I've been "Doing it wrong" for 23 years...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TLS, May 22, 2003.

  1. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Still can't believe this happened!

    Was mowing on Tuesday. Busy day. Notice that when I pull up to the property, that a local Landscaper was mulching a property 2 doors down. Larger type company, 4-5 trucks, couple of crews, known more for landscaping than mowing.


    Get there, edge sidewalks with the stick edger. Go back to trailer, get string trimmer and wanted to hit a few areas that the ZTR cant reach and zip around house and edge asphalt driveway. I trimmed real good last week so it only needed a touchup. Get halfway around house (counter clockwise as I always do it) round the corner, and there is this guy standing there. Scared me!

    Stop trimmer, remove Peltors. He introduces himself to me as the owner of this Landscaping Co. I shake his hand (firm as always -thanks to SCAG pistol grips-) and say "Hi". He proceeds to tell me that he couldn't take it anymore and just HAD to come over here and give me a few tips.....He says...."Your doing this all wrong" "I've been doing this for 16 years and 'had' 135 accounts, 3 crews, so I know what I'm doing" I simply nod my head. He says...."You need to mow first, then string trim" and that I'm "wasting a lot of extra time" and that I'm " trimming in the wrong direction and by going 'his way' I wouldn't get any grass in the flower beds" Which I DON'T do anyway. :mad:

    He says "If you do it MY way you'll save yourself up to 45 minutes a day" and I'll "have more time to spend with my wife and kids". I continue to absorb this and nod once again. He says " Your OVER-TRIMMING by doing it first, that you don't know where you cant mow until your done mowing." Plus "when you trim first.....GET THIS.... You mat down the grass with your feet before it can get cut" :rolleyes:

    I waited till I thought he was done, and just said, thanks for your ideas and reached out to shake his hand.

    He closed with " I always like to help out new guys that are 'doing it wrong' so that they can improve themselves"

    YEP...Thats right, according to him, I'm a new guy now! That means I've been doing it wrong for 23 years, so I better listen to this veteran with 16 years under his belt! :mad:

    After he left to go back to his Mexicans, I pinched myself to make sure this wasn't a dream! I mean....NEVER in 100 years would I have the ballz to go up to another LCO and tell them that they're "Doing it all wrong". Unless they're mowing with their blades on upside down or leaking gas out of their mower, etc. Am I just too humble of myself to have NOT commented back to this nutcase? I thought of 100 things I could have said to this guy, but I think I'll let it go.

    As you can see, this really got my Irish up!

    Anyone ever been approached like this?
  2. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,405

    OMG, I would have let him now that you are very much senior to him. As far as a wrong way.....NO. Everyone does it their own way. Most people do mow first (like your Mr.Know-It-All guy), but I, like you, trim first. Usually. I know where and where not my mowers can get. Did I learn this from you? :)
  3. Westbrooklawn

    Westbrooklawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 414

    A guy would really have to have some brass ballz to do that! I agree that when you mow a new property the first few times it makes sense to mow first because you can then readily identify the areas that need to be trimmed, but after you have done this a few times there is no reason not to trim first......I can come within an inch of where my mower will reach!!

    I think you handled it great.....let him rant on and then laugh to yourself....very funny! You are the bigger person for it......
  4. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,048

    Well after the first hint of "Your doing it all wrong" statement, I think I would have cranked up the trimmer and started back again.

    Yes, there are a number of ways you can do this work. And they all get the job done.

    But did he think about the way you were doing it? All the trimmings get recut by the mower, which in turn leaves the place much neater. Common sense would tell him that, but then again he would have had to be thinking.....hahaha :D

    Thats a good one Mr. New Guy!....:p
  5. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,093

    TLS- I would try and let it go. That guy has big balls thats for sure.

    I think I would have let him talk but when he said to string trim last I would have said something. He has a good point about over trimming, but I would rather over trim than to end up with long pieces of wacked grass on my freshly cut lawn.

    I agree with your process of trimming first.

  6. STAN1366

    STAN1366 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 334

    Trimming first in the right direction is important when the grass is high(like now). As was said before, you re-cut the trimmed grass so it looks much neater. Maybe next time you see this guy working nearby, you could spend even more time w/ the trimmer, then go around again w/ a push mower(2 laps!), THEN use the big mower. Maybe that'll get HIS Irish up!
  7. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 542

    Dear TLS,

    When confronted by highly arrogant people the natual tendency is to think "Am I being too humble or a wimp?" No. You are not. This guy was arrogant, self-serving and a collosal clod!

    You showed you were the class act by holding your cards to your chest and letting that bozo get deeper in his arrogant self. The one consolation is that in the future some guy may pop him in the mouth as he is spilling his wisdom to the next guy.

  8. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I think you handled it with style. When you have 23 years in the business there is no need to proclaim it to everybody you meet, your maturity and experience should shine through. I think it did in this case.

    The guy's points are valid, however I do not think there is a right way and a wrong way as far as mow first trim last or vise versa.

    I have noticed that since I got my Walker and mow first that I had been over trimming. The Walker really can get into places you don't think it could. When mowing with the Walker now I trim after mowing. I was surprised at how much less trimming I had to do.

    It really doesn't matter to me unless it's a really high visibility area, if so I'll always trim first.

    I think you did the right thing, nod your head and smile, thanks for the advice, have a great day, nice to meet you. You made his day, he feels like he helped somebody out, and you didn't lose any face. No harm no foul.
  9. Direction has to do with your style, so that’s not a right or wrong issue. I assume you’re blowing the trim-waste back into the yard before you mow. But don’t you have to blow after you mow as well? If so, I agree with him that you’re wasting time by trimming first. However, your method results in a much more professional appearance. But you knew that, hehe.

    I admire your style as well. Sometimes it’s fun to sit back and watch someone make a fool of themself. When I’m working and someone drives up and asks, “Do you mow?”, it’s fun to offer no response. Just look at them and wait for another brilliant statement, cuz it’s coming as sure as the dawn. LOL
  10. Swampbeast

    Swampbeast LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 463

    TLS, you are a better man than I, I would never have been able to keep my mouth shut like you did. Very good!
    I have had some wierd experiences while mowing, but never have I had a LCO come up to me and tell me how to do it. I think you handled it the best way, Grin and Nod, then keep mowing.
    What we usually do is at the start, two guys grab trimmers and two guys grab mowers, and start mowing and trimming at the same time. Whoever finishes first grabs the edger and edges, and while he is doing that, another guy has finished by that time and blows the sidewalks and driveways. I think thats a combination of the two different methods.

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