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robbo521
08-18-2007, 11:29 PM
i see on here all the time people saying they can cut 1 acre in 15 to 20 min.this maybe true with ball fields.i dont think it would be true for the everyday joe's yard.i know around here yards are not smooth and you cut to fast they aint going to look good no matter what you use on it.could you all show some pictures and times it takes you please.

lawnprosteveo
08-18-2007, 11:46 PM
Yeah, I cant cut an acre in 15 or 20 minutes...I thought it was just me though...:rolleyes:

delphied
08-19-2007, 12:27 AM
i see on here all the time people saying they can cut 1 acre in 15 to 20 min.this maybe true with ball fields.i dont think it would be true for the everyday joe's yard.i know around here yards are not smooth and you cut to fast they aint going to look good no matter what you use on it.could you all show some pictures and times it takes you please.

Im with you. After you read enough posts, you realize some people may not even know how big an acre is. It takes me about 35 to 40 minutes to mow an acre lot with a half acre of house and driveway in the middle of it. Im trying to get good lines and good cut, and not the fastest buzz job I can do. Ill have another 25 to 30 minutes of edge, trim, blow as Im a solo. I am old and dont run with the trimmer,edger, and blower.

robbo521
08-19-2007, 12:30 AM
thank you cause it takes me that long to with very little trees few beds and drive and other things.thought it was just me.

SangerLawn
08-19-2007, 12:31 AM
if you are doing a acre in 15 to 20 minutes you must have great Chiropractor that not only straightens your back but can also straighten your stripes lol

delphied
08-19-2007, 12:45 AM
Its refreshing to read a post thats believable for a change!

Envy Lawn Service
08-19-2007, 12:46 AM
It just depends on the layout of the property and how fast the terrain will allow you to travel... and which direction you are cutting in. Some you can knock out that quick with a nice stripe job to boot... some you can't.

robbo... you are not wrong, it can be hard on some properties.
But also understand that you are really limited with the 717.
Even if you could increase your ground speed.

For high production, you have to step up to the 60"-72" ZTR's.

On just a 60" alone, every 4 passes you save an entire trip across the lawn and the time it takes to turn around.

With a 72" it's every two passes...

delphied
08-19-2007, 12:51 AM
BTW, Im using a 66 Exmark Lazer z and Im still slow. I got 4 new accounts because the last guy bounced across these yards and left half the grass. But he was done really fast.

Envy Lawn Service
08-19-2007, 02:17 AM
Well guys... I tell ya...

I don't do rush jobs, and I usually do not make a point to really push the production as far as I can. Not unless there is a pressing reason to.

A reasonable pace is easier on me and my equipment.

I've always priced my work by volume and difficulty... and I do not run any jobs on close margins. So I'm comfortable on time. My mowing productivity has increased a great deal due to my equipment purchases and along the way I have also increased my 'by-volume' rates as well.

So I have learned from my logs that I can really step it way up if need be without sacrificing quality. It's just harder on me and my equipment.... but most of all just the idea of rushing takes a lot out of me on a mental level that effects me physically.

I get tense and anxious, and some of the 'personal appreciation and satisfaction' that feeds me is lost.

To be totally honest about it, I achieved a higher level of personal happiness and satisfaction out of my work when I was a lot less productive than I am now just cruising along. I think the reason is that everything I did then was pretty much totally full service to a point it was like niche specialty work, I wasn't totally full time, and this wasn't my sole source of income.

I never even kept time on a job after I did it the first time, because the nature of the accounts and the earnings associated with them were so good. In other words I such a cushion that I never needed to worry about job time. I was paid well enough on everything and was providing such a level of service everywhere that I could hang around and take whatever time needed to achieve perfection.

That's personally rewarding and financially rewarding at the same time.
But it is tedious sometimes....

Now the market has changed and I can't stay busy enough only doing that, especially considering the productivity gained since then. The local state of the economy has slowed/lowered spending and so some accounts have changed, gone by the wayside, etc, and I just can't land enough of that level of work.

I now find my happy medium to be the accounts that pay well for a higher level of service, but do not require me to be tediously flawless every visit. In other words I don't have to comb over everything in the entire lawn and landscape every time before leaving. I can make a lot better time week-in week-out at a lower expense point for the customer and still make good money. Now, if I just had enough of these to totally fill my schedule I'd be thrilled. But unfortunately I don't, and although I make all my lawns look really good... on some of them I have to have the mindset that "time is money."

It's not as personally rewarding, but when the market breaks up like that, what can you do but adapt, adjust and overcome?

So I guess that in the end, what I am trying to say is that high speed and high production isn't always everything. Yes you can pump your earnings on up there to the next level, but money isn't everything either.

topsites
08-19-2007, 04:15 AM
Well...

