Striping question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by burns60, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. burns60

    burns60 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    Around here you see very little striping. About the only place you see such is on the University baseball fields. I have a couple of yards that would look really great with some striping. They are about 5 acres of flat good sod. Don't know if the customers would go for it or not. My questions: Do you stripe as you mow? What do you do about turn arounds? Can you raise the deck to some point that the striping kit does not touch the ground? How do you price this kind of work? That will be enough for now, but I am sure I will have other questions if I decide to do this.
  2. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    Burns we stripe as we mow its part of the mower. (kit) and if you raise the deck , a lot of the time the kit is attatched to the rear of the deck so you would be cutting uneven throughout the entire lawn. It doesn't take anymore time to stripe so the price would still be the same. IMO it just looks like its a more manicured lawn when its striped.
  3. walshdevo10

    walshdevo10 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    Nobagger is correct. Also I would ensure you can keep a straight line with your mower otherwise you'll end up with a lawn not with stripes but curvy slop.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well yes same thing here, haven't seen a single lawn around with stripes so I JUST bought a 48" striper for my WB and yes I should've ordered a smaller one BUT a 44" striper will still get caught, as will the 40" and how much smaller do you want to get? They say 30" but that's baloney because now I'm inside the tire width and besides, 48" covers the whole width of the cut and it's much heavier and does a fine job.
    First thing I did is get a couple clevis pins and re-did the attachment portion of it so I can quick-connect it with some trailer-clips. Before I had to bolt it on and off and that takes too long.
    The striper is heavy (50 lbs or so) and on my ultra-light (300lb) WB I can tell there is a difference (speed and handling). It takes some practice but most of all I gots to go slower around obstacles due to fear of catching (and I mean FEAR because that thing will stop your WB on its tracks and send you into and over the fixed bar). All in all, just be careful.
    It does take longer because I can no longer follow my no-nonsense pattern.
    What I used to do is drive around the whole perimeter twice with the chute towards the inside, then turn around and drive further towards the center with the chute facing out to disperse clippings evenly.

    Alas with the striper you HAVE to do straight lines. Yes I tried a crop-circle and they are correct, it looks like crap. Then you have to go back-and-forth and keep straight but it looks really good. I did it while cutting I went back-and-forth and then criss-cross but then I turned the blades off and went back-and-forth one more time like that.

    It works with blades off but to save time, use it while cutting, too. I only use it with blades off once it's cut enough but I want to re-emphasize a bit.

    So, it DID take more time and it likely always will but then it takes extra time anytime I want to do a good job and this striping looks so good, it is WORTH it! It is worth every penny of that 300-dollar striper, talk about great advertising.

    Should you ask? Well I did a couple of my fancier yards without asking until after I was done (hehehe) and they LOVED it! You will likely run into someone one day who will not like it but I think most people will not mind but you might ask at some time.

    Should you charge?
    Here is how I tell my customers:
    It does take longer but so long you leave it up to me, I will never charge extra. Now if it becomes a special request OR you want to have it done every time then maybe 5-10 bucks but if you just leave me to my own devices you won't have to worry about a thing.

    Works like a charm:
    - You will likely be able to do it whenever you feel like it (of course at no extra charge) and you don't have to do it (like when you're way busy).
    - If they absolutely want it everytime, then it's extra :)

  5. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    Even with a striping kit on your mower, blade type is also a factor. On one of my mowers, high-lift blades didn't stripe but gator blades did.

    When I bought my Exmark 44 HP, it didn't stripe well at first. I found it is critical to align the deck making sure there is a 1/8 height difference (rake) from front to back.

    All of that technical stuff doesn't matter if you are cutting the wrong type of grass. If you are in Mississippi, the grasses you normally see won't stripe that well. Fescue will, but Bermuda will not give you much of a defined striping effect.

    You mentioned the baseball fields. What you may have seen there is Ryegrass overseeded in the Bermuda. Ryegrass stripes very well, but you won't see it in your area in the Summer.

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