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Does anyone mow in the rain?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mike Royce, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Mike Royce

    Mike Royce LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    We have 34 res. clients. If we waited for nice sunny days, I would never get much done. But when I mow in the rain, it comes out in chunks and looks bad. We use JD 757's with high lift blades. Does anyone have any ideas. What does everyone else do?
  2. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    I hate when that happens. We mow in the rain when we have too, but we avoid it if at all possible. The school has over 200 acres of turf / lawn including athletic fields, so there are times when we have to mow in the rain. We boost our RPMs, raise the cuttung height, and make sure the discharge chutes aren't blocked. We double cut if we have to. This is somewhat different than your situation because we're not getting paid per job, but we still have to get the work done.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    If you can wait to not mow in the rain, then you do not have enough accounts.
  4. salandscape

    salandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    In teh past we have done it on occasion, uit starts raining and we try to push a few more out. We wouldn't go out to mow in the rain. Not only does it produce a poor cut, chunks wheel strips etc. but it is extermely bad for the turf. Mowing in the rain causes compaction of souil resulting in poor root spread and less water/ nutients reaching the root zone+ quicker brown/ burn out, and increased diease Susceptibility. With 34 accounts I would push it out a day or two. Lats spring we lost over a week and half (in May!)due to a massisve storm, it took us 3-4 times longer than usual to do our 80 lawns.
  5. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    So did you not mow for a week and a half? I dont know about others, but mowing in the rain is just part of the job here. Just go slower and dont expact perfection. Try to avoid the customers who you know will be picky.
  6. mosmgras

    mosmgras LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 270

    I keep several water proof poncho's in my truck just in case. If I didn't mow because it was raining, I'd fall way behind in a hurry. Like rodfather said, if you can afford to wait, you don't have enough accounts.
  7. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    I have Thursday and Friday open for minor landscaping, mulching, pruning, cleanups, chem apps. So when it rains I can move the mowing to these days. I'm like Rodfather who said, "you don't have enough accounts. But I mow in light rain but not in showers.

  8. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    No one likes to mow in the rain, but sometimes you have to. When we used belt-drive walk behind mowers, we simply couldn't mow in anything more than a light sprinkle because once the belts got soaked, the mowers simply wouldn't move.

    Our Ferris IS3000 does a pretty decent job of mowing in the rain.

    I am trying to think of any hints or tricks, but there really aren't any. You are going to have to cleanup clumps, you have to be really careful about wheel marks on the lawns, and you are going to have to look for grass that hasn't been cut because of clumps or wheels pushing it down.

    You could try having someone using a backpack while you are mowing, to blow apart the clumps and possibly reveal sections of uncut grass underneath. If you 2-stroke equipment starts running oddly, check the air cleaners. They may be soaked. Sometimes just tapping them on the side of the trailer might be enough to get back to work, other times you may have to return to your shop to swap them out for dry ones or at least blow them out with an air compressor (carefully!).

    I will always remember a few years ago. We had rain constantly for weeks, and had to mow. Full rain gear, constant swapping out of air filters, sometimes changing clothes at lunchtime. We learned to love the feel of wet leather workboots. One day, we finally went home early when we lowered the trailer ramp into 3 inches of standing water. Ah, memories!
  9. Shades of Green LService

    Shades of Green LService LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,011

    Only if it starts raining when i'm actually mowing. A light mist is fine. If you keep mowing the same people in the rain and their lawns continue to look awful, you can expect those people to find another service.IMO
  10. haybaler

    haybaler LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 511

    Raising the deck is a good suggestion, and then just pray it's dry the next time you mow it.

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