Customer does not like the lines in yard

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by yz250fpilot, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. yz250fpilot

    yz250fpilot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    I had a customer call today that did not like the way her yard looked. The front yard is very small; it takes 5 passes with a 36 inch wb to cut the whole thing. The thing is, and I have noticed this too, that the 36" wb is leaving heavy wheel lines in her yard, and it does not look very good. I am using a set of jungle wheels also. I mowed the front last year with a 21, and am thinking about going back to it. Do you all have any comments or suggestions regarding this? If it's a bigger lawn, the 36 is making it look good, but the smaller lawns just don't seem to come out right.
  2. Garden Panzer

    Garden Panzer Banned
    from Seattle
    Messages: 313

    We drive a 36 over the el-cheapo small lawns...they don't care- we don't care...
    I'd never use a big mower on a small good payer. I'd use a reel or 21' Big mowers have a time and a place and sometimes that's a field lawn...
  3. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    I think what your customer is seeing is wear tracks from running the mower the same path week after week. Some grasses are worse than others about showing this.

    It is especially hard to run a slightly different path each mowing on itty-bitty lawns. You might try this:

    Make the first pass around with your 21", then the remaining passes with the larger mower will be offset from previous weeks. Alternate patterns from week to week. If the lawn is real small, it may be easier to just mow whole lawn every other week with the 21" instead of unloading/starting 2 mowers for the job.

    I use my wb for the first pass around some lawns on alternate weeks, then finish with my ztr. On opposite weeks whole thing is done with the Z.

    Another possibility: Trim first, and let the trimmer cut a fairly wide swath around the perimeter, which allows you to run your 36 a few inches out from the edge, thus moving the track over a bit. This wide trimmer swath is practical only if the grass has not grown super abundantly since previous cut.

    Hope some of these suggestions are helpful.
  4. yz250fpilot

    yz250fpilot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168


    I change my line direction every week. The bermuda on this lawn just seems to really lay down under the wheel path.
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Is it common or hybrid Bermuda? What height is it being cut at? Cut tall, it might tend to lay down and look bad. The book says 1.5" or less, but most cut commercially is mown higher. Would a shorter mowing height solve the problem?

    Varying the cut patterns, I never had wear mark problems. That first pass around is always hard to vary, though.

    I used a 21" on very small props at times too. For whatever reason smaller lawns tend to make flaws seem bigger.
  6. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,037

    I do not know about Bermuda , but with my 36 in Exmark TTHP small yards actually look better than with the 21. A stripping roller will disguise your wheel marks until the frass stands back up on blue/rye grasses.
  7. gr8cutter

    gr8cutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    Good ideas. We use a 21 on small front yards.

    TROTTMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    I think my 48 looks better on all of my accounds than the 21" push. I think push (I refer to all 21/22" mowers as push even if they are self-propelled) mowers leave more obvious ruts where the tires have been since the wheels are so tiny (mine must put more psi on the ground). I guess its because my 21" is a commercial style, and over 100 lbs...

    In any case, try the 21" mower, its it takes you 5 passes with a 36" mower, than thats about 33" x 5 passes = 165" / 18" cut of push mower (overlap) = 9 passes. Thats really not significant. You may save 1-2 minutes with the 36", but who cares. When it comes to residential lawns, its all about how the yard looks. Large commercial properties, its about getting it done! (I really hate our biggest comm. property... hehehe).
  9. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    If possible and it may not be on a small lot, but vary your pattern. even if it means using the same pattern but moving the wheels over 1 foot on each week. It causes a bit more trim work that week, but is a lot better than losing the account or using a 21" that doubles your time.

    You may even want to consider line trimming the whole thing every other week. I have done that on some postage stamp lots. Takes longer, but you have no unload and reload time so it can be about the same.

    What I do is cut one week N to S, the next E to W, the next SW to NE, then NW to SE. That way you're never running a pattern and your wear spots have a month to recover before you damage them again.

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