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View Full Version : Rained out for most of the week...what do you do?


Genlandscape
08-02-2008, 02:47 PM
We lost about 16 hours to rain this week, and its raining now. We do not mow in the rain (see alot of yahoos doing it around here). I refuse to put $30k worth of equipment on wet turf, besides the St. augustine and Bahia grasses we mow are heavy enough when they are dry. All of our established customers are used to this practice, but a few of the new ones refuse to understand the fact that we don't mow in te rain, and tend to piss and moan when their service is a few days late. What policy do the rest of you follow?:hammerhead:

T&J Landscaping
08-02-2008, 03:28 PM
if i know it is going to rain a day or two before there lawn needs to be cut,, I mow it ,, why lose a week pay from a client,

Mike Blevins
08-02-2008, 03:31 PM
If i get out and start mowing as long as its not a down pour I keep mowing until it just gets to wet. My Scag don't know its raining. The velcity plus does a great job on wet turf. But I do have some customers that gripe about it so depending on what day it is and whos yard I'm cutting. Some don't care and some do. I do the ones I can and wait on the others.

Daily Lawn/Landscape
08-02-2008, 03:48 PM
When it's time to make hay, make hay. You are throwing money out the window every time you don't mow.We mow as long as there is no lightening.

TimsLawnCareVA
08-02-2008, 03:51 PM
I would just be happy to see rain. You should be glad you are getting rain because many of us are hurting do to lack of rain.

lawnman_scott
08-02-2008, 04:25 PM
We lost about 16 hours to rain this week, and its raining now. We do not mow in the rain (see alot of yahoos doing it around here). I refuse to put $30k worth of equipment on wet turf, besides the St. augustine and Bahia grasses we mow are heavy enough when they are dry. All of our established customers are used to this practice, but a few of the new ones refuse to understand the fact that we don't mow in te rain, and tend to piss and moan when their service is a few days late. What policy do the rest of you follow?:hammerhead:I am one of the yahoos around that mows in the rain. If you are careful doing your turns and pay attention to where you disengage the blades you will be fine. I dont know how you could survive without working in the rain.

lawnspecialties
08-02-2008, 04:25 PM
Unless it's absolutely pouring outside, I'm mowing. If $30,000 worth of equipment can't get wet once in a while, you might want to rethink which brand you're running. :)

traman
08-02-2008, 05:06 PM
We lost about 16 hours to rain this week, and its raining now. We do not mow in the rain (see alot of yahoos doing it around here). I refuse to put $30k worth of equipment on wet turf, besides the St. augustine and Bahia grasses we mow are heavy enough when they are dry. All of our established customers are used to this practice, but a few of the new ones refuse to understand the fact that we don't mow in te rain, and tend to piss and moan when their service is a few days late. What policy do the rest of you follow?:hammerhead: am just south of you,and been dealing with all the rain all week . i just keep on mowing,only stop for heavy down pours or lightning.i work solo and have three mowers just to keep on track.had to do a ton of extra trimming ,cause most lawns were under water,i finished up today,normally done by 1pm on Friday

Whitey4
08-02-2008, 05:30 PM
Mowing very wet grass isn't good for the turf or the equipment. One has to find a balance between that and getting all the accounts done. For me, that means a couple days off, even 3, and then working 7am to 8pm. Under dire circumstances, that might even mean working on a Sunday, but that is extremely rare. I keep my Friday route light, and Saturdays open for either this sort of problem or for installs and the like.

david shumaker
08-02-2008, 06:38 PM
I hate mowing soaking wet grass, especially tall, thick wet grass. If it starts raining while I'm cutting, I finish the lawn. If it's only drizzling and the grass is just damp, I'll mow. Some of it just depends on the yard....some I can cut wet and some I won't touch until they are dry.

David Haggerty
08-02-2008, 07:11 PM
My policy is to not give my customers excuses. So around here that pretty much means you'll be mowing wet.
I actually prefer mowing in a downpour because it washes out any clumps or muddy tracks.

If you get a few days behind with this Ohio bluegrass there will be enough clippings laying on top that you could rake it into windrows and bale it!
So in this neighborhood it's actually worse for the lawns to NOT mow in the rain. But that's just local conditions.
It could be worse, I could live in Seattle!

