New Guys can never weed Wack

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HHlandscaping, Apr 28, 2011.

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  1. Southern Pride

    Southern Pride LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 1,382

    I had 1 of the 3 friends I previously mentioned work with me today for the first time this season and he took his time and did really well. Thank the lord. First time I have not had to go behind my helper on every yard.
  2. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,644

    I tell guys to go fast as hell and accuracy will follow because a lot of times while learning they go real slow, and its more opportunity for the line to grab the ground and pull-same thing with the RPM's too low.
    fast seems to let them learn faster IMO
  3. People have a hard time bc they are scared to mess up...once you get confident it is second nature.
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  4. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,644

    Also, when guys tell me they have experience, the interview is my truck and trailer in my driveway loaded, and I tell them "edge 10 feet of my yard"

    Have weeded out the guys that "invented" their references that way.
  5. Southern Pride

    Southern Pride LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 1,382

    I haven't found that to be the case at all. Running with a trimmer is awful pointless when it's just me and my helper. Having them take their time delivers quality and if he get's done trimming and edging real quick, big deal? I find that even if he takes his time we both always finish right about the same time and jump on the blowers.

    I can see where some companies are more interested in the clock though, I'm just glad I don't have to sweat it.
  6. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    For the guys just starting out, think about this.

    I think it is all in the initial training and time you spend explaining things to the employee.

    You have to use the safety gear and wear the strap ergonomically
    so that when the trimmer hangs loose, it is in a natural position for your
    hands to comfortably hold the handle and trigger.

    If your wrists are bent at a strange angle you can end up with injuries.
    If you don't wear the shoulder strap correctly, you also put strain on your wrists
    and will end up with carpel tunnel syndrome.

    Alot of the key to trimming in my opinion, is in the way you balance the machine
    with the strap, and offset your movements as you walk or run along.
    There is alot of hand to eye coordination.

    You have to know how deep you can let the line go into the soil along the edges before it bends over and does a bad job. You have to keep the line cut clean with the guard,
    so that it operates properly and doesn't tear the grass or flail around.

    I see so many guys without guards, throwing rocks and doing a bad job.

    A regular horizontal trim is the easiest. It takes a while for some-one to be able to operate with finess and do vertical edging and tree circles at a gallop.
    What I call vertical edging requires you to turn the trimmer on its side, so
    that the line cuts towards the ground and doesn't send up flying rocks etc.

    I can emulate the look of a hard edger with a line trimmer, which saves me
    alot of time not having to dig out another tool all the time.

    I start people off in low profile areas and monitor their progress until they operate the trimmer the way that I want them too.
    Proper training and Safety gear used right from the beginning are important.

    Employers are also obligated to have employees read all equipment manuals and safety information.

    Having the employee sign off on each piece of equipment they are trained on is a good idea too. Keep the check list in their personel file.

    I need people who can cut and then trim without being monitored all the time.
    It takes less time to learn how to mow, so spend more time training people how to
    trim from the beginning.

    I hired a guy who had seven years experience, and he sucked at trimming.
    He used the machine upside down! He threw rocks every-where.
    His edges looked ragged
    I was unable to train him, because he thought he knew it all.
    Broken windows cost money.

    I hope this helps the newbies.
  7. Southern Pride

    Southern Pride LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 1,382

    lol you wear a "strap" with your trimmer? Oh lord...

    All you need is yo trimmer and your shades. Not the bs safety gloves, safety underwear, safety this safety that.
  8. ChristianJ318

    ChristianJ318 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    I've gone through a lot of Helpers because of their trimming abilities. Some have had years of experience and some had very light experience. My current guy has 6 yrs full time experience but still trims too low sometimes and I constantly have to remind him an edge IMO, is supposed to be 90 degrees but he always wants to edge at an angle (with a stick edger). Pisses me off to no end but I can't find anyone any better even though I'm willing to pay more than I should. If anyone knows a good way to teach someone please god post it! I've taught people the best way I know how and its still not working.
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  9. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,045

    What kind of unit is it? Give him a Husky 223 or 323 and he can use his pinky holding it. My trimmer "floats". You should be watching him trim and diagnose the problem from there.
  10. johnyredd99

    johnyredd99 LawnSite Member
    from gap,pa
    Messages: 163

    working for several different companies before starting my own I can say what is trimming to one company is crap to the other. when i started i had push mowed my own lawn. and w/ training and patience... I cant say that i'm the best but well cultured in trimming. after learning the basics, practice and common sense of how that area needs trimmed. for one company it was burn it to the ground so it wont need it next week for another everything had to look like a golf corse. but finally hate to admit while working for a woman she taught me the finese. and i learned to blend both worlds. burn the stuff that doesnt matter. manicure the stuff that does and skip that stuff that can be let go.
    I find the student even after 10 years of schooling can be taught by a good teacher. but only if he is still willing to learn.
    a weed whacker is just an extension of your arm. time teaches you how to use your handicap to your best abilities...
    not sure which is worse the stress of teaching a guy to do it your way or the stress of hiring yet another guy and then teaching him how to do it your way...
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