How low do you go?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mikesjumpingin, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. mikesjumpingin

    mikesjumpingin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 101

    Generally, I let my customers decide. They say don't clump, I raise the deck a little. They say low, I drop her a little.

    One guy says "lowest possible". I dropped it to the second to lowest setting on my Exmark 48 metro hp. He complained not low enough. So now I'm down all the way, and hitting tree roots.

    And he just called to complain about clumping.

    I was wondering how low other people go, and what explainations I can offer my customers about how low I should cut.

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  2. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Three inches... Is the lowest I cut. Most are cut 3.5 - 4 inches.

    Once in a blue moon a new customer will ask if it could be cut a little shorter. I simply & politely tell them.. no. If they need an explaination as to why not? I'll tell them it is beneficial for the lawn.

    As far as you leaving clumps behind... You shouldn't do that regardless of the height you cut. Do what whatever you need to do to make 'em disappear!
     
  3. Angelo

    Angelo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    I shoot for 3-4" but there are some lawns at 2.5 I won't cut lower than that. I explain to them that if I go to low it could damage my machine. If its clumping I raise the deck .5" or double cut or bag. (They will pay extra for bagging and they now that upfront)
     
  4. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    Some are 3" but the nice lawns with real grass not weeds I can mow at 3.5-4" and they look nice and no one complains. Shoot, they don't even look long! No one has complained yet... Occasionally usually in the spring when the dandelions are bad the ones at 3" ask to go lower (just weed patch yards anyway) so I drop it to 2.5" and cut it anyway... the ones at 3.5" have no problem with dandelions or weeds honestly. Get it high and keep it that way healthiest lower maintenance way to keep a lawn, plus stripes are better and clumps less likely! Scalping less likely as well. If you're having clumps either double cut it or put on double blades. If you have a good bit of power try double regular lift blades in a + formation with no spacers or anything in between, if you aren't real high on power try a regular blade with a gator mulcher on top same way as above. Either way will reduce clumps alot but the double regulars take more power than doubles regular and gators. Both ways help striping a good bit too. If you have the power, try them you'll never go back!
     
  5. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,046

    same as the rest above, unless it's only weeds your mowing it's not a good practice to mow lower.

    Look for a tread call "Out of the window with the one third rule", that'll give plenty of information to tell to your customers.
     
  6. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    Look for it, but don't reply to it! :blob2: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:
     
  7. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    I will go as low as the customer wants it, but I explain to the customer that I will either have to bag it or go over 2-3 times which will both cost extra. BUT I will not go so low that I scalp.

    I am adament that I WILL NOT leave with the lawn looking like **** so they better be ready to pay extra if they are making a request that I don't recommend. Some customers will say they don't care if there are clumps, to only come when it "really needs it". Sometimes I have to turn these customers down cause my work is my advertisement. I won't leave it looking like **** and I won't let it grow to my ankles. Both would be bad advertising regardless of what that customer wants and how much I need the work.

    Sometimes the customer does not know best. They'd be better off hiring a 12 year old down the street.
     
  8. longviewlawncare

    longviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 298

    3" if that is not low enough for the customer they can find another service.
     
  9. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    DING! DING! DING! DING! DING!

    In this area where most people want fescue lawns, I will rarely cut below 3".

    I explain to them that their cutting to low among other things was a major part of the reason their lawns looked so bad that they called me. They usually listen, if they don't I cut at an absolute minimum of 3" anyway. Usually they see the improvement and from then on out leave me alone.

    I've even overheard one of my customers telling his neighbor to raise his mower deck up to the highest setting! He was the worst customer I had for a LONG time complaining that I didn't cut low enough.
     
  10. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,380

    I don't cut any lower than 3", most of the time between 3.25" and 4".
     

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