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Mowing wet grass

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by North Coast, May 20, 2007.

  1. North Coast

    North Coast LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I am considering starting up a SMALL lawn care business. I have been reading these forums and have learned many things about common mistakes made by rookies (Thanks so much). There is one question I have not found the answer to. How is it that commercial lawn care company's can mow lawns when they are wet and not make a mess? If I mow with just the dew on my lawn before 11 am ( I'm in Upstate Mew York) I get clumps. I know the pro's don't wait for the dew to dry before they start there day so what is the secret. I know sharp blades make a difference but it seems there has to be more to it than that. Is it the commercial mowers vs the residential? Everyone says the most important thing you can do to gain business and respect is do the highest quality work possible. Thats my plan, but I need help understanding the tricks of the trade.... Just starting out.......

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    2006 18.5 hp Troy built Tractor 42 inch cut,
    22 inch hand mower
    Bolen's Trimmer
    Weed eater hedge trimmer
    Tons of hand tools
  2. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    I have also wondered the same myself. I find having a sharp blade and a clean deck help a lot. I have seen some other companies have some success with lower throttle. I have not had much luck with this approach, but it seems that it would eliminate some of the lift, thereby reducing the clumping on the top of the deck. This is were the clumps usually start to form before they fall off. I would like to hear more from someone who has had this work for them.
  3. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    Looks to me like your operating with a resi (residential mower.) By a commercial mower, I am almost positive they run with fast blade speed than that resi Troy Built your running!

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I try to avoid the 'problem lawns' before 10am. Actually this has been an exceptionally dry spring, and not much dew in the mornings, so life has been good. I deserve it after all these years :)

    Sometimes it's not feasible to backtrack later on to wait for a lawn to dry out. Double cut, and make the second cut at a higher height. If it's still a little messy, either bag the worst areas or hit it with the blower.
  5. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 739

    There's no secret...sorry. Like the other posted said, either bag it or blow it. No magic bullets here. I hate clumping lawns but sometimes the customer has to take the good with the bad.

    We mow with commercial equipment and I can assure you, our wet lawns clump BADLY.....so now we bag, go S L O W and go over it again if time permits. There is no other way to lose a customer.
  6. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    if there are bad clumps I will take a blower and spread them out.... let it be the last thing you do before you leave..

    a good blower can handle wet clumps quickly...
  7. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,512

    Most will bag the grass if its getting clumpy and making the lawn look bad. I see a lot of guys doing this when its wet out

    GSPHUNTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    I cut in the rain this year already. NO clumping, no mess. I don't know why, but my mower cut great. Might of had something to do with the adjustable baffle on my Turbo Force deck.
  9. Fairway Land & Lawn

    Fairway Land & Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    I also run the Turbo force deck. All my ZTRs are toro and they cut really well in the rain. Very small amount of clumping on the tallest lawns in the rain. Blade tip speed, deck, and horsepower all make a difference when cutting in the rain. THe adjustable baffle is nice, keeps the ground speed up.....
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    I don't know what makes you think Pros don't make a mess when they mow wet, I am not aware of a brand of mower on planet earth that can flawlesly mow wet soaked grass, mowing wet requires frequent cleaning of the deck, and bagger, mowing higher, and mowing slower. sometimes you have to even mow twice to maintain your level of quality.

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