What's the Fascination with Weed Whackers on STX?  

 

watruw8ing4
(@watruw8ing4)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 850
March 7, 2012 7:43 pm  

I can't think of a more inefficient way to "cut" grass, except maybe using scissors. But maybe I'm missing something. Is it cheaper in labor parts, and materials than mowing? Trying to trim (landscaping costs) and wanted to know why mowing isn't used a lot here.


Quote
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 8748
March 7, 2012 7:47 pm  

not many lots are free of rocks. only a few that are actually flat enough to use mowers from what i see.


ReplyQuote
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 6523
March 7, 2012 9:11 pm  

Obviously you haven't done any "yard" maintenance here! If you have a flat, relatively rock-free space then a lawnmower works just fine but very few homeowners have that luxury and most of one's land is not only rocky but very steep. Weed whackers are highly efficient, economical to run and, in our climate where vegetation grows very fast, you can cut way closer to the ground with one than anywhere near possible with a lawnmower. Plus of course no blades to dull and much easier maneuverability in tight spaces than a lawnmower. Attested to by one who has put in thousands of calloused hours over almost three decades with both weed whackers and mowers but now watches someone else do it!


ReplyQuote
sheiba
(@sheiba)
Advanced Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 483
March 7, 2012 9:34 pm  

Thanks for asking/answering that question. I have been curious about the weedwacker thing as well. Interesting!


ReplyQuote
wenchtoo
(@wenchtoo)
Advanced Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 102
March 7, 2012 9:34 pm  

Obviously you haven't done any "yard" maintenance here! If you have a flat, relatively rock-free space then a lawnmower works just fine but very few homeowners have that luxury and most of one's land is not only rocky but very steep. Weed whackers are highly efficient, economical to run and, in our climate where vegetation grows very fast, you can cut way closer to the ground with one than anywhere near possible with a lawnmower. Plus of course no blades to dull and much easier maneuverability in tight spaces than a lawnmower. Attested to by one who has put in thousands of calloused hours over almost three decades with both weed whackers and mowers but now watches someone else do it!

I thought about you the other day thinking you don't have to ever do that again, what a luxury for you 🙂


ReplyQuote
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2104
March 7, 2012 9:46 pm  

An then when you come to understand the different weed wacking techniques, the full on throttle, the progressively and intermittent reving, the dresscode, there is a lot going on. Can you imagine doing that every day? It makes one of the most annoying sounds ever. All glory to the weed wacker mon.

optimist with low expectations on STX


ReplyQuote
JE
 JE
(@JE)
Advanced Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 319
March 7, 2012 10:23 pm  

When I moved here in 2005 I planned on weed whacking like everyone else. How bad could it be to weed whack for an hour or so a day a couple of days a week. Unfortunately, after a couple of months (during the rainy season) I found it could be pretty hard on an old mans back. So I spent an hour per day for a couple of weeks with a pick axe and a beer getting up Tan Tan roots and rocks to get the yard lawn mower ready. Now I cut the grass with a lawn mower (takes a little over an hour) and it is much easier on the back than with a weed whacker. The grass also looks better since I don't scalp any areas. I still hit plenty of rocks that seem to work themselves up from below ground level but the main problem now is the slope of the backyard. I have slipped a few times but have yet to cut off any toes. It is probably a combination of the slope of the yard, rocks, Tan Tan roots, and tradition, that dictate the use of weed whackers here.


ReplyQuote
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 495
March 7, 2012 11:50 pm  

It's a fascinating subject (to me, anyway) which I've given a lot of thought.

There was a time when everyone and their brother had a side-arm mower on a large tractor for roadside mowing. They're almost all laid up now, and the guys who successfully and reliably mow the roadsides are the weed-eater gangs. Some of it has to do with machine maintainance and overhead, some with technique, but most importantly, you can mow much closer with a weed-eater, which will kill everything but the hurricane grass, which everyone wants for their lawn and which grows slower and doesn't take over the way guinea grass does.

None of this soothes my jarred nerves when my neighbor fires up the weedeater at 7 on a Sunday morning though.


ReplyQuote
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 988
March 8, 2012 12:54 am  

I too have wondered, but then I thought....

Imagine power mowers going down the sides of St Croix's roads hitting all the bottles and cans.

You'd need to outfit your car with armor plating for all the shrapnel.


ReplyQuote
NugBlazer
(@NugBlazer)
Advanced Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 325
March 8, 2012 2:25 am  

OldTart is partially correct. But, the fact is, there are MANY lots that can easily be done with a mower that are instead done with a WW. SO why don't more locals use mowers? For one they're more expensive. Also, I think many locals prefer the simplicity of using a weed whacker.

Cruzans do it better.


