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GarPA
10-14-2004, 07:49 AM
Got a call from a customer who was referred to us by one of our suppliers. Old folks in their 80's who left the grass in one area of their property get about 15" long and very thick. Doctors have told them he can no longer even run his riding mower. My gut reaction was to walk away from it but they were nice people and walking away from it is not the right thing to do and frankly I kind of feel sorry for them..(call it sappy on my part but we're all going to get old and need help someday)

anyway, I;ve taken the Z in high grass b4 but not in grass this high. The best approach would be to rent a brushcutter mower I suppose but they want the cut grass then picked up(another hassle for sure)

I guess my ? is whats the grass length at which you wont use a commercial mower and instead use a brushcutter? If we do cut it, it will have to dry out b4 we even attempt to pick it up. THe area is about 4000 sq feet.

any other opinions are welcome...thanks

Travis Followell
10-14-2004, 07:57 AM
Allyou would have to do with your commercial mower is raise the deck all the way up and go slow and you will be able to go right through it. I've done it before. it don't look good when you get done but if your going to pick the grass up then you could mow again a little bit lower.

Blessed 1
10-14-2004, 08:21 AM
I did one Monday that looked like it hadn't been cut this year. I cut the first time with the deck all the way up. Then I cut again on 4". The I bagged it on 3.5 and it came out great. Normal $70 yard I charged them $200 and was done in about 2 hrs. They were so pleased that the gave me a $20 tip!

GarPA
10-14-2004, 08:42 AM
ok guys thanks for the input. My concern was that because it was so long and laid over that the mower may not be able to "lift" it enough to cut it but based on what you guys are sayng I'll give it a try. Cut it at transport height and keep moving it down. I hope the man upstairs gives me a brownie point for helping these people out...not looking forward to this mess

do you think that putting a set of mulching blades on would help at all? I dont have the mulch kit on the Z but was wondering if the mulch blades would do better but if there would be no big difference I'll just leave the high lifts on

Mark McC
10-14-2004, 08:46 AM
I'm running only a 36" walkbehind, but no way I'd use mulching blades on that sort of situation. You're going to have a mess on your hands any way you look at it. Why add to it?

bobbygedd
10-14-2004, 08:49 AM
are you serious? look, i've mowed freakin corn fields with my 36" bobcat. raise it up high as it goes. go over it once. use the backpack blower to blow clippings into a pile, pick them up, procede to cut the lawn , in different directions, 2-3 times, whatever it takes. 4k, piece of cake

GarPA
10-14-2004, 09:24 AM
believe me Bobby I've taken the Z into industrial properties that were not cut in 6 months and got thru it fine by doing it slowly...the issue with this one is that the grass is much thicker and more laid over than on any other mess we've tackled

why 85 year old people would spend the money to fertilize their lawn is beyond me..particularly when they are in bad health and can't even ride on a mower...btw, the really thick/laid over area is 4000sqft...the overall area is 2/3 acre and its long also but not as bad.

bobbygedd
10-14-2004, 09:29 AM
just make it clear to them, "you can't shine sh!t". it will get hacked, and then improve over the next 2-3 cuttings over a few weeks time. it aint your fault they let it get so bad. like the lady at the barber shop said to me..... i walk in, she says, "what can we do for you today sir?" i say, "can you make me look like brad pitt?" she says, " i'm a barber, not a magician." then i sit down, she starts clipping, i say, "look, be honest, do you think i'm losing my hair?" she says, "well, let me put it this way, if you see a hat you like, buy it."

GarPA
10-14-2004, 09:37 AM
Bobby you are a piece of work...like I told you a year or so ago, you need to consider becoming an author in your spare time because you sure do have a way with words and stories!

dwost
10-14-2004, 10:14 AM
I have taken my WB on a similar section before where it was 2-3' tall and with doubles it did a great job after two separate passes. Raise the deck, cut slow and then repeat dropping the deck about an inch or so. I did leave a fair amount of clippings, however, if you are picking them up it should look great.

This past weekend my buddy cut the common areas in our neighborhood with a brush hog and I ended up running over one of the sections with the mulch kit on my WB. It did a beautiful job chopping up the mess into dust. I went over it twice and there was very little left to clean up. After one more mowing it should be completely gone. You can do it, just take your time.

denhut
10-14-2004, 10:26 AM
Here's how my brother-in-law does it!
rake.jpeg
bale.jpeg

GreenMonster
10-14-2004, 10:28 AM
walk it first.

Don't want any surprises! :cry:

Runner
10-14-2004, 10:37 AM
That's what I was going to mention. Definitely use an old set of blades first. Here's my idea of how we do it many times. If it's that thick, after a border or two (if there is someone elses property line to worry about) go in a counterclock wise direction, spiraling in toward the center, blowing it toward the outside. This way, you are just layering it and you are not having to put through your deck more material that has already been cut, thus giving you more power and efficiency with your machine. Cut it high. Let it dry, and go in with Gators.

65hoss
10-14-2004, 10:53 AM
Runner has a very good idea. Spiral it out and then come back over. I would make the second pass back and forth to eliminate them as much as possible.

Bobby is correct, let them know that it will not look like a regularly maintained lawn. It will take a few cuts to get it back to looking like a lawn.

Gravely_Man
10-14-2004, 11:22 AM
This is an easy one. Set the deck has high as it will go and mow very, very slowly (you must walk the area first to check for surprises) Once you have mowed it gather up the clippings either rake or blow them into a pile and remove them. Once the area is free of the tall stuff mow it a few times going in different directions and you are done. Will the end result look like a well cut lawn…….no?


