View Full Version : How many bag?

11-17-2004, 11:46 PM
Hi just wondering how many of you bag? Here in the town I live in I think I am the only one who does on a regular basis. Is it worth it to bag? I have mostly older people who insist on having grass bagged,tried to convince them it does't need bagged all summer but they said they want it bagged all the time.Sure would be nice not to bag and mess with dumping every truck every day plus it would be a whole lot faster.Just wondering! Paul :waving:

11-17-2004, 11:47 PM
We bag 90% of our lawns. Much nicer look. :)

11-17-2004, 11:50 PM
if you are the only one doing it, charge more than your comp on a typical lawn, or stop. i hate bagging.

11-17-2004, 11:50 PM
We only bag when absolutely needed, we mulch whenever possible....

11-17-2004, 11:54 PM
We bag 90% of our lawns. Much nicer look. :)

Yepp same here.. no one cares wheather i bag or don't bag but the work looks alot better if its bagged..

11-18-2004, 12:07 AM
the work looks alot better if its bagged.

i respectfully disagree. i think that in the long run, a properly maintained property looks better if the clippings are left. in the heat of summer, the clipping protect the root beds from drying out and the new stems from burning. and if the customers don't care, you can be danged sure that we are not going to pay our help to bag it.

11-18-2004, 12:33 AM
We bag every one of our accounts but 2. The two that we don't bag are both large 20+ acre mowing jobs, one is the public school system and the other is a hospital complex. Everything else gets bagged, I think it looks much more professional. In the spring when everyone else is double cutting and so on and so forth I go across my lawns one time. The public in my area just expects their grass to be bagged, so we are setup to bag. I will do whatever they want as long as they are willing to pay. If they want the lawn mowed with a 21" mower and bagged then so be it as long as they are willing to pay.

11-18-2004, 12:43 AM
The two that we don't bag are both large 20+ acre mowing jobs, one is the public school system and the other is a hospital complex. Everything else gets bagged, I think it looks much more professional.

don't you think the hospital or the school would be a trophy job for you, ones that really show off your work? why not make those look professional too? also, in the middle of summer, when it doesn't need bagging, and other lco's are mowin and goin, you are still bagging because you have let the customer know that it is alright to expect it.

In the spring when everyone else is double cutting and so on and so forth I go across my lawns one time.

and while they are going over a strip the second time, you are emptying the clippings. where do you put a full days worth of clippings while your driving around anyway?

then, while some lco's are home in the evening sipping beer, you are dumping clippings.

11-18-2004, 12:43 AM
if the lawn really needs it, or the customer requests for it then I will bag

Mico Landscaping design
11-18-2004, 12:54 AM
the only time we bag in the season at all, is when it comes to doin leaves.. Screw that extra **** people around here dont wanna pay for bag, but pay for double cut .. Cuz they water to much thats my 2 sense!

11-18-2004, 01:03 AM
I bag a lot of them in the Spring, as well as now with the leaves. I get the impression I live in the only area of the country where they still pick up grass clippings. Just leave them in a bag at the curb and on to the next one.

In a lot of instances its faster than double cutting. And in the Spring, double cutting quite often is triple/quadruple cutting.

11-18-2004, 07:12 AM


www.kulakandcompany.com :blob3:

11-18-2004, 10:15 AM
We bag quite a few here. Some of them are by request, some of them are just simply faster and easier to bag than to try to keep clippings from flower beds, off of buildings or off of cars. Also its nice to do it all in one pass, some properties it is faster to bag than to double cut. If you use a side catcher i can see double cutting being faster, but with a big collection system you don't dump too often and it makes bagging really fast and easy.
There are several reasons we bag, and most people will disagree with it, but i don't care what anyone else says, I do business my way and what works best for me and the customers. i get paid for my time so i don't care how we do it.
Like i said, with a regular pickup bed and a side catcher, i would hate to bag, but with a 10 bushel deck driven vac system, a one ton flatbed with sides, and free disposal open 24/7, bagging is hardly a hassle to me. Last year i didn't even offer it and when asked to do it i cringed. but i didn't have the equipment to do it.
Its all what works best for you and your lawns and your customers. do business your way. i don't feel i should defend myself in this matter, i am just simply replying to this thread since the guy wanted to know who bagged i'm raising my hand.
Don't shoot me :angel:

11-18-2004, 10:30 AM
Never bag. Just seems to work for me.

11-18-2004, 12:59 PM
The reason I don't bag my 2 large commercial properties is that they don't want to pay to have them bagged. If they were willing to pay enough I would be more than happy to bag for them. As for the time issue with bagging go look at a picture of my setup in the pictures forum, I am setup to bag. When you are setup like I am it doesn't take that much longer to bag. I also have a place very close to dump so it doesn't take me but about 15 minutes to unhook my trailer and dump the truck and be back at the shop hooked back up.

11-18-2004, 01:53 PM
I used to use bagging as a selling point but it is a real pain in the butt. especially when you start mowing huge amounts and fill your truck up with clippings twice a day and have to stop and go unload. Also come to realize that when you mulch the yard requires less fert which means less cost to you on your fert jobs at the same price to the customer. Not a big amount of money but it adds up.

craigs lawncare
11-18-2004, 02:29 PM
Nope I don't bag...
Educate your customer base on the benefits of leaving the clippings.
If they want it bagged, it costs extra.


