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View Full Version : has anyone fired an employee for this?


TurnGreen1
11-28-2009, 09:22 PM
Has anyone fired an employee for marking the sidewalk up with green tire tracks? If not what do you do to keep them from happening? Aside from the obvious dont drive on the sidewalk. This is a major peeve of mine. I absolutely hate marking the driveway or sidewalk up from wet grass. I will back the trailer up to the edge of the yard to make sure no grass marks. What are some of your guys techniques to keep or remove the marks?

dgw
11-28-2009, 09:33 PM
thats why we cut the perimeter first, and teach the employees to do so as well

i thought everyone did

if your talking about the little bit from when im done, the 8001 at close range gets it

sounds like you run a tight ship over there

grassman177
11-28-2009, 09:49 PM
sounds like more than a shiip that is tight!!

i dont like it much either, but have come to terms as to avoid tearing up the grass when we have had good rains. the lawn is more important to me than a few stains that are gone next rain.

TurnGreen1
11-28-2009, 09:55 PM
I try to be above grade. Unfortunately, I have a few that seem to not understand my level of expectations. Leaving grass marks on the sidewalk or driveway in not an option for me.

TurnGreen1
11-28-2009, 10:01 PM
I by all means do not tear the lawn up. When I back the trailer up to the curb, my gate will then pass over the sidewalk allowing me to load without leaving any marks on the lawn or sidewalk. If, or should I say when you cut grass that is wet it obviously gets on the tires. How do you avoid from leaving marks?

JCLawn and more
11-28-2009, 10:02 PM
man, I don't even care about that. never though about that. Its like, well it wold be green tomorrow

93Chevy
11-28-2009, 10:09 PM
Hold the string trimmer and "angle grind" the stuck grass. It usually comes up pretty well that way, then just backpack blow it all off...just don't walk over what you "grinded."

JCLawn and more
11-28-2009, 10:11 PM
I don't try to drive on the sidewalks or dive anyways unless i have too.

TurnGreen1
11-28-2009, 10:32 PM
I am worried about it. And I have gained customers due to my long list of detail. Not to worry about it is not the attitude to have as a business owner. My clientel expect perfection for the service I provide. I understand that,and in most cases I probably promote the expectation due to my detailed nature. The main reason for this was to see if this was something I worried more about then others. I know in my area I see the stains all the time. When I was in Orlando I would have lost all my customers in Isleworth for poor detail.

93Chevy
11-28-2009, 10:34 PM
I don't want to sound like a Richard, but if you're so up on detail, why are you cutting wet grass?

JCLawn and more
11-28-2009, 10:38 PM
I am worried about it. And I have gained customers due to my long list of detail. Not to worry about it is not the attitude to have as a business owner. My clientel expect perfection for the service I provide. I understand that,and in most cases I probably promote the expectation due to my detailed nature. The main reason for this was to see if this was something I worried more about then others. I know in my area I see the stains all the time. When I was in Orlando I would have lost all my customers in Isleworth for poor detail.

Know what you mean. I go everywhere and notice on most lawns there is something I would do different. I always see stains as a something i can't completely avoid.

Like the last guys comment

TurnGreen1
11-28-2009, 10:40 PM
C'mon we all have worked in rain or have got caught in rain. I try my best to not cut in or on a rain day. But in reality the bills need to be paid. I personally do not think it is to overboard to make sure there are no stains, or tire burns in front of a customers house. Some of my houses have tile,custom stone,or brick. It takes a GOOD rain or pressure wash to get a grass stain out.

THEGOLDPRO
11-28-2009, 10:41 PM
take the stick out of your butt, its just alittle grass.

Stillwater
11-28-2009, 11:02 PM
I try to be above grade. Unfortunately, I have a few that seem to not understand my level of expectations. Leaving grass marks on the sidewalk or driveway in not an option for me.

NO I have never fired a guy for doing his job.

You don't sound like a likable guy, I realize that sounds harsh but so does your gripe. So either your post is a joke or you got a stick up your ass. So please if I am wrong and your a regular decent guy post something to make me think otherwise In all seriousness if this is a problem for you follow the following.

