Using a line trimmer 101. Do you know the basics?

Most everyone has used a line trimmer before. That includes anyone you may be looking to hire to help you during your day. But most don’t know the basics on how to use a line trimmer properly in order to get a top notch result. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we will hear about different line trimming operation techniques to get the best results from your work.

One new lawn care business owner asked “in an effort to try and do the best job I possibly can being a newbie and all, I was wondering if you guys could share some useful tips on line trimming with a weed eater. What are some common practices to avoid burning or scalping the edges? What direction do you go in? Do you drag the head along the ground or let it float along as you go?

I’ve got my way of doing things but I’m trying to train a new guy and he feels his way is better but it obviously isn’t. He does some in the back, some in the front then back to the back, then he’ll do a tree then back to the front. He’s all over the place and misses a ton of stuff. Including areas that he hit. I tend to do everything as I go along, so I’m not going back and forth wasting time. I also just replaced a spool on a brand new trimmer and I feel it wore out way too soon (machine is 2 months old) so I feel he’s dragging it to much.

Some customers might not care if their edges start to retreat from being trimmed too low but when you get to higher end customers that are looking for that perfect look I’m sure these tips will help a lot of people.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “first of all, in my opinion, start in the front and do EVERYTHING there is to trim there then move to the back. If you have a yard where that doesn’t work as well, work either the entire fence or around the house first then move your way in or out. Know where you’ve been and what still needs to be done. It’s not rocket science but for some guys it can be I guess. I’d tell him to keep the trimmer off the ground unless you need to bump the line out. That’s the only time the trimmer should hit the ground. If you have a worn out head in 2 months, it’s either junk or he’s abusing it. I’ve had the trimmer I have now for over two years and its not even close to being worn out. I’d light a fire under his ass and tell him to buy his own trimmer or head at the very least.”

A third shared “here are my lessons you need to know as a new employee when line trimming a lawn.

  1. Always go left.
  2. Always keep the head parallel to whatever you cut, even when going in circles.
  3. Hop the trimmer up and down to get grass growing on fences.
  4. Trim from the top of a hill, never from below.
  5. You have more control sidestepping-back or moving backwards when trimming large amounts of grass - you will lose control when moving forward.

Your body wants to lower the trimmer every time you go forward, but move backward and your body will maintain the height of the cut or go upward which avoids cutting too short.

If I’m trimming a property, I may always trim the perimeter of the lawn first, then I trim around obstacles such as trees. Over time, you can do both at the same time in order to save time.

Let’s say you are mowing the perimeter but there is a nearby tree coming up, go and trim around the tree and head right back to continue trimming around the perimeter, this makes it so that you aren’t back tracking.

If you need to release more trimmer cord but you are nowhere near the street, turn the trimmer sideways and tap it against a fence, or the home itself.

Always use the correct amount of power from the machine required, not too much, not too little.”

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