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Doc
01-21-2000, 07:38 AM
Hi Everyone,<p>I would like to thank all of you for the wealth of information that I have received in the last few month of reading your posts on this forum. I have a question that some of you could help me to understand a little better. We have a private road with six houses and it is a dead end. On one side of the road there are four houses each on an acre plot. The other side two houses on two acres each. We all wish to use the same person to mow and trim our lawns. We want them cut every four days, five days, if fourth day falls on a Sunday or next day after rain fall. All work is to be done on the same day, it take one man about three and half hours, start to finish. We need Spring and Fall Clean-up, Aeration and Thatch Removal as needed. Everything else we do ourselves. We take our lawns and yards seriously. We want grass mulched or bagged. What should this cost? We always have a problem having these terms met maybe we are not offering enough. Signing a contract is no problem for us. Please help.<p>Mow and Trim: Cost per cut or per month or per season.<br>Spring and Fall Clean-up: Single or Both. <br>Aeration:<br>Thatch Removal:<p>Doc

GroundKprs
01-21-2000, 07:56 AM
Others may give you help on cost, Doc. Would be better if you stated your approximate location in NY, because rates vary dramatically across the country. There are many in this business who will not provide the service you wish, and probably only a few who will. Perhaps this story will help you.<p>My friend Bob does full maintenance on a small condo area. He was approached this year by one of the largest condo associations in the region. This assn expressed to him the same frustrations you hint at. They formed a committee to go out and look at all condo complexes in 2 county area to decide which ones looked best, and decided Bob's was #1, so they contacted him about maintenance. Bob didn't give them an estimate, because he doesn't like huge sites.<p>Suggest you pick out a few sites in region similar size as yours that you like the appearance of, and contact property owner/manager to find contractor. As you might have seen in commercial forum, the good contractors in this field do not seek more work, it finds them. <p>----------<br>Jim<br>South Bend, IN

Doc
01-21-2000, 08:24 AM
Groundkprs,<p>Thanks for the reply. I just wanted to know about how much it would take to get this job done. We are only talking about eight acres in total.

curlawngreen
01-21-2000, 10:35 AM
how do you figure it will only take 3.5 hours for &quot;about 8 acres &quot; bagging takes 1.5 times longer than discharge.do you want weed eating, edgeing, blowing,pick-up sticks,ckeck condition of turf,ornimentals,trees. do you talk to lawn personal?<p>----------<br>curlawngreen<br>

Doc
01-21-2000, 11:07 AM
Curlawngreen,<p>Thank you for your reply. It isn't eight acres of grass. I would say about four acres total grass. I have seen it cut and bagged or mulched many times in the time that I stated. We are serious about the way our property is kept. There are no sticks, bottles, rocks or any other kind of debris on our lawns. Clean-up is for fall leaves. Spring is a little different but we are willing to pay. Our main problem is to get someone to cut the lawns every four days. How much would you charge?<p>Doc<p>

Stephen
01-21-2000, 11:39 AM
Doc - where in NY are you located as this will help greatly in figuring a guesstimate for you without looking at the site.<p>----------<br>Stephen<br>

Doc
01-21-2000, 12:33 PM
Stephen,<p>Thank you for your reply. I live on Long Island.<p>Doc

HOMER
01-21-2000, 05:55 PM
Well, I wished you lived in the south. I would love to have that opportunity! Approximately how many mowings would that be per year, I don't know your season? I mow my accounts on a 10 day schedule here, you must have fast growing grass! I have a hard time believing you can't find someone that would jump on that opportunity. How much have you been paying is the question I would like to know, and maybe we could put our heads together to see if you were low on your $$$$$$$$$$. A lot of the dicussions in the forum have dealt with price and cost of business. This is a difficult question you have asked and one that would probably need to be looked at first hand. It is my opinion that if the residents of the street can afford to pay a little extra to get good quality, dependable help, then raise the bar a few notches. I would jump all over that deal! I would love to see the public view this type of work as more than the kid next door with a pushmower. There are some really educated people out there that have put a lot of effort into starting,running, and maintaining their business. Personally I have invested over $30,000.00 in equipment in the last 2 years. One has to have the proper equipment to stay competitive in this business. When they make the commitment they tend to be serious and they also take care of their families on this income. I am not mad as I type this, nor do I believe that everybody does work that should rate on any scale, but if you find a guy that will do what you want, tell him how good a job he is doing and slip him a little extra now and then. Treat him like a professional and he will give back in return.

