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instyle
01-11-2007, 11:57 PM
i am thinking...because we run 21" mowers all the time...i am just nore if a 36" wou;d save us any time. The 21's are so light, and easy to load and unload. Even though I am gaining width....I will be slowed down by the extra weight.

Most of our properties are 50 x100'

Any comments?

Prestige-Lawncare
01-12-2007, 12:08 AM
Unless you are picking them up and loading them in and out of the back of a truck, why would the weight difference be a factor between a 21" and a 36". Look how much more time a 36" will cut off of your mow time. Each pass is almost 75% more mowed.
.

Mean Green Lawns
01-12-2007, 02:27 AM
why do people use such small mowers? I could ever get away with it for quality purposes alone. oh now I see.. dugh.. 50 X 100.. Use anything you want to on something that small lol JK. Thats the size of my lawn. lol I basically have nothing. I'd charge 10$ for a lawn my size and cut with a rider in 5 minutes total job should't take no more than 7-8 minutes and YES use the 36 at LEAST.

Frosty03
01-12-2007, 06:50 AM
I am running a 36" Exmark tthp on my properties. The difference between a 21" is night and day on all but the smallest postage stamp yards. It is self propelled, you can get a Sulky and ride on the larger stuff, plus it will mow a LOT faster than you can walk. If I didn't use the sulky, I would be running behind the mower.

In a word for the small yards, even the medium stuff and for obstacles, It is my primary mower. The time difference would amaze you.

As my business is growing, I will be adding on a rider this summer, but the 36" will still see its share of the workload. It will mow up under stuff like low bushes, easy to operate with the ECS controls, the Kawasaki engine starts on the first pull everytime, large gas tank, and leaves about the best cut I have ever seen from any mower. What's not to like?

My 21" mower sees maybe 1 hour of use a month...I mean maybe if that. I only use it on 1 or 2 yards where the 36" just won't fit either due to landscaping or a very small gate.

If you are a heavy person, I recommend the weight kit on the front to help keep it down when using the Sulky. I added 20 pounds and it really helps keep the front end down when I am riding on the back.

See if you can demo one, I promise you will not regret it as it has power to spare and will make you look good with your cuts. Plus it will save you time over the 21"...So much so that I will bet that you will use the 36" on every yard that you can once you get one.

Cons: Yeah, its too heavy to lift, you will need a trailer. I know quite a few guys down here that mow small and medium properties and use nothing but the Exmark 36". Plus when the grass is slow growing to dormant, you can walk the property and it leaves almost no trace other than a super looking cut.

wowmowwow
01-12-2007, 07:52 AM
go with the 36" with the velkie! i used 12' ramps to load and unload it in an 84 dodge d50, a very small truck. the first 36" i had was bought of the side of the road for $300, a jocobson. mowed for about 18 monthes then invested in the velkie. was a move i wished i had made earlier on
thanks

Roger
01-12-2007, 08:47 AM
I know we all have different ideas on this topic, a topic that has been discussed often, and sometimes heatedly, over the years.

I have a 21" hand mower (LawnBoy), 36" Exmark Viking w/b, with BullRider (and Velke, one-wheel), and 48" JohnDeere Z-trak.

For properties 10K sq ft of turf (smallest on the list), I only use the 21" machine. The 21" mower is used for front yards, side yards, and some trim work in the rear for the 0.50-0.75 acre properties. The w/b 36", or the ZTR 48" mows the rear areas of those properties. For the ones over 1 acre, the ZTR is used almost exclusively.

The 21" hand mower is used selectively because of the terrain, the small necks and pennisulas, and the quality of job. The w/b does a nice job, but not nearly like the 21" hand mower. Nearly all of the 21" work is bagging work.

The one-wheeled Velke for the Exmark w/b is not used any more because of the line down the middle of the pass. The wheels of the two-wheeled BullRider follow the mower wheels. But, on the better properties where the w/b is used, the BullRider is not used because of heavier tracking (much greater ground pressures on the small tires than from the mower).

The 21" mower will mow nearly all sloping terrain, the w/b will mow most. The ZTR is the least useful for sloping terrain. For some properties, the 48" ZTR takes longer to complete the mowing task than the 36" w/b. The terrain and smaller areas must be mowed with the hand mower, whereas the w/b will mow it all.

The w/b will tear up turf more easily than the hand mower, but can be avoided with care. The ZTR will tear up more turf in one week than a w/b will tear in a season. My point is that progressively larger machines can cause more damage to the turf.