ReplyQuote
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 2138
March 8, 2012 4:04 am  

Our neighbors on STX once hired a guy to weed whack their 1-acre vacant grass lot. It took him all week, working 6-8 hours per day. I was dreading the possibility of listening to that noise for one week straight every time they had to cut. Thank Zeus that next time they switched to a team of 3 guys who did it in a couple of hours with 2 lawn mowers and 1 weed whacker. The lawn mowers grind on rocks and roots a lot, but at least it’s done faster.


ReplyQuote
watruw8ing4
(@watruw8ing4)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 850
March 8, 2012 11:44 am  

Thanks for all the thoughtful responses. Our yard is quite mow-able. They use a tractor mower on half of it. Best I could get out of the guys is they preferred the weed whackers. Just thought that it couldn't possibly be done cheaper that way, after labor costs. Definitely can't be done faster. And they have a tendency to cut too low. The noise drives me crazy. But,since I don't have to do it myself, I guess I'll leave it be. When in Rome . . . .


ReplyQuote
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Trusted Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2405
March 8, 2012 11:48 am  

I thought I was the only one who wondered about this too. My lawn guy uses a combination of wacker and mower to get the job done. However, if roads and such civic infrastructure were constructed properly in the beginning, they would be designed to support side cutters mounted on tractors and likely have proper shoulders.

But lets not forget that the whole concept of the public sector here is to employ as many as possible, to do as little as possible, except vote in those that gave them the job.

Speaking of road construction, wouldnt it be so much cheaper in the long run to build roads "properly" rather than just laying down ashphalt on dirt? Also, Where I came from, when a road developed a crack in the ashphalt, a crew came by with hot tar and filled the crack so water wouldnt get in and under, causing a pot hole.

Wait...sorry, that might make too much sense.


ReplyQuote
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 495
March 8, 2012 3:37 pm  

I hear the frustration in your voices, but spouting off about "back where I come from" is only going to make you feel worse and entrench those whose habits you hope to change.

As I said, weedeaters cut very low, which kills guinea grass and tantan but not lawn grass ("hurricane grass": Bothriochloa pertussa)

Also, there are no standard parts and repair facilities for any mowers on stx. Reliable Rentals is the only lawncare dealer of any kind which stocks parts and consumables (for the ubiquitous Stihl trimmers). All the rest sell disposable mowers and trimmers which Islanders have learned are a waste of time, money, and resources.

I have a DR field and brush mower which is about as durable as a residential mower can get, and I still have to stock parts myself for it. Fortunately DR keeps a good and cheap inventory and ships via usps promptly and affordably.


ReplyQuote
poorthang
(@poorthang)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 312
March 8, 2012 8:29 pm  

Hey how much are you guys paying for your service.Doesn't matter tyhe size of your yard.. just seein if I am spending too much Thanks!!!


ReplyQuote
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1428
March 8, 2012 8:59 pm  

If anyone is in need of a weed whacker, I bought one for my house sitter to be able to keep things whacked down at my house. Unfortunately, he used it for less than 15 minutes and decided it would be too much trouble and never bothered cutting the grass in the 5 months he was in the house. So I have an essentially brand new weed whacker in search of a home. I paid $219 I think at Home Depot. It was the strongest one they had in stock at the time.

I do want to get as much of those $$ back as I can since this thing is new, but if someone's about to go buy a new one, you can get this one and save some $$. I'll even throw in a mini gas can for mixing the gas/oil for weed eater use. I think there's some extra trim line around here, too, if I can find it in all these boxes, along with a few more bottles of 2-cycle engine oil.

Alexandra Bentley
Great House Real Estate
St. Croix, USVI


ReplyQuote
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 6523
March 9, 2012 12:56 pm  

I have a DR field and brush mower which is about as durable as a residential mower can get, and I still have to stock parts myself for it. Fortunately DR keeps a good and cheap inventory and ships via usps promptly and affordably.

That brings back VERY fond memories! It took seemingly forever to get the lot I was working on into shape where a lawnmower was finally able to do the regular maintenance job. A lot of root and rock digging was initially necessary and then I went to a DR trimmer when it turned out that an outfit on STT had a couple they rented out. What an awesome machine that is and especially for the jungle mess we have to cope with here. I used it every month for about six months and loved it. After that I went to the weed whacker routine but if I ever owned property here which needed constant heavy-duty maintenance that's the machine I would most definitely invest in!


ReplyQuote
Settlers Handbook

Thinking about moving to the Virgin Islands?

The Settler's Handbook is a Indispensable Guide

The current 18th Edition, will help you explore your dream of island living. A solid reference book, it was first published in 1975. That's 40 years of helping people move to the Virgin Islands.

Order Today $17.95
Close Menu

Please Login or Register