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  #151  
Old 03-01-2010, 10:13 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Originally Posted by Roger View Post
I do what is necessary to meet the standard I believe is right for the property, for the customer, and for me. The second item is what is important -- being sure to understand what the customer expects. However, I am also very concerned about what result I leave when I drive away - every finished job is my marketing brochure for other potential clients. I may choose to do more work than the client expects. That is my choice, for the benefit of my reputation.
Very well said Roger, that about sums up how I see it too.
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  #152  
Old 03-02-2010, 12:01 AM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Originally Posted by Roger View Post
I believe that most of my customers wouldn't know what the question meant. In discussions from time to time, if the topic arises, it is clear they have no idea, nor do they care, what is done. Oh yes, there is a small percentage who understand, but it is a very small percentage.

The important question to my residential customers, "Does the job look good?" How that goal is accomplished is up to me. Much earlier in my life as an LCO, I got all bunched up about the topic. I tried to explain, get permissions, etc. That mentality is all gone now.

As I've been doing this work for many years now, it is clearer and clearer that nearly all of them just don't know, nor do they care. I never mention one word in my offer letters or quotations about clipping management. I do what is necessary to meet the standard I believe is right for the property, for the customer, and for me. The second item is what is important -- being sure to understand what the customer expects. However, I am also very concerned about what result I leave when I drive away - every finished job is my marketing brochure for other potential clients. I may choose to do more work than the client expects. That is my choice, for the benefit of my reputation.
You obviously have kept your eye on the ball when it comes to keeping up with customer expectation, and more so, establishing YOUR local standard of excellence.

It sounds like the folks around you are quite laissez-faire about the environment.
I'll bet you that attitude won't last through this decade!

For 1 moment, let's talk hypothetically about your future encroaching local 'savvy green mowing competitors'.

If you "never mention one word in your offer letters...about clipping management", how do you know for sure your competitors are doing the exact same thing you are?

You may resist, but your mowing competitors WILL eventually over time become more & more savvy in the way of marketing 'green' to their clientele & prospects.
They'll learn to take advantage of current trends & common sense stuff like leaving grass clippings instead of hauling them off.
If they don't, their customers will start to kick their ### until they do!

Although it could require a few additional cuts per year compared to what you may be doing, the mulching / discharging of clippings back onto the lawn will be proven by the 'savvy green competitors' to save the client X amount of $$ per year in labor & disposal fees, not to mention the overhead costs associated w/ clipping vac equip.

And the savvy green competitor will show some of the reasons his competitor bagged & hauled off clippings was because they cut too much grass off per mowing, waited too long in between mowings, or the turf's top growth was juiced with too much nitrogen of the wrong type, or at the wrong TIMES.

The savvy green competitor will come in with a bid showing the clippings either discharged &/or mulched, and if they're full service contractors they'll quote an organic-based fertilizer program so as to NOT trigger the aforementioned rapid top growth.

Like it or not.....this is pretty much where we're headed, mowing folk.
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  #153  
Old 03-02-2010, 12:27 AM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Originally Posted by dishboy View Post

This is what I have found. Clients are reluctant to have A LAWN mulched because most LCO's do not know how to manage N. Most LCO's are also clueless when it comes to mulching deck design. A converted side discharge deck will not cut it unless heavily modified. If the customer does not see any clippings or leaf debris when you pull away they will they will be glad you are mulching as it is better for the soil/turf.
Thanks, dish!

Good point!
As the lawn fertilizer industry is gradually moving away from sulfur coated ureas and toward bridge-organics / pure organics, I would think over time customer paranoia over clippings being left lying on the lawn will become less & less of a problem.

But still, there CAN BE high N release swings in certain seasonal time frames, regardless of the material used, even organics.
Lawn applicators of all disciplines need to know the release curve so as to hit the nail on the head in terms of effectiveness w/o triggering unnecessary & ultimately EXPENSIVE flush top growth.
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  #154  
Old 03-02-2010, 08:04 AM
dishboy dishboy is offline
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Originally Posted by Marcos View Post

But still, there CAN BE high N release swings in certain seasonal time frames, regardless of the material used, even organics.
Lawn applicators of all disciplines need to know the release curve so as to hit the nail on the head in terms of effectiveness w/o triggering unnecessary & ultimately EXPENSIVE flush top growth.
This is why I said "N management". N rates and TIMING are the key to a mulching program IMO . If you can not control this as well as the irrigation schedule you will be hard pressed to make a mulching program work. If I took on any client I would be pressed to bag also. My Organic program is offered at such low rates it is a easy sell. Since I am a cutter first I do this to ensure success in my mulching program. After not having to deal with the stink, mess, and work of hauling off clippings I would never again return to that business model.

To the OP , a load handler along with a bedliner and 12" of sideboards works very well for handling the clippings if you do not let them sit for more than 48 hours. Find a dairy, they will usually take fresh clippings for free.

Last edited by dishboy; 03-02-2010 at 08:10 AM.
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  #155  
Old 03-02-2010, 10:18 AM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Originally Posted by dishboy View Post
Find a dairy, they will usually take fresh clippings for free.
Dairies? Never thought of that! Good idea!

As biofuel conversion efficiency improves during this decade, we'll no doubt be seeing costs drop significantly on such processes as the conversion of grass clippings / leaves into 'pellet fuel' such as what is commonly sold for wood stoves everywhere right now.

If energy demand stays at a certain high echelon, in my opinion it's highly likely by the end of this decade in certain parts of the country, commercial mowing contractors will be GETTING PAID in some manner to dump their clean loads of clippings/leaves at some common collection point be they municipal or privately operated.

So at some later point in time in the not-so-distant future, the foreman's quandry could be "do I mulch & be earth-friendly, or do I haul the clippings away & make beer $$$ ?"
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  #156  
Old 03-02-2010, 02:04 PM
yardguy28 yardguy28 is offline
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Originally Posted by jasontimm View Post
You guys should look at the Hiniker "C" plow, ive had one for 5 years, and i dont think i could live without it, you cant beat it when it comes to back dragging.........now back to multch or not to multch....
my big question is would it work with a rear wheel drive truck.

i've been told different things by different people about plowing with rear wheel drive vehicles. i can do into details in my off topic thread if you wanna read what i have to say.
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  #157  
Old 03-02-2010, 02:33 PM
Mahoney3223's Avatar
Mahoney3223 Mahoney3223 is offline
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if you want to seriously bag grass every day then you need a dump insert or truck
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  #158  
Old 03-02-2010, 02:58 PM
smokes smokes is offline
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Shut up or I'll club both of you!
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  #159  
Old 03-02-2010, 03:04 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Originally Posted by smokes View Post
Shut up or I'll club both of you!
Great first post. Way to make a good first impression!
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  #160  
Old 03-02-2010, 03:10 PM
jasontimm jasontimm is offline
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Originally Posted by yardguy28 View Post
my big question is would it work with a rear wheel drive truck.

i've been told different things by different people about plowing with rear wheel drive vehicles. i can do into details in my off topic thread if you wanna read what i have to say.
I hear ya, heavy wet snow could be a problem, light snow, i dont have to use my 4wd, but they are a heavy plow, i'm guessing if you put a bunch of weight in the rear might be o.k?? i cant say for sure...i'm not much help.
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