1400 junk bales of pine straw

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by adam.neusbaum, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    As if there's not enough to worry about.
    With all the rainfall here in Central Florida our regular supplier suggested they'd be out of stock for a while. I finally found someone that could send me a 53' trailer but I'd have to transfer it to our empty one. It took every bit of 3.5 hours to move 1400 bales from theirs to ours & I'm still recovering from that one.
    During transfer we must have had over 100 loose ones come apart which was a total pain. Now that we're delivering & installing them I see what kind of garbage was shipped to me. I knew they we're fresh raked & that's why I overlooked them being wet and all but now the ones that are dry look nearly as old & grey as what we're covering over.
    I really shouldn't be surprised since my very first order from a different company was just as junky, sticks, sand & many rotten ones. It's like a crap-shoot trying to get good stuff.
    How in the world do you request quality straw when it's in limited supply. Maybe I should have just pushed out the jobs until my current supplier could make the delivery.
    I just called & told them how I feel & she agreed that that was the only field available to rake & was afraid that would happen.
    Having raked & baled 30 acres last winter I honestly think they raked an old field down to the dirt & shipped it out. When I'm raking I only scratch the surface so as not to pull up the old base layer.
    Last night I dunked 20 bales in Enviro-Color to see where it'd get me but that ain't gonna work in the long run.
    Life sucks!
    If it were still in their trailer I'd tell them to come get it but it's sitting in their competitors & I paid them $3500 cash already.
  2. Johnagain

    Johnagain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    I have a suggestion. Go back to mulch pine straw sucks. I have replaced every bed that has it for my customers. Nobody likes it when it turns grey in less than a month.

    I guess I should thank you and others who sell this crap because I have made some good money replacing it.
  3. alexschultz1

    alexschultz1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,588

    Could this be taken to small claims court?
  4. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,256

    Same issues here, one supplier always has small loose bales full of sticks, cones and briars. I think they are just cleaning up leftovers.
  5. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    I spread 25 of the dunk dyed bales tonight & hands down it looked great. Now just 1375 to go but I'll be ordering more envirocolor. By the time we're thru with this load October's fresh fall rate should be picking up steam.
  6. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    I get plenty of jobs covering over weed infested mulch.
  7. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,256

    Depends on the customer and what works best in the area to be mulched. All hillside and a long carry from the truck I'll try to push straw. Small areas in the front I go for hardwood bark.

    BTW I've never seen good mulch in FL, it always seems to be ground up lawn waste dyed red or ground cypress that floats out in the first storm.
  8. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    It might not be so bad if the bales were tight. Having baled 1000+ myself I know it takes a knack to get them right every time. Most of these are so loose that even using 2 hands they tend to open up.
  9. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Need some advice here please: Is there a polymer or sealant I should be mixing with my iron oxide cement dye powder when solution dying the ugly straw to give it a sheen?

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