Heat index-can't hang with you

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tony Harrell, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    I cut some properties on saturday and the heat index was around 101. I about fell out. I was getting stomach cramps and felt lethargic. I sweat a lot anyway so I couldn't gauge that. It started at my second stop, a trailer park with no trees and nowhere to hide from the sun. It carried on through the day. At the end of the day, all I could do was sit in the shade next to my trailer for about an hour before I could walk in to shower. I layed down after that for about an hour and seemed fine. I cut my own yard sunday and it was about as bad (breathing hot air in) except I had a getaway (a/c,Lazyboy). Saturday afternoon I was sitting there thinking I couldn't hang with this and maybe ought to rethink it. Then I thoght about what I could do to overcome some obstacles like: change diet during hot season, pick and choose better accounts, and ask the guys/gals at Lawnsite how to handle the heat.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Tony it definately sounds like you're not taking enough fluids in. You didn't mention whether you urinated during the course of the day but my guess would be that you didn't. That is a fast and sure way to tell if you are getting dehydrated. Some of the things I do to beat these high heat indexs are drinking lots of plain water, using SPF 30+ sunblock (this stuff is almost like working in air conditioning), slowing down and lastly sitting in my truck with the a/c on and the windows rolled down when I get too uncomfortable. Oh, and don't forget to take an asprin in the morning every morning.
  3. DaddyRabbit

    DaddyRabbit LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 937

    Tony, I'd seek refuge behind my "Manager's title" and get my help to cut away in hot days like the one's you speak of. Life's too short for a stoke fellow.
  4. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    I only drink water-and plenty of it all the time, probably a gallon or more a day.. I rarely drink anything else even when dining out. My grandma says it's too cold to drink. She said her father would run cool water over his forearms to cool off while farming, I'm gonna try it. While mowing my lawn sunday, I just couldn't get enough air. It was very hot air I was breathing and it was just terrible. I could mow for about 30 minutes and then had to go inside to let the sweat dry on my clothes and cool off. btw-I am solo but had my cousin helping me on saturday. He was about the same as me, wore out and dizzy. I forgot to mention the muscle cramps. I couldn't hold my cell phone up to my ear for more than 30 seconds at a time.
  5. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,093


    Everyone handles the heat different. It sounds like you might want to try Gatorade or another sports drink, along with your water to replace lost electrolytes. I think this is where the cramps come from.
    Another tip would be to get yourself a spray bottle that you can mist your face, neck, head and arms with. It doesn't take much of a mist to make a difference.
    Other than that try to get out early and finish early. Also, if you have any properties that offer shade; move them to the afternoon.

    Stay Cool!
  6. RMDoyon

    RMDoyon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    "using SPF 30+ sunblock (this stuff is almost like working in air conditioning),"

    Are you saying sunscreen helps keep you cooler?
    That has not been my experience.
    Please elaborate.

  7. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Cool water on your wrists and back of the neck will definitely help cool you down..

    Try draping a wet towel around your neck (or over your head) throughout the day.. re-wetting it periodically.

    I also find that sun screen makes a difference. I feel much better with it than without.

    If you're cramping that bad.. you need more water. I usually drink so much that my ears clog.. really!

    I see you are 43.. You may want to get a physical & talk with your doctor about this..
  8. RoyaleRcr

    RoyaleRcr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    I am 44 years old, I race cars and I do lawn care. What I have found when racing is to watch the diet closely. Not alot of heavy carbs. Maybe some carrots, yogurt, grapes. The cramps come from not enough salt. Try some pretzels but stay away from greasey chips ect..... If you don't urinate at least every hour, not enough water. Main thing to remember.....It is only grass, it will still be there when it cools off. It is not worth dying for.
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    RMDoyon wrote:

    Are you saying sunscreen helps keep you cooler?
    That has not been my experience.
    Please elaborate.

    Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying. The only time I get really hot is if I'm working out in the sun. The sun's uva and uvb rays can literally cook your skin just like a microwave oven cooks a piece of meat. If you can keep those rays from hitting your skin you will stay cooler. The key is to put the sunblock on before you get hot.
  10. dr grass

    dr grass Banned
    Posts: 242

    be careful out there in the sun. every year around this time i hear of people dying from overexposure to heat. this is not good people. like its been said ... its not worth dying for. my ticket to keeping cool is this .... i carry around a big orange cooler. i fill it up with ice, and water at the gas station. that way i always have plenty of very cool ice water on hand. next i grab a hand towel from the bathroom and a large rubber band (from home). when i get out of the truck i soak the towel down and put it on my head, and secure it with the rubber band. hey it looks goofy, but im here to make money not impress anyone .. lol. by the time im done mowing, i usually soak er' down again, and grab the trimmer. repeat as desired, or as the towell starts to warm up. ive notices a HUDGE difference in the amount that i dont sweat, compared to the amount that i do when i dont use a towell. i also have a headband that you soak in water for 4 hours, and it pretty much does the same thing, without havind to re-wet. but i dont think that it is as effective. its more convients, but not as effective. i also drink buckets of water, and as always diet and exercise is the norm for me ....... hang in there, cool weather and greener grass are on their way!!!

    Shep :D

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