Dethatching/Ulta Vac Clean-up

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by scott's turf, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    Just got an Ultra Vac for my 52"HP this spring. It came with a JRCO dethatcher but from what I have heard on this site, it doesn't do as nearly as much as a wb dethatcher. My question is: is it quicker to use a wb dethatcher and then suck up the stuff with the Vac or just blow it into piles with bp blowers? Secondly: If I use the JRCO dethatcher instead, how many passes would have to be performed to get as much thatch?

  2. ranger520

    ranger520 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 231

    I am responding to bring this to the top as it is a good question for me as well.

  3. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    I think theres a big misconception when it comes to a jrco thatcher, and a regular walk behind dethatcher. The jrco dethatcher will never be able to get up as much thatch as a walkbehind reeled dethatcher would. a regular walkbehind dethatcher will get up a ton of debris. I use the jrco dethatcher on my accounts. It gets up a good amount of thatch and lifts the grass up to get air in so it gets growing a little earlier. If i was you, id use the jrco dethatcher on the front of the lazer and suck it up as you go. my dethatcher is on a scag walkbehind.... and i mow, dethatch and bag it all in one shot. I do this after ive blown all the shrubbery and lawn areas off with a walkbehind blower and backpack blower. youll probably have to go over the lawn twice with the jrco unit... but it definately produces nice results and leaves the lawn looking nice and fluffed, and gets up matted grass after winter.
  4. Husker1982

    Husker1982 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 478

    I use pull behind dethatchers and they work very well. Remember you are not gonna get all the thatch just thinning it out a bit.
  5. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    Well do you charge your customers for dethatching still if you use the jrco?
  6. Pat Daniels

    Pat Daniels LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    I use the Jirco on front of a 60 inch Lazer Z. Generally I make 2 to 3 (in opposite directions) passes and pick up with the Ultra Vac. Charge Accordingly
  7. BobR

    BobR LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 714

    At spring cleanup I blow out the beds and shrubs, use the Toro 153 w/Bluebird collector to get up the loose stuff then drop the tine rake to loosen and comb the lawn, I make two passes at 90° with the JRCO. Billing is at my hourly rate plus trash removal. Customers love the end result and it is a good money maker
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    The JRCO isn't as good as the Walkers because the JRCO rides on wheels and doesn't put the pressure on the ground like the Walkers does. A WB unit pulls up more material but it is NOT thatch. None the less people call it thatch. I have a JRCO unit and a Walker unit and they both do the job but the Walker is better.
    A walk behind unit makes more work than necessary and in some cases really beats a lawn up.

    Bottom line is that you are fluffing a lawn with either process. People want it to LOOK NICE. If that takes 1 hour with a JRCO it will take 1.5 with a wb. In the end, there is only so much you can charge for a service. If you are doing it a slower way then you are making less money. So I will be doing 10 lawns a day and you may do 6.

    I elect to use the machine that I can ride on. I am less tired at the end of the day and I have more money in my pocket.
    Good Luck.
  9. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    What is thatch then? I thought it was a build of of dead grass. When using a wb dethatcher in the past it has pulled up a very large quantity of dead flufy grass. I am confused.
  10. jkkalbers

    jkkalbers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 144

    Thatch is a living layer of roots on the surface of the soil. There needs to be a layer of this to protect the grass. Which is why you can use the Jrco Tine rake (De-thatcher) If used every spring it keeps it under control. The walk behind units are meant for lawns with serious thatch problems, usually for homeowners who haven't had it done in a long time. If you take a cross sample of lawn, you will see the thatch layer right above the soil or slightly below.

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