With the 60" warrior I can double cut my 43,000 square foot lot in 33 minutes at WOT and full stick, but I have to double cut it and still there are a few stragglers sticking up... Not enough to look bad, but I know they're there. So I suppose if I single cut it, then I could whip it out in 15-20, but what a terrible job! It simply doesn't cut good at much past 6-7mph or so.

When I first got the Z I used to love pushing that machine to the limit. But it is hard on me and the machine, and after the 'new' wore off, I slowed down. The days of full stick cutting for me are done, this is my 3rd rough year out of 6, the first is included and normal. My 3rd year was as bad as this one but I did something different, which was to lowball and in the end I find I got skru'd as hard as I'm taking it now, so I find I'd rather watch TV and go broke, seeing how I'm going to be in dire financial straights either way.

Meanwhile thou, I did find a niche which like yourself, if only I had enough customers of this kind. I charge at least $5 more for the same service, and I spend more time there. It's all the same thing, I just spend more time there, I found +10 minutes for $5 extra actually earns me more in the end than doing more lawns, so 8 x 35 (280) is better for me than 10 x 30 (300), that lousy $20 doesn't make up for all the extra maintenance and driving time and everything else (more deposits, larger schedule, etc), it just doesn't.

And I've kept going, more than a few yards I'm at $10 over the standard rate, I do little extras but there are other things as well... I'm not here to rip them off, I always say never use what I know against the customer, but use it for their benefit (so if they don't know something costs $100 I don't charge them $200 just because I can, even if I am sure I can get away with it). At the same rate if I find something on sale, I split the discount with them 50/50 (my incentive too). Just examples, I would NEVER cut a lawn that hasn't grown just to bill them, there are many things that even thou I'm not perfect I just don't do, and I feel honesty in and of itself is worth a little extra, too... Call it insurance, call it peace of mind, call it dependability and integrity, but more than anything if the customer adds up the money they spend on me per YEAR vs. someone else, they should find I'm actually cheaper on an annual basis (try and explain this to the folks looking for the cheapest service).

In that sense, apparently a lot of Lco's cut weekly season round, which is to say I am sure there are times they run blades over thin air, there's just no way that stuff grew in 100F weather. That's something else I just don't do, my lawns can get right lofty between cuts, my cut in summer is over 4" high and most of them are on 3-4 weeks during the heat, it just doesn't need it any more often... Yet another money saver, for those customers paying attention.

But I think in time, so long I continue to practice the technique I preach, in time things should improve, a lot of these changes are new and not all of my old customers adapted or took heart with me, so be it.

But no, I don't see how you can cut an acre in 15-20 unless you've got fields and a tractor, or a wam. Either that or you're full sticking it on a single cut and doing a lousy job, you have to look behind yourself sometimes to make sure the blades are engaged, is my attitude.

Peace out

HS Football Rules
08-19-2007, 07:12 AM
:dizzy:

LOL...have you two ever heard the phrase..." In a nutshell"..:hammerhead:

:dizzy:

just playin lol :cool2:

Tom c.
08-19-2007, 08:20 AM
Well guys... I tell ya...

I don't do rush jobs, and I usually do not make a point to really push the production as far as I can. Not unless there is a pressing reason to.

A reasonable pace is easier on me and my equipment.

I've always priced my work by volume and difficulty... and I do not run any jobs on close margins. So I'm comfortable on time. My mowing productivity has increased a great deal due to my equipment purchases and along the way I have also increased my 'by-volume' rates as well.

So I have learned from my logs that I can really step it way up if need be without sacrificing quality. It's just harder on me and my equipment.... but most of all just the idea of rushing takes a lot out of me on a mental level that effects me physically.

I get tense and anxious, and some of the 'personal appreciation and satisfaction' that feeds me is lost.

To be totally honest about it, I achieved a higher level of personal happiness and satisfaction out of my work when I was a lot less productive than I am now just cruising along. I think the reason is that everything I did then was pretty much totally full service to a point it was like niche specialty work, I wasn't totally full time, and this wasn't my sole source of income.

I never even kept time on a job after I did it the first time, because the nature of the accounts and the earnings associated with them were so good. In other words I such a cushion that I never needed to worry about job time. I was paid well enough on everything and was providing such a level of service everywhere that I could hang around and take whatever time needed to achieve perfection.

That's personally rewarding and financially rewarding at the same time.
But it is tedious sometimes....

Now the market has changed and I can't stay busy enough only doing that, especially considering the productivity gained since then. The local state of the economy has slowed/lowered spending and so some accounts have changed, gone by the wayside, etc, and I just can't land enough of that level of work.

