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Field/Runway Mowing Fix

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Old 02-28-2007, 12:24 AM
  #1  
Super D
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Default Field/Runway Mowing Fix

I know most clubs have the dilema of trying to get their field mowed. Many of us have spent hours discussing solutions. We finally came up with 2 fixes.

Our field is 3000' grass private runway. Our club mows 1000' and the pit area with 2 club owned typical 42" riding mowers. We have a mowing schedule and usually 6-8 of our 20+ members end up mowing. Many times I went to go fly and had to mow to be able to fly, leaving little to zero time to fly. Same thing week after week year after year.

Here's what we have done. We have purchase a pull behind mower. This mower offsets and now we mow 42"with the rider mower + 60" with the pull behind. This has cut mowing time in half and works well with a cheap junk 14.5 hp-42" huskee mower. Upon buying this mower a retired club member has offered to mow the field every time for $35 each cutting. We estimate $700/ year and our small club can afford this. The retired club member is happy and says it should make him live longer(being active).

This is our attempt to keep the land owner happy and more flying time for 2007. I think it will work great, time will tell. Just figured I would post our mowing fix.

President ,Cedar Creek Aeromodelers, Malakoff TX

Here's the link to the mower we bought, we actually bought ours from Tractor supply company.

[link=http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200311307_200311307]60" mower/ $1500[/link]
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:03 AM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

Contracted Mowing solves a lot of problems. Well worth the money.

Way to go!
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Old 02-28-2007, 07:43 AM
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Donovan Dow
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

Morning All

We now have our site mowed twice a week after the snow is gone {:>) by a commercial vendor. Takes 45 minutes for the flying portion and pits with their 2 high speed machines. They also use trimers and blowers. No complaints from the membership.

cheers
don dow

http://www.rideauflyers.com/
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:30 AM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

I guess I should have mentioned that we had some commercial people bid it and our small club just couldnt afford the commercial guys. our membership is increasing quickly since there is no mowing.

Also here in east Texas we have to mow probably 20 times per yer. For the Agri-men we can run 1 cow to 3 acres, Our grass really grows well.
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:35 AM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

Over the last ten years our club in OKC has run the gammut of mowing options.
For equipment we have either had 3-42 inch deck 16 hp riding mowers or 2 of these and a diesle tractor with a 60 inch deck.

The field faces east so mowing in the morning doesn't rob any flying time.

Long long ago, there was an organized mowing list and a mowing marshal that called you on the weekend you were supposed to be there and the mowing got done on Saturday mornings over the course of the year, by all the members.

Then the mowing was moved to Tuesday evening between 4 and 6 so that the field would look nicer for training nights on Thursdays. And as long as the mowing marshal kept up his duties, the mowing also got done over the course of a year by all the members.

Then...some of the retirees started showing up early for the mowing on Tuesdays. They started mowing it earlier and earlier, so that the guys who were working, running home, changing, then ran out to the field to do their share of the work would get frustrated because all the work was done. The retirees said nevermind, we like doing it.

A year later the retirees griped and moaned that they were the only one's mowing the field, course they were doing it at 8 am on Tuesdays when everyone else in the club was at work.

So we went back to a Saturday morning mowing list, and a mowing marshal, which was getting the field mowed by a majority of the members. But that wasn't good enough.. NOW we pay a $20.00 mowing fee ON TOP of our dues. IF you show up for your turn at mowing you get $10 of your $20 back. If you don't show, you made a contribution to getting the work done. Oh, the retirees who didn't like mowing by themselves again...they now make a businiess of mowing for those who don't show up, so they can get that members $10.00.

But the field is mowed.
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:39 AM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

Our club has over 120 registered members and we have a field crew made up of members. They are mainly retired guys that have free time and don't mind keeping active making the field look good. During the summer they mow on Fridays and sometimes Tuesdays depending on how fast the grass is growing. We use club funds to keep our riding tractors in good shape and have a metal cargo container that the field crew painted to store all the equipment in. Late in the spring before the field starts really drying out we hire a paving company to bring a steam roller in and roll the field. This really helps out with keeping the field nice and flat. Overall we have a very nice field.
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:05 PM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix


ORIGINAL: Super D

I know most clubs have the dilema of trying to get their field mowed. Many of us have spent hours discussing solutions. We finally came up with 2 fixes.

Our field is 3000' grass private runway. Our club mows 1000' and the pit area with 2 club owned typical 42" riding mowers. We have a mowing schedule and usually 6-8 of our 20+ members end up mowing. Many times I went to go fly and had to mow to be able to fly, leaving little to zero time to fly. Same thing week after week year after year.

