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aerating and sprinkler heads

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by turbo5560, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    for those of you that do aerating what do you do about sprinkler heads? do you personally mark the heards before you aerate or have the homeowner do it prior to you aerating?
    what is your proceedure for taking care of this?
  2. organiclawncanada

    organiclawncanada LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I will arrange ahead of time with the home owner to have them mark the sprinkler heads. I supply the flags a few days to a week before. When I show up if NO FLAGS, NO AERATE. It cost me $80 last year to have a sprinkler head replaced for a customer. Its cheaper to buy flags and give them to the customer to keep for the future, than it is to pay for sprinkler heads. :canadaflag:
  3. ajslands

    ajslands LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,238

    Yes sir! 99% agree!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,629

    We are an irrigation company. We mark em for the customer. Also turn the zones on after to make sure everything is good. Customer dosnt have to do anything. We have drawings of almost every system showing valve locations.
  5. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,268

    If the customer can't/won't mark the heads take someone with you and have one person operate the controller and the other one mark the heads. Hand held radios work great for communication. A remote control is the best method but the controller must be set up for it and unless you are an irrigator you probably do not own one. Let the customer know ahead there is the possibility of breaking shallow lines and you will not be responsible.
  6. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    ok so i tell them that i might break irrigation heads... then they say well no i don't want you to do it then. Then what? I mean it will almost double my time or aerating if i mark the heads.

    For those that have done a good bit of aerating. How often do you really hit heads? Obviously you miss the ones that you see and maybe not get right up to edges where heads are usaully at, but what about those lush lawns that you can't really even see the heads if you were standing on top of it.
  7. organiclawncanada

    organiclawncanada LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    If you offer flags to the customer to pre-mark the heads and they won't do it, then tell them you are not responsible for any heads that might get broken. You could even go a step further to CYA and make up a form for them to sign releasing you of all responsibility for any heads that might get damaged without being marked.
  8. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,268

    If you take someone with you to mark or work the controller it will not take you long. You may want to consider going around the day before and mark them so the 2nd person will not be standing around while you are aerating. It will not take long once you get a system going. Add an extra charge or just include it in the price to begin with to make up for the extra time. It should take only 5-10 minutes per yard if you use this method(2 men with radios).
  9. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,268

    Even if you did not hit any heads it is not worth the hassle with the customer if the head were already damaged and the customer thought you did it.

    Marking the heads is really not a big deal once you get a "system down". Get-R done and make the $ aerating.
  10. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    In my state of Texas to even operate an irrigation system for a client requires at a minimum a Technicians License. I don't know what the laws are in your state.
    Asking the client to mark an irrigation field is a sure way to damage components unless you have that rare client whom actually knows what they are doing.
    My crews utilize a remote transmission system slaved to the controller so when aerification time rolls around the lead technician marks all heads, valve boxes and possible areas that may be damaged by either the aerifier or the clean-up crew.
    Client is involved in nothing else than issuing payment.
    The remote transmitters are worth their weight in gold as one guy can mark an entire two acre irrigation field in under an hour with the added bonus of confirming correct operation prior to aerification. This way if a system requires work, it is corrected, the aerification and core clean up occurs then the tech returns to police the flags with a second, or post check, on the system.
    Generates revenue both entering the property as well as once the crews are off. The tech service isn't free nor included in the cost of the aerification and clean up.

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