Would have chased me with a bat!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOW ED, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    We have this little corner of 4 properties that we call widows corners. 3 Of the 4 are on the river so they are high value properties and we have been mowing this corner for 8 years. The middle property is occupied by a lucky widow who remarried but we still consider her in the club. Her property is the one I am gonna tell you a story about.
    This property is aprox 22,000 sq feet of lawn the front is about 15k of that and it is flat. On those flat areas are some of the largest silver maple trees in the county along with some pines. All are very mature trees. Bottom line is that the front is very shaded.
    We have had 9"+ of rain in May which makes things difficult to start. We mowed last week on Friday and it was wet but there was no standing water. My wife actually uses the Toro 44"WB on the front and I do the back hills to the river with the Walker.
    As we started mowing the old lady is comes out and motions me to stop and come to her. I turned the mower off and nicely said hello. She begins to tell me that we should not mow today because the ground is too wet. The lawn was at least 5" and it has not rained since Monday. She continued to say that last week she came home and saw that we mowed and she was so mad that she would have chased me with a baseball bat if we would have been there. She said the heavy mower was tearing up her yard and it looked terrible.
    Now I could have went down one of 2 paths but being she is usually a good customer and never has a problem I went into my explaining mode. I first explained that I cannot economically mow her yard with a 21" push mower for the price she pays. I explained to her that we did have 9" of rain and that she has a very shaded front yard so the moisture is gonig to stay there. She has never fertilized the yard til this year so the growth is thin at best in spots. The other thing I showed her was the "tearing up" she percieved was really mud that was pressed up thru when we mowed and the grass was just dirty and not tore up. I actually pulled blades of grass and showed her this. I said that the clay soil sticks to everything and that it will eventually wash off or grow out and we will cut it off but the ground was in no way tore up. Well I think the visual demonstration was the key and we came to an agreement. I also told her that I want to please all my customers and that if she has a concern in the future that she should call me the same day and I will address the concern immediately.
    I told my wife the story later as she was mowing a different property when this started but I had a funny image of an old lady chasing us around with a Louisville slugger. I guess its all part of the game.
    Here is a pic of the front lawn in the fall. Really shady.

    bellefall02 023.jpg
  2. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    :D The picture of a little old lady chasing you around the yard with a bat would be funny and also scary if it actually happened.:eek:

    You took the right approach in explaining that there were no ruts, just dirt tracks. Man, come on, with all the rain, you couldn't help it, but you did not make the nice, big, stand out ruts in her lawn. With all the rain we have had, I am leaving the mud tracks, but after it rains and grows back they are gone. I mow my properties when they need it, have never torn up lawns, even when wet. There is not one of my customers that question when I mow their lawn, now, when it is wet and it leaves tracks, I will try to contact them and explain about the tracks, and they all say it is not torn up, and it really needed to be cut anyway. I have seen some real good ruts in lawns, and it was not small ones, like when you are going along, and realize that the mower is sinking and spinning and back out, but ruts that are like 20-30 feet long, and a wide area, they kept on going through it and messed it up bad. In some spots the gRASS WILL NEVER GROW BACK.
  3. WAGS LandL

    WAGS LandL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    It is really a frustrating catch 22. We have had rain here every day
    this week and the previous weeks have not been much better. You either don't cut the grass and get chewed out for not cutting
    it that week or you mow when it is wet and get grief for that. I
    still haven't found a good answer yet. It sounds like in this
    particular incident you handled it really well.
    I had a guy threaten to shoot me two weeks ago if his lawn
    wasn't mowed (long story), but anyway it sounds like your
    approach was very professional.
    As I am typing we are in the middle of getting another 1-2 inches
    of rain today. God I love spring?!?!?

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