View Full Version : Their PICTURE PERFECT lawn!!

DVS Hardscaper
08-01-2008, 05:10 PM
How do you guys handle jobs where their lawn is picture perfect??

We use what's called 'midsize' skidloaders. They are around 80 HP. Not the smallest machines, and certainly not the largest. They weigh about 7,000 pounds and can lift 3000 pounds. We use them primarily so we can lift a full pallet of materials.

Say you're doing a small job. Like a 400 SF patio with seat wall and block steps. Their lawn is perfect. Do you do the whole job by hand and charge them more? Or do you use your standard machinery?

We typically use our standard machine. Re-grading and seeding is factored into the job cost.

I have a client askin us for a price for us to use smaller equipment so their lawn receives less damage. However, based on their variables of the setting of their property - unless we use only hand shovels and wheel burrows - I don't think smaller equipment will be any better!

I'm thinking we'e just gonna have to come do our thing, and factor in another $1500 for sod.

How do handle this situation??

08-01-2008, 05:13 PM
buy plywood 1/2"-3/4"....factor it into the estimate. it'll mat it down but it wont tear it up and it should recover in no time. Ive done this before. plus...then you have plywood for anything you need it for, or the next time this comes up.

KGR landscapeing
08-01-2008, 05:33 PM
plywood lots of plywood thou on hot days you wanna get that stuff off the grass as much as possible if u can. theres a diffrence between effiency and killing alittle grass. no reason to have a guy running the whole day to move them. get in and out as quick as you can

08-01-2008, 05:51 PM
I don't know how many times I've tried to save the lawn at a job by using plywood or doing this or doing that. Somehow you always end up with damaged turf. Plywood does work but you'll have to pick it up every evening and with lots of luck the turf won't be too damage but then again you still might get ruts. Something will happen in inevitable.

Summit L & D
08-01-2008, 07:06 PM
Are your machines tracked? If not, yes, you're going to mess up the sod. Quite honestly, even using a wheelbarrow you will have ruts in the sod. I would do everything in my power to assure the client that we would treat the area with the utmost care, but that there might be some evidence that we were there. Depending on how bad the turf damage was, it might mean some fine composted topsoil to fill in the ruts with a few weeks to grow in, or possibly re-sodding the area. And of course you have to include either option in your proposal.

08-01-2008, 09:13 PM
If its not a design/build job and just a little wall or something, I will return the lawn to the condition that it is. If its a nice lawn, I will factor in sod. I bring top soil in for every job. I never try to rake out the excavated material and make that work.

08-01-2008, 09:32 PM
i agree with mrusk also pointing out that track mats can be made on the cheap if the customer doesnt want the bring to increase anymore if they are under a budget but other then that standard practice of factoring in lawn repair is typical for my company in every installation quote

08-01-2008, 11:34 PM
Even a machine with tracks will will tear up the lawn after 6 or 7 trips across with materials. We always figure into the price repairing an 8' wide swath of grass from the patio or wall out to the street or driveway.

08-01-2008, 11:46 PM
We sod. Tear the place up, keep a clean jobsite and sod as we exit.

08-02-2008, 11:17 PM
I would go with the plywood option, 4'x8' sheets 1/2" thick, anything thicker is just too much work, and rip them long ways...either have 1 guy move them (if you are cheap or just want to give one of your workers a hard time ) or buy enough to go the whole distance...just reuse them on the next job...you can't escape with a picture perfect lawn when you are done...you will just minimize the damage.

08-03-2008, 08:24 PM
3/4" plywood is what we've been using for the last 10 yrs or so, its got to be picked up after the days end, a bit of raking and your good. 400sqft. is only 4 pallets of brick and if you excavate with a mini ex and hydraulic wheelbarrow you'll hardly damage the lawn.

08-04-2008, 10:13 PM
we used a boxer (dingo) one time and it worked pritty good except it would only carry two layers of pavers at a time. if i had to replace a yard and the customer was supper picky, i would probally take a sod cutter and cut up the current sod as thick as it will allow and put it under a tree and keep it watered well while you are there. that way it is as close to original when put back in. but when you cut it up, only cut one piece wide. just enough for a set of tracks to travel down the center. if you can't keep your grass alive, you can always purchase some new sod. i have just found it is easier to dig up the sod before the job when we have a sod cutter there then to try and till up everything after the fact.