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View Full Version : Should I upgrade?


Lawnboy48195
05-28-2007, 11:02 PM
Hey guys, I have 20 residential accounts all between 1/8 acre to 1/4 acre and I am currently using 2 Honda HRX 21" mowers. I do this on the side (I work 40 hours in a chemical plant) so I just like to make extra money for spending on the kids, trips, whatever! My wife and I go out 2 - 3 times per week to cut and I would say its taking up around 10 hours of our time. Should I invest in a larger 32" mower or stick with what I have? I've been doing lawn cutting for the last 10 years and I really enjoy it and I don't see this ending anytime soon. Also, we are in Michigan and this spring it's been very rainy and I've had to double cut many of my customers lawns because they are just too long and my mowers can't give all of them a clean cut. Is this common with 21" mowers compared to a larger one? My blades are sharpened once per week and it's driving me crazy that on certain lawns I have to give a second cut because there are strips of shredded grass or the lawnmower simply can't cut 4-5" of grass down to 2 1/2 inches with one pass. Thanks for your help!

SSS 18734
05-28-2007, 11:06 PM
With twenty accounts? Yes. Absolutely.

You might have to double cut with a walkbehind as well, but you'll be able to double cut in the same amount of time it took you to cut it once with the 21". I use a 34" walkbehind and find myself double cutting a lot, especially in the spring. And as a bonus, you'll be significantly less tired, and the quality of cut will be significantly better than what you can get with any 21" mower.

Oh, also. 2.5 inches is sure low with that kind of growth (depends on the type of grass youre cutting though). But if its bluegrass or fescue, try cutting higher. You'll do less work, and the grass will grow more slowly.

Lawnboy48195
05-28-2007, 11:14 PM
I am cutting on Kentucky Bluegrass at 2.5 inches and believe it or not that's what my customers like! I cut mine at 3 inches and it looks wonderful but they all like theirs shorter. One customer likes his at 2 inches and its scalped but he's the one paying the bill so I will cut at any length they want!! Do you charge extra to double cut when it needs it? I charge $5 if I double cut the front and $5 for the back but that's pretty much only in the spring when there is a lot of rainfall.

SSS 18734
05-28-2007, 11:20 PM
I choose the length at which I cut most of my properties which is usually 3.25 inches for thin yards and 3.75 inches for the nicer ones. A few are 2.75. If I double cut those, I do not charge extra. I do it because I won't leave a property looking like crap and the customers seem to appreciate it. Granted I only do this part time, so I have the time to do so.

But if your customers are requesting that you cut it to a shorter length, then I would by all means charge extra to clean it up.

BUCKEYE MOWING
05-28-2007, 11:26 PM
Hey guys, I have 20 residential accounts all between 1/8 acre to 1/4 acre and I am currently using 2 Honda HRX 21" mowers. I do this on the side (I work 40 hours in a chemical plant) so I just like to make extra money for spending on the kids, trips, whatever! My wife and I go out 2 - 3 times per week to cut and I would say its taking up around 10 hours of our time. Should I invest in a larger 32" mower or stick with what I have? I've been doing lawn cutting for the last 10 years and I really enjoy it and I don't see this ending anytime soon. Also, we are in Michigan and this spring it's been very rainy and I've had to double cut many of my customers lawns because they are just too long and my mowers can't give all of them a clean cut. Is this common with 21" mowers compared to a larger one? My blades are sharpened once per week and it's driving me crazy that on certain lawns I have to give a second cut because there are strips of shredded grass or the lawnmower simply can't cut 4-5" of grass down to 2 1/2 inches with one pass. Thanks for your help!

Why not get a Quick 36 or 44 ??depends on gates and things but..then you could mow while she trims and blows and you will have a commerical mower to deal with the growth.

Lawnboy48195
05-28-2007, 11:30 PM
Wow, thanks alot for your help!! I used to cut most of them at 3" but some were complaining that after a couple of days their grass was looking shaggy so they preferred it to be shorter! LOL

On a 32" or larger walkbehind, how common is it to put a bag on it? Some of my customers would have a cow if I wasn't bagging it and leaving grass blades on their lawn, however others wouldn't care as long as their lawn was cut. Sorry if I sound like a knucklehead on this issue but I would rather ask a pro on how they handle these things rather than me guessing! Thanks again!

SSS 18734
05-28-2007, 11:36 PM
I am hardly a pro at this. I'm just a high school student who's been doing this for four years. Well, a college student now, I guess.

You can purchase bagging systems for most walkbehinds, they run around $250. I have one for mine and hate it so much that I refuse to bag. But quite honestly, I don't need to. If I see clippings, I just run over them until they're pulverized to dust - which takes me far less time than bagging.

The other day I turned this...
http://img341.imageshack.us/my.php?image=beforeri1.jpg

into this...
http://img341.imageshack.us/my.php?image=afterqb2.jpg

just by running over it enough times. Don't worry, this wasn't a weekly job : )