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View Full Version : Slope mowing / niche market?


Broomjob
10-12-2005, 10:48 AM
A lurkers first post

Hello all, Yes, I do need my head examined ( as I am sure most of you grizzled vets will point out ). But, I am interested in starting a commercial mowing operation that specializes in the mowing of steep slopes. I have recently retired from a 25 year career in law enforcement and I am living in the White Mountain region of New Hampshire. I have about 2.5 acres of mowing on my own property including some areas with slopes approaching 30 to 35 degrees. Some of these slopes need brush hogging and some need finishing mowing. I currently Handle this with a Kubota BX23, 5 ft hog, 5 ft grooming mower, a wb mower and a string trimmer. I have about 300 hours seat time on the BX.

Taking care of my property has got me thinking (scary) that there might be a market for an operation that specializes in mowing and brush cutting on extreme slopes. Being in the mountains, there are many steeply sloped areas that need mowing. They include residential lawns and fields, ROWs, commercial and industrial properties, roadsides and medians, landfills, dams, floodcontrol areas, golf courses and Ski slopes.

I have funds (30 to 40k) that I have earmarked for a 2nd career and have been thinking that the purchase of dedicated slope mowing equipment might be a realistic possibility. The only slope mowing going on in my area seems to be by white knuckled tractor jockeys and some boom-mowing. I have been researching some dedicated equipment such as Aebi TT70S, Deweze ATM-72LC, kut-kwick superslopemaster.

Thanks in advance for the advise and abuse lol

JBD

EXspyguy
10-12-2005, 12:36 PM
Looks like you have it pretty well thought out. I have seen the deweze in action, It's a high quility machine. Last I knew it was almost 40k. Make sure your insurance guy knows what your doing and you get the coverage you need.

willretire@40
10-12-2005, 01:21 PM
what is the website for one of those machines. I would just like to check them out

Broomjob
10-12-2005, 01:46 PM
Some of the slopemower websites. Not only do they mow the steeps so are their prices.

http://www.deweze.com/
http://www.kutkwick.com/
http://aebi-ne.com/

cantoo
10-12-2005, 11:46 PM
Deweze's at auction sales here sell for under $10,000 with about 1000 hours and decent shape.

Envy Lawn Service
10-13-2005, 12:48 AM
Hi,

Good post... I personally also used to do the same sort of stuff with a similar sized 4x4 tractor equipped with shorty industrial tires. 5ft belly mower, 5ft full floating rear finish mower (2) and a 5ft bushog. Dump truck and long trailer for transport.

I mowed most areas 2x4 w/belly mower, some 4x4 w/belly and in some places that were really steep, like mowing up to the timber line, I'd hook up the rear finish mower and mow up the slopes backwards, effectively using the tractor like a 4x4 front mower.

I even cut some that were so steep I did not feel safe going to them without the front end loader also on it.

It's not 'ideal' work in my opinion, as it is rough, dangerous and time consuming. But if it's what you want to do, the above methods used with great care is enough to use in order to get your feet wet before investing in a Stiener, Deweze or KutQuick... ect.

grillonz
10-13-2005, 01:26 AM
I have have used the Aebi terratrac & while it is a very flash machine the offset engine does not help its slope mowing performance. Also visability is an issue in that the machine has blind spots which is not good when you are pushing machines to their limits. But apart from that if you are willing to get used to the quirks in the control layout then it is ok.

Happy mowing
James

jgc8fan
10-13-2005, 02:03 AM
Wow... Anyone used the AEBI Combicut??? They must either be very expensive or lousy or else why wouldn't every LCO want one? Walk behind mower, slope mower, flail mower, snow blower, street sweeper, and the biggest edger attachment I've seen.

Never even knew it existed. The thing looks like it's built out of tank parts. The axle looks thicker than my truck's axle. LOL Wonder if they have a sulky for it. :)

LwnmwrMan22
10-13-2005, 11:02 AM
Steiner makes a mower too.

Dual wheels on all four corners, 4 wheel drive.

It's an out-front brush mower, but if you keep up on the area, it turns into something fairly decent looking.

There's a company here in MN, they contract to mow all the retaining pond areas around Wal-Marts. They've got 31 locations they do.

The guy just marches right around with the thing.

http://www.steinerturf.com/products/tractors/525/

Broomjob
10-13-2005, 11:31 AM
Thanks for your replies and info, still looking to hear from someone who contract mows the steeps as well a further insights in to the actual machines.

mowahman
10-13-2005, 10:05 PM
I have the Deweze and have contracts for it. Takes a little getting used to riding straight while looking at a 37 degree banking for 5 hours and feeling the rear tire slip out every now and then. Other than that, it's a great conversation piece at the gas pumps!!!!

Albemarle Lawn
10-14-2005, 12:46 AM
I got one.

Kubota 4-cyl diesel and 6 wheel drive

This ladies, is a man's lawnmower.

Broomjob
10-14-2005, 02:43 PM
Hey Mowaman, In regards to my slope mowing plans, am I out of my mind or could a operation such as that make any money. There is no shortage of slopes needing mowing around my location (white mountains). Does the State contract mowers for the highways? do ski operations? any other suggestions?

Brian

mowahman
10-14-2005, 08:21 PM
Hey Broomjob, send me a PM and we can talk on the phone. I don't think you're out of your mind...I thought the same things and I'm not crazy!!(so the doctors tell me!!) It is definately a niche market.

gene gls
10-14-2005, 08:56 PM
Hey Mowaman, In regards to my slope mowing plans, am I out of my mind or could a operation such as that make any money. There is no shortage of slopes needing mowing around my location (white mountains). Does the State contract mowers for the highways? do ski operations? any other suggestions?

Brian

Brian,
I have 2 friends that have Abie's. One of them does mostly land fill areas. Send me your e-addy and I will give you his phone number.

Gene

LwnmwrMan22
10-14-2005, 09:52 PM
The company I talked about, all they do is mow retention ponds and drainage areas. Here in the midwest, it's about all the slope you get in these parts.

I THINK the company is Environmental Apex out of IA.

Broomjob
10-15-2005, 06:45 AM
Hey Mowaman and Gene gls,
I cant send a pm yet but here is my email address. Drop me an email.

Dbrian147@adelphia.net

shepoutside
10-15-2005, 09:49 AM
I have found a market in this area. I was the only one to quote a Job, for such services, and ended up with a nice contract. They have told me next year they need to double it :blob3: I currently use the steiners, and love them. I plan on getting a boom mower for next season, have my eyes on a trackless boom mower, that I can change over to a deck if need be. Good luck in your vision, around here there is a market, and little if none, competition.

work4green
11-23-2005, 11:41 PM
Hey Guys, found this thread while searching for somethings. I specialize in brush cutting on any terrain- backyards, retention ponds, steep hills, wet areas, etc. For mowing, I use a billygoat walkbehind brush mower, and on larger jobs a heavily modified Kunz Acrease mower. I pull it with a Bombardier traxter.

Are there any updates on the progess of the new business? I'm very interested in how other outfits across the country are accomplishing their work. This is great work, tough at times, but I enjoy it. :cool2:

Andy