Power Rake Compaint

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by lukemelo216, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    So a week ago me and an employee go and do a power rake at a hoa we take care of as well as the house of the president. We are running a parker power rake and a blue bird power rake. When the parker goes it leaves wheel marks, no matter how much you overlap.

    The customer calls me today and complains about it, and I explained that no matter how much i overlap with the machine, it still leaves the tire marks. Then he procedes to say we didnt do another area, which I continue to explain that we used another machine there and it just leaves a much different finish.

    He then says that we tore up his lawn. Which I explain that, that is waht happens in a power rake or dethatch some areas get pretty torn up because the teath are in a fixed location and when they reach elevated ground compared to the back end, they end up digging in deeper and doing a true dethatching which takes out a lot of the lawn.

    I explained this over a vmail message, he didnt pick up when I returned his call. I offered to come by and seed the areas that were heavily torn up.

    Basically his lawn just looks like it was striped, but he doesnt like that the grass where the wheel marks stands up more and looks "longer". We dont mow after power rakes just blow it into piles and pick up.

    I cant wait for the response.
  2. WLC26

    WLC26 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I always go over it with a mower and bag it. Leaves a nice clean appearance. Im using a bluebird rake as well.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Ripping at the grasses, especially early in the spring was thrown out as a good idea a long time ago...


    "... As thatch levels accumulate to greater than 1/2 inch, lawn problems may begin, and the thatch needs to be controlled. Thatch may be torn out with a dethatcher or vertical mower, but will most likely return unless the cause is corrected. Mechanical dethatching is also very destructive to the lawn because roots are in thatch instead of soil, so plants tear out easily. Overseeding is usually required afterwards. For this reason, it's best to tear out thatch in late August for optimum reseeding timing...."
  4. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    I agree with that. Thats why I started to do power rakes as oppose to dethatching. Because a true dethatch is extremely stressful on the lawn like that article states. Our power rake just takes out a small layer, but even still that is extremely stressful on the lawn. I really try to steer customers away from power rakes and sell them on aerations, but some people just get it in there heads that power rakes are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Then I they dont want the full service of power rake, seed, and starter fertilizer. And it just looks stupid.
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Are you running one of these on your Blue Bird? These are spring tines and are less harmful over using flails. If you get aggressive it will still scorch the lawn.

    The whole "hey I have thick dormant grass can you scrub this out" so I must need power raking dethatching is way over rated. This crowd is very hard to please. They want more taken out and then than gripe about a scorched lawn. You missed a spot or that high spot really took a beating.

    They are looking for instant results. Don't bother me with the facts their mind is already made up. :hammerhead:

    A low early spring mow to remove dormant grass is better option. Even that is debatable.
  6. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    Ya dethatching with flail blades can be hard on the lawn, just need to put it to the right settings, but even then on uneven ground, some places will be more damage than other. But dethatching takes a lot of bad stuff away, you just need to over seed and water right after to help it out.

    It might sound at first as your doing more harm than good with dethatching, but with more sunlight and nutrients reaching the soil, and not the thatch, the results will speak for themselves later in the summer.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The other thing about it is, the lawn grasses can use that cover for healthy root growth and soil structure as the stuff decays... Then too, perpetuating the problem with early Spring fertilizing and over watering, makes the situation even worse, by fall... the time when thatch and overseeding is more readily done...

    If a customer asked for something then whined about it later, that is 2 strikes on him. I then explain the way it could or should be done and if there was still a problem with his attitude, then strike 3 gets me out of there.

    Remember, we do this job for fun... :)
  8. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Sometimes I see people thatch when the lawn is to wet and you will tear lawn up
    dry lawn is only time you want to thatch
    If they dont full deal then move on
    I did 125 this spring so far.
    When I thatch they get seed,fertilizer some may get lime If they only want the thatching and I can t talk in to full treatment then I move on
    Thick Lawn I use a Power Rack now in thin lawns I use a drag thatcher
    power rake is hard on thin lawns
    I run a power sweeper for clean up

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