View Full Version : Bagging grass

SJR Lawncare
05-23-2000, 09:48 PM
How do you guys charge a customer who wants the grass caught & hauled? For me, it takes double the time to catch the clippings,then dump them in the truck or trailer. Ive been only charging $5-10 more. That is not enough because the extra time involved and dumping. I guess Im afraid of shocking the customer with a price double the regular amount. I dont want to lose customers. I need some advice. THANKS, SJR<p>----------<br>SJR Lawncare<br>

05-23-2000, 10:06 PM
Tell them your bagger broke. Baggin sucks

gene gls
05-23-2000, 10:25 PM
I charge by the hour. That covers extra grass in spring and extra time for leaves befor fall clean-up, also for picking up junk befor mowing or any other extras the customer may request. If you are going to collect you need an effecient unit.I run a Walker 48&quot; ghs unit with the 7 bushel catcher.I personally don't belive it takes any longer to collect than to double mow or mow and blow.

05-23-2000, 10:30 PM
Come out of the Middle Ages and dump your grass catcher. Nobody should be bagging grass today, with all the decent equipment and techniques out there.<p>I bag one 32-gal can of grass a week, keep a bag on my trim mower just so I have some greens to mix in the compost heap. Otherwise I wouldnt bag a blade. You shouldnt either.<p>Bill

gene gls
05-24-2000, 12:26 AM
Hi Bill: I don't collect every thing but in close areas its nice not to worry about spreading clippings over the beds or on the house and cars and to be able to trim cut on either side of the deck,(rear discharge).I'm still looking for the perfect mower.Hope to demo a Hustler short cut, upper cut model with a bac-vac unit soon.

05-24-2000, 12:57 AM
Sometimes I bag, when it's more convenient, & usually in small quantities, & I bag in the fall too (obviously).<br>I charge 40% more to bag. A $25 lawn will cost $10-15 more to bag. A $35 lawn may cost $15-20 extra, etc. I try to intelligently talk the customer out of having it bagged all the time; usually the extra $$ it'll cost is reason enough. If I bag, I make it worth my time & $$.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>

05-24-2000, 01:32 AM
I remember when I first got in the this kind work I bagged and then someone said mulch all the grass and leaves, its good for the grass. It saves a lot more time if you can mulch with a mower.

05-24-2000, 07:25 AM
Bottom line is time is money.....if I see I'm going to be chasing stuff all over the yard I'll pull my bagger off and pick it up, saves me time cause I usually only have to dump the 45 gallon bucket one time. If the custmer requests that it be bagged every time then the price generally goes up $15 to compensate, higher if i have to haul the clippings off. I find the nearest dumpster at my commercial properties and dump it in there! <p>Homer

05-24-2000, 07:34 AM
I agree that bagging is a pain and I run a Walker as my 1st line mower but only bag for about 1/4 of my customers. I have some customers that have their own compost sites in their yard which is nice for me. Some customers also have swimming pools and I can see not having all the lawn in their pool. Others just want it bagged because they want it bagged. I do what the customer wants and charge up according to the situation. <br>It is nice to have a bagger when the grass grows 6 inches+ in a week. For the lawns I dont bag I discharge out the back with the door open or use my Toro.<br>Cover your expenses. Baggers are at least worth an extra ten bucks for a small one.

lawrence stone
05-24-2000, 08:48 AM
My large residential setup is a pair of 52&quot;<br>toros w/stand on sulkys with twin kohler magnum engines.<p>One has a set of high lift blades the other<br>has standard mulching blades both have<br>a bracket for jumbo a metal bagger.<p>A man needs to keep his options open.

05-24-2000, 02:01 PM
From the research I've done, grass clippings are 90% water. Plus, it's proven (with well-maintained equipment) that this doesn't create that much thatch build up. Throw some of the facts @ the customer and tell them the grass adds to already overfilled dumps! Heck, it's free fertilizer!!<br>

05-24-2000, 09:20 PM
I did a commmercial property last Sat that is 2 3/4 acres, some of it hadn't been cut yet this year.. Total dumps with my Walker and 9.5 bushel bin was 60.. I dumped it in a corn field beside the property then spread it around with a fork so it wouldn't heat. And it was a freebie for the company I work for. They normally cut it with three different mowers a Lawnboy rider,a John deere and a Canadiana. I was trying to prove a point that they should hire me to cut it and scrap the three mowers.

