Mowing in the rain

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 93Chevy, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 38,336

    What are the disadvantages to mowing in the rain? Is it bad on equipment?

    Obviously, it would be tough to bag or vacuum, or it would disperse in clumps and not look as even, however this wouldn't be as much of an issues if weekly maintnence was kept up.

    I only ask because most people, obviously, don't mow in the rain. However, as I am in school Sunday through Friday, I only have Friday and Saturday to mow, and I have to whether it rains or not. So far I've been lucky.

    So my overall question is, how bad is it for the equipment?
  2. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    regardless of good or bad for equipment lawns look terrible cut in the rain...its easier to tear them up, it clumps everything, and if wet enough youll see all the tracks made from the tires in the mud....the only time the mowers run in the rain is if it starts raining while theyre in the middle of a lawn and need to finish
  3. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    If you have to mow in the rain, raise your deck up, only cut off half of what you would if it was dry. Next week go back to normal higth, if you can.
  4. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    it isnt always bad. if your cutting poor lawns that are heavily shaded with little growth, you probably wont notice anything. if your cutting a lawn you cut at 4.5" and it grows 4" a week, not only will it clump but the grass will be matted down by the tires. you need to use your judgement, if you do cut in the rain blow the clumps out with your back pack blower. as far as the equiptment, you might need to clean the underside of the deck out more. if its a belt drive WB, the belts may slip, other than that not all that bad.
  5. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,305

    Yeah. Avoid at all costs.

    -- You'll clump unless you move crazy slow. Which is a total waste of time.
    -- You'll turf the lawn with your turns and stops unless you're only running 21" mowers.
    -- If it's wet enough, you can actually do some serious rutting with the weight of the mowers plus you. And you'll pay the price for this for a loooooong time.

    On the up side, if you play your cards right, you can garner some pity from your customers for being the poor fool who has no options but to get soaked and miserable on a rainy day. ;)

    Rain days are days where you get to skip work guilt free. DON'T WASTE 'EM!!!!
  6. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    we do it all the time and it can turn out really nice. If the regular maintenance is kept up on the lawn then you will be fine.

    a plus side is that the lawn stripes great.

    it isnt a big deal for your equipment either, you'll be fine
  7. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 38,336

    Hey, thanks for the advice. It's supposed to be dry this weekend, but I can only cross my fingers for the following weeks. Now I won't feel as bad about cutting in the rain.

    I just hope I don't have to vac up wet leaves.
  8. DixieFerris

    DixieFerris LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 440

    It is one of the worst things you can do to your mowers. Belts get dry rot, as well can the tires and wear out much faster. You can spread diseases to your customers lawns very easily when the blade isn't cut well, and looks very poorly. We have all done a few of them in emergencies, but it's a terrible practice
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Shucks... in previous years you boys would have went broke in my neck of the woods. I would have waited out almost 3 seasons waiting for dry grass to mow there at one point.

    Mowing in the wet/rain is no big deal really.
    You just have to have the right equipment for the job.
    And of course you have to exercise common sense about soil conditions....

    Poorly drained soils and poorly graded sites are the only real issue. But witht he right equippment, you can mow over places you can't walk without sinking, so... And I also do not make a habit of making their problems my problems either... ya know?
  10. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    I avoid it at all costs, but sometimes you just have to.

    I guess my situation is different because this season I've just used walk behinds, but I've never had any tearing issues on even the most soft, soaked turf.

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