1) You shoulden't be mowing wet grass in the first place
2) the last thing you do is hit the walks and drives with a blower so grass on hard surface is non issue.
3) find more important things to worry about

STIHL GUY
11-28-2009, 11:12 PM
i always mow the perimeter first and backpack blow the sidewalks if there are any tracks

Think Green
11-28-2009, 11:20 PM
Green1,
I can say that some of these small things will chap your butt! When it comes to terminating an employee for doing the things that are the peave of the owner, it is your call, but for me it takes alot more to reward the pink slip. The basics are told to a new person upon hiring and a little lea way is given. Now for the seasoned helper that has done lawn work before, I would expect them to have a little common sense.! However, if they are told on more than one occasion, it will warrant the slip. Sometimes, the little things that piss you off are done to inherit their termination.
The one thing that did get plenty of men fired some years ago was after push mowing a lawn with lines, and then they get to the end and cut across those lines...............Sometimes it makes you want to woooooptheirass!! A couple of times, non-responders were fired on the spot and sat in the truck!!.........they were told not to cut across those lines..........they did it to see what would happen.!! They didn't get the memo from mommy and daddy of not listening would have consequeces. LOL!!!
It sounds like you are cutting the cool season grasses, and it is often wet when you are working. We cannot help it or always have the ideal growing and cutting conditions. I have had push mowers slip across the sidewalk or drive and leave that green stripeway. We keep a stiff broom in the trailer just for these things..........the men know to get the broom and sweep it off if possible. The blower gets the rest!! I speak for the majority of our customers, as they don't have the ivory white driveways any more. The concretes are either stained or older in color..............a little green doesn't bother them anymore.
You want to talk about the things that irate me..........then talk about leaving sprigs of grass around stone beds........around chainlink..........around trees...........and the sprigs growing on the driveways and sidewalks. Blow off the street too and don't blow at oncoming vehicles. Catcalling Shorties don't cut it either.!! You will get the slip over that!!!
Lastly, the one thing that really aggrivates me is the Exmark tire will leave and throw mud clods on the sidewalks and driveways as well as the street going to the truck. This is unavoidable....!
What do you do about this?? The Turftracker and Turfsaver tire does hold a little mud. We can't always part in front of our customers to mow.........we have to drive a little way off the job.

georgiagrass
11-28-2009, 11:25 PM
Guys ... I agree this fellow sounds like something of a tight ass, but we all mow wet grass from time to time, and excessive grass stains on the driveway and walks looks crappy. First of all, those of us in the south are glad for all the rain we've had this year after the last two years of drought, but it has required all of us to cut some wet grass. As a result, the crews have to be more careful than usual about not leaving grass marks on the concrete.

At my company, we try to combat this by cutting the grass perimeter first, then doing the turns inside that perimeter and off the concrete. Second, we try to use smaller mowers than normal when the grass is wet (e.g., turf tracers rather than lazers or Walkers and even push mow some properties that we usually mow with a lazer, Walker or TTHP).

If we get too many stains on the concrete, I ask the guys to blow off what they can and to hose it off if necessary. We usually leave a note for the customer apologizing for the stains, explaining that we try to avoid them, but the rain leaves us no choice but to cut wet grass. Most customers understand.

As for firing an offending crewmember, that sounds harsh unless the crewmember has continually refused to take reasonable steps to avoid the marks after adequate training.

dgw
11-28-2009, 11:28 PM
ive been thinkin about it

this thread made me decide to start taping off my drives , walkways and parking lots before i cut

93Chevy
11-28-2009, 11:30 PM
C'mon we all have worked in rain or have got caught in rain. I try my best to not cut in or on a rain day. But in reality the bills need to be paid. I personally do not think it is to overboard to make sure there are no stains, or tire burns in front of a customers house. Some of my houses have tile,custom stone,or brick. It takes a GOOD rain or pressure wash to get a grass stain out.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I've cut my fair share of wet grass and I've done jobs in the mud. That's why I always buy Gore-Tex boots.

But if you're anal enough to fire an employee for leaving stains, then you shouldn't be cutting when it's wet. Try "grinding" with the trimmer, and that will release almost all of the grass from the concrete.

TurnGreen1
11-28-2009, 11:33 PM
sound to me we may think on the same channel. I may be too detailed for most. But my phone continues to ring with referrals which saved me about 6k in advertising this year. So I will continue to keep my check list handy. As for blowing towards cars. To me that is a no brainer but for most "WHAT" is the answer I get.. The same with NEVER discharege towards the road. That doesn't require any conversation on my part. Take your drink and start thumbing it...