All of this is to say that there is no good answer to your question, without knowing the details of the properties to be mowed. Further, what is an acceptable result for some contractors is not acceptable to another one. I would be ashamed to leave the mowing result left by other contractors working the same neighborhoods. I thank them for their sloppy work as their failures always provides a constant stream of potential customers for me.

LawnTamer
01-12-2007, 09:40 AM
We run 36" T-bars for our 1/4 properties, they fly. They all have sulkies, and we always mow in fifth gear 6+mph. I am trying to phase out the few props where we cannot access part of the lawn with the 36s. We are literally 3x faster with a 36" T-bar than a 21" Proline, we've timed it. Wider pass, faster speed, no operator fatigue. 2 guys can mow, trim, edge and blow an average 5-6k lawn in 10-12 minutes, that from when we pull up to when we are driving away.

toac
01-12-2007, 12:11 PM
I run a 40" Toro with a T-bar. The extra width makes a huge difference, but the speed that the mower can move is amazing. You can literally cut your time in half with a 36" (or 40").

Groh's Mows
01-12-2007, 03:09 PM
I mow several lots in the size you mentioned (50 X 100) and used a snapper 21" commercial for several years. Gates or landscapping made trying to use a rider impractical. I started using a 36" Scag belt drive wb with gator blades 2 seasons ago and would not go back to the 21". I demo'd or borrowed 36" wb by dixon, lesco and snapper before going with the scag but it just came down to personal preference. If I had it to do over I would buy a hydro from the start because that is what I will probably end up with.

lawnpro724
01-12-2007, 03:42 PM
i am thinking...because we run 21" mowers all the time...i am just nore if a 36" wou;d save us any time. The 21's are so light, and easy to load and unload. Even though I am gaining width....I will be slowed down by the extra weight.

Most of our properties are 50 x100'

Any comments?

I use walkbehinds for larger residential properties and 21" Toro Proline mowers for small properties. There is nothing on the market that can beat the look that using a 21" will give you. Their weight compared to larger walkbehinds and ztr's or tractors will be more benificial in the long run and your customers will be happier with you. Everyone here seems to think bigger is faster and faster is better and thats not all you need to consider. Weight is a huge factor on smaller properties a heavy mower over time will leave rib rows in the yard that become over time very noticeable. A 21" mower will give a better all around cut and its weight won't harm the yard. Smaller mowers like the 21" have been around longer than almost anything else. Time is money and I agree that a bigger mower will get you done faster but that shouldn't be your decision to make, its your customers! Let them know the advantages of both and charge accordingly.

Daner
01-12-2007, 03:55 PM
I found the 21 will do less turf damage on the small tight lawns then the 36...Or It may have just been me,turning too fast. I may try the 36 on some more small lawns this coming summer

Groh's Mows
01-12-2007, 04:36 PM
I agree with lawnpro about one thing, the quality of cut from a good 21" is often the prefered look for many customers. It seems lco's get hung up on stipes and patterns and they can be pretty. I'm not sure that stipes impress the homeowners as much as a smooth manicured look, and a 21" can deliver that if your time on the yard is not a factor. If the customer doesn't mind the price, I can walk benind a 21" all day. As a kid I did.

Groh's Mows
01-12-2007, 04:40 PM
One other thing: I can't remember ever running into anything with a 21" and tearing it up too badly. Wish I could say the same for a wb or rider.:dizzy:

jtkplc
01-12-2007, 05:15 PM
Just a thought, what about a 26" mower?

Daner
01-12-2007, 05:26 PM
Just a thought, what about a 26" mower?

A 26 will give you that little extra then the 21er... that will be a time saver...Less damge to lawns than the 36er

ed2hess
01-12-2007, 09:44 PM
A 26 will give you that little extra then the 21er... that will be a time saver...Less damge to lawns than the 36er

The 26" I did demo on was not useable for tight areas.....can't turn the darn tank. We cut a lot of years with 21" units and Justmowit cuts all his years in our area and they are bigger than the 50x100.

S man
02-28-2007, 08:28 PM
I agree with lawnpro about one thing, the quality of cut from a good 21" is often the prefered look for many customers. It seems lco's get hung up on stipes and patterns and they can be pretty. I'm not sure that stipes impress the homeowners as much as a smooth manicured look, and a 21" can deliver that if your time on the yard is not a factor. If the customer doesn't mind the price, I can walk benind a 21" all day. As a kid I did.

