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View Full Version : Which way is faster.


lonnie
02-02-2006, 11:28 PM
I am a part timer with about 20 yards. All of them are small with gated back yards except for 4 or 5 and those are only 1/4 acre at most. I had a 37" Hustler but sold it because I only could use it on about half of the yards because of gates. I am planning on buying a 32" gravely prosteer from (Mowingman) so I can get into all of the gates except a few, which I mow the back with my toro 21". My question is this. Would it be beneficial to get a 48" gravely prosteer ($2500 new) to do the front yards and use te 32" on the back? Would this allow me to gain more yards or would it not save me enough time to justify the 48"?

GStover
02-02-2006, 11:50 PM
Lonnie...I'll "bump" this up for you by asking why a 36" won't fit through your yards. I live in the same basic locale as you, and have yet ran into a gate less than 36"...the worst I've measured so far is 37" (the true opening) into the yard... Anyway, have you measured all your gates to be sure a 36" won't fit, just from a productivity standpoint?

lonnie
02-03-2006, 12:01 AM
Alot of my yards have the single door chain link fence gate.

Jason Rose
02-03-2006, 12:08 AM
That and a 37" cut width mower is likely 38" to 38 1/2" wide overall...

Why someone would produce a 37" mower is beyond me...

I have a 36" walker and it's maximum width is 37". I KNOW there is going to be 36" gates it won't go thru. a metal deck dosn't squish much thru metal fence posts!

It ought to be ILLEGAL for anyone to put in a gate smaller than 5 feet wide! lol!

lonnie
02-03-2006, 05:42 PM
anyone have any suggestions?

jtkplc
02-03-2006, 06:03 PM
The gated yards you have, what is the average size opening? Are most of them only going to work with a 32" or would some of them be wide enough for something bigger, such as a 36", 42", 44", or 48" ?

Justcutitshort
02-03-2006, 06:09 PM
anyone have any suggestions?

If equipment can shorten the job buy/save for whatever you need. Mowers don't go bad and can easily last 10 years. as time goes on you'll be able to find those bigger lawns to make the larger equipment pay for itself.

Precision
02-03-2006, 06:14 PM
The added productivity of a 48" mower on that few (20 yards) is not going to be that great.

20 yards, what does that take 4 hours 4 days a week. So going to a 48" for front yards then switching to the 32 for the backs, you work 3.5 hours 4 days. Call it $ 7 per hour profit. You are looking at 3 years of saved half hours to pay for the mower.
Actually more like 4.5 considering the length of your mowing season.

Now if you plan on going and getting 20 more accts or have some other reason to NEED the efficiency, then sure, but you will waste as much time loading and unloading as you save with the larger deck. IMO

gartj
02-03-2006, 06:17 PM
What I've done in the past, and to some it might sound stupid, is to change the gate opening to what you need. It's cheap, easy and shows the customer you really want to be a provider to them. All in all it gets you in and out quicker, larger gate opening larger mower.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
02-03-2006, 06:21 PM
Do you operate by yourself? There have been times where we have tilted the wb to get it thru the gate. It usually takes two people, but it works.

Justcutitshort
02-03-2006, 06:24 PM
Do you operate by yourself? There have been times where we have tilted the wb to get it thru the gate. It usually takes two people, but it works.

That's a thought........ buy a bobcat or bunton which are about 400lbs. they about the lightest on the market.

Flex-Deck
02-03-2006, 07:23 PM
.....................

lawnrangeralaska
02-03-2006, 09:05 PM
Lonnie Hustler makes the gatestar mower why dont you just buy it i believe it has the 48 in deck. It folds up to get through gates. my .02

lawnrangeralaska
02-03-2006, 09:13 PM
Or just buy a 32 or 36 " walk behind and buy a 18" flex deck for it. that would be the sweetest walkbehind set up.

lonnie
02-03-2006, 09:29 PM
jtkplc, most of the gates will only fit the 32".

