mowing/mower advice

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by badbackinmn, Mar 1, 2003.

  1. badbackinmn

    badbackinmn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I have a 1/3 acre yard with a large hill in front - after a back injury I could no longer mow the yard myself (down hill was the problem - tried a gas self-propelled but was too heavy) so signed up with a service. Great guy, very reliable and reasonably priced but his gigantic mower tears up my yard (especially when he mows right after rain) so badly I have to reseed large areas every year. I have offered more $ if he would "hand mow", but he is not interested. All the lawn services here use the big mowers, so I am thinking about options for doing it myself (no neighbors are available for hire). It seems as if an electronic is my best choice, but I am having a hard time determing if this would work for me. Any advice would be appreciated very much.
  2. KCLandscape

    KCLandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 524

    Sounds like your guy needs to slow down a bit and avoid the rainy days. There are yards that need reseeding/overseeding every year anyway. It shouldn't be that hard to mow without the damage...
  3. ParkerLawn

    ParkerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 512

    KCLandscape is right, if they slow down it shouldn't damage your lawn. Speed and not knowing how to properly use a mower are the only reasons a mower would damage a lawn.
  4. MN Wildwood

    MN Wildwood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    If they have any commercial walk behind mowers I would ask them to use them, most companies I know have at least 1 large 44-52" W/B, they are a lot easier on the ground compared to the riders. Ask them also about their rain policy, some companies will mow during a down pour, others will not mow for a set period of time after rain.

    Where in MN are you located?
  5. badbackinmn

    badbackinmn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I am located in Richfield, one block outside Minneapolis city limits. He does use a "walk behind" but mows right after rain - says he has to in order to keep his schedule. Right now I am starting to check out other providers, but it seems - if you will pardon the expression - something of a "**** shoot". Wish I could do it myself! Do you know of a company you could suggest?
  6. MN Wildwood

    MN Wildwood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    Unfortunately I do not know of any companies in or around Minneapolis. It somewhat of a toss up, you say he is reliable and well priced. Depending on what other companies would charge, if his prices are lower and depending on re-seeding prices for the areas things could possibly turn out a wash interms of overall price.

    Possible suggestions:
    If the grass does not grow much everyweek and if some reason it does rain see if he would pass on those weeks. Ask him to alternate directions of mowing if he does not already so that tire tracks do not keep going over each other. I really do not think one of the electronic mowers would work well on a hilly yard ~14,000 sq ft. If need be pray it doesn't rain on your mow day?

    The hardest thing facing you is that you say he is reliable which is one of the hardest things to find. I wish I had more ideas to offer you right now. MN Wildwood
  7. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,655

    Sounds like you need to have a conversation with your provider. I mow wet grass all the time and except for a few tire marks I have never damaged a yard so badly that it needed reseeding. Tell him you like thet fact he's reliable, but you don't want hime to tear up your yard. Suggest he slow down or offer to pay him for the extra five min. he needs to do the job he's already being paid for. Remeber, YOU are paying HIM to mow YOUR lawn.
  8. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Look for another service, PERIOD. I can mow in the rain and not hurt the grass. I use WB mowers, but that does really matter. I good cutter will turn "correctly" and not wreck the ground. Futhermore, a "good service" will "have" WB's to cut your smaller acreage, and not beat up the lawn. Don't let lowend landscapers try to tell you they can't cut the lawn without hurting it, that's just BS.
  9. ToG

    ToG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    has anyone suggested a hover mower. seems like everyone has something to say about keeping or changing you lco, but if you really are interested in doing it yourself, i would look into one of these. as far as your large hill, i've heard that you are able to tie a rope to the mower and let it hover down the hill and pull it back up. in doing this i can see how reaching all areas may become a prob though. in case your wondering, a hover mower is like a hovercraft, it has no wheels, it rides on a cushion of air. they are mainly used on golf course greens, but in your case it may be just what you're looking for.
  10. A homeowner can wait for the most ideal weather conditions to mow his own lawn. A lawn company sometimes has to cut in less than ideal conditions to keep on schedule.
    I've never had trouble matching the quality of cut. Because you don't really need ideal conditions to mow the lawn unless you have a crummy little homeowner quality mower with a deck only a couple of inches deep.

    But mostly if you'd really rather be mowing the lawn yourself, nobody can do it to your satisfaction. Because they'll never mow it exactly as you would.

    I don't think an electric mower would be much advantage to you. Besides being a real PITA to operate they can be dangerous if you accidentally cut the cord. It sounds like the hill's the problem, not the mower.

    If you're disabled, having your lawn cut is tax deductible. And if you are disabled, you don't want to get caught mowing your own lawn.
    There must be thousands of lawn companies. Each with their own particular way of mowing your lawn. Just tell the new guy exactly why you didn't like the old guy.
    If you find yourself saying things like "he mowed too fast" or "he was gone in 20 minutes" or "his mower was just too big" that's pretty typical of a good contract lawn mower. You'd be happier hiring a day laborer to operate your mower. Just be prepared to pay a lot more.

    On the other hand, if he was "tearing up the lawn" or "the machine was just so loud it gave me a headache every time he came" these are problems the new guy can address.

    Just my $.02 worth.


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