Could grass catching be faster?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HenryB, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,844

    Could cathing the grass actually be faster? If you had a free place to dump clippings and the right machines; good catching systems on a ZTR or Walkers. 1)No double and triple cuttings.
    2)clippings are controlled not all over walkways and beds etc.
    3)Less weeds (sucking up all the seeds)
    We have been double and tripple cutting (also a lot of fuel).
  2. Gatewayuser

    Gatewayuser LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,765

    It would be if you had the right equipment never had to dump which costs labor however you have less blow time.
    The 1# problem would be loss of nitrogen from always taking the blades away which would lose you money in the summer. In the wet it would save a ton of time.
  3. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    No way would it be faster. It will take you much more time then to double cut it and blow it off. JMO:nono:
  4. smarino21

    smarino21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    i really like that idea, if you put a tarp in the back of a pick up and its like 16 x 24 i think it could really be smarter to do that. I dotn know i got a 48 rider scag and i just got a lil catcher on the side, i dont know is that would work?
  5. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    WB bagging, no way, maybe a Z with bagging system big enough to make minimal amount of dums and that the dumps can be made right in the back of a truck or on a trailer where it would stay until ready to be disposed of
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh yeah but that's not the only problem...
    If it's just all that, they make trucks that even load / unload the clippings for you but right there is the problem:

    - It takes me at least twice as long to cut because of the stupid bag.
    - Once that is done, the clippings still need to be unloaded.
    This generally takes at least another 10-15 minutes, and with a truck that does it for you, either way there's your cost.
    - How much extra are customers willing to pay for this? $5, maybe $10 for larger lots.
    - How much is it worth? Shoot, at least $10 more like $15-20.

    Now if you were serious then you might consider a premium priced service with that nifty load'n dump truck they make where you literally spend no time fooling with it other than pushing a few buttons. But I hear say the trucks run 30-40k in decent shape, used.
    It's some japanese or maybe euro type of truck, like mitsubishi or vw or maybe maggie-deutz / Iveco, something along those lines.
  7. greenscapes inc.

    greenscapes inc. LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 137

    In the past I always mulched, never bagged. This year I bought a walker GHS for spring and fall clean-up. I hate the grass clippings and hauling them off but I believe on some of my properties bagging is faster. Less blowing, you dont have to double cut, and I think it looks better then when you are trying to mulch long grass. I think is some circumstances yes it is faster.
  8. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    all we do here is bag... small 50x100 properties if we didnt have to bag we would cut our time down 1/3 or 1/2 if you had to run it over once

    with double and triple cuts that probably takes longer if not then the same

    all props are diff i have some houses where i gotta empty the catcher 4 times and some neigboring houses were i can do 2 full yards b4 i empty once

    aeach house is specific you can really generalize it
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    I do selected bagging on many properties. I never double cut any longer. I easily get tired of spending so much time trying to get clippings out of beds, mulched tree circles, etc, to say nothing of the mess it leaves.

    Bagging does not take much extra time, IF (note the big IF here) you setup to do so. I hear comments about "twice as long," or similar. I expect that those with that perspective don't want to bag, don't wish to set up to handle bagging, clippings, etc, and therefore the extra time becomes a self-fulfiling prophecy. If you loathe bagging and make no provisions to do it well, then it will take much extra time. Recognizing the issues involved and addressing them will mean the process doesn't take much extra time, and the result is far better.

    I have seen some very, very sloppy jobs done by LCOs in my neighborhoods by double or triple cutting. And, clippings are all over in beds, against the shed, house, or other places they shouldn't be left. These sloppy jobs DO NOT go unnoticed by homeowners. I have had my ear full of critical comments about how other LCOs have left a neighbor's property. And, sometimes the source of the words is a new customer of mine because they got tired of how poorly the last LCO did the job by leaving a mess.

    If you choose to do bagging, take time during slow times of work to think about how to change procedures, what else do you need to do the job better and quicker. For example, if you are mowing with hand mowers, how many bags are you using? If you are using only one bag, then you are really short-changing yourself in productivity. If you are using a w/b with a bagger (e.g. Gobbler), how many tarps are you using for dumping? What kind of tarps?

    Statements like "twice as long" tells me the procedure to handle the clippings is open to improvement. Believe me, I am in the camp of "don't bag unless it is necessary." I feel just as negatively toward bagging as many others. But, I also feel strongly about leaving good results for the customer, and feel strongly about being as productive as possible.
  10. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    In our area people expect bagging without a commensurate increase in the mowing charge. A twenty dollar lawn is just that and no more. The only way we can do more lawns and keep the cost down is to use good mulching practices with NO visible clippings. I see the awesome grass handling systems some of you have and I can only look on them with a wistful tear and a bit of covetous drool at the corner of my mouth:cry: I can't begin to venture a guess as to how many hours our competitors spend dumping the grass from their accounts. We watched one of the larger guys take at least thirty minutes to unload a half ton pickup. Three guys and only one could shovel while the other two watched. They were there when we pulled up to unload some limbs and were still there when we left plus it's an 8-10 mile round trip to our landfill.

Share This Page