I agree. All I use is a 21" even on big properties. But wait till I get my 40" toro w/ a sulky, I'll be spoiled and not want to go back.:laugh:

Drew Gemma
02-28-2007, 09:14 PM
i am going in the different direction we mow acers and bigger lots 52 ferris z 52 exmarkwb and 21 use it 20 min a week we want to go to 36 gravley hydro and will later this year 21 jsut suck always breaking never want to run right to much head ache. So then i use the 52 and it looks like crap so I am gonna meet in the middle with 36 to at least put a few lines down. How is the hill stabliity on 36's I want the gravley hydro

MikeLT1Z28
02-28-2007, 09:42 PM
36" is still 36" no matter what size the yard is, it will still cut more quicker. to me a 21" commercial costs too much for what it is and a consumer 21" doesn't cut worth a crap. you will have a bigger tank on the 36" which means you won't have to fuel nearly as often. the only advantage on the 21" would be if you were loading and unloading from a truck bed.

vkurt711
02-28-2007, 09:57 PM
Weight is a huge factor on smaller properties a heavy mower over time will leave rib rows in the yard that become over time very noticeable.


Would a yearly aeration help, hurt, or make no difference with this problem?

MikeLT1Z28
02-28-2007, 11:28 PM
can you not change mowing direction every other cut?

S man
02-28-2007, 11:39 PM
36" is still 36" no matter what size the yard is, it will still cut more quicker. to me a 21" commercial costs too much for what it is and a consumer 21" doesn't cut worth a crap. you will have a bigger tank on the 36" which means you won't have to fuel nearly as often. the only advantage on the 21" would be if you were loading and unloading from a truck bed.

I agree with the truck bed. I can't get a 36-40 inch mower until I have both a trailer and truck. But for now 2 commercial 21"s with a truck is efficient for me.

Scag48
03-01-2007, 01:58 AM
Let's do a little math here. Figure you can walk 3 MPH behind a 21" and the cut quality, on an average day, is pretty good at this speed. Now, take a 36" with a sulky and double the ground speed. Given the conditions are the same between the 21" and the 36", the 36" will handle average growth at 6 MPH, I've done it and I know most have as well. Productivity has just gone up 100% and you haven't even factored in the cutting width yet. I don't even need to calculate the width difference between a 21" and a 36" to show you that a 36" will be at least twice, if not 3 times as fast in some situations than a 21". I'm starting out in the business again and wish I had my 36" TTHP back, it's really gonna kill me to be out slaving behind a 21", but hey, gotta start again somewhere. Plus, I'm like you, I'll be working out of the back of a truck until I need to buy a trailer and a larger W/B, so being able to lift the 21" out is fairly important.

Envy Lawn Service
03-01-2007, 02:02 AM
i am thinking...because we run 21" mowers all the time...i am just nore if a 36" wou;d save us any time. The 21's are so light, and easy to load and unload. Even though I am gaining width....I will be slowed down by the extra weight.

Most of our properties are 50 x100'

Any comments?

Sounds like a good application for the Quick 36 or Quick 44 to me.

Roger
03-01-2007, 06:52 AM
... Now, take a 36" with a sulky and double the ground speed. ...

The "double ground speed" never happens. Yes, I can ride the sulky faster, but that is only on the street or parking lot, never on lawns. My experience over nine seasons tells me that I can move a little more quickly on a sulky, about 3.0 to 3.5. I can never reach 4.0 mph - I would never be able to control the machine to keep straight lines, or index off the last path.

And, last season when I added a ZTR, I found I could add another increment to speed, but 4.0 is about tops.

Rarely do I find a lawn that is smooth enough for speeds beyond those given above. Some are very rough, and the ability of the mower going at faster speeds is of no value. Obviously, others of you are have smooth turf, and have different mowing conditions.

BTW, how do you measure 6 mph?

Eclipse
03-01-2007, 08:17 AM
The "double ground speed" never happens.

BTW, how do you measure 6 mph?

I mow as fast as my WB can go. The exceptions would be if the turf is extremely long, wet, or extremely bumpy.

Measuring speed.... last summer one property I mow had a portable radar sign on the street (you know the kind that tells you the speed when your drive by). When I drove my WB past it, the speed was blinking between 5 and 6 MPH so I am guessing mine travels 5.5MPH or so

Howard Roark
03-01-2007, 08:19 AM
Go with a Quick 36 and you'll wonder why you didn't long ago.

S man
03-01-2007, 11:44 AM
I saw a guy with a 36" metro mulching some really thick high grass next to my customer and it came out really nice. That is productive. You would have to bag with the 21" and it would take forever.

Scag48
03-01-2007, 01:24 PM
The "double ground speed" never happens. Yes, I can ride the sulky faster, but that is only on the street or parking lot, never on lawns.