But I'm with you on not letting other people dictate how I operate my business. It's kind of wierd that I could be dropping customers because they don't want their lawn mowed when it's wet, and you dropping some because they do.

Lehighlawnpros
08-02-2008, 08:33 PM
I agree with most that have replied.

Even though we don't like to mow in the rain (and I don't really like the equipment getting wet either), here in SW Florida in order to stay on schedule it's necessary for us to work in light to moderate and sometimes heavy rain.

Do respect the lightning threat though, you don't want to become a statistic :-)
usually we can wait it out awhile and the lightning/heavy rain dissipates.

In very wet conditions raising the cutting height 1/4" or so
can help to compensate by leaving a better cut and not bogging you down or clumping as much.

Be careful to cleanup extra good and don't leave a mess,
a really powerful blower helps a lot on wet driveways.

We're going on a year and a half of near perfect on-time scheduling, and I find that our customers really respect and appreciate this, and reward us with customer loyalty.

Obviously skip mowing areas of standing water or anywhere where you would leave ugly black "ruts",
wider and/or low pressure tires can help with this.

There are things you can do to make working in the rain
more enjoyable, like wearing quick drying micro-fiber type clothing (under armour) that won't weigh you down.
Also water-proof boots or boot covers are excellent.

Be sure to have a water-proof solution for your gas cans,
I keep my two-cycle cans in a rubbermaid "action packer"
box, works great.

Use the blower and/or compressed air to clean and dry
the mowers afterward, and scrape/clean the decks also to prevent corrosion.

Also, during a hurricane, it's good to keep your hat tied on.
:-)

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

C4chris70
08-02-2008, 08:41 PM
I agree with most that have replied.

Even though we don't like to mow in the rain (and I don't really like the equipment getting wet either), here in SW Florida in order to stay on schedule it's necessary for us to work in light to moderate and sometimes heavy rain.

Do respect the lightning threat though, you don't want to become a statistic :-)
usually we can wait it out awhile and the lightning/heavy rain dissipates.

In very wet conditions raising the cutting height 1/4" or so
can help to compensate by leaving a better cut and not bogging you down or clumping as much.

Be careful to cleanup extra good and don't leave a mess,
a really powerful blower helps a lot on wet driveways.

We're going on a year and a half of near perfect on-time scheduling, and I find that our customers really respect and appreciate this, and reward us with customer loyalty.

Obviously skip mowing areas of standing water or anywhere where you would leave ugly black "ruts",
wider and/or low pressure tires can help with this.

There are things you can do to make working in the rain
more enjoyable, like wearing quick drying micro-fiber type clothing (under armour) that won't weigh you down.
Also water-proof boots or boot covers are excellent.

Be sure to have a water-proof solution for your gas cans,
I keep my two-cycle cans in a rubbermaid "action packer"
box, works great.

Use the blower and/or compressed air to clean and dry
the mowers afterward, and scrape/clean the decks also to prevent corrosion.

Also, during a hurricane, it's good to keep your hat tied on.
:-)

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

Could not have said it better myself. If we stopped mowing because of rain, we would never be on time.

jkingrph
08-02-2008, 08:42 PM
I can only wish we could get rained out. It's been almost 3 months since we had any signifacnt rain. Outdoor burning bans are starting up and watering restrictions as well.

DuallyVette
08-02-2008, 09:15 PM
Obviously, people have differing ideas . I'll finish a job in a drizzle. Rain leaves wet muddy tracks and poorly mowed fescue. I mow slower and have a bigger mess to clean up.(your grass may handle water differently)

I've always charged my customers by the month, 12 consecutive months a year, and not per cut. My customers go about their lives,. Go to their jobs, tend their children & pets, wash their cars. I worry about their lawn. If it rains for 4 days, I pray for 3 more wet days. We'll start at the top of our list on Monday. We only schedule 4 days a week for mowing. Friday is make-up and side job day. Saturday...only in a bind.