dgw
11-28-2009, 11:42 PM
funny you mention the discharge toward the street thing

the other day me and my wife were driving to dinner and i saw a city worker on a hustler , not just discharging towards the street , but doing it on his border pass on the curbline with his deflector up on a very busy road

i looked at my wife and said, did you see that f in idiot never shoot your clippings in the road

and of course she gave me that look they give us when we talk about lawnmower stuff

grassman177
11-28-2009, 11:49 PM
funny you mention the discharge toward the street thing

the other day me and my wife were driving to dinner and i saw a city worker on a hustler , not just discharging towards the street , but doing it on his border pass on the curbline with his deflector up on a very busy road

i looked at my wife and said, did you see that f in idiot never shoot your clippings in the road

and of course she gave me that look they give us when we talk about lawnmower stuff

one of my guys got hit in the face while driving by a contractor doing city work by doing this exact same thing. we called and complained to the city and he was repremanded verbally and come to find out, we were not the only ones that called!:dizzy:

TurnGreen1
11-28-2009, 11:51 PM
For those that seem to think I am a "tight ass". I feel sorry for your customers. If this is not an issue for you, I would hate to see how many other things seem to be a no big deal to you. Your poor eye for detail will lead you bankrupt in an agressive market. If this year was tough for you,wait till next year. Your competition is only going to get tougher. My starting helper pay is $12/hr, with detailed training. So the level of expectation is higher. I am not talking about an $8/hr helper you have to explain what a kill switch is. I prefer to have very low turnover while in business. Our industry time is money, and wasting it is not in my business plan.

Stillwater
11-29-2009, 12:00 AM
I am not bashing you so don't take it that way but I do suggest you turn your ego down a little, your contradicting yourself. If post #23 is true then you would not have posted post #1

TurnGreen1
11-29-2009, 12:24 AM
I do not have an ego, and both posts do not contradict each other. Post one simply makes an open statement of frustration for lack or detail. And asking for imput on how to prevent the grass stains. I am always open to ideas that are constructive on how to improve operations. That is what this site is for is it not. To me in no way how my business plan is, and enforced creates an ego. Post 23 refers to those that seem to miss post 1 and assume I an too anal. Along with simple business practices. I prefer to operate professionally. To me leaving any other impression than a clean cut lawn at a customers house is not acceptable. Others disagree!

HOOLIE
11-29-2009, 12:29 AM
I'm sure you must be charging way above the market rate for your attention to detail...right?

Kutz Lawns
11-29-2009, 12:34 AM
What, is Garner NC the new Palm Beach or something? :dizzy:

TurnGreen1
11-29-2009, 12:42 AM
I am above market rate.

Stillwater
11-29-2009, 12:43 AM
I do not have an ego, and both posts do not contradict each other. Post one simply makes an open statement of frustration for lack or detail. And asking for imput on how to prevent the grass stains. I am always open to ideas that are constructive on how to improve operations. That is what this site is for is it not. To me in no way how my business plan is, and enforced creates an ego. Post 23 refers to those that seem to miss post 1 and assume I an too anal. Along with simple business practices. I prefer to operate professionally. To me leaving any other impression than a clean cut lawn at a customers house is not acceptable. Others disagree!


A excellent clarification of your first post, I apologize for hijacking your thread with my confrontational negativity

1993lx172
11-29-2009, 12:46 AM
Like the others said have them make a perimeter pass or two to use as your "turning lane" and then when their done do the one or two perimeter passes again to clean up the turns. If the green stain wont come off with the blower or the "grinding" method then take the client's garden hose and wash it off. Unless the stain has been baked on by the sun for a few days you wont need a pressure washer. If you have to cross a hard surface look for the shortest path possible. Less time on hard surfaces= less mess.

TurnGreen1
11-29-2009, 12:50 AM
I wish, I use to live in Orlando. Had to move NC to be close to Duke Hospital since family was almost killed in auto accident. My wife has rehab at Duke. I view it as I can be operating out of Leipsic, DE and that shouldn't change how my work ethic is.

milkie62
11-29-2009, 01:32 AM
I am only a part-timer.I use a Ferris IZ3100.For the life of me I have a hard enough time going slow on my turn arounds in sand loam in dry conditions let alone wet conditions.I need lots of practice still.I have tried every which way to keep tight turns without tear-out but not much luck.So I go out to the street when I can and turn

JayD
11-29-2009, 01:55 AM
I have had this happen too and the only thing that I can do is take a push broom to it then use the blower on it again. I felt that its an honest effort to clean it up. Of course when I picked up the job I did'nt know that would happen therefore don't have enough in the job to spend twenty extra min on it, but I do try. In a small front yard, I would rather have a little green stain than turning on the edge of the grass.
If anyone does come up with something to prevent this, I would like to know.

georgiagrass
11-29-2009, 02:23 AM
I do not have an ego, and both posts do not contradict each other. Post one simply makes an open statement of frustration for lack or detail. And asking for imput on how to prevent the grass stains. I am always open to ideas that are constructive on how to improve operations. That is what this site is for is it not. To me in no way how my business plan is, and enforced creates an ego. Post 23 refers to those that seem to miss post 1 and assume I an too anal. Along with simple business practices. I prefer to operate professionally. To me leaving any other impression than a clean cut lawn at a customers house is not acceptable. Others disagree!

