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Western PA Landscapers!

Discussion in 'Network: North' started by 93Chevy, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. PAlawn

    PAlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    Defiantly made the right choice on those lawns. They are not worth keeping from that description and you have other work to take up your time anyway. I have turned down two jobs like the ones you described. Even though I don't have a lot of work (yet) it just is not worth it.
  2. DoubleClutch

    DoubleClutch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    Just got word that a local guy that was mowing in may area just decided to give up. I got 3 phone calls today from his customers and they all said he didn't give them a call , email or letter saying he was going out of business. They tried to get hold of him and he wouldn't return there call. Guess this week on for 3 weeks now. Myself I couldn't do that to someone.
  3. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 40,031

    That's terrible man, I kept my customers very appraised when I ended my services. I tried my hardest to find them somebody who would do good work for them after I was done.
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    The practice of just dropping off the end of the world seemed to be pretty common in late August or September. College kids worked for the Summer, went back to school, and just never showed up. In some cases, they didn't even collect the last payments. They just vanished, and the customer never received notice, or even call-backs upon inquiry. Several years running, I got new customers in that time frame because, "they just never showed up any more." I think last season was the first in a few years when none showed up. But, previous years, many new jobs.

    No, ... don't get it, ... especially not collecting the last payments.

    Gotta like the young kids ... NOT!
  5. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    I was mowing a lawn today when a public works truck pulled up at the vacant (for sale) house next door. The grass has not been cut this season - at all.

    Pretty ironic, as I had just given the owner a quote of $160 for the first cut and $45 biweekly after that. He said "no". "That's too much."

    I asked the public works guy if he was there about the grass (he was obviously writing down info while looking at the "lawn")
    He said he was and a letter was going out.

    I told him that I had quoted the owner $160 this morning and he turned it down.
    "Fair price", he said - "should have taken you up on it."

    Screw it. I'm not doing two months of work for nothing.
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Some of you may remember I posted in February about an oil leak on my Kaw 19hp - JD 717A Z-track,


    The problem was supposedly fixed, and I too thought it was fixed. After getting the machine back, I ran it several times, and saw no evidence of any further leaking. The simple repair was to tighten the valve covers.

    I had some doubts, but oil can make its way to strange places. I started the season, and the problem did not show. But, after a week or two, one drop, ... then more drops. The leak has gotten progressively worse. It is to a point where 3-4 small spots (1/2" diameter) are found underneath if it sits for 10 minutes on pavement, or a place where the spots are easily seen. I think I am adding about 2 cups oil about every 10 hours of running.

    Bottom Line: I am not going to work through the season with an ever-increasing oil leak.

    The work was done at Steel City Mower and Plow, Rt 88, South Hills. I've talked with them, and we agreed to make a gasket change on the covers. I bought new gaskets, and mounted them, but it changed nothing. I expect that the problem is crank oil seal top or bottom, or both top and bottom.

    I think I have run the machine about 80 hours since the first repair. It now has about 1,900 hours on the meter.

    I don't need to remind anybody about the need of 100% availability of equipment at this point in the season. This machine is critical to my operations. I run solo, use the JD 717A 48" deck, an Exmark Viking, 36" deck, and a Honda 21" hand mower. I use the JD on about 75% of the jobs, the large ones as one can expect.

    I am now confronted with the likelihood of having to give up my machine. One place quoted me three weeks for the absence of the machine. Another has quoted "a short time," but no more specifics. I am awaiting phone calls back from a couple of places.

    If I am missing this machine for a week, I'm sunk. I am now working mostly 11-12 hour days, 6 days. Yes, I can manage some properties with the 36" w/b. Others would take much longer than I can handle.

    Simple question: Is there somebody in this area that rents ZTRs?

    There used to be a company in Swickley that rented w/b and ZTR (Ferris, I think). But, I have not seen anything from them in several years.

    Anybody have a suggestion for a spare machine for a "short time," period yet to be determined? It was my plan to be certain to have this problem resolved in February. I knew that once the mowing season began, 100% availability was a must. I realize that having no back up machine is loaded with risk. But, at this stage, buying a second machine as back up is probably not an option.

  7. McG_Landscaping

    McG_Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,738

    I don't know of anyone who rents mowers but call 4 seasons power equipment in Hampton on route 8. Its a hike for you but since im a landscaper he normally turns my stuff around in a matter of 3 days because he understands the critical need. He may be able to lessen your wait
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 44,402

    We. Need. Rain.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. StockmanLawnscape

    StockmanLawnscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    Give Jeff or Kenny up at Penn Hills Rental a call. Great guys and they always help us out if we need anything. I think they might rent ZTRs. Wouldn't hurt to give them a call tomorrow.
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Thanks, McG .. and Stockman. I will follow on the phone with them tomorrow.

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