competitor driveby

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Turfdoctor1, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 707

    I'm sitting at home today, because it is below freezing and we are supposed to get snow tonight. I don't want to spray new lawns for broadleaf in that weather.

    So, I notice one of my major competitors spraying one of my neighbor's lawns. Then a second truck pulled up. The first truck was spraying the neighbor's for broadleaf control and pre-emergent, as a new customer. The other truck was in the neighborhood doing all of the old customers pre-emergent. They had ~ 10 current customers in my neighborhood, and I would bet money they did not spray a single one of the retained customers.

    I don't know if they are supposedly spraying pendimethalin or prodiamine, but I could notice a tint on neighbor #1's house, which I know they actually sprayed. I noticed no tint on any of the others. Plus, i got down on my hands and knees, and I could not detect the slightest chemical odor.

    I am thinking of going door to door to those customers and telling them what I think their applicator did. but, i really don't want them calling this company and telling them that I was bashing them. i certainly don't want a war.

    Any way for me to know for sure if I am correct about them not spraying? What would you do?
  2. MnLefty

    MnLefty LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    I guess I'm not really following the story perfectly clear... Are you thinking they didn't spray anything at all on some of these, just flagged them and are charging for nothing? If so, there's no way you can go to these people, unless you saw the truck show up and leave without spraying, flag the lawn as sprayed, and leave an invoice/info. Otherwise there's just no way to really know what you saw...
  3. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 707

    sorry, i am fired up, and my story was jumbled.

    Yes, i believe that they sprayed nothing, flagged them as sprayed, and then invoiced them, at every house in my neighborhood that they had retained from last year. their new accounts were actually getting sprayed.

    Is there no way to know for sure? I did not physically see them do this. But, I also know that those flags were not there when I cam hope at lunch, and there were 10 of them there at 1:00 and that there is no chemcial smell in any of the lawns, and absolutely no stain. But, at the one house I know they sprayed, I can see residue and smell the chemical.
  4. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,050

  5. (wi) Roots

    (wi) Roots LawnSite Member
    from 9
    Messages: 152

    I get out of your story that there are two applicators the first one sprays new customers. The second truck sprays old established customers? The first home which was sprayed by the first truck which if I'm reading correctly is using only broad leaf weed control? The second truck is spraying pre emergent? But, you could only detect color from the first one?
    If correct, this tell me: 1- the first truck didn't take time to adjetate his tank, which will product residue that will have a tendency to carry more product than a mix one. Especailly if the truck sprayed out most of it the following day but will have enough left over concentrate! 2. The second truck is spraying a pre emergent with out the discoloration you get with you use pendel. Which very well be barricade! Either way, with expected weather conditions this method of delivery is poor judgement, which to your benefit will gain you more referal work if you also spray! The way I see it, A lot of break thru in there application!
  6. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 707

    i really wish i would not have started this thread, because i am sounding like an idiot.

    Truck 1, spraying new customers for broadleaf and barricade as pre-emerge.

    Truck 2, supposedly spraying barricade, and I'm telling you, they sprayed nothing. within an hour, 10 houses had been sprayed, and everything was dry? give me a break. it didn't happen.
  7. MnLefty

    MnLefty LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    Got it now... unfortunately my opinion hasn't really changed. I just don't think you can go to the neighbors without having actually seen the whole process take place. If you had seen it, you sound much more credible to the neighbors, as a concerned neighbor first, competitor second. But when you didn't actually see them flag it w/o spraying you run a much higher risk of coming across as sour grapes to the homeowner. Even though you know it, and can explain to them how/why you know, it just loses too much credibility that you didn't actually see it. It's also hard to go about it without knowing what they invoiced or told the customer they were getting... Unfortunately I think you're stuck... but I guess you can take comfort knowing that if these guys are giving this kind of service, down the road you'll be able to take their customers based on quality.
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,813

    Perhaps they were spraying Dimension from the second truck. Very little odor--from what I hear.

    Did you get a chance to look at the invoice? Does it list the products used as is required in most states? Could have been urea with the pre-emergent planned for Round 2. Very difficult to spot a urea liquid residue.
  9. Elden

    Elden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    I was doing a small landscaping job about two weeks ago. A guy from a large national company drove up to one of the neighbors, put the sign in the front yard. He didn't do anything that I seen, no invoice nothing. Later he came back by and just drove around the culdesac and left. The next day he drove by a couple of times, finally he stoped and treated w/dimension and atrizine ( I asked what he was spraying). It just seemed really weird that he would do that. I don't know if he was woried about us watching or what, but it was deffinately not normal. I do know he wasn't wearing proper PPE, and that it was too windy to be spraying. (Near the beach about 10-15 mph)
  10. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    Since when is 10 or 15 mph too windy? Just about every lawn care co , my self included ,use the lawn gun in higher winds than that all the time.

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