A funny thing happened today.....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawn Sharks, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I am sitting at my desk doing some bills. I hear a mower start up and it sounds like a homeowner version. I decide to take a cigarette break and go sit on the front porch.

    My neighbor, who is a middle aged single woman and is in the process of selling her house, apparently has hired some local kid who was about 12 to mow the lawn. He has the mower set to cut at about 1/2 inch. Lawn is Centipede and he is basically giving the death knell to everything he cuts. I caught him before he got around one loop and signaled him to stop. I politely said that he needed to move the deck height up or he was going to kill the whole lawn. He seemed shocked to say the least but I implored that I was not here to harass him but that certain grasses need certain types of care. I then showed him what a stolon was and how his chopping them all off would cause the grass to die. I also explained how slowly Centipede grew laterally and he just nodded. He then went around and finished the whole lawn and I did a quick trim of my front yard with the Proline 21 while he was finishing up. He came over and said "thanks, I never knew grass was so cool, can you teach me more?" I chatted with him for about 20 minutes before he had to go.

    While I feel good about passing on a little education I will probably be losing business to him when I start up again.

  2. lawnrangeralaska

    lawnrangeralaska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 433

    o well atleast he know how to mow now thats a good start! :cool2:
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    That reminds me of a job I do. Next door to one of my residentials, there is a kid who mows his dad's lawn. Well, now he is mowing a neighbor or two's lawns. The kid has a little MTD (White) tractor, and he does a pretty nice job. He likes doing doing stripes, and I noticed everytime he stopped and backed up, his blades disengaged. Well, after running this clutch through about 50 cycles per lawn, I knew it wouldn't last very long. He approached me one day about pricing, so I helped him out a bit. Then, on another day, he approached me to ask about prices of a decent commercial mower. I advised him of the costs, and recommended that a nice litttle walkbehind would be a great starter for him. I also asked about the blade disenaging thing. Come to find out, the tractor is rigged with a safety switch that disengaged the blades when reverse was hit. So, with the tractor being right there, I unplugged it for him. I told him to make sure he told his dad (I've done work for him in the past...brand new house, I would love to get his fert. back, because I know he's getting mediocre product, I can tell by the consistency of the grass). I also told him about this site, and hope that he has checked it out by now. He's a real nice kid, and after meeting his parents, you can tell that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I have admiration and respect for a kid who is willing to go out and hustle. This is a commendable thing.
  4. ToroLandscaper

    ToroLandscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    LOL He has to start some where.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    That's cool that the kid was so open minded and didn't take offense to you're advice.

    It reminds me of my first few months mowing. I started this business almost 10 years ago not knowing a THING about lawn care or landscaping or irrigation. I didn't mow right, edge right, I didn't even have a blower. I was pretty sad in the beginning.

    I distinctly remember one day that this kid (who was younger than I) came up to me and told me it wasn't very professional to mow a lawn in cirlces from the outside working my way in. I was thinking to myself, "Whatever, dude. Who are you to tell me how to mow. This is my business. Buzz off." But over the next few weeks I started realizing that he was right. All the professional companies in my area DID mow in stripes, like he suggested. I was intimidated by him and hence didn't take his advice seriously at the time. I think a lot of people react that way when they are young and imature.

    I know I wish I would have listened more to others in the beginning. It's cool that you found someone who was young and imature but open minded enough to not be intimidated and listen to someone who knows more than he does.

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