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Here's one for ya...


LawnSite Member
Newport News, VA
Today I'm mowing for a customer I've had for 15 yrs. One of my very first. On one side of him is another customer, on the other a couple that I've done limited work for. This couple, elderly, have always been very friendly: waving, chating etc. I finish cutting the front and head for the back yard. There's a tight little corridor between the customer's and the elderly couples side yards that I'm able to squeeze through with my 48" Toro. A big oak on one side and a shed on the other. It's really the only way to get back there because on the other side is a steep hill to climb. Anyway, when I get to the corridor I find a landscaping timber blocking the way. I move it and proceed to cut the back. I had to dump the grass and come back for a second time to finish the back. What do I find? You guessed it: the timber has returned. I get off the tractor and move the timber again. By the time I'm back on, the elderly gentleman is there screaming that this is his yard. Eyeballs and veins popping out. I kept going while he proceeded to try and kick the timber back in the way. Keep in mind, I've been cutting and going this same way for 15 yrs. and now this guys getting territorial. I don't have a clue what his problem is. Also its I'm not convinced its his property and even if it were I'm not doing any damage. Sorry to be so long winded but I needed to get it off my chest.


LawnSite Bronze Member
If it really is his property, you may have an issue. If you're legit and its not his property you are riding on, keep doing what you do and if he keeps on with the timber or gets meaner, be sure and have your cell phone handy so you can call the police and let them deal with him. But be ready to protect yourself. Old people can get violent like anyone else, especially the ones that try to kick timbers in front of your mower.

Strange that he would suddenly pull that. . .but one thing is for sure, something caused it. Could be his wife nagging him, could have other issues, or maybe he realized he's getting old and isn't going to take crap from anybody else no matter how insignficant. . .people do that kinda stuff ya know. . .


LawnSite Fanatic
Old people are tough to deal with you are probably screwed. Like the previous person said it is likely something caused this. Old people don't like big loud equipment and that may be the problem. And maybe the neighbors are having a fight and you are caught in between.

The Captain

LawnSite Senior Member
Metro St.Louis
Talk to your customer about this. 1)They may know what's got the old guy stirred up. 2) They may know where the property line actually is. 3) If they can't/won't help you maybe you should talk to the neighbor your self and explain the situation and problem for you getting to that rear yard. He may or may not listen, but its' worth a shot. Even as P.O.'ed as you were, you probably shoudn't have just blown him off.

Just my dimes worth.


LawnSite Member
So if its the old guys property then what? So if you just say screw you I have to get to the back yard where can he go from there? Seriously.
What he calls the cops?? Would that be trespassing and you could be arrested???


LawnSite Senior Member
Indy, Indiana
I ran into a similar situation in a very rural area I was working in several years ago. I had to cross a cornfield with a dirt drive that had this old ladies house at the end. This was the old ladies driveway legally. Anyway I had to drive probably 1/2 mile through the field and short way in woods then through a pretty good size creek. Right before the creek there was a stack of logs. I just thought it was the old ladies firewood, so I swerved around it at a reasonable speed. There was corn stocks and debris but it did not look too muddy, but it was actually in the corn field. Also this is late fall early winter so the corn had been harvested. I sank to my axel. I had four wheel drive and began to work my way out when this old guy with the cataract glasses came out and his old wife had come up behind me and started throwing logs behind my tires and at my truck. I almost bust out laughing but these elderly people are furious and yelling and cussing. I am really there on a legimate business venture. To make a long story shorter I get out and suggest to the old fart he cease and desist or something really bad might happen to him like a broken hip. His old wife actually snuck up behind me with a log and I think she was thinking about booping me with it. These peopel are like 70"s +. A this point I start to get angry myself. All I had done was drive a few feet into their cornfield and there were tring to keep me there against my will. This is really crazy so I call the local sherrif. At this point I am in my truck, the sherrif is miles away and this old fart now has a hand gun. I am thinking damn, am I gonna have to shoot an 80 year old man with cataract glasses?
I stay in my truck and these old people are kinda walkin around it and throwing logs and rocks around my tires. This is so bizarre. Anyway the police finally arrives and calms the old people down. He knew I was there on legimiate buisness by tallking to the old lady across the creek. The sherrif started to get on me about driving into there cornfiled even if only a few feet. Then I pointed out logs under my tires had been stacked in the drive so I had to drive around them. A trap by elderly people. Also you could see where the logs had been stacked in the wet dirt on the drive. Then the cop turned on the old people. Seems there had been a little fued going for a few months, and these old people were at the verge of shooting each other over a dispute over land and a new survey. The cop told them I got free passage and if I had to call him again the old folks would go to jail. A dispute between these old people could have eaisly escalated to getting someone hurt. I did not realize this is such a long story. But the landscaping timber could be a trap like these old people set for me, trying to get you to do something so they can use it agaist the people he is really po'd at. I tried to get the cop to make the old people dig out the logs around my tires but the old farts did not seem near as spry when they were not trying to kill me.


LawnSite Senior Member
New Jersey
I'd say the old geezers are mad at each other and your in the middle. Look for utilities. If your going down a rite of way your not tresspassing.