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Dethatching help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rusty_keg_3, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. rusty_keg_3

    rusty_keg_3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,469

    Ok, biz is slow in the spring, and i was thinking a detatcher on the mowers would be nice (well, fiveoboy01 said it in his thread)...

    So, lets say we got a dethatcher for our mowers, while dethatching, dont you turn on the mower (blades), and bag it?

    And what do you charge? Same as mowing or more?

  2. doubleedge

    doubleedge LawnSite Senior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 911

    I charge 3-4 times what I charge for weekly mowing. Dont underestimate how much work it is to dethatch and how much dead grass comes up from the ground.
  3. rusty_keg_3

    rusty_keg_3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,469

    Yea, we did it for a customer last spring, by hang (rakes, and blowers)... It sucked!
  4. 1993lx172

    1993lx172 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,305

    You can bag as you go with a front mount dethatcher, it'll be dusty as all get out and I highly recommend wearing a dust mask. I prefer to use the lawn sweeper as opposed to the bagger on most yards, it holds more and I feel that it does a better job but that's just me.

    As for pricing, go with what doubleedge said. It's an unpleasant, dusty job and you will have A LOT of material to deal with. If possible try to dump on site, if not then be prepared to make multiple dump runs.
  5. rusty_keg_3

    rusty_keg_3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,469

    Ok, thanks...

    Our Jd stander has the mulch kit, but we could get a bagger...

    We dont have a vac. As for a place to dump, we have land...
  6. doubleedge

    doubleedge LawnSite Senior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 911

    It doesnt suck when you get a significant amount of money in the first month or two of the season. :) At least around here, where most of our clients and many more that arent regular clients want it. I dont remember the exact amounts off hand, but I believe we got over 10% of our income from power raking.
  7. 1993lx172

    1993lx172 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,305

    Do not mulch this stuff, all you would be doing is putting it all right back where it came from. The best thing to do is to bag it, other wise you are doing nothing to benifit the yard or your client.

    If you guys still have that JD 400 then what I would have you do is to get a pull behind dethatcher (if you add a little bit of weight to the top tray you get much better results) and a tow behind lawn sweeper. It will cost you guys less initaliy than a Jrco unit and bagger. Just a suggestion, this sort of setup works for me and I do a ton of these jobs every year.
  8. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I use the front mount jrco dethatcher on my mower and it works awesomely. I can bag while I go and it takes the same amount of time as it does to mow a lawn. It is very dusty, so make sure that your air filter stays clean and your mower stays blown off during the day. Now as far as pricing goes, that depends on what you can get. I can't get 4x my mowing rate, but I can get about 2.5x my mowing rate, but I make pretty good money at what I charge.
  9. AzLawnMan

    AzLawnMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    I have two de-thatcher's that we break out twice a year. Once now, and another durring over-seeding. They cost me each about $2k, 10 years ago! They both still start on one pull and have made me more money than I would have thought. When a potential customer calls and ask's if I do this, they are surprised when I say "yes". They are an expensive investment, especially when you may not use them. But well worth the money, and you will never have to rent another. I usually charge $175 for an average yard. That includes de-thatching, and fertilizer as well taking all debris away.
  10. Alan0354

    Alan0354 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,450

    People charge more for dethatching, not just regular mowing. Lots of dry grass come out. Unless you have one that can suck the stuff up, take a long time to cleanup.

    I use only my Mantis to do dethatching, still take me longer to rake up the stuff than to run the dethatcher...........Even a Mantis!!!! this is only a toy to you guys!!!!

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