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Mowing Retention Ponds

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tjcezar, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. tjcezar

    tjcezar LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 237

    How many of you guys mow retention ponds? What equipment are you using? I am looking at multiple ponds for a bid that range from 1 acre up to 5 acres. Do you charge more because of the chance of dealing with the soggy ground. I am figuring at least 15% more for the hazard. Also any one have to use a 4X4 tractor with mower cause of soft ground in the bottom of ponds? Does your rate change for the tractor compared to Z? Any input on this topic is appreciated. :cool2:
  2. wanabe

    wanabe LawnSite Senior Member
    from So. IL
    Messages: 943

    I have mowed dry ponds before(catch all the rain runoff) and they are always a mess. There will always be a wet spot that you will rut up or get stuck. Very hard on equipment, mud bogging and running the blades in standing water. I would charge more to cover spindle bearing damage along with hydro damage, and just the agrivation of getting stuck in a mosquito pit!
  3. rclay11541

    rclay11541 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    stay away from these things unless you have crap equipment that you plan on repacing anyway. The grass insn't just grass there is always debris mixed in from construction. You will almost always get stuck if it has rained within a copule weeks and as mentioned mosquitoes and bees hang out in them not to mention snakes.

    But if you got some crappy equipment that you dont care about lets say a couple of crappy old WB that you use as back ups then use them and watch yourself.

    Hope i helped.
  4. tjcezar

    tjcezar LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 237

    I was actually thinking of doing the bottom of the ponds with a 4X4 tractor and mower. Think that would work better?
  5. rclay11541

    rclay11541 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I like using the WB for the sides and the bottom. Do not put a rider in the bottom of a basin man you will regret it. I have sunk every kind of machine you can imagine in these things, heavy riders are not fun to get out & AND IMO they tend to tumble down alot easier We use the riders for the tops of the basins and WB for in them. I have never lost a rider in one of these ponds but i know plenty of guys who have; they do like your planning and drive them in the bottom then they get stuck or the flip as there going down.

    Keep in mind that almost all the basins that ive done are Very steep and VEry tall sides. I mean if its a 10 foot side at a 20% grade then go for it but if you think its possible that the machine will flip then it eventually will.
  6. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    I mow one with a 595 4x4 JD - and it is no problem, however this one drains good, and I do not have to put up with soggy bottom areas. I only have to deal with the steep side hills, which is no problem with the 4x4.
  7. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    I have multiple accounts that have retention ponds - mowing them isn't an issue.
    Try an Allen Hover Mower - they work great and are easy to use.
  8. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    I mow a couple. One I can use the Z, its normal grass and the soil has a lot of clay in it so its very hard around here..... ANother one I do I need to use a WB... It is very steep... I once lost the WB on the hill and it rolled into the heavy brush in the center of the detention pond.. Lucky I was able to Back it up and pull my way out of it..
  9. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    How about using a quad runner ATV with a pull behind mower deck the high flotation tires shoudl help....all depends on how much you want to spend on the equipment....
  10. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    The few that I have done were a royal pain. Just like above posts have stated, so easy to get hung up with just about anything you use. It does not take much of even a mucky film to get your turf tires slick and before you know it your hung up. Ones that go dry off and on are the worst.

    It is so hard to figure into your price how many times you might get stuck and how much time you will lose each time.

    Last year, I watched A local LCO have the time of his life every Thursday for several months. I seen it all, I felt so sorry for them. They used everything from a 4x4 batwing down to WB's. They even got a 4x4 chevy hung up twice getting the batwing out and it was all on flat ground higher than the pond. Other noticable thing was they were never stuck in the same spot, so it was not like they were not avoiding known trouble spots.

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