striping Question

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by willmac, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. willmac

    willmac LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Hey guys, I'm new to the forum and lawn mowing. Last spring I just bought a 48"scag belt which was prettymuch all i could afford since I am 16. I just had a quick Q about the striping. It seems that the mower shakes and moves around a lot while mowing, and therefore the stripes come out kinda jagged if you know what I mean. Why is this? Am I jsust going too fast? I don't think I am.

    Also, what would you reccomend for a mower next year(as I plan to expand the business. I would like a SCAG 52 floating deck, but the sticker is $5000 at my dealer. What would you reccomend for the next step up? I don't want to spend over $3500 and I'm planning on buying a used mower. Thanks for all the help
  2. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    Operator Error causes poor striping.
  3. willmac

    willmac LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    uh gee thanks you nice people

    So what could I be doing
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    Yeah operator error! I have my share of bumpy lawns and they come out looking great. I also have a stripping kit, (that helps) Good luck finding a newer bugger mower (commercial) for that price range. :waving: Try slowing down a little.
  5. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,823

    Try to find a good used hydro walkbehind, it will track straighter for the stripe patterns, have positive reverse so you won’t have to bull the mower around like with a belt drive. And be much less stress on your body after a long day mowing.

    Getting the right deck pitch can have a dramatic effect on the stripes, we have our Exmarks set at a ¼-inch pitch, and they lay down some sweet stripes stock with no roller!
  6. willmac

    willmac LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Thanks, but what is pitch?
  7. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    Here is what my exmark did on monday. No striping kit, cause i don't have one!! Pics are here to demonstrate striping ability not my trimming or edging abilities! Just kidin!! Anyway, the stripes are a bit off straight because of some bumps that need fixing but man my mower stripes it nice!!

  8. Cutter LLC

    Cutter LLC LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 100

    That looks great man, I mean it. That lawn is what people should be striving for. Fixed deck, teenager I'm getting misty eyed lol. You have a nice property there and the uneveness is due to the turf not you, looks great. Keep up the good work and when you want to move to Indy I have a job for ya.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ok guys, I'm guilty of this myself sometimes I can't see what it was like 4 years ago when I got started and I needed help and I got the answers you guys are giving that crap used to really piss me off and this IS the Just starting forum so how about cutting the show and stepping off the horse for a second and helping the man?

    I have a 48" fixed deck and it gets hippity hoppy and it can get REAL annoying but first deck pitch means the FRONT of the mower is 1/8" higher than the rear but some ppl the mower is higher in the back than the front (and by 1/4") while other ppls is perfectly level. As for me, I find this affects the quality of the cut and does NOT affect the ride but then that's me.

    For a ride, I played with tire pressures. SOME people run their tires LOW on air (like 12-15, maybe 18psi) but I like going with the MAX pressures printed on the tire - 50 psi in the fronts and the velke, 32 psi in the big rears. I suggest play with this and find which pressures work best for you, what works for one of us may or may not work for another.

    Far as the hippity hop, it does take practice and it IS about skill but they forgot to mention accidentally all you do is cut one yard after another and soon you get good so this takes time BUT -
    To reduce hippity hop again the tire pressures but also on MY outfit, I like standing kinda tip-toe on my velke while I bend my knees slightly - This is a GREAT shock absorber and since I ride stable, the mower is easier to maneuver as I'm not getting bounced around as much.
    Reducing speed helps but every yard is different and what also helps is to kinda try and remember the layout of a yard so that next time you kinda know how to take it. With regular customers this will come to you in time, no problem.

    I find an easy touch with LIGHT adjustments at full speed is best for a straight ride, sometimes the Wb bounces around but what also helps is to focus on a DISTANT object and aim towards that distant object in as straight a line as you can manage.
    Dig this:
    I like driving by the sun, meaning I either follow the sun OR my shadow and let this be my guide and it works pretty good but it is funny as in the course of an hour (like on an acre lot) the sun will move and my stripes angle with it like this:

    But it DOES take practice, I mean if you want hip-hop, try riding through this ditch wide open while striping:
    btw, Notice you can see where the shadows meet with the sun, see how I was following that?

    You must become one with the Wb, my son.

    ... maybe i should take my pics through photoshop and splash some extra bright green on them...
  10. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    Here is what i made the stripes with!

    Attached Files:

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