Striping kits bad????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MudslinginFX4, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    Striping kits: (This is long but worth it... please read!)
    While striping kits make the grass look awesome, you may not know that you are doing more harm to the yard then good (even though this may be ok to please the customer). I used to use striping kits until I took a class this past summer and realized the damage that they can do to grass. We, lawn care professionals are hired by our customers to take care of their yard in a professional manner, and to also keep the grass looking as healthy as possible. Our lawnmowers that we spend thousands of dollars to buy shouldn’t need another attachment added to them to make the yard look better. The way that our lawnmowers are designed is they are supposed to pull the grass up so it stands straight and then cut it. By pulling the grass up straight, this allows the grass to get an even cut. When we use striping kits, it then tries to force the grass to lie back down, so it will create a striping pattern when looking at it. One may think: “what’s wrong with that”, but in fact there is a lot wrong with it when we are dragging something back over the grass other then the plastic piece that is made on the lawnmower to create it’s own stripe. Here is the way that my teacher told me… if we were to take a nail and drag it across a green leaf on a tree, and then look at it a couple of days later it would be black where we dragged the nail across it. This is very similar to what we are doing to the grass when we use chains or these other types of striping kits. We are dragging things over the lawn putting little scratches on the blades of grass that we cannot even see until it is too late, and then we don’t even realize what is causing the problem. Cutting the blades of grass can increase the chance of disease in the grass, can increase the amount of nutrients it needs to be healthy, amount of water needed and many more things. If you take two yards in the heat of summer under the same conditions (same amount of water, fertilizer, sun, etc..) I would be willing to bet that the yard without the professional using a striping kit will withstand brown patch etc. easier then the yard where the professional lawn company using the striping kits. I think that these striping kits are the new lawn “fad” and are also just another way for exmark, toro, scag, etc.. to make more money. I just wanted to share what I learned and hear your opinions and whether it makes since or not!! Please don’t come screaming at me if you disagree, just post why. I am also not telling everyone that they should go take off their striping kits because if customers like stripes on their yard and are happy then why change (customers don’t realize what I said anyway). If I need to explain anymore please let me know!
  2. bayoulawn

    bayoulawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    I noticed something this summer a a house I service.
    It seems that where my tires went over the grass the week before, the blades of grass had turned almost blood red.
    What do you think that was?
  3. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    I don't know about that... could it have been that the grass was real wet and there was a lot of clay instead of dirt under the grass? It could have been the clay showing... just a thought
  4. Joemowz

    Joemowz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    I'm thinking about getting the roller striper, how could that hurt the lawn?
  5. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 614

    There are many striping kits available on the after market today and I don't fully agree with dragging chains as it can be damaging but, not more damaging than what you are doing with your tires and driving up and down the lawn.

    Most striping kits lightly rolls over the grass or lightly pushes the grass over to slightly lie down into a forward direction. I don't understand how this can be damaging to turf?

    What is more damaging to turf than your wheels dragging if you do not turn properly, or when mowing with dull blades, children playing on the lawn, dog poop, etc.?

    This is JMO
  6. ForeverGreen

    ForeverGreen LawnSite Member
    from NW Ohio
    Posts: 50

    Agree with the chains part as not to fragment the leaf tissue,but several years back when Eric ELM helped us at ForeverGreen set up are (unpopular) DC,s we simply angled the front of the deck 1/4 to 3/8 inch and had a pretty good stripe. Eric has some great Pics. We mow beside some Steiners that have full rollers on them and agree our stripe lasted about 4days and theirs was a full week.We cut every 5th day so could live with it.The stripe "craze" idea is starting to fad some in NW Ohio as I see more straight cuts every year.I also see more RUST and disease in general in a high moisture year like this past one with the stripping kits as every blade of grass gets wiped down with spores. Since we are a Fertilizer Company also we feed additional "N" to the rust affected lawns.Some disease you starve some you feed.Also if an account does not want stripes we adjust the deck level with a 1/2 '' socket (two turns) in two areas and away we go takes about 15 seconds each side.(oh those DC's) :)
  7. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    I use striping rollers on my Z and it stays about 1/4 inch off the ground. Not all striping kits are bad, maybe just the chains but i really doubt that does too much, but rollers will not hurt anything. Its no more drag on the grass than the force of the tires rolling over it.
  8. Little Guy

    Little Guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118


    Give me a Flippin Break! Now we have People for The Ethical Treatment of Lawns (PETL) People Drive on them, Dogs Pi$# on them, Ice freezes on them and now rollers hurt them.

    I think Someone needs to get a life. I would tell that so called teacher to study TURF alittle more and get a refund on that class!

    Gives New meaning to signage "KEEP OFF LAWN"
  9. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    I agree with you guys totally about the stripers not having that much of an effect as far as damaging the grass, and I'm sure it even has less of an effect then the tires does on the yard. My point is are they really worth spending any money on if they do infact mess up the grass overtime?
  10. Little Guy

    Little Guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    In a word: "YES" customer satisfaction, at least in my area.

    Happy customers make for profitable accounts!:blob2:

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