I thought that I may be able to ad a few yards and hopefully be able to start dropping the smaller gates for some bigger properties.

stevesmowing
02-03-2006, 09:40 PM
Lonnie Hustler makes the gatestar mower why dont you just buy it i believe it has the 48 in deck. It folds up to get through gates. my .02

great dane has one out too
http://www.greatdanemowers.com/products/gateway.html

I'm curious what hustler comes out with. It would be nice if they had one that would fold to 32"

Likestomow
02-04-2006, 02:22 PM
For only 20 yards I'd stay with the 32. The 48 will save you time, but saved time will only be saved time to you, not extra money.

lawnprosteveo
02-05-2006, 10:35 PM
Lonnie...Im also a full time firefighter/ pt lco... here is my 2 cents... given the size of your yards, how much time are you really saving by mowing the fronts with a 48" but then you have to park that one and then pull off the one for the back yard.
I have similar yards and I had a 52" ztr for the fronts. I could mow the fronts fast, but then I would have to park, pull off the 36 and mow the back...then park it then fire up the 52 and park it....lots of extra steps.
If you could mow the whole thing with one mower....a 32 or 36...would that be faster?
Just something to think about.

Duck Dodger
02-05-2006, 10:49 PM
You don't have to drive a mower staight through the gate. Start on the left let the left edge of your mower move to the inside of the left pole you can get 3-5 inches this way.

Justcutitshort
02-05-2006, 10:50 PM
Lonnie...Im also a full time firefighter/ pt lco... here is my 2 cents... given the size of your yards, how much time are you really saving by mowing the fronts with a 48" but then you have to park that one and then pull off the one for the back yard.
I have similar yards and I had a 52" ztr for the fronts. I could mow the fronts fast, but then I would have to park, pull off the 36 and mow the back...then park it then fire up the 52 and park it....lots of extra steps.
If you could mow the whole thing with one mower....a 32 or 36...would that be faster?
Just something to think about.

And that something to think about is proper setup of the trailer. the ideal setup is either machine in the front with a side ramp for separate off loading when you can't fit both machine side by side

or both machines side by side in a wider trailer and off load either as needed.
A good welder can fabricate a side gate for a few $100.

ed2hess
02-05-2006, 11:00 PM
Just get the 32" Scag and you can cut both front and back. It takes too long to use two mowers. We have two 32" units but we have found that the Scag and Snapper 36" mowers go through most gates, these units aren't way over 36".

lonnie
02-06-2006, 01:49 AM
Just a thought here, so here it goes. What about a gravely 34z only.

Richard Martin
02-06-2006, 05:40 AM
You don't have to drive a mower staight through the gate. Start on the left let the left edge of your mower move to the inside of the left pole you can get 3-5 inches this way.

That usually only works on larger mowers like 48 and 52 inches. A 32, 34 and 36 inch mower is usually that wide for it's whole length, not just the deck.

yardmanlee
02-06-2006, 07:08 AM
myself I have replaced 4 gates at my cost, it was worth it to me in saving time instead of switching mowers. and the customers didnt mind at all easyer to use the 48" all the time instead of switching back and forth all the time

JD GROUND SERVICE LLC
02-06-2006, 11:18 AM
Lonnie, I own a gravely zturn and ferris wb. For the extra few hundred go with the ferris. imo they make the best in the industry and usually come with the stripping kit already. Good luck though.

lonnie
02-06-2006, 11:18 AM
I would have to replace just about all of my gates if i went that route. Not very feasible for my situation.

gslawncare
02-06-2006, 04:09 PM
I've recieved a lot of negative feedback about using my 48 on small front yards, (less than 10 passes) they say it doesn't make good lines and it just too big. I have a 36 that they like and for the gate issues I have a little troy bilt 33?
in chicago I swear this ladies gate is exactly 33, I used to squeeze and broke the damn mulch cover off. so now I use two little 21's and finish in the same time.

out4now
02-06-2006, 04:19 PM
.....................
:confused: What the???

Richard Martin
02-06-2006, 07:40 PM
:confused: What the???