Are you serious? I've done full tilt mowing many a time. Sure sometimes growth is heavy and you have to slow down, but if I could go balls to the wall I did. 3.5-4 MPH on a W/B with a sulky? I have to ask now, how much horsepower are you running? A TTHP 36" with 15 horses will handle some pretty gnarly growth even when mulching which is what I did 100% of the time.

Envy Lawn Service
03-01-2007, 01:43 PM
Go with a Quick 36 and you'll wonder why you didn't long ago.

Yup... they just don't know.

Far too many people are over-critical of the machine when they know nothing about it.

These days, there is really very little "real" use for a 21".

SMOOTHCUT
03-11-2007, 02:53 PM
Why do you guys say that you always have to bag with a 21" mower but not with the larger cuts? I'm just learning.
Thanks

marckxman
03-11-2007, 08:02 PM
Yup... they just don't know.

Far too many people are over-critical of the machine when they know nothing about it.

These days, there is really very little "real" use for a 21".

I bought my Quick to do some larger accounts that I picked up. Then I started using it on medium sized accounts. Then I pretty much started using it on everything I could put it on regardless of size. Time is money and it flat out saves time.

Another interesting thing about the Quick. I have an account that is very soggy. It has a swampy area on it that doesn't start to firm up until May or June. I took the Quick on it and it did far less tire damage than my 21". The relatively light weight and huge tires results in a softer footprint on the lawn.

sdelorey494103
03-11-2007, 08:14 PM
There is plenty of use for a 21" i think for someone in their first or second year of business.

marckxman
03-11-2007, 11:14 PM
There is plenty of use for a 21" i think for someone in their first or second year of business.

I totally agree. The use for my $1000 Toro Proline is now only those few feet of grass I cannot get my Q36 on.

This will greatly extend the life on my Toro.

Ask absolutely ANYONE on this forum what happens after they get their first 36" mower. They wonder how they ever got along without it.

DuraCutter
03-12-2007, 12:03 AM
I agree with lawnpro about one thing, the quality of cut from a good 21" is often the prefered look for many customers. It seems lco's get hung up on stipes and patterns and they can be pretty. I'm not sure that stipes impress the homeowners as much as a smooth manicured look, and a 21" can deliver that if your time on the yard is not a factor. If the customer doesn't mind the price, I can walk benind a 21" all day. As a kid I did.

Yes, true that. The 21" does a better cut every time. But most lco's are hell bent on doing it in 2 mins. and that's part of the reason lco's receive less money even though they go like a bat out of hell!!

I'm using a 21" more and more and getting way better pay than using the 72" mowers we have. It's a niche market and I don't mind if most lco's ignore it..the better for my company...:)

Envy Lawn Service
03-12-2007, 12:33 AM
You have to just be starting out and/or serving a large niche market to get by with 21's.

VERY small, VERY high end spaces with VERY high entry barriers.
Otherwise you are fair game for anyone, even minors.

I myself see almost no need for a 21" at all for what I do.
My trimmers will mow a 21" swath for the trim work I have.

If I was doing super small lawns, I would be working with 32" or larger mowers...

STRINGALATION
03-14-2007, 12:24 PM
One other thing: I can't remember ever running into anything with a 21" and tearing it up too badly. Wish I could say the same for a wb or rider.:dizzy:
I just bought a used bunton 36" in January and i have cut 3 times with it.
I have fixed my flower border 5 x my tree ring 7 x and dug 4 holes in my yard trying to turn.
my fingers are sore from the belt drive braking (do you believe those handles are not throttles) and payed $250 for a gate on my trailer. I plan on getting a platform to hopefully make steering better.

but would not trade for the world it just feels good the power the speed the fact that Louisville is very very superficial .plenty of people do not think you are real with out one. there are a few yards i will leave it on the trailer while i use ole trusty but i cannot wait to cut some blades that are all green

Howard Roark
03-14-2007, 10:55 PM
Yup... they just don't know.

Far too many people are over-critical of the machine when they know nothing about it.

These days, there is really very little "real" use for a 21".

We barely use 21s now on our crews, in fact we use them only if we cannot get by an A/C unit or something like that. For the most part, if you run 2 man crews you can prop the Quick on one of the rear tires in "easy around mode" and with a person up front you can both EASILY get it through any gate.

Having personally run 21 routes in the past, I would say the Quick adds at least an additional 40% productivity. I'd like to say 50%, and Gary will tell you most people tell him that, but the math just doesn't add it (even though my numbers do!). :confused: Either way my guys wouldn't dream of using a 21 on most backyards when they can use the Quick 36. It's just plain ridiculous to use a 21 if you can get back there with a 36.

If you are honestly considering a 26" inch unit, learn from other experienced people on this board. Save an additional $500 and get the entry level Quick.