Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Evan528, Apr 28, 2001.

  1. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    I have been working solo for the most part (with the exeption big landscape installs) since I started in this buisiness 8 years ago. I am at the point now where I am so buissy doing landscape installs that I can hardly find time to cut grass anymore. I Came to the conclution that I must find help at least for the mowing aspect of my business. Over the past year I have tried 3 guys to help me mow. I ussually do all the mowing and have them doing the trimming and edging with the string trimmer. Every person I hire either can edge straight, cant trim without scalping or forgets to trim certain areas. When I tell people that I cant find anyone to help me that can actually use a trimmer properly they look at me like im crazy! "any idiot can mow lawns" they say. I truly cant find anyone to help me that works to my standard and have been forced to turn down many jobs this year do to not having help! I am working 12-13 hours a day and working 7 days a week just to keep up! where do you find help who can trim?
  2. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    weed wacking ....is like the frosting on the cake ....it takes lots of practice ...n' then more practice ;->
  3. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    I always had said this...always have new hires mow then work up to trimming. The difference between this company and that can be the trimming. Why leave that to a newbie..cutting is much easier than trimming.
  4. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    "any idiot can mow lawns"

    Which is why you should hire an idiot to do the trimming. Rocket scientists are good at polishing rockets lol but it takes an idiot to edge a straight line.
  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,555

    Trimming-I have the same problems,they always forget a few spots,or scalp into the dirt,once its scalped,weeds will take over.I wont let a new guy mow until he can trim,A mower can do much more damage than a trimmer if a mistake is made IMO.
  6. Hunter Landscape

    Hunter Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    man, y'all are speaking my language!

    sometimes my helper just doesn't seem to actually grasp the ideas of "don't weedeat any lower or any higher than the grass being cut, don't edge through any new grass in the beds, follow the already edged path. , etc, etc. i took him home early wednesday and said we were through for the day and i continued to work "the right way" until the evening.
    i know what you are thinking..... tell him and show him on how to approach these things. well, i have done both. i tell him these things and how to find a weedeating pattern for a yard and it never really seems to hit home. if it does sink in just a little, it is usually forgotten by the time we get to the next customer's home. then, once again i am mowing and constantly checking on what he has messed up, missed, or worse yet, completely forgotten. how can i make him give a ***t? or is it useless?

    i never want to feel ashamed of a less than perfect job done. lately i have felt that way.
  7. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    getting a man to do his best is what seperates the
    cream from the rest in the area of personnel managment.
    i know how to recognize these men ,and ive known a few who were unsurpased as supervisers etc.
    dont think i ever really joined the group though.
    wish i had
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,929

    Is part of the problem the terminology? Weedeater ..., what idea does that connote?

    I expect that most of use use string TRIMMERS for our trimming. Yea - it might sound picky. But, trimming implies some exactness, care, good results. But, WEEDEATING - that just means "knock 'em down." There is no need to take much care, just get the area cleared out of the high stuff.

    I've had many customers if I can "use my weedeater to clear away" some area. "No, because I don't have equipment to do that - my trimmer is intended for fine work at the edge of your lawn." And, that is truly the case. In most of the cases, the material to be cut is too big for a string trimmer anyway.

    Perhaps the attitude of the helper about what he/she is expected to do is tempered by what is said about the trimming process. Maybe not - just something to think about.

    P.S. Where did the term "weedeater" originate? Wasn't it the name of some product many years ago?
  9. Esby

    Esby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Well, I must be one of the few lucky ones. I hired a guy three years ago, he was a little rusty at first, but after 2 weeks he had mastered the trimmer, with in a month he could cut grass with the best of them. Great, long term employees are what to look for. Good luck searching.
  10. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    I would say that about 50% of the people that I have hired in the past can't weed eat for crap. I remember one perticular person that was weed eating the same spot when I was finished mowing and I had to drop him off at home right away.

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