I now find my happy medium to be the accounts that pay well for a higher level of service, but do not require me to be tediously flawless every visit. In other words I don't have to comb over everything in the entire lawn and landscape every time before leaving. I can make a lot better time week-in week-out at a lower expense point for the customer and still make good money. Now, if I just had enough of these to totally fill my schedule I'd be thrilled. But unfortunately I don't, and although I make all my lawns look really good... on some of them I have to have the mindset that "time is money."

It's not as personally rewarding, but when the market breaks up like that, what can you do but adapt, adjust and overcome?

So I guess that in the end, what I am trying to say is that high speed and high production isn't always everything. Yes you can pump your earnings on up there to the next level, but money isn't everything either.

Well said Envy!!! I agree with you 100%. I hate feeling like everything is numbers : how much can you crank out in a day! I try not to get cought up in the volume game. Some times it gets tough! I work solo and like it that way! I try to get quality accts but you always wind up with some pitas you just have to weed them out. Gonna go full time in the spring so Ill have to do some advertising so that should be interesting!!! Take care Lawndude!!:laugh:

Duncan90si
08-19-2007, 08:40 AM
Even though I don't do it much, I can cut an acre in about 15-20 minutes. If there is only an inch or two of growth, and its nice grass and not weeds, I can do it and it'll look good. Do I do it all the time or even try to do it? No. If my blades are dull or the ground is bumpy then forget it. It won't look good enough IMO.

I normally only cut large fields at this pace because its pointless to try to race around to get done all the time. Secondly, I'm sure most customers wouldn't really like me ripping around at 15mph across their yard. :)

28efi 60" Hustler Super Z is the mower I'm speaking of.

heather lawn sp
08-19-2007, 09:00 AM
Well said Envy!!! I agree with you 100%. I hate feeling like everything is numbers : how much can you crank out in a day! I try not to get cought up in the volume game. Some times it gets tough! I work solo and like it that way! I try to get quality accts but you always wind up with some pitas you just have to weed them out. Gonna go full time in the spring so Ill have to do some advertising so that should be interesting!!! Take care Lawndude!!:laugh:

OK . .

We've heard from the home owner mowing crews

We routinely crank out 25 acres a day 125 acres a week with 2 mowers and 2 trimmers and 2 crew members

You may not like the 'numbers game' but we've been at this project for 4 years, and full time for 18 years. Is this a 'hobby' or a 'business' industry? In a hobby you do what you like, in a business you do what you have to.

Now the back story. The stories of an acre in 15 to 25 minutes may be coming from the institutional mowers. We can take down a football field in about 35 minutes 72" 31 hp diesel 997 Deere. The 2nd mower is a 54". To maintain this volume on a weekly basis IS hard on the hardware. It takes a third person on support.
The call goes out 'machine down' and things happen to get it going again. Usually that day. Parts can be as much as 2 days away. Welding work is done within 12 hours.

lawnprosteveo
08-19-2007, 05:38 PM
To be totally honest about it, I achieved a higher level of personal happiness and satisfaction out of my work when I was a lot less productive .
I feel exactly the same way. When I had a couple of helpers and we were going at it hard, I just never really got as much out of the job as I do when I am solo or just me and my wife working at a slower pace.

robbo521
08-19-2007, 09:45 PM
thanks!hey Envy,i plan on adding the 60 at the end of the year.just not sure which one.love my Deere but i am a open person.

Envy Lawn Service
08-19-2007, 10:09 PM
thanks!hey Envy,i plan on adding the 60 at the end of the year.just not sure which one.love my Deere but i am a open person.

In the end, if you want productivity without killing yourself and the mower, you need the biggest practical mower... and in the end it is REALLY all about finding a machine that can conquer your mowing conditions in one pass... DONE.

A mower twice as fast or twice as large does you no good really unless it can produce acceptable results in a single pass at a reasonable pace.

robbo521
08-20-2007, 12:24 AM
the 48 is great for what i have now.next year will be new and i have 3 apartment buildings lined up next year.woman at church has them and her husband told me the bids to help me out so it is time to get a bigger one.he even told me he would help me get it if need to.which i will need help due to credit past.these 3 and me keeping 3 of the ones i have now is all i would want and be happy.

fiveoboy01
08-20-2007, 01:33 AM
To be totally honest about it, I achieved a higher level of personal happiness and satisfaction out of my work when I was a lot less productive.

I'm somewhat in the same boat.

There ARE times I'm forced to rush, for whatever reason. When I get done with a property I'm simply not happy.

I realize productivity is important but at the same time, the pace needs to be kept at a level where quality is maintained.

I think part of it is simply a learning curve, as time goes by you can increase productivity and retain the same high level of quality, whether it be through better equipment or more experience.