Gravely_Man

GarPA
10-14-2004, 12:02 PM
thanks for all the tips guys...much appreciated.
I'll try to remember to post back here to let you know how much fun we had!!
Like most cleanups 1 of 2 things will happen:
1. it will be allot easier than I predict
2. or allot worse than I predict..

rarely is it "right on the money" if you get my drift...

ya know we've all talked many times here about that "gut feeling" we sometimes have about not agreeing to do a certain job...well my gut tells me there's something fishy about this situation...but I;ve been wrong b4 and at least this is one of those where I did some "community service" because frankly we dont need the work and you almost can't pay me enough to get into this kind of a mess...

denhut
10-14-2004, 11:16 PM
Let me try this again.
This is how my brother-in-law does it.
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=27173
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=27172
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=27171

green with envy
10-14-2004, 11:29 PM
Yup!! Cut it as high as you can and go slow gather the grass and then lower the blade. Personally I would take it down to the "normal" height over a coupole of weeks first week get it down to 4 then down to 3 the next.

My 2 Cents.

Mike

j&c
10-14-2004, 11:36 PM
#1 Raise deck to highest level proceed to cut slowly.

#2 lower deck 2 settings for 2nd cut again cut slowly.

#3 lower deck again an re cut until you achieve the desired cut
you may notice you can increase you speed a little after the 2nd cut rotate your cut directions so as to not let the clippings pile

#4 I would cut it in the afternoon so the grass will be dry if not it will make a mess and 2 half's if you catch what I'am saying

huntercook33
10-15-2004, 12:36 AM
I mowed 12 inch grass uphill with a 21'' push mower.

TJLC
10-15-2004, 07:19 AM
A neighbor, a few houses down the street from me asked me to cut her WAY overgrown yard and I might have been willing to give it a shot but she wasn't willing to pay anywhere near what it was worth for me to put my equipment through that, so I passed. I felt kinda bad, but probally not as bad as I would have if I had agreed to do it. I personally avoid "hayfields", like the plague.

GarPA
10-15-2004, 07:39 AM
yep TJ I usually avoid them also...but these 2 old people were so stressed out about their property that I decided to suck it up and give them an estimate. THey may gag on the price but if they can't pay what the job is worth, then my concience is clear that I didn't just blow them off because they were geezers.

leadarrows
10-15-2004, 10:54 AM
Bobby you are a piece of work...like I told you a year or so ago, you need to consider becoming an author in your spare time because you sure do have a way with words and stories!

I respectfully agree with this. Clean it up just a bit and you could do the editorial page for a green industry magazine. Call it Bobby's view. No joke.

Oh and GarPa I mow my garden down with my Dixie Chopper every year with no problem including the corn stalks.

Gravely_Man
10-15-2004, 10:58 AM
I personally keep a few of the older (1973 and older) Gravely tractors for just the below reason. That way I am not tearing up my "good" equipment that I use every day.

Gravely_Man



A neighbor, a few houses down the street from me asked me to cut her WAY overgrown yard and I might have been willing to give it a shot but she wasn't willing to pay anywhere near what it was worth for me to put my equipment through that, so I passed. I felt kinda bad, but probally not as bad as I would have if I had agreed to do it. I personally avoid "hayfields", like the plague.

orangejbird
10-15-2004, 11:46 AM
What works well for me is to make a pass around the area at 3-4" then overlap the next pass only 1/2 the width of the deck. The right side cleans up the first lap and starts the next pass while keeping the path clear of already cut grass. You're double cutting without trying to blow out chaff on the recut.
Then call the guy with the self propelled new holland baler. :cool2:

Branchland
10-15-2004, 01:20 PM
I mowed one about a month ago that measured at 24 inches. Put the super Z on 5 inches and mowed it then dropped down to 3 1/2 inches. It took a month but it looks fine now. This was with the factory blades too.

John Gamba
10-15-2004, 04:05 PM
ok guys thanks for the input. My concern was that because it was so long and laid over that the mower may not be able to "lift" it enough to cut it but based on what you guys are sayng I'll give it a try. Cut it at transport height and keep moving it down. I hope the man upstairs gives me a brownie point for helping these people out...not looking forward to this mess

do you think that putting a set of mulching blades on would help at all? I dont have the mulch kit on the Z but was wondering if the mulch blades would do better but if there would be no big difference I'll just leave the high lifts on

Double High lifts Go slow and it will look good after the secound pass.

John

GarPA
10-29-2004, 11:29 AM
I said I would post back here on how this went. Not so bad but it did take about 2 man hours longer than I planned (more like guesstimated frankly)

Multiple passes lowering the deck and blowing the grass in previously cut areas went smoothly. Sharp set of standard hi lifts on the 52".THen mowed over it at least 3 times. The hassle and time consuming part was picking up the clippings in 1 particularly long area. We let it dry for 1 day but it filled up the hopper in a few minutes and it took many trips to get the stuff bagged.

Not the most profitable job I;ve ever done but at least the old folks got their moneys worth

impactlandscaping
10-29-2004, 11:37 AM
Good for you... A few extra brownie points from the man upstairs may come in handy later on. I'm sure they felt they got a real good value for their $$. Glad it worked out OK(minus the extra 2 hrs..but hey, what can you do??) :drinkup: