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Live oaks clogging air filters

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Jay Ray, May 11, 2004.

  1. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    Mowed a yard where the live oaks were dropping catkins and pollen like crazy, carpeting parts of the lawn. eMark wb made it thru but 21" trim mower didn't.

    Had to replace the air filter on both machines before doing the next lawn. Washed the old filters (1 week and 2 weeks old) later and they cleaned up fine, but can't wash & dry filters in between lawns. Compressed air only gets the big clumps of pollen out.

    I explained to the customer that new filters would have to be installed after each mowing in dry weather until the live oaks were done dropping the stuff -- and I would have to pass these operational costs on to him because they are specific to his property. The customer thought it was not his problem, so I lost him. The money was fair except for this oak problem.

    Has anybody come up against this, and did I overlook an easy solution that could have kept the customer? I can put up with the green jeans and wash the machines that night, but I'm not willing to eat the cost of the filters or wash them for free. I have no idea about how long this stuff keeps falling from live oaks, but it is really nasty to mow over it.

    I understand my quote should have been higher to cover the problem in the first place, but I didn't think it would be so bad.
  2. BW4486

    BW4486 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Yea happened for first time yesterday, I just beat the big stuff out until I could get somewhere to wash it out ( 21" )
  3. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    Dont your mowers have a foam pre cleaner wrap on them. Also I would have to agree with the customer, Its not his problem and should not be expected to pay extra.
  4. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    Have the foam pre-cleaner wrap, Kubota Fan, but the oak pollen goes right through it. And maybe you're right about it not being the customer's problem. If this gets to be more of a recurring problem, am thinking about piping an old Land Rover cannister type filter to the eXmark.
  5. BW4486

    BW4486 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    my push mower doesn't have a foam pad
  6. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    Found out that it is only the male live oaks that drop this stuff. The females just drop leaves and acorns. How to tell the difference when nothing is dropping? Don't know, but thought this might help anyone thinking of buying property with live oaks on it -- might be good to consult an arborist.

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