1st dethatching bid???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Coumbe, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. Coumbe

    Coumbe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    I had a lady ask me to bid 2 lawns for her. De-thatching and haul off only. Both properties are in the same neighborhood and are about 1/4 acre in size. The lawn looks OK but even I can see that it needs dethatching. I will have to rent a dethatcher to do the jobs. I do need the work right now but I don't want to get in over my head. Is there a typical average for a lawn dethatching for a lawn that's a 1/4 acre ? Or should I stick to cutting and Trimming? Thanks in advance for you help.
  2. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Yeehawww, 10,000 sq of real thatch will be a big problem. 20,000 square is a huge problem. You will not truely dethatch that lawn with a power rake, verticle mower, spring tine device etc. whatever they are called in your area.

    If it is true thatch then you have a big problem and power raking may be a start but will not be the solution. The solution is somewhat complicated and I will save it for a SEARCH in other threads, (right Jim GRNDKPRS;) )

    If you are gonna cosmetically use a WB machine to raise dead grass you may be surprised as to the amount of debris you generate. It is possible to be overwhelmed with the job especially if you do not have a Walker or a large ZTR with a collection system. If you plan on raking it up, stop right now. You answered you own question and that answer is PASS it up. Believe me, you do not need the work that bad.

    If you have a collection system then you have to have a way of transporting huge amounts of debris. Do you have a dump truck/trailer. If you plan on putting it in a pickup truck, you better think twice unless you want to make multiple trips. Then is there a charge for dumping?

    There is a big time/equipment commitment for doing the fluff jobs. They are profitable when you have the equipment that reduces manual labor. If not they are ball busters.

    If you are ambitious and really want to work, give a small one a try first then see if you want to increase. I am not trying to dissuade you, but you have to know whats involved. Good Luck, let us know what you decide.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    The only thing that I can add that MOW ED didn't is don't have anything else planned for that day. It's back-breaking work. And as mentioned, you cannot believe the amount of debris you will pull up.

    Good Luck.
  5. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    I was also thinking about doing dethatching work this year, and buying a JRCO Dethatcher and putting it on the front of my Turf Tiger. And considering Im going to be buying a Peco bagger for it, clean up would be quick and simple.
    My question is, do you first drive around the lawn with the rake and dethatch it then drive over it all again and suck everything up?? Or can you rake and suck things up at the same time? I wouldnt buy the dethatcher rake until i had a few accounts, and i thought for priceing that if you have to make one run around the lawn plus the time to unload the bagger that it should cost alittle bit more than the price if say i were to just mow it??
    Its a service that I've never been approached by any of my current customers but with us doing flyers this year i thought maybe i should add that.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501


    I run a 60" JRCO dethatcher on the front of my 61" Ferris WB. I also have a Trac Vac 470 vacuum system mounted on the front of the deck as well. I can dethatch and vac up the debris at the same time. You have to go slow and it is a lot of work.

    I normally have one of my guys working with me just to help empty the many barrels of debris.

    Hope that helps...it's an excellent (cha-ching) money-maker. Can email me at rspronck@aol.com if you have any other questions.

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