Gut check

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Scag48, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Well, made a critical mistake today. I got a call over a week ago for a lawn cleanup and weekly service thereafter. Took a look at the property last Wednesday, gave the price, and didn't hear back from the guy until Saturday. I was given the go-ahead to get started ASAP and with my schedule it was this Wednesday. Well I went to show up and the lawn had popped, it was long before, but it had grown a decent amount since I last looked at it. I should have told the guy my estimate was only good for about 2 days, but I didn't. So I at least go attempt to get the beast hacked down so I can at least hold some honor. Get there and it's out of control, I took a trimmer to about half of it to get most of the growth cut down, then tried mowing it. After about an hour, I completely gave up, basically impossible as the growth was too thick and the grass was at least 2 feet tall in places.

    So I called the guy, left a message, told him that I don't even have the necessary equipment to handle this job, unless he can handle just having a trimmer going over it, but that really wouldn't get it down to "lawn" status. I'm disappointed now, not really sure what to do, never had a lawn I couldn't get knocked down before. I was counting on having this lawn as I estimated $45 a cut and the property is super close to my house, not much travel time. Now I feel like I'm going to lose the whole bit, I just don't see any way of getting this jungle under control. I did tell him that I wasn't going to charge him anything for the time I spent attempting to tackle the beast, which I think is fair, I'm just not really sure where to go from here. If the lot was of smaller size, it'd be no problem, just bag it and go, but it's 9,000 square feet, I'm sure I'd fill up 3-4 truck loads of grass trying to bag it, easy. Any advice on this one? Like I said, in 8 years I've never had this kind of problem.
  2. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    I have retention areas that I have to use ramps to get into that were to wet to cut last year when they dried out I had 4-5 ft tall weeds. I ended up renting a billygoat brushcutter letting the cut grass dry for a week then I was able to get through it.
  3. Chop Stuff Up

    Chop Stuff Up LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    gravely bushhog
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    I've mowed down some serious cabbage before and 9k sqft lawn isnt that big. What kind of equipment are you using? Try subbing it out to some one who has a larger full sized rider. Even our 36 handled a 20k sqft lawn that was completely over grown, yeah it took us 3 hours but I bid it well and did ok, but after that the lawn was easy to maintain.
  5. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    if the guy is still willing to have you back, raise the deck as high as it will possibly go, cut it once or twice and lower it a bit and take a few weeks to lower the height and come more frequently. or, if there are woods to dump the grass, id cut a small area in the middle and then keep going into a circle blowing the grass into the middle, rake it up and dump it, it will be quicker than bagging, then go back cut it nice.
  6. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    Okay ... raining hard here in Indy, so I am on my 1st cup of coffee this morning, and my eyes are still trying to focus ... but ... I'm thinking, wait a minute. You say the property is only 9K ... less then 1/4 of an acre ... correct? Unless you are using a 21" push mower ... this shouldn't be all that hard to accomplish. Also ... I wish 1/4 lots here were going for $45.

    If it's just more then your mower can handle, either rent something to get it knocked down,, or hire someone to do the initial cut for you. Clean it up, and then stay on a regular mowing schedule after that.

    Good luck ...
  7. SoloSulkySurfer

    SoloSulkySurfer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 224

    I would rent a brushcutter ($50 rental for 4 hours ?) With that you could cut it in probably two hours. You wont make money on that cut, yet still have a decent account for the rest of the season. I wouldnt let that one go since it pays decent and is close to home JMO. By the way I have cut 2' high grass with my 48" bobcat and 1' grass with my 33" suetech.
  8. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    Call in a favor from one of your friends with a billy goat brush cutter. Borrow it or ask your friend to do it. Good luck - I'd call the man back and GET ER DONE.
  9. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Well, all I have right now is a 21" and I did raise the deck up as high as it can go. I can get it hacked down with a trimmer, but after that, what the hell do I do with the grass? Like I said, bagging is a ridiculously crazy option, it would be 2 truckloads of grass and with a 21", you'd be dumping the bag every 2 minutes and it's a 200 foot walk to the truck, access to the lawn is terrible. There's a 30" gate, can't get a w/b onto the lawn, it's in the middle of the city, nowhere to dump the grass except for the back of my truck and haul it away. The biggest challenge is that it's PNW grass, super thick and super wet all the time. I want this lawn, I may have to go to some extremes to keep it. I may just stop by there today and keep going with it, I have some time this afternoon.
  10. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    do you think it would possible to rig up 2 of your most powerful trimmers on what are called trimmer caddies, put them in front of the mower,(strap them to your handlebars) and running at full speed to where it's fairly easier to mow over?

    time consuming? yes, i'm sure it would be, but then what efficient option do you have?

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