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Western PA Landscapers!

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

  1. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,937

    I sure hope to get out before noon. Looking at the maps, I think we have an opening after 11:00 a.m. I worked ahead last night, knowing that today might be a problem. Tomorrow looks to be "iffy" too. Saturday looks very good, so may have a very long day on Saturday.

    Actually, we need the rain. Growth rates were depleting a bit last week, but the depletion is really noticeable this week. Yes, I have a couple that are still growing pretty well, but many that are dwindling, ... and fast. We have clearly moved from Spring growth, into Summer growth.
  2. planetlc

    planetlc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    Agreed Roger... i haven't had the chance to look at a map, but the hourly says somewhere between 60 and 80 percent the rest of the day
  3. McG_Landscaping

    McG_Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,738

    after looking at the radar I agree. I have one small blurb thats going to hit my area in the next half an hour and then I should be clear for a while. we also worked ahead last evening.

    roger did you ever get your mower fixed?
  4. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Haha We're all sitting here waiting it out.

    I was just about to head out a few mins ago when it started to pour - again.

    I worked ahead yesterday too while I had the chance. Got my "nice" lawns done.
    Can do the crappy ones today while wet - won't make a difference.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,937

    In progress, ... I hope.

    I talked with several places. The place on Frankstown Rd offered rentals. Interesting that they have ZTRs and Stand-on models that are often rented by the day. I guess some LCOs know they have an extra load of work for a day, stop in to pick up a rental for the day, then return it.

    I kept my discussions open with Steel City Plow and Mower. They are the ones that attempted the repair in February, and I felt they had some responsibility in the matter. They agreed, and offered me a loaner. Nobody else made that offer, but rather "Just bring it in, ... our turn-around time is 2-3 weeks." Yikes! This is the time of the year when 100% availability is a must. To be sure, this is a hazard of being a small operator and not having a backup. In 18 years, I had never been in this situation before. Obviously, my efforts in February to get the fix made was to insure 100% availability when the season began. I use my machine every day, six days each week. Some days it may only run for two hours, others more than that.

    Anyway, Steel City offered me a 48" ZTR, Husqvarna, with a 20(?) hp Kaw. I dropped my John Deere off last Friday, and haven't had the courage to call to ask for updates. I've heard nothing. My fear is it remains in the same location as I parked it when I took it off the trailer last Friday morning.

    So, I am managing with the loaner. I'm loosing a little time with the unfamiliar machine (maybe five minutes for every hour of work). I am on schedule, albeit 12 hour work days on Mon and Tue, and 11 hours yesterday.

    I figure that Steel City is the one place I have some leverage for a reasonable repair time. I have their machine! Dropping it elsewhere, the shop would not have as much incentive to get to work. Having said that, another shop may have taken a different approach, and turned it around more quickly. Who knows? My best hope that I get it back, FULLY repaired, and is good for the rest of the 2013 season. I cannot tolerate down-time -- not in my vocabulary!

    If the machine would have been problematic for me, it was not fitting my needs very well, or had other problems, I would have not thought twice about a replacement. But, the JD 717A fits my needs well, does a great job, fits well into my needs for my customer base, fits well on my trailer, ... all good things that give me every reason to keep it.

  6. McG_Landscaping

    McG_Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,738

    Nice! At least you found a loaner. I found out the motor on my turf tracer was shot and now I'm waiting on the replacement to arrive. It runs for now but its a struggle to get it started in the morning and it knocks real bad. As long as I fill her up with oil twice a day she continues to run
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,811

    Not a chance, nasty out there.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Rain's almost thru now. Gonna go do five small/medium lawns so I don't get too far behind.

    That's the beauty of push mowing small lawns that aren't pristine.
    No ruts and the lawns that are a mix of grass and weeds don't cut much differently when wet.
  9. Bumpmaster

    Bumpmaster LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,163

    To go mow, or not to go mow, that is the question?
  10. JimsLocalLawn

    JimsLocalLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 848

    They were calling for much worst than this, yesterday I called and rescheduled my customers...really wish I didn't do that! Right now it is not raining at all, and we didn't get the heavy thunderstorms they said we were going to get.

    Days like today are great days to change oil, filters, and clean equipment. Growth here (south of pittsburgh) has been slow this last week with the limited rain we had. I hope this year won't be as severe of a drought as last year, my clients are the "working class" and can not afford proper irrigation systems. Oddly enough when I called to reschedule my weekly clients they were not upset about it at all, they were happy because it wasn't growing much! All this and keep in mind I cut at 3" . No matter what I do I can not convince my customers to let me cut in the rain, they think it will clump ... and even when I show them it will not clump they still refuse service on rainy days!

    This is only my second year, so I am far from experienced like you guys are, but any tips would be much appriciated! I am not landing a lot of new accounts this year like I thought I would, yesterday I went out to give an estimate, the property was .25 acres in a very nice neighborhood. Lots of work there went unfinished prior, the flowerbeds were not edged, the trimming was sub-par at best, and it looks like whoever did it last didn't clean up the rock beds near the house... dead clippings everywhere! It was a mess, I estimated about 40 minutes worth of work (solo) so I qouted $40. The lady looked at me and said "that's outrageous, the last guy did it for $20"..... I didn't even have it in me to rebut this, so I just told her "you got what you paid for, and there is a reason he isn't doing lawns anymore" and walked away. I find myself in this situation with almost every new customer that calls .... *sigh*

    Is this common in your neck of the woods too?

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