ZTR Maddness

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Skookum, Apr 20, 2001.

  1. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    All these mow and go guys with ZTR's just kill me.

    I have a account that is in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods around. Across the street is a house that is up on a hill. The front yard is only about 40'x60'. The entire front yard is on a very steep slope and it is filled with all kinds of shrubs and trees and beds. For years another high service LCO has taken care of the property. They always used 21" walkbehinds on the entire yard including the back yard which is very small also with two terraced hills that are about 7 feet tall with slopes down to the other. This is one of the over irrigated lawns that are always squishy.

    A few years ago, there was a change in the crew foreman on the old LCO. The new crew came in and used Midsize WB's with sulkys. The crew was a bunch of kids, I watched them skiing all over the place, smacking trees, running over shrubs, etc,... They did that the first two mowings, then they were back to using 21" mowers the rest of the year after the owner complained. I think a skilled operator could use a midsize, but there would still be some ground wear and divots just from the weight shift on such a steep slope.

    Well, yesterday I looked over from my account to see a guy going up the hill on a Lazer! I about died. I noticed as he left that he had all new equipment with a midsize WB along with his Lazer. I drove by when I was leaving my account and I noticed all kinds of skid marks and peel outs where the Lazer was trying to maintian traction.

    I know the owner is still in Florida, but she will die when she gets back. She wanted me to do her yard last year, but I had to turn it down. It is amazing how some guys lack the sence to know when they are out of thier league. I cannot even imagine giving a bid for this property, thinking you could use a rider!

    [Edited by Skookum on 04-20-2001 at 05:24 PM]
  2. Cleve

    Cleve LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Rockmart, GA
    Messages: 404

    Sounds like this is an account that you should be doing. Is there some reason that you can't?
    And, being right next to another account makes it that much more so.
    We have one of our oldest customers with over 12,000 sq. ft. of good flat fescue. Been doing him for over 10 years. Now he insists that we only mow with the 21" Hondas. Just doesn't want that "big machine" (Walker diesel) on the grass. We did it with the Walker for a couple of years and each time he would comment that it just looked so much better after cutting with the small mowers. We knew better of course but you don't argue with the customer. I knew he just didn't want the "big machine" on the grass.
    We just charge extra (he agreed to this) and try to keep him pleased. Always paid on time and never any other complaints.
  3. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    personly i can handle a about a 65 or 70 degree hill with no problem and cut the lines as straight as a arrow, this guy must not know his foot from the mower. matter of fact i bet almost all the guys on here can cut a hill just as good as me or better.
    that guy needs to practice and a lot and needs to get the killer instinct.
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    sounds like he has the equip, now he just needs somebody to point him at lawnsite so he can learn the dos an donts etc
  5. Grateful11

    Grateful11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    >personly i can handle a about a 65 or 70 degree hill with no problem and cut the lines as straight as a arrow.

    No offense Joshua but do you know how close that is too a right angle, aka: 90 degrees?
  6. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    I don't know of anyone that can cut a hill that steep unless they drop a 21" mower off this cliff. I guess you could cut it straight though if the mower fell straight down this cliff. I think you need to think this one out a bit. 45 degrees is up one foot in each foot over. That is at or above the limit of cutting with a mower and still be safe. 70 degrees is close to being straight up, just 20 degrees from it. This (/) is about 70 degrees.
  7. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    [​IMG]..can we get a photo of this?

    Here is a 58 degree angle, you mow hills with larger angles than this?

  8. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675


    Your right I should be doing this ladies property because like you stated being right there already. But, my time is too limited right now to give this property the proper attention it needs. When she asked me for a price two years ago, I was up to my armpits in work and was just too busy to take on anymore full maintenance accounts. Last year I did the opposite and cut my business in more than half to spend more time with my family and help take care of my boys.

    I might have to re-think this issue though since the other neighbor on that side of the street has contracted me to put down 8 yards of mulch this year and do a few apps on her lawn. Next year she wants me to mow since her Grandson is moving away and can no longer mow for her.


    The hill in question here is about maybe 40 to 45 degrees. It is so small and cramed with beds and shrubs that there is no mowing straight lines cause you cannot mow in a line for more than a few feet. Point is, the hill is way to small with the beds for such a big mower.
  9. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    How do you handle the rappelling lines and hang on to your mower at the same time? It never dawned on me the stuff I learned rock climbing would be useful for mowing. What do you charge for this type of service? I feel like a rookie, I had no idea everyone could do mowing at these angles.
  10. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Eventually a persons arrogant and know it all attitude will back them into a corner. I guess that's why responding to some threads just aren't worth it. :rolleyes: Oh, let me guess, that number was meant to be something else. The proverbial backpedaling of ones BS should follow now.

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