Cleaning mower deck

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by turfman33, Mar 2, 2003.

  1. turfman33

    turfman33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    I went to a class yesterday and the teacher of the class told everybody that if you have a Lawn Care service, you should get them to clean under the mower before cutting your grass, due to the fact that they are spreading weeds from lawn to lawn. The class laughed. It was all homeowners as far as I could tell. they did not know that I was a lawn care guy either. Does anybody do this? If you do, what do you use when a hose is not available? I guess it would be a good practice to do but it would also add some time to the day wouldn't it? Anyway, thought I would ask you guys out there and see what came up.

    Steve
     
  2. Husker1982

    Husker1982 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 478

    I will tell you right now and I think most everyone will agree with me that scraping the deck by hand is the best way. I have tried power washing, pre applications and still found that a scraper is best. I use a 3 inch paint scraper.
     
  3. BRIAN GALLO

    BRIAN GALLO LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    Just last year I had a few customers accuse me of spreading dandelion seeds in their yards by means of the mower deck. I said anything is possible, but more than likely they came from the neighbor's yard across the street (It was almost completely yellow with dandelions). When the deck gets bogged down with wet grass I use a 3" putty knife to scrape it - and that's it. The reason I do this is because the cut suffers if the deck gets bogged, not to scrape away any would-be weed seeds. If people want me to start spraying the underside of the deck with bleach between mowings, that's when I'm quitting!
     
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Teacher = Classroom Environment ... LCO = Real World Environment

    I would offer to have this teacher accompany me one day to see what it's really like in our "world". BTW, I would have been laughing out of my chair from that statement.
    :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:
     
  5. Weed-Seeds in the grass under the deck. Parasites in the dawgschidt on the tires. Yeah man, I'll make sure its all cleaned off. That'll be $20 more per cut. When this becomes commonplace, I'll be carrying some power-wash equipment onboard. I was going to start a thread about this a while back because it seems like its just a matter of time. But I know a few homeowners read these threads and I didn't want them to get any ideas. This is yet another reason to insist on a dawgschidt sir-charge.
     
  6. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    BOOYAAAH! Exactly, let this little pencil pushing monkey spank follow a crew around for a day and tell them where they will have time to do this. Ask him to set back down to earth first. I have gone to a car wash about three times in the last two years to clean off the mower that a lawn I serviced had a fungus on and I wanted to clean the mower the best I could. How clean did I really get it though? Who know's.

    A healthy turf that is weed free obviously has some sort of fert and weed control program. Therefore the likelihood of your mower transferring a dandelion seed is probably about null. The combination of the healthy weed resistant turf and the current fert program will control that seed from your mower as well as the seeds blowing in from the neighbors yard. People just need to look for a scapegoat. It takes all kinds I guess. Teachers and professors in the industry are a necessity for relaying the basic knowledge and technical jargon to us and society. It's up to us to take that knowledge, apply it to our daily rituals, fine tune, perfect, and adjust it accordingly. Washing mowers between every property does not fit into that program anywhere. :rolleyes:
     
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501


    Does $20 include taking it away? For $15 or $20, if the homeowner has woods that backs up to his yard somewhere, I'll dig out a paint scraper/putty knife and scrape the wet grass from the last job underneath.

    Now, if I gotta throw a tarp out into the street (nice, gated communiites would s*** if they saw this), scrape under the deck,roll the tarp up with debris, take it with me, and then pay to dump it someplace, $20 ain't gonna cut it...literally.

    Like Randy said, washing a mower between jobs does NOT fit into our program anywhere.

    BTW, I suggest that after all the LS replies are in, print them out and go and show them to your teacher. Now say to him, "Can you spell wake up call?"
     
  8. PR0 TURF

    PR0 TURF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    What type of class was this?
    We have never run into a customer accusing us of that..YET! We try to clean the decks off once a day or whenever we swap blades. We use a gasket scraper...seemed to have the most luck with that.
     
  9. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    What a joke! Dandelion seeds are more airborne than clinging onto your mower deck. You should have offered the teacher a job, to sit in your trailer and clean the machines as you drove from site to site. We clean our decks maybe twice a week, unless we have been cutting in wet or dry areas. We also use a scraper.
     
  10. Ricks Z28

    Ricks Z28 LawnSite Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 122

    The only part of my decks that I clean are the tops. I never scrape under the deck and I don't have any trouble. In the fall when I grind up leaves my decks are " Self Cleaning" for the year.
     

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