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Know it all customer

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by clc2003, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. clc2003

    clc2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ia
    Messages: 284

    I have a question for you guys that know your S**T about mowers. One of my customers will complain every year about the cut on his lawn. I went to his place this week to look at his complaint and it was legit. It didn't seem to cut evenly. Not exactly sure why but I had some strips with longer grass. He treated his lawn for the first time and it is growing out of site. I tried to tell him that I might need to more more often during the rainy season instead of bailing hay. He asked me if by blades were sharp and how often I sharpen them. I told him that I had just used my mower before going to his house and it looked good. I told him that I would sharpen my blades before I came back to mow again. Then he brings up the Mandrels? Is he talking about the Spindles? I think he is but I am not sure. I have mentioned that to him and then he argues with me about it and basically tells me that he knows everything and I know nothing. :realmad:

    He lives in the high end of town and has owned his own business over the years and thinks he can tell me what to do when ever he wants and it is ok. I don't want to tell hiim off because he is a real good paying customer and his step son is across the street who is also a real good customer. I am short on acounts and can't afford to lose these accounts and I havn't even raised prices in last 3.5 years even with gas prices!

    His stepson is a great guy that I like alot, but acts like its no big deal for me to mow when he wants it mowed instead of having a schedule. Just like how I mowed his yard last Sunday because he was afraid it would get too long with the rain that was predicted. So I agreed since my tee time was cancelled. I told him that it wasn't going to happen again and he said ok. Now I saw him today and he wants me to mow on Monday since he has relatives coming into town so it will look nice. I told him that it will be over a week since last mowing and I can't do that, especially since dear old dad is complaining about his yard across the street. So then he says how about Sunday! :angry: :realmad: Do they not get it.

    Sorry for rant, but it has been eating at me for the last couple days and since I was on here I thought I would share with u guys.

    P.S. Mandrels? Spindles? same or different? Does this clown ******** or outdated or what.

    Thanks again guys
  2. lwcmattlifter

    lwcmattlifter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 859

    The only mandrels I have heard about on a mower are mandrel bends. (i.e. the handlebars have mandrel bends) What make/model/size mower are you running? Check your tire pressure and blade spacers. I think that if a spindle bearing was cutting that bad you would hear the bearing noise. Measure your blade height in several different points of the rotation to see where its off. Also check the deck bolts. They can work lose and cause the deck to shift. I had an older Metro that was making uneven cuts and it turned out that the spindle shaft was not pressed in all the way. I was rushing to replace bearings and did not look at the scribe mark on the shaft. It was about 1/8 to high. It made a nice uneven cut.
  3. lwcmattlifter

    lwcmattlifter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 859

    I forgot to add...check the front casters for play. A bad sloppy roller bearing can sometimes cause a lumpy cut.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    He's probably right about the Mandrels. Barbara is alright, but Louise and Irlene don't know the first thing about a nice cut. :p

    Seriously, though...I don't know what this guy does for a living, but in all actuality, HE is the one that doesn't know what he's talking about. What a mandrel is, is a piece of steel that is used the bend another piece of steel. Hence; the term mandrel bent handlebars. I don't know how well paying of an account this is, but I would be walking. You are letting these guys dictate to you how your business is run. Pay wise,...what are your Sundays worth? It also sounds like it's rubbing off on the son a bit. You know these guys talk. If they are able to run you like that, they will. I'd be telling them.
    "I will cut on this day. This is your day. Though there are other days like it, this one is special because it is your day. This is the day you will be cut. If this is not fulfilling to your needs, then I suggest you find someone else who is willing to come in and cut on whatever day you feel is deemed adequate. Perhaps the kid down the road can accomodate you."
    I would then say "Have a nice day."

    Incidentally, I don't know exactly what your mower is doing as far as uneven cuts, but also check the belt slippage...it could be leaving streaks by knocking grass over from slipping. I hope this helps.
  5. jim dailey

    jim dailey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    YES, spindles have also been known as Mandrels. When the riders first came out, they (spindles) were known as mandrels. Now, guess my age !!! The cut I can't help you with...I can't see it from here !!!
  6. PLM-1

    PLM-1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,640

    Correct. My grandfather used to call them that. He was the owner of a mower parts distributor so I think he knew what he was talking about!
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    yes they are also called mandrels...

    yes they could be cuasing the problem...

    so could a few PSI difference in tire pressure.
  8. Sweetwater

    Sweetwater LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Could also be he does not allow you to mow "on schedule"! I'd put both of them on contract or walk away. If the cuts looks bad after one pass and its 8+" high it is not your fault, but you are going to have to double mow. Get them "on schedule" or really raise your price. The tall turf is hurting your gear anyway.
  9. Grass Man

    Grass Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    .... In my opinion, for what it's worth, I would be raising prices. You are NOT keeping up with the cost of things. As far as the mower goes, I would inspect the tire pressure, blade sharpness, height adjustment and verify the adjustment of your anti-scalping wheels and you might want to check belt tension as well. With this done and set correctly I can't think of anything else unless you have excessive wear on your hard wheels. That's about all you can do :blush:.

    .... Good luck.
  10. lawnranger44

    lawnranger44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I agree, if you are mowing somewhere else and it looks fine, then you mow there and it looks bad, its probably because you're not mowing often enough. Judging from what you said, it sounds like it is fast-growing grass that should be mowed every 4-5 days in May and June.

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