11-18-2004, 02:55 PM
I don't bag and running doubles keeps me from having to double cut. Now wheres Meg Mo's response....LoL

11-18-2004, 04:24 PM
bagging is primitive. waste of time, waste of a good resource, and quite frankly very soon, catchers or machines that have to use them, will be obsolete. i never use one.

11-18-2004, 04:45 PM
it doesn't take me but about 15 minutes to unhook my trailer and dump the truck and be back at the shop hooked back up.

that comes out to about $2100 a year, if you only dump once a day. that is only in lost income. add to that 350$ for each employee you pay to dump, not counting the company match, plus any dump fees or licensing. not to mention little things few people account for. auto insurance for that time, gas, etc, etc.

11-18-2004, 10:40 PM
My opinion is probably not worth much since I've only been in business for 1 month and have only done 15 yards so far but I have a Exmark Lazer Z with 60 inch deck and a mulching kit on it and I don't see the need to bag. This thing is amazing. I can't see any clippings left on the yards. It works great on leaves also as long as they are not a foot deep. I've already learned a lot from this site and can't wait till next spring.

11-18-2004, 10:54 PM
only bag when paid for it or fall cleanups..

Peco system mounted to 60" Z-Two..

Turfcutters Plus
11-18-2004, 11:39 PM
No bagging for me.Them days are gone and man does it make me happy! :cool2:

11-18-2004, 11:50 PM
I've turned down lawns because homeowner wants it bagged. Do not care to do it and won't do it under any circumstances. Alot of yards around here that need to be bagged are the nice new neighborhoods with houses on top of each other. Those kind of yards I don't want because there usually only about a half acre.

11-19-2004, 09:49 AM
Do you think I don't charge extra for bagging everything? Sure there are mow and blow guys here in town and they are a lot cheaper than I am, but I sure don't have any problems picking up new work. I pick up more homeowners every year that are paying someone to mow there yard and are not pleased because they aren't bagging and my lawn next doors looked perfectly manicured every week. I tell you what when I start noticing my business doing bad because I am bagging I'll let you all know and change my ways.

11-19-2004, 10:00 AM
I don't bag but I can see your point. If they want it bagged and are willing to pay extra then i will bag because the extra time it takes me to dump the clippings will be justified by the extra cost. But really, if i charge $50 to cut a lawn i will charge at least an additional $25 to bag.

11-19-2004, 10:14 AM
Nobody has said anything about the natural fertilizer you are saving the lawn. The clippings provide 25% of your lawns natural fertilizer from decomposition, not to mention it saves your customer money from watering. A blade of grass is 90% water and 10% nutrients, that is why it dries to nothing after cut, its all water. This is what I explain to homeowners and commercial accounts and haven't had a single one continue to tell me they want it bagged.

11-19-2004, 11:38 AM
[QUOTE=Harleyboy52]My opinion is probably not worth much since I've only been in business for 1 month QUOTE]

LOL That's o.k., my opinion is probably not worth much, either, and I've been in the business more than 20 years, now.
Anyway, we bag if the stuff gets so wet, that there is no way it can dry in time for us to disperse it. I have 1 lawn that is mostly perrenial Rye (messy wet stuff), and in just the right conditions, when you double cut it, it turns to a consistency much like spinach. By this time, it ends up sticking to the wheels, and getting matted down in the grass. If it comes to something like this, yes, I'll just bag it. This doesn't happen very often (thankfully) and I'm usually just able to double cut it if necessary. Also, now that into fall, I find my self using the bag to vaccuum up small amounts of leaves, and in tight areas. I always tell my customers; They don't bag Wrigley Field or Yankee Stadium, and I've never seen them out bagging Warwick Hills Golf Course.

11-19-2004, 11:58 AM
I am a smaller operator (1100-1200 lawns/year) and have nearly all residential customers (average mowing size 20-25K sq ft). I have only a few where the entire lawn is bagged, a few where nothing is bagged. In many cases, the front yard, side yard, and a small part of the rear is bagged. I agree bagging is a pain, adding time and effort to the job. However, the result during heavy growth is so much better. Much of this work is done with a hand mower (LB 21" with side bagger or Toro 21" ProLine). I have a Gobbler and cloth bagger for my Exmark 36" mower, but don't use it very much. Rarely do I double cut any more, or make blade changes for double blades - the time isn't worth it. Plus, in most of those cases, the problem of keeping clippings out of beds and tree circles is significant.

In a few cases, customer has insisted on bagging. Where not necessary, I've shown them otherwise. In other cases, they are paying the time and I want the good result - every finished job is the "marketing brochure" that is left at the property. I'm not surprised that those LCOs working the same neighborhoods who leave a mess with double cuts, heavy clipping cover, clippings in the beds, ... are not working those properties the next season. Their approach is "good money, but for one season, ... then I'm gone." I work differently. Many of those properties are now my customers.

Bottom line for me: Do what needs to be done for a good job, bagging or not.

11-19-2004, 12:08 PM
Mulching and a sane fertilizer program using water insoluble organic fertilizers that allow me to mulch all season. I am even mulching leaves in, then which I bag with high lift blades for a finished look. Forty garbage cans of leaves reduce down to around four cans actually removed from yard with this method. :)