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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mowerboy04, Feb 26, 2010.
Very well said Roger, that about sums up how I see it too.
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.
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.
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.
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 $$$ ?"
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.
if you want to seriously bag grass every day then you need a dump insert or truck
Shut up or I'll club both of you!
Great first post. Way to make a good first impression!
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.