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Old Pros please lend me your tips on trimmer training :)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by RhettMan, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. green_with_envy

    green_with_envy LawnSite Member
    from pa
    Messages: 214

    Perfect simple answer for most flat situations in a nutshell. He is correct.
  2. betmr

    betmr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,663

    Start by having him read the owners manual....cover to cover.
  3. pitrack

    pitrack LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    Tell him it's better if the grass is left too tall compared to too short. Give him a nice shirt to wear, and glasses and tell him to take his time, and try to be as smooth as possible. And obviously to not bump the head in the grass for more string, and that you don't need to go full throttle to cut the grass...He'll catch on.
  4. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Stress to him that the disc created by the trimmer line needs to be perpendicular to the ground at all times, including uneven and sloping ground.

    One of the leading causes of scalping that I've seen(other than banging the trimmer head in the grass to advance the line) is tilting that disc out of level or perpendicular with the angle of the area you're trimming.

    There are some exceptions to this, IE the disc should be pointed downwards towards the edge of a bed if you're trimming a bed.

    Running the trimmer right-to-left as often as possible along bed edges keeps it from flinging grass into the bed.
  5. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,199

    Trimming is all about geometry.
  6. br549oicu8

    br549oicu8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,230

    That does NOT work for us. We mow between 3 1/2 and 4 inches during the summer here so if you let the head touch the ground you are way too low. My guys have to learn to trim at the mowing height. It takes practice and a good touch. Once accomplished, the entire lawn looks so much better than having lower, scalped areas that stick out like a sore thumb. Not only can you see the height difference, you can see the color difference in the turf as it heats up and gets dryer during the summer.
  7. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    This height is too low for good turf health around sidewalks & driveways.
    If a guy wants to do the job right, they'll trim sidewalks & driveways EXACTLY level with the recently mowed turf immediately adjacent to it.

    Q: Where do customers & contractors see weeds most in a lawn?
    A: Along concrete or asphalt perimeter edges, where string trimming is done.
    Q: Why?
    A: For multiple reasons- because the soil dries out faster there & tends to crack, because of the higher likelihood of compaction due to vehicle / foot traffic. But the worst culprit by far is improper edging / string trimmer practices stunting the turf, and thus opening the door wide open for viney weeds like spurge, purslane & crabgrass.

    Many people in the mowing industry no doubt believe crabgrass pre-emergents like Barricade, Dimension & Pre-M are the end-all answer to aforementioned perimeter weed problems.

    This is not necessarily true.

    #1- If the turf along these edges isn't satisfactory dense enough to begin with, of course then there's no natural competition in place against inevitable weed encroachment. (Talk to the client about renovation & seeding come July/early Aug)
    Even the best pre-emergent out there will do little if anything to prevent the inevitable by mid summer.

    #2- If the grass perimeter edge is edged back cleanly & properly just before the spring application of pre-emergent, the likelihood of weed breakthroughs later in the year lessen significantly, IF...

    #3- .....during the growing season, mowing crews trim back these perimeters not to the 'nub', but very close to the height of the adjacent turf.
    Doing this helps to preserve the 'turf canopy' that provides shade to the underlying soil, thus maximizing & preserving important soil moisture along this plane & lessening the likelihood of potential soil cracking, which of course in general will reduce the overall number of weeds.

  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    NEVER let the trimmer head touch the ground. this will trim too short and could risk scalping. if anythin better to be a little high and a little low.

    yes running the trimmer right to left will keep most of the grass out of the mulch beds.
  9. Sweet Tater

    Sweet Tater LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,123

    doesnt that depend on the moving direction of the string, my first trimmer was counter-clock-wise, now the one I have is clockwise
  10. Rivervalleylawns

    Rivervalleylawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    I always try to explain it to them as a fan. Keep the head even on the ground like the other guy said. Keep it slow and easy with him. Like wine, they will usually get better with wine.

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