05-24-2000, 11:22 PM
cantoo wrote:<p>&gt;I was trying to prove a point that they should hire me to cut it and scrap the three mowers. <p><br>The point you may have proven was that if they don't cut the grass for six months, someone will come along and cut it for free. And if that weren't enough, he will bag it too. :)

05-25-2000, 12:37 AM

05-25-2000, 09:07 AM
Yep Cantoo, you got screwed royaly. Did you fee like having a cigarete after you finished that job?:)

lawrence stone
05-25-2000, 09:38 AM
Even if it only took 3 minutes to complete each dump cycle that would be three hour job<br>alone.<p>I mowed a small residental lawn the other<br>day to 3&quot; that was not mowed all year just<br>by triple cutting with a $600 44&quot; toro<br>with hi lift blades. I bagged nothing and<br>there were no visible clippings.<p>A 62&quot; toro would have made short work of that<br>field just by double cutting in opposite directions. One pass at 4&quot; then the other at<br>3&quot;. Plus you also have to have your deck angle set properly to make this work.

05-25-2000, 04:53 PM
I really believe the handwriting is on the wall for bagging mowers. There is absolutely no benefit of bagging grass and only negative results from doing it. If you can mow a property when it needs to be mowed by either discharging or mulching the grass, it is virtually impossible to differentiate the finished product from a site that was bagged. Bagging removes essential nutrients that benefit the growth of the grass, and subsequently requires more fertilizer to replace the lost nutrients. The only benefit I can see for having a bagger is in the fall when it could be used for bagging leaves, but they as well could be mulched too. In a word, actually 3 words, DO NOT BAG! MHO Lynn

05-25-2000, 08:15 PM
I only bag out of convenience for me, getting it done faster in the fall, I do have 2 mandatory bagging jobs that I took but thats what the cust. wants so I charge for it. Old school thinkers are hard to convert, take their money and go away smilin'!<p>Homer

05-25-2000, 10:49 PM
if they want it bagged....they need to find someone else.<br>bagging grass is ridiculous if you have the right equipment...<br>

05-25-2000, 11:21 PM
Stone,<br>What angle?<br>Front high? or front low?<br>Push mowers obviously front high...thats why I come here...I wouldnt of thought like that.

05-26-2000, 01:24 AM
After reading so many posts on how bagging is never necessary and customers can go scratch if they want it done, I figure what the hell heres my two cents.<br>There are very few absolutes in this world and as stone mentioned on one of his posts in here you have to keep your options open. <p>Picked up a new cut last year because the existing company &quot;didnt bag ever&quot;. Why, because the lawn had a major rust(northern turf fungus) problem and as I sold them on the big dollar fungicide application, I also mentioned that it would be best to remove the clippings for a few weeks to reduce the fungus spores in the turf (IPM). She asked the other company if they would bag and told her they wouldnt. She then came back to me and I said sure we'd be happy too.<p>The best part of the deal was we increased her price 50% over what the other company was chargeing and we're still cutting her lawn today.<p>Money is money and the sooner you learn your not in the &quot;mowing business&quot; but are actually in the Customer Satisfaction business, the sooner your bottom line will start growing.

Acute Cut
05-26-2000, 02:53 AM
WHOA! Hold on one sec there guys! I know i am only slightly above rookie status, but NOT BAG! I know we could get away with it down in the south, but up here in the Northwest we bag galore! I fill my truck DAILY with clippings. Cows and master gardeners are more than happy to take it off my hands FOR FREE! I have spots all over my area to dump. I drive into a field, dump, and leave. I can't imagine NOT bagging! I would lose 80% of my customers if i didn't bag. (IF i wasnt so good at customer schmoozing-haha) I am happy to bag. I did 18 lawns today and bagged all 18. Not a blade left behind. It is too wet up here. The sun doesnt shine nearly enough to decompose it all. I took six people out to thier &quot;community commons area&quot; and showed them what &quot;Not bagging&quot; does. 70% thatch, 20% weeds, 10% grass. Maybe that is a little exagerated, but you get the general idea. They were sold on me immediatly after i told them i bagged always. Then to drop a hole in one i told them that i was environmentally aware and recycled it into the community to needy citizens. I was told yesterday that my contract is now &quot;locked&quot; and that they will no longer look for lawncare, but i have the contract as long as i want it.<br> NOT BAG! BAH! Newbie or not, i cant imagine.<p>Acute Cut

