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Customers lawn rutted (ZTR ruts)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cgaengineer, May 28, 2008.

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I took over a customers lawn this season that is heavily rutted by the previous lawn service. It seems as though he cut the exact same direction/path every cut and the front lawn looks terrible. I understand that sometimes going in the same direction is the only option (Like the narrow strip of land between the driveway and the property line) but this lawn service mowed same direction every time it seems.

    What can I do to help remedy this problem. I have an aerator but I am not sure that this is a problem that can be fixed with just an aerator. Will it take a few aerations to get the lawn back to normal? Can I expect aeration to solve the problem over a season or two? I didn't notice the problem at first until I switched directions a few weeks ago and the problem was obvious. You can also notice the lawn in between the tire tracks is green and the tracks are stressed and have lots of brown.

    The customer is not complaining and as far as I know doesn't know anything is even wrong.
  2. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    maybe a lil fert would help, overseed
  3. wheels910

    wheels910 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    I'd bring it to the customer's attention so that it can't be put back on you at the end of the season.

    I would aerate 3-4 patterns thoroughly and drive on the humps disengaged to level out. When the humps are knocked back down, hopefully you can start mowing 3-4 patterns and even the yard back out.

    The customer may want to aerate again this fall/spring and overseed anyway. If so, I would wait until then.

    it's the customer's yard, whatever they want.
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,459

    Aerate, top dress with sand more in the ruts then soak the aera untill near mushy and pull a lawn roller over it.

    Or aerate and just run your moewr wheels beside the ruts all summer
  5. J&J Customs

    J&J Customs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    i agree but id even think that overseeding may be an option and depends how deep the ruts are
  6. Lawn-Sharks

    Lawn-Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    AHHH! We get this problem a lot here in florida!because of the water table, Its a long prosess to fix it but heres what we do. We take sand (this is what florida is made of) you can use dirt if it is available and lay a 1" layer in the ruts and keep servicing the property as normal and as the sand gets compacted from the mower ,the grass grow throu it then keep repeating the prosess untill the lawn has no more ruts. But you must let the grass grow throu the sand or dirt before you repeat the prosess! Like i said it takes some time but it works, i hope this helps you in your quest to repair that lawn.
  7. wheels910

    wheels910 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    You mentioned that the customer hasn't said anything and may not notice anything anyway. Just casually mention it. Don't come at them with a full force plan to fix it your first conversation. Just be prepared if they ask what it would take to fix it.

    Might come across like the mechanic that found 7 other things wrong with your car than just a flat tire.
  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I will consider all advice and come up with a game plan. Customer is not a picky customer and she is an easy sell so I may just start out with heavy aeration and a fertilizer application. Over seeding is not an option since its hybrid bermuda but topdressing with sand could be a viable option if she wants to spend the money. I will talk to her tomorrow and post back with what she wants to do.

    Good advice wheels910. She wants a nice lawn but she doesn't mind a few weeds. I will likely just mention the ruts and she should know it wasn't me as she is normally home when I service her lawn and she knows I change directions nearly every week. This customer is one of those customers that you wish all of your customers were like. She never bothers me, doesn't ask you to do odds and ends "while you are here" and is on a yearly contract.

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