Zero radius mowers breaking sprinkler heads

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by walterwilde, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. Jerry Lee

    Jerry Lee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    Runner is completely right, i use my Z on little residentials because its faster. its only a LC companys fault if the heads were not retracted and they hit the head. but even than its there responsability to tell the home owner his heads are faulty, and that its an easy fix if he wants new heads installed.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    well you can still break sprinkler heads with a WB. just ask them to be more careful
  3. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,694

    Heads will stick up , thats what they do . A very simple solution is for the guys on the machines to look where they are going . When a head sticks up it just needs to be pushed back down . When I go out and do repairs its generally a lawn mower hit to the head itself , the whole barrel is gone , in my opinion its the person who cut the grass who is at fault at that point. Running a mower over a retracted buried head causes no damage . But I dont care who or what breaks a head , its my business to repair it .

    In october I went out to make an adjustment on a newly installed system , the homeowner said 3 heads were watering the street . I showed up and there were 3 rainbird heads doing 360 at the road , Told the homeowner the bad news I dont use rainbird , since someone besides my company messed with the system his 2 year warranty was void. And he owed me for a service call for since the warranty terms were violated . There was a $ 200 dollar charge to reinstate the warranty plus 2 service calls , and parts . Total cost to the guy who cut the lawn $ 490.00 .

    Sprinkler companies sell extended warranties and service policies to THEIR customers , by doing or attempting repairs to a sprinkler system may cost more than informing the homeowner you hit a head .
  4. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,694

    double post
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  5. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Nevermind... don't want to ruffle any more feathers
  6. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I lived in WPB and it's full of PITA's. The day I could leave was a red letter day.

    If your sprinklers were properly installed they wouldn't be breaking. I had to redo the sprinklers at my home because the bozos put them in wrong.
  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Oh yeah, I've broken ONE head in 16 years. And that was in some planting beds hidden by liriope. I replaced it and told the customer but she even offered to pay me for it since it wasn't my fault. This was in Georgia. I have used a 48" or 44" ZTR for 90% of lawns since 1998.

    I agree the head being on a rigid upright in sandy soil is likely the problem.
  8. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Your a piece of work. Not all heads are visiable in the grass that needs to be cut unless the grass is thin and unhealthy. Since somebody "messed" with the system? You mean changed a head? Your a joke.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I have no way of determining, from this thread, whether the problem lies with company
    carelessness, an improper installation, or a maintenance failure on the owner's part.

    Technically speaking a properly installed riser that is functioning as intended should never get clipped by a mowing machine.
    However, inconsistencies in the terrain, improperly installed or out of maintenance heads, an inexperienced operator or an
    improperly maintained lawn mower could be in part or all responsible for doing so.

    I will say thou, the more experienced caretakers would, or should know what is the problem,
    and be able to either educate or assist the homeowner in this matter. However this may not
    always be the case, such as if the caretaker is inexperienced, but then the very least they
    should be doing is informing the homeowner of the damage, as that still doesn't assume
    responsibility but it shows someone who cares.

    Just for example...
    I don't particularly care for being held responsible for such damage, however I do carry spare risers with me in the truck
    and usually I replace one here or there at no cost if only because I can not always determine what the problem is, plus it
    keeps the customer quiet and happy and it's the easy way out of the problem.

    Beyond that, communication, we have to let the customer know when we break something,
    never mind who or what fault it is the surprise factor tends to spark the anger.

    I would go ahead and look for another company, at least for the time being.

    Oh yeah like Toros and Rainbirds and Hunters don't.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  10. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Hope you have a fireproof suit, because you will get flamed for that... I had actually typed out a similar, yet much more lengthy post about MD's post, but chose to delete it a few minutes later. The irrigators on this site are NOT friendly to "lawn guys" and they all believe that no one but them can work on irrigation. Don't even try to post in the irrigation forum, they just gang up and run the lawn guys off.

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