Doc
01-21-2000, 10:16 PM
Homer,<p>Thanks for your time, it is greatly appreciated. I wish that you were able too. I know and understand that it takes an investment of your time, education and money to do business. I believe in paying for services that have been rendered to me. I have learned over the years to treat everyone with respect and as I, myself, want to be treated. If I were in your business, I would expect to be paid and paid well. Only a fool expects others to do good work and not be paid well. In my area there are a number of people who do good work but none want to meet our requirements of the four day cutting cycle. Is this really to much to ask? Please tell me if we really are asking to much.<p>Doc<br>

HOMER
01-21-2000, 10:45 PM
I could only speak for myself on the 4 day cycle. It would be pretty hard but not if you scheduled it that way. If a man already has a route established it would be tough for him to fit it in. On the other hand if a newcomer is looking for something solid that will benefit and help his business grow, then theres your man. What type of grass do you have and does it have to be cut every 4 days? Could you stretch it to 6 day intervals? Are you and the others willing to pay a co. 12 months a year so he doesn't have any lapse in income? I still, even at 4 day intervals, would accept the challenge and if needed, drop lower paying or seaonal accounts to make room for yours. Everybody has some accounts they keep just for the money but would want to let go, I do. Have you advertised outside of your area a little ways? Maybe it would be worth the drive to someone else if not local people. How far is Long Island from Glenns Falls/Hudson Falls? I have an Aunt and a host of cousins in that area, I will come up there for $...,....00 that much and take care of all your needs, maybe I could commute! would do ya say?

curlawngreen
01-21-2000, 11:35 PM
$50 per acre per cut

Doc
01-21-2000, 11:54 PM
Homer,<p>Thank you again. Your Aunt is a long ways from me I am down state. Your idea of getting someone new is a good one, provided I can find a good working new person. I have tried to get someone from outside my area but no success. No six days four is the maximum. If I can't find someone soon I may decide to do it myself. I would have to buy a really good mower and high wheel trimmer. Buying is the easy part, learning to use them I don't know. I can hear Lazer now telling me to get a LAZER and Eric saying get a Dixie Chopper. In my area, I have seen more WALKERS than anything else. <p>Doc

Doc
01-22-2000, 12:13 AM
Curlawngreen,<p>Thank you for the kindness, I though that I may have been offering to little but that is not the case according to the figure that you gave me. Your figure is below what I have been offering.<p>Doc

HOMER
01-22-2000, 04:46 AM
UREEEEKER, I got it, you said you might buy the equipment yourself? Why don't you all (ya'll ) get together and buy the needed equipment then go in search of a guy /gal who has experience working with a lawn care co. and pay him a decent wage, this way it would provide more opportunity for him/her to get out on his own. Maybe you could offer to sell him the equipment after a year of service for the depreciated value! You would have a guy/girl in your pocket then! There are many employees of lawn care crews looking to open their own business but do not have the resources. This way everybody wins, you carry the burden of the equipment for a while until he could afford to pay you for it. Make a contract, stipulate that you will offer to sell after 1 year of service if all homeowners agree that the quality and dependability was there. You might make the overall length of the contract 2 years with the option to buy the equipment after 1. Set him up as an independant contractor and 1099 him at the end of the year. You won't be responsible for the taxes, just the equipment. Add some clauses stating he must maintain equipment i.e., oil changes, tune ups and such.This would give a guy a chance to get in thwe business but would have to go through a 2 year( basic training )stint with your group. It could also give an otherwise unemployed man/woman a job for at least 2 years! Think about that and let me know.<p>Homer

Doc
01-22-2000, 11:03 PM
Homer,<p>I greatly appreciate all your help. You have out done yourself this time. It is a stroke of genius, absolutely brilliant. I will put this matter before the others but I will be needing some ideas as to what to buy and the projected cost. In this way I can present everything with figures and an equipment list. I will let each one know their projected responsibility and we can make an informed decision. We also possess skills that would be of assistance to this person. Iím sorry I didnít get back to you sooner but the server seems to have experienced some technical difficulties. <p>Doc<br>