Brad may have gotten tired of beating his head against the wall. :dizzy:

FLS
02-06-2006, 08:34 PM
You didn't say if you were solo or had a helper.With a helper a 48"would save a lot of time,but if you're solo the time you spend changing mowers may take more time than just using the smaller mower.

Jason Rose
02-06-2006, 09:26 PM
Being solo myself I can testify that on smaller properties it dosn't work out time wise to switch mowers on the same lawn. it's always faster to use one machine for the whole lawn (assuming that's not a 21") Better to have a mid size mower than one large and one small for the most part.

for the situation here I would strongly look at a 36" walker if you are bagging, or a 34" ztr. either would be faster and easier then a walkbehind.

lonnie
02-07-2006, 12:13 AM
I am going down to Denton, TX tomorrow to visit Mowingmans store to see the 32" and 34z. We have a local gravely dealer but he wants $600 more dollars for the 34z and has neither in stock.

lonnie
02-07-2006, 12:16 AM
I am solo by the way. I was thinking that with the 34z I would be a little more productive and alot less fatigued in the summer, then I could add a few more yards. Even with the 37" hustler w/proslide, after a long day during the summer I was exhausted. Then try to run around with my kids, man it was killing me.

Justcutitshort
02-07-2006, 12:01 PM
[QUOTE=lonnie. Even with the 37" hustler w/proslide, after a long day during the summer I was exhausted. Then try to run around with my kids, man it was killing me.[/QUOTE]

Yes, you have a problem. Any hydro with a proslide/good velky doesn't fatigue the operator unless you are mowing large, bumpy lawns (which you are not). Sounds like you are using the 21" much, much too much.
Time to rethink things.
In retrospect, you now are finding out that you should be getting a premium for using the 21", regardless of how it seems, to make up for the fatigue factor.
This is also why we just don't mow with 21" machines, since it's impossible to charge "alot more" for it's use compared to using your 37" hustler, at least from a customer point of view.
We've just dropped any 21" backyard demanding lawns, unless you can charge for you time "and effort".

lonnie
02-07-2006, 08:50 PM
I would tend to disagree. Even being pulled by a sulky can be tiring just from the fact that you are standing all day. I would agree that I am relying on my 21" to much whuch dramatically increases the fatigue factor. I just bought a 34z today and just plan on weeding out the props that won't fit the 34z. Does that sound like a plan?

Justcutitshort
02-08-2006, 12:11 AM
I would tend to disagree. Even being pulled by a sulky can be tiring just from the fact that you are standing all day. I would agree that I am relying on my 21" to much whuch dramatically increases the fatigue factor. I just bought a 34z today and just plan on weeding out the props that won't fit the 34z. Does that sound like a plan?

Again something does not jive, especially for doing small props. All Props need trimming and blowing besides mowing, and the ratio of trim and blow to mow is even higher for smaller ones.
This is the basic concept for small props, which means you should only be mowing approximately 60 to 70% of the total time allocated to each account with the rest spent on trim/blow/unload/load.
If you are not doing this, you might want to rethink your service on each prop.

lonnie
02-08-2006, 12:28 AM
Your talking over my head right now. Here is an example of one of my props. 40 minutes total time. 30 min mowing and 10 min trim, blow, go.

Justcutitshort
02-08-2006, 12:16 PM
Your talking over my head right now. Here is an example of one of my props. 40 minutes total time. 30 min mowing and 10 min trim, blow, go.

Lonnie,
It is apparent you are experiencing growing pains, which can’t be avoided. Finding your “nitch” is something you may want settle on ASAP. This means staying with gated properties and charging what’s do you and not beat yourself to death, or branching out to larger non-gated props and adding a rider to your stable, or last, rearranging/changing your trailer setup, buying a 48” and learn make smooth straight lines with it to satisfy your customers.
Candidly, I would “Userfriendlysize” your trailer regardless
of any decision making you do in the mower/mowing department, since it is the cheapest way make more dollars per hour, without changing any other business techniques.