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The Poor Weed Wacker Guy takes all the abuse from the Customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by PetalsandPines, Nov 15, 2001.

  1. PetalsandPines

    PetalsandPines LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248

    Why is it that your weed wacker guy always gets abused by the disgruntled customer? What do you guys do when you have vinyl siding that goes right to the lawn? Or wooden Fences...Or GOD forbid....the gutters that lie across the lawn? No matter how hard you try to be gentle to these items...over time (years) you end up damaging (or wearing down) these items....then they start bitching about it, following you around when you weed wack, some even say "don't bother weed wacking" some want you to replace these items over time...How do you guys deal with this situation?:(
  2. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    Over time we wore away at stucco on an expensive home that is finished to grade in stucco.

    The solution: before you do any work at a property, identify items that, in your experience, will likely be damaged.

    TELL the customer about potential trouble spots and REFUSE to do any weed-whacking around these trouble spots.

  3. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,933

    walk a new lawn w/customer and point out damage or potential damage areas then get out the round up. we have one prop. where we are FORBIDDEN from touching the neighbors fence so I turn the trimmer upside down and trim under it once a month to keep our customer happy
  4. keifer

    keifer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 320

    I am with jeff the price of roundup is likly less than repair for damage.
  5. dmbhmg

    dmbhmg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    For one of my customers(they have three gutter downspouts..that go directly on lawn), I suggested concrete run-off pads. I found some at a ornamental concrete business for about $7.00 a piece and bought ten of them about 3 years ago, and I charged the customer $10.00 a piece (for the pad, and installation...). Not a big profit for me, but it did take care of possible future problems.......

    I also use a little round-up next to sensitive foundation walls if possible........

    Hope this helps.....:cool:
  6. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    If you are just a butcher, whack away at everything. If you care about doing a quality job, after a month of running a string trimmer, you should be able to recognize places that the trimmer would cause damage. Just use your head. (Yep! Lawn guys are allowed to use their brains!) There are often many ways around tearing up things with the string trimmer. But then there are many who delight in damage. Once saw 6"x6" mailbox posts in a 2-3 year old condo area that had been whittled down to 3" diameter, rounded, at ground level. And they were all done that way - guess the wacker guy was trying to see how long it took to topple them.

    To control damage to structures and plants:

    1- Walk around the object as you trim. Yes, it may take a few seconds longer to finish the property, compared to standing on one side of the tree and swishing the trimmer around it. Even on old trees with mature bark, if you are slamming the trunk with the string trimmer you can bruise the cambium, and interfere with the tree's circulatory system. One of the best tree guys in our area wants a 3" ring of bare earth around every tree, no matter the age.

    2- No trimmer is going to get the grass up against a 4x4 fence post, when posts are on your side of fence. At least not until you saw completely thru the post with your trimmer. LOL. Ever wonder how trimming was done before string trimmers? Right, invest in hand shears. They hang right next to my trimmer, and go in my back pocket when I am trimming a site like this.

    3- Even used to use hand shears around wooden (and painted metal) sign and light posts, but found it quicker overall to cut out grass grown in from last year and put a couple handfuls of mulch around posts in the spring (about a 2-1/2" to 3" band). I don't even ask the client, just do it because it is neater and saves me time every week then. Now don't even have to trim them, just mow.

    4- Trimming with Roundup is an option, as the stucco problem and siding one above, but bare earth usually gets you erosion, even if it is just 3"-4" wide. Then your mower falls into the rut, and you scalp next to the building. Talk to client about landscaping, or at least annuals in that area.

    And others.........

    I would not consider it abuse because someone hires me to do a job and complains when I wind up damaging or destroying something else on the property. Sounds more to me like justifiable criticism. Learn from your mistakes, and be a better man next year, even next day.

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