Does anyone else see the irony in this guy's screen name???

andyslawncare
11-29-2009, 05:33 AM
I don't want to sound like a Richard, but if you're so up on detail, why are you cutting wet grass?


I also concentrate and pride myself on detail in my work, but I will postpone a wet lawn as long as possible to avoid this trouble... Maybe you should tell your crew that if the grass is wet they should cover the perimeter of the lawn first, and be very careful and slow down through the turns in the lawn there after so that you can avoid turf damage and staining to concrete areas. Though I am guilty of leaving properties with green tire marks on concrete and asphalt after a job also, I haven't yet received a complaint about the work performed that day...Inclimate weather, is just as such and your clients should be happy that you are on time to their property.

Is this just one customer that is complaining, or is it a significant percentage of your clientele complaining? Perhaps if it is only one or two customers, you should explain to them how the mowers have to turn to avoid turf damage and if its more than a few clients complaining, you should include a clause in your contracts to explain that if the turf is wet when you mow it, their concrete may have some marks... It is cheaper and easier to clean concrete than it is to replace damaged lawn-which will require sod/extra fertilizer/seed/or any other options depending on grass type and climate.

a clear difference lawn
11-29-2009, 05:53 AM
I am not bashing you so don't take it that way but I do suggest you turn your ego down a little, your contradicting yourself. If post #23 is true then you would not have posted post #1

The posts do contradict one another. If his training was so "detailed", then he should have been taught to mow the perimeter twice if necessary to stay off the walks and drives. If he was not fully trained then your stupid for letting him loose on your "mansions" or whatever it is that your mowing up there. By the way, I live in Windermere and do many accounts in Isleworth. I turn on the walks and drives all the time. Better than tearing the turf. I have not lost any of my high end customers doing this.

Walnut Shade
11-29-2009, 07:06 AM
Hey! whats so bad about Leipsic Delaware? I am new to the site and haven't seen anything about Delaware yet. So this was funny that you would use us to make a point. Thanks for the plug! As to your problem, I agree with you, I cut my customers yards how I cut mine and there is no excuse for sloppiness. It doesn't matter if the yard is a small house in Leipsic and the man has crab traps and junk everywhere or a nice upscale yard in Wild Quail where all the Drs. & Lawyers live, they all get the same treatment. The key is the DETAILS!

ALC-GregH
11-29-2009, 08:20 AM
I leave grass stained figure 8's in the driveways. They love it.

Hanau
11-29-2009, 08:29 AM
Firing is a little extreme.

At my company we regularly hold meetings and I delegate the foreman to punish for minor offenses.

169484

I'm on the right with my arms crossed.

Good for morale. A well disciplined landscaper is a happy landscaper. I prefer to use the "cat o' nine tails" but you may prefer something else.

It's important to run a tight crew.

JCLawn and more
11-29-2009, 08:31 AM
:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

TurnGreen1
11-29-2009, 08:34 AM
I am sorry but even with the best training possible. People still continue to find a way to screw up. Good for you living in Windermere, and having accounts in Isleworth. If you see no problem with marking up sidewalks and driveways. You will not have them long.

I was using Leipsic as a return statement to make my point as you were able to get. There was no negative judgement made towards it.
It is extremely frustrating to explain clearly to some one how you prefer to operate. And continue to offer their bad habbits. I am sure there are many on here that do have high expectations for themselves and employees along with taking pride in their work.

JCLawn and more
11-29-2009, 08:39 AM
But seriously, a lot of people don't even notice the major stuff, let alone the little stuff that we all fuss over because we do this for a living. The little stuff is what sets of apart. Also no employee will ever do a lawn the way you do because he don't give a rip. He only wants money.

Leaf Jockey
11-29-2009, 11:37 AM
Should an employee get fired for leaving grass stains? Well, usually that guy is the "good enough" guy that thinks he can do it his way. Sometimes these guys will change their ways if they know the job is on the line. Sometimes they just need to go away.
The stains sometimes are hard to avoid. Cross concrete making the shortest path or farthest from the customers likely vantage point. After cutting, run the mower full speed on the grass to clean the crap from the tire tread, then cross in the same spot. I've never tried it but could you just lay a tarp across the sidewalk and cross on that?

Scott