05-26-2000, 04:49 PM
Acute Cut<p>I'll agree with you on that post and congrats on BS'n that contract!! When I was mowing up in CT. it wasn't even an option to ask the customer to mulch their lawn. No matter how good and fine you can chop up those clippings, if they don't see you bag, they are not happy. No let me say I don't like having to bag because I didn't have all those places to dump in the city I was in, so many times I had to dump in a not quite so legal way or pay to dump at the landfill. Its just like someone said before; a lot of the &quot;old timers&quot; we have as customers will never change their mind no matter what facts (or BS) you give them about mulching. They get what they want, but that just means the price goes up and the wallet get fatter!!<p>----------<br>&quot;guido&quot;<br>David M. Famiglietti

lawrence stone
05-26-2000, 05:37 PM
What you can do if you are using a Toro trimming mower (21&quot;) is put the recycler plug in the chute the just lay the bag over the plug and just make it look like you are<br>bagging.<p>You could also just take a 44&quot; or 52&quot; toro<br>with a recycler kit and mount up a Toro<br>bagging kit. You won't have to worry about<br>the clippings and your stupid customer will<br>be happy.<p>Just another way of keeping YOUR options open

05-26-2000, 06:46 PM
AMEN to Lawnrence's reply. I do that sometimes and the customer never knows the difference, and they are happy. That is what we strive for, making the customer happy. Lynn

05-26-2000, 11:12 PM
Well Im in CT and Guido is right, everyone seems to want it bagged, but with a little investigating the real problem is, they dont want to see clippings so I just make sure the lawn is neat and tidy and I have no problems. No bagging either, though I must clarify an earlier post, I do own a bagger for spring and fall cleanups.<p>Bill<p>PS The CT legislature made the &quot;no bagging&quot; argument an easier sell by banning lawn waste from solid waste landfills and incinerators. That, coupled with an agressive advertising campaign to the same effect have made customers realize bagging is no longer an option. TLG

05-26-2000, 11:28 PM
Along the lines of Stone. As of last week, I don't pick up clippings. The current customers get double cut. The second pass with bag on for looks.<br>I will save money on fertilizer also.<br>

05-26-2000, 11:54 PM
The job I did was for the company who pays my wages during the day so even though it was a freebie this time I will get it back in the end. The property is a house sales court so it should look perfect and they can see that now. I have quoted it and included enough to cover the collecting time. As for mulching I'm not interested in it at all. I guess I live in the dark ages but I really don't care I have the equipment and can do it either way but I like the clean look and it's me who does the quotes. In the summer when the grass slows down I will move the deck up and discharge the clippings if it looks good.<br>Hey stone, I dragged the toro 44&quot; proline from the back of my shop and used it to cut some soccer fields last week now I'm hooked and looking for a bigger machine. I built a sit down sulky for it and am looking for some bigger pulleys to speed it up some. My wife can still cut quicker with the Walker because of ground speed so I gotta get rolling faster.

05-27-2000, 12:21 AM
I have one old guy who likes it bagged. I have a Honda harmony mower I use to mow his lawn. So what I do is put the little plastic mulching kit on, then put the bag on behind it, so he thinks I'm bagging it, when I'm actually mulching, he's never known the difference!<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: Grasshopper

lawrence stone
05-27-2000, 08:16 AM
cantoo wrote:<p>&gt;Hey stone, I dragged the toro 44&quot; proline from the back of my shop and used it to cut some soccer fields last week now I'm hooked and looking for a bigger machine. I built a sit down sulky for it and am looking for some bigger pulleys to speed it up some<p><br>If you want a bigger machine just find a <br>old toro with a 52&quot; deck. Put the 52&quot; deck<br>on your best traction unit.<p>You will find a stand on sulky is better for<br>res. and comm. use. But I use a standard sit down toro sulky w/ a 62&quot; walk behind when<br>it is time to more the 8 fields at the school.<p>As far as increasing ground speed the only thing you can do is install the tallest<br>drive tires available (15&quot;). The old machines<br>had 13.5&quot; tires. This will increase top speed to 5.2 mph or .7 mph faster.<p>PS send me a pic of your brindly/cantoo<br>front mount aerator.<br>