Here's what we have done. We have purchase a pull behind mower. This mower offsets and now we mow 42"with the rider mower + 60" with the pull behind. This has cut mowing time in half and works well with a cheap junk 14.5 hp-42" huskee mower. Upon buying this mower a retired club member has offered to mow the field every time for $35 each cutting. We estimate $700/ year and our small club can afford this. The retired club member is happy and says it should make him live longer(being active).

This is our attempt to keep the land owner happy and more flying time for 2007. I think it will work great, time will tell. Just figured I would post our mowing fix.

President ,Cedar Creek Aeromodelers, Malakoff TX

Here's the link to the mower we bought, we actually bought ours from Tractor supply company.

[link=http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200311307_200311307]60" mower/ $1500[/link]

A great example of a club thinking on its feet and outside the box to get-r-dun! Awesome solution!
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:53 PM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

Super D,

Wow, 3000' runway! I could land on that. Let us know the next time you guys have a big bird event. I want to come up and try that one!

Bedford
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:32 PM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

retired club member has offered to mow the field every time for $35 each cutting? He must not fly at the field or he would want to get er done. I just do not get it. When one of us show up at the field and the grass needs cut we just get er done. We do not have our hands out except welcome another flyer.

Our field is around 800 X 35 with a very large pit area. Do we need to hire someone to mow? No, that crazy.

Crash99
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:09 PM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

Fence off the runway and loan the land around it to sheep or goat herder. Works like a charm but you have to drop the fence on fly days
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:44 AM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

We used a pull behind rotary mower, like the golf courses use. It had a couple of segments which gave it about a 12 foot cut. Hitch it to the pick up truck and mow the entire field in about 5 minutes !! Oddly enough, my present club was offered such a mower by one of the members and they declined !! Go figure !!! Now we pay one of the members to mow for us.
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:11 AM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

One of our clubmembers and is retired, I think he does a lot of the mowing because he needs something to do LOL.
When the time comes for serious mowing before an event one or two other clubmembers will bring their J-D's over and finish the job faster.
Our old riding mower has seen its share of belts, pulleys and blades, I don't know how much longer it will live, but sooner or later we will have to think about getting another.
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Old 04-12-2007, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

Mowing seems to be the bane of our existence... there are some guys in the club that 'just do it' when it needs to be done... although they give up a lot of their flying time to do it... and there are those in the club insisting that everyone takes their turn. We had one guy last year offering to do it every week, and all he wanted in return was a few bucks for gas because he drives 75 miles round trip to do it.

Our club owns the tractors and keeps up the maintenance on them with club funds... and I couldn't see why we couldn't just pay this guy a few bucks for gas so the rest of the members didn't have to worry about it anymore. Others didn't like that idea... and started talking about mowing 'assessments' members would have to pay up front and forfeit if they didn't take their turn... or worse... upping dues so we could afford a professional service!

What is the big deal here... you have some dedicated members that will to do a job that EVERYONE wants done... why not give them a few perks for it? Or at least make sure it doesn't COST THEM to provide you that service?
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:22 PM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

Just be thankful you have grass to mow, and not being sold for developement 22 years and I would rather be mowing grass than looking for a place to plant NEW
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:22 PM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

At one time there was a problem with getting vplunteers to rotate the mowing schedule, so the club offered Off Road Vehicle training at no cost. They even provided the vehicle and a course to practise on. There were no takers, gosh what an offer, I guess no one was intrested in ORV training. It was back to the few to do for the many as it goes in many clubs.
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

Our club has had the same fellow mowing our 3 acre field once a week (or as needed) from April to Oct for over 15 years. We pay him $400.00 a year, half at the beginning and remaining in Oct. We also try to give a little bonus of $50.00. We have a small membership base and Jimmy has done an outstanding job for us. Here in northern Oklahoma, the grass grows quickly in the summer. Here are a couple pictures of our field I took with my 1/4 scale Cub. Over the 30 year of flying RC, volunteer mowing is not the answer.
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Old 05-13-2007, 04:22 PM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

What's the best height to mow the runway?
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Old 05-13-2007, 09:10 PM
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Default RE: Field/Runway Mowing Fix

Too many variables for that question. Type of grass, amount of rainfall, size of planes flown. We try to mow our Bermuda grass short like a soccer/babseball field. When we have a fly-in we will cut it shorter for the Micro foamy guys. I'd love asphalt but at $30/yard its not an option. Sure would save my wheel pants though.
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