biting dogs and runaway trailers

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by David Gretzmier, May 27, 2011.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    had 2 low moments and one high moment this week. feel free comment or to share any stories that relate.

    low moment number one was nearly getting bit by a dog while fixing a timer on a wonderful nightscaping trans.

    I could hear the dog inside barking, and knew this dog was capable of biting from my original meeting with the client. I waited at the back picket fence gate and rattled it hard, waiting for the dog to possibly come out the dog door. after seeing the dog barking at the back window and waiting a long 10 second pause, I carefully went in the back gate with no problems. I went to the trans, knelt and took off the cover, push up and lift and... why won't these covers ever come off easy?, push, fingernails...grab the multi-tool and pry, and cover comes off and began working on the trans when I heard the click of paws on the porch behind me. this dog was not barking, but growling and coming towards me fast. I lunged for the gate and vaulted over, well, attempted may be a better word. gate kinda wobbles under me and the dog gets my boot and pulls me back. my stomach goes to the pickets and breaks two tops, and I go head first over the gate into the concrete taking the dog with me. The dog lets go of boot when he realizes that his neck is over the the 2x4 and kinda squeezed betwen broken pickets, and then he proceeds to try to bite me through the gate. bleeding and angry, the painter comes over and asks if I am ok, and proceeds to tell me that the dog has almost gotten him 3 times. I make the mistake of calling my contact person and ask why the dog was available to eat me when I told him I was coming at 6 , and though I calmed down as we talked, I probably was too upset on the phone. the scabs on my bald head are healing nicely.

    The next day I got a great high for the week- the deposit/contract on a project for a client I have been wanting to do for some years now. I can't really go into detail until I have permission to use their name, but it always feels good to know you can land high visablity clients, by just by referral, reputation and no discounts. I am just excited by taking it from where it is to looking awesome.

    today brought another low. at the end of the day one of our trailers- the 24 foot triaxle, broke loose from our f-450 box van and took out a mailbox, a small tree and cable box, and ended up in a fence. safety chains ripped the metal off the bumper, and it appears the trailer hitch itself does not fully lock on the ball. luckily, and thankfully no one was hurt, and the property damage was minimal. this could have been spectacularly worse.

    I put new safety chains on the trailer tonight, and if these ever break, either the truck or trailer will have to be totaled in the process. I will buy a new bulldog hitch tomorrow, and go ahead and put a new jack on as well.

    In case you are wondering, the old chains were 5/16 high test rated at 3900 pounds each. it looked fine, as it was bigger than most safety chains I had seen. hopefully bigger is better in this case. my new chain is the 3/8 transport grade 70 goldish colored chain. rated at 6600 pounds each, I warappd around and bolted this through the tailer frame with grade 8 1/2" bolts rather than rely on welds. it now clips to truck using winch hooks with spring closure, to a new 1/2" quick link rated at 7500 pounds each. this link is also bolted through the bumper with 1/2" grade 8 bolts. I have no idea what physical forces happen when a trailer cuts loose, but this looks overkill silly. hopefully this will hold the trailer if the hitch ever fails again.

    Take a look at your safety chains and upgrade them now if they look skimpy. I thought mine were fine.

    anybody got dog or trailer stories?
  2. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    I have realized that you need to always look DOWN when doing landscape lighting. Some of the challenges in landscape lighting do not exist in interior lighting (well, mostly). I came to this epiphany sitting on a log, cleaning the bottoms of my Redwings. Although, I haven't been bitten by a dog in a long time, it is always those little rat dogs that do the biting and not the big tough ones. They are usually cupcakes. Ha, and they leave cupcakes in the yard too
  3. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    While I'm not at job sites on a daily basis, I did have a little-dog-from-hell encounter a few weeks ago. I was visiting one of our vendors and walked into the office. I was warmly greeted by the owner and not so warmly by a little dog about the size of a toaster.

    The dog proceeded to bark and hop around my feet as I walked through the office. "Don't mind her" the owner said. I tried not to and succeeded until the dog started to bite my ankles. It felt like tiny needles piercing the skin.

    As nicely as possible, I said, "Your dog is biting me." The owner replied, "Oh, she never bites." I replied, "She does now."

    Eventually the dog got bored and moved away. My ankles itched like crazy.

    This story is nothing compared to David's escape-from-death, it's just one more example of dog owner delusion.
  4. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    I had a bid about a month ago in which I had to walk behind the homeowners house to see the area in question to bid. I had to walk back out to my truck to get my notebook and this guys stupid "chog" (more cat than dog) kept attacking my shoe laces and by the time I got to the truck managed to untie both shoes. So now I have my notebook and shoes re-tied. Back into the fray with the stupid little ankle biter achieving the same results by the time I hit the back patio. No apology from the homeowner or attempt to get his chog to stop. Long story short, homeowner says I'm overpriced, I bid him good day and proceeded to walk back to my truck. I turn and go around the corner of the house (out of view now), with the chog hot on my shoelaces. Field goal practice!!! He didn't come after my shoe laces again. Stupid chogs.
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  5. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 849

    So Tim.........was it just an extra point or a 50 yard'r? :)
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,975

    It is an absolute, carved in stone, by Moses himself policy of mine not to do business with owners of crazy dogs. 99.9999999% of the time, the dog reflects a defect of personality or character in the owner. Letting a dog nip you and trivializing that bad behavior leads me to several conclusions about the owner. The mere idea of an owner having a vicious dog, knowing of its behavior and not taking actions to correct such behavior is a huge red flag to me. I have never known a nice, and easy to deal with client who was also attached to an out of control mutt.
  7. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 886

    I was entering a backyard a while ago, got about 15' down the side yard and I heard something big lunging/running towards me around the corner of the house and instinctively didn't bother with the gate and one handed it over the fence as a 160+ lb rottweiler skidding to a stop at the gate. The homeowner said she just wanted to play, I'm checking my shorts and told her I'm out of here. She was apologetic and all, but I didn't care. I was impressed though with the one handed leap over the 6' It is amazing what a little adrenalin can do!

    Now I ask if they have a
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,230

    Gold medal if that were an Olympic event. :)
  9. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    Especially with a load in your shorts!!!:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
  10. Richie@

    Richie@ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    We were working on a pier few years back and I walked off the pier to go to the van an a 25 LB goose was in attack mode an chased at me for 30 feet or so , it was a wild looking site to say the least.


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