I could use his antique, rusty reel mower. My question is why does he want us to use this rusty old thing. To see us sweat? or less noise? or less pollution?

P.S. We agreed to do it for extra money but we don't look forward to going there. We considered dropping him but he has been my family doctor for the last 35 years.

Has anyone else had weird requests like this?


01-10-2002, 02:55 PM
First of all, welcome to Lawnsite!

Second, no, never had any requests like that!

The reel mower wouldn't, and cant cut at 3.5" like my mowers can. They dont "lift" the grass and unless he has a short warm season or golf course grass, it will look like crap. You have to be below 2" for a reel mower to cut nice.

Just do a sloppy job and charge him tripple! It will stop real quick!

Good Luck

01-10-2002, 03:42 PM
Welcome to the forum

Is the lawn a small one?We have never been asked to mow with a reel mower .If the reels are dull it will cut like crap.
TLS is right to get a good cut on a reel it needs to be cut low
Those reel mowers bring back bad memories from when i was a kid, mowing a big lawn of burmuda in mississippi.

01-10-2002, 04:06 PM
The lawn is small but still kills me. Once in awhile it will stop abruptly and stab me in the gut. We fight over whose turn it is this week. And yes it looks terrible but the doctor is happy with it.


01-10-2002, 04:12 PM
If hes a good payer and the job pays well and it doesnt take to much time ,i guess thats all that matters.You might want to hint to him to get the reels sharpened

David Haggerty
01-10-2002, 04:54 PM
The best thing I could think of would be the guy may be a little nostalgic.

But whatever the reason I think it falls outside the realm of professional lawn care.

In your short post you've expresssed your doubts three times.

Originally posted by Ray&Christine

My question is why does he want us to use this rusty old thing. To see us sweat?

P.S. we don't look forward to going there. We considered dropping

Has anyone else had weird requests like this?


I don't think you should question your own instincts.


01-10-2002, 06:12 PM
It's probably sentiment and nostalgia.

Maybe he would buy a new Brill. Easier on you.

I dropped a customer who asked for this. There were other problems anyway. You decide if it is worth it. :)

01-10-2002, 07:35 PM
Find out if he wants you to use the reel for the cut it does or to save the world from the pollution of the gas engine. If he just wants it done with a reel and not worried about the gas then I would suggest buying a gas powered reel mower, I know a guy who sells used ones to Amish people close to me. I'm not sure what they are worth. If he is trying to save the world I would say pass on the job to someone who wants to do it that way,, local kid maybe.

01-10-2002, 07:48 PM
Lets See, hummm.....

Nope, see ya. I'm outta here. Find someone else. Dr. you must be out of your mind!!!

Good thing about being your own boss, you don't have to put up with stupid people. Work smarter not harder.

plow kid
01-10-2002, 09:15 PM
tell him to call this guy

01-11-2002, 12:34 AM
Get requests to use the 21" instead of the WB by some elderly customers. Will comply if the prop is small.
What part of Toronto do you service?
BTW this would be a nice compliment to Plow Kid's mower if the prop. is gated.

01-11-2002, 05:32 AM
i think it could be one of the never disapeering cases of: You finished that quick, And I am paying you This Much??

01-11-2002, 09:28 AM
If the doctor is concerned about noise or exhaust pollution, maybe you could convince him to buy an electric mower. They're certainly quieter. Whether gas powered or electric powered engines pollute more, I'll leave to someone else.

Do get the blades on the old reel mower sharpened! And charge your client for it.

01-11-2002, 09:33 AM
vipermanz may be correct, then again maybe he has suddenly become environmentally friedly. i have two other possible theories.

The first is menier's disease(vertigo), and he doesnt want anyone to know. we have a customer who has this, and the sound of the lawn equiment makes hers sick(literally). she has ear protection equipment on all day long. we still use power equipment there, but the agreement is that we do it after 12pm. we put it on our monday route, and mow it as the last yard of the day. she is happy with this claiming that that gives her all day for her body to adjust(whatever that means).

The second, and i hate to say this is the fact that he may be getting older and senility is setting in. I'm no doctor so i dont know for sure.

Whatever the case find out exactly why he wishes for it to be dobe this way. Then, see if you can strike up some sort of agreement with him that woud make everyone happy. If this cant be done, it is time to move on.

01-11-2002, 10:31 AM
hey i did this one time and one time only on my own grass when i put the lawn in. NEVER AGAIN.... oh i got stabed in the gut, the boy's got smacked no way never again. i have a few hundred immagrant workers around these parts that would love the oppertunity

01-11-2002, 06:15 PM
I say that if you agreed to the price and so did he, then why not. If you came up with the price then you must have thought it was fair.

Just think about it like this. If you have 30 props and for the most part you get to do what you want for them and still get paid it is win-win. If this is the only REAL special request then you are giving the cuatomer what he wants and that is invaluable.

I personally think that the guy is pretty stoked about the mower but unable to do it himself and by you doing it his way then the nostalgia factor is way high and you have made his day.


01-11-2002, 07:23 PM
Found this picture of the 2 guys who mowed the lawn before you C:\My Documents\Lawn Stuff\horse drawn mower.JPG

01-11-2002, 08:03 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?s=&postid=211776...That might work if it was one of those 3-wheeled bikes! lol