This has worked for me for the last 30 years, but things do change.

ambersLawnmowing
08-02-2008, 10:27 PM
Rain is the only time my mowers get washed.... If it isnt lightning i mow generally. If it starts to get too clumpy or look like garbage i stop. Also i watch the weather alot then if rain is predicted i mow for the next day the night before, if i can. My guys like overtime, and if i mow i can pay them if i dont mow or wait i cant pay them.

oak1787
08-03-2008, 12:00 AM
am one of the yahoos around that mows in the rain..LOL I am in springhill and have 60 accounts and lucky I have all my lawns mowed.. its been raining for like 45 mins then stops. I mow then when it rains I take a hour brake.by then rain has stop yes grass is wet . but I just go slow..

jahbp
08-03-2008, 12:22 AM
I cut in the rain it just takes longer to do everything using 2 blowers helps with grass on the sidewalks also I use my string trimmer to edge sidewalks less dirt this way.

capnsac
08-03-2008, 12:32 AM
if it rains I don't mow, I then am one day behind. If it rains two days in a row I am then two days behind. If I get to a property two days later than normal I will simply resume mowing that same property on the normally scheduled day. I don't just skip the day, I make up for it by cutting it on the 5th day next time instead of the 7th. If my customer asks what I am doing I tell them that I need to get back on schedule. If they gripe about having to pay for mowing done in such a short amount of time I will keep that in the back of my mind until next year and then I will no longer service that customer.

They have to understand that we need to make our money. We can't control the weather, and it's not our fault that it rains. What we can do is hope they understand our philosophy, as we are the people providing them with their service. Service has a price, and if they aren't willing to pay it I won't be so eager to give it. Plain and simple.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
08-03-2008, 01:06 AM
A lot of difference of opinion on this one, interesting....

I don't go out in the rain personally. Sprinkles yes, wet grass no (dew withstanding)

I watch the forecast and if it looks like strong possibility of rain on a particular day, I mow that day's lawns in advance. This only works if you are not booked solid, of course.
And, if you are in a rainy weather trend, anything can happen of course.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
08-03-2008, 01:08 AM
if it rains I don't mow, I then am one day behind. If it rains two days in a row I am then two days behind. If I get to a property two days later than normal I will simply resume mowing that same property on the normally scheduled day. I don't just skip the day, I make up for it by cutting it on the 5th day next time instead of the 7th. If my customer asks what I am doing I tell them that I need to get back on schedule. If they gripe about having to pay for mowing done in such a short amount of time I will keep that in the back of my mind until next year and then I will no longer service that customer.

They have to understand that we need to make our money. We can't control the weather, and it's not our fault that it rains. What we can do is hope they understand our philosophy, as we are the people providing them with their service. Service has a price, and if they aren't willing to pay it I won't be so eager to give it. Plain and simple.

Good post. Never skip a day because of rain, if you have a short week so be it. A week skipped is money lost.

Whitey4
08-03-2008, 01:21 AM
Good post. Never skip a day because of rain, if you have a short week so be it. A week skipped is money lost.

That sort of approach is how I get my new customers. Like others, I don't skip a week... I just mow a day or two later than normal.

GravelyNut
08-03-2008, 01:55 AM
If you don't mow grass in Florida when it's wet, you'd never get anything done. Rain is the way of life in S. Florida in the summer. 5" per hour storms do put a damper on things though.

topsites
08-03-2008, 03:59 AM
I would just be happy to see rain. You should be glad you are getting rain because many of us are hurting do to lack of rain.

No doubt, we just had water restrictions put on us,
second year in a row, too.

Try explaining to the impatient ones that NO when it does NOT rain for 5 friggin' months
the lawn does NOT need mowing every 14 days!
But I can't even say that :p

Genlandscape
08-03-2008, 02:16 PM
Thank you all for your replies, I was just trying to get a consensus on the other LCO's on here, not looking for advice. About 98% of my 125 residential accts. are billed monthly, and no matter if we mow once or five times in the month it is the same price. Per cuts are a goldmine in the growing season, but living north of the frost line I'd starve in the offseason if I had all p/c acts. We live and work in Hernando County one of the hardest hit areas in the poor housing market, and forclosures. We do install work for six local builders, and mowing has had to become our baseline business in the past two years. I agree wuth most of the replies, and appreciate everyones input. As I said mowing wet turf is not a problem, if I only worked when the grass was totally dry, I wouldn't be in business. The yahoo comment was directed at those who I see mowing in a complete downpour and leaving a black, brown, and green disaster everywhere; I only see that after I've covered my equip. and are on my way to the shed, or a good place to wait out the weather.

Genlandscape
08-03-2008, 02:18 PM
P.S. I do also feel for the guys in the drought ridden areas, hang on and keep your heads up the rains will return.