HOMER
01-22-2000, 11:48 PM
Thanks Doc, I'm glad I could help you out. I feel there is a person out there waiting for someone like you. It's times like these when everyone is supposed to be prospering so much (I'm still on the list )that we should lend a hand and offer opportunities to those less fortunate. A lot of people have the desire to succeed but find themselves overwhelmed by the complexity of it all. If you find the right guy and get him on his way with proper coaching, you will instill in him a sense of pride and immense gratitude. So many people could easily offer their time and assistance to others and make a change in their life. I believe we all should accept a challenge at some point and help others less fortunate than ourselves.<p>Your equipment list should consist of a good commercial mower, preferably a zero turn mower such as a Dixie Chopper like I own. I would suggest a 50&quot; or 60&quot; cut with at least a 22 hp motor. This will run around $9000.00. One trimmer would be sufficient for your new man and an edger if you have any concrete you would like edged. I paid $324.00 for each of mine, they are Stihl. A blower is next on the shopping list, again I use a Stihl and Echo, the Stihl is better and lighter, a lot lighter! My price was $435.00 tax taters and all. I don't know the terrain but you might need a 21&quot; push/self propelled mower. I don't use mine a whole lot but I have to on occasion. Mine is a Snapper (non commercial) super six. I think it was $499.00. It adds up quick doesn't it? If this poor ol' redneck in Alabama can manage these things I know collectively you guys can, and you can always get rid of it later if things don't work out. If you get good on the mower, you might even enjoy it.<p>I wouldn't let this stuff leave the block until you gained trust in your new man so one of you or all of you would have to store it someplace safe. <p>I'm all out of suggestions right at the moment, but I'm sure I will think of some more!! Let me know how it goes.<p>Homer

Doc
01-23-2000, 01:30 AM
Homer,<p>I am going to save all of this for the future. I intend to let the future person know, that this whole thing was your idea and that the credit belongs to you. My group and I will only be filling in the blanks. I have never seen anyone in this area using a Dixie Chopper only Walkers, Lazers and John Deeres. Walkers seem to be king in the area. I checked the net and found that there is a Dixie Chopper dealer only a few miles from me. I was surprised. I have seen Ericís website and it is just beautiful. Does the Dixie Chopper have a mulching system and if so does it work well? Homer, I am going to suggest to the rest of the group that each of us put up 3K. I believe that we can get everything you said for that. Thank you. What do you think about me starting a new post? In this post I will ask owners of the main mowers to give me the pros and cons of their machines. <p>Doc<br>

Eric ELM
01-23-2000, 03:04 AM
Hi Doc, Don't listen to Lazer, he will have you going to the wrong store. LOL :) You mentioned checking out my website, did you read how I get rid of clippings on the clippings page? Those lawns are cut with that method using my 6 and 7 year old Choppers. If you could move those lawns over here to Chicago, I would be glad to cut them. I have several where I cut 3 in a row and putting those stripes across all of them at once looks neat. For the right price, I'd sell my grass hut and come out there and mow them every day. We would have stripes going every direction possible. :) <p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>

Doc
01-23-2000, 04:03 AM
Eric,<p>Thank you for the reminder, I read your information but needed to refresh my recollection. Is your method a type of mulching? Are Dixie Choppers able to bag? I have never seen anyone here using them. I told Homer, I was surprised to find there is a dealer only a few miles from me. Homer said they cost around 9K but he didnít say which model. Do you have a suggestion? Also what is your opinion of the Lazers, John Deeres, and Walkers? I would think each has strengths and weaknesses. LAZER, if you are out there speak for your machine. Any Walker owners speak also. Thank you for your time Eric.<p>Doc<br>

HOMER
01-23-2000, 05:47 AM
Whats up Doc? That would be a great idea, the more knowledgable you are the greater your ability to make an informed decision. Another suggestion is to get the dealers in yur area to come out and give all of you a demo of their machine. I would tell them that you are about to drop around 12K and you want to see ahead of time what you are buying. <p>Eric would probably be as informed as anyone on the Choppers. You should join us in his Dixie Chopper chat room and we could discuss the finer points. One advantage the Chopper has over all the rest is the O.C.D.C.(OPERATOR CONTROLLED DISCHARGE CHUTE ) This is standard on all their commercial models and enables the operator do close off the chute when mulching and open it when he wants to discharge. I find it to be a valuable tool in this business because there are many times you will encounter wet grass and no matter what anyone says, wet grass clumps up. With a machime dedicated to mulching only you have to run over it and over it to smooth everything out, the Chopper can mulch it once and if the clippings begin to clump the chute can be opened up and the operator can run over them again dispersing them easily. As for which unit to buy I would suggest an XW model meaning wide chassis, with a 22 to 25 hp engine and 60&quot; deck. Dixie does offer a bagger for the 60&quot; model as well. Another option would be to purchase a pull behind sweeper,they work well for picking up debris and clippings. You guys could start a compost pile with all that you're going to have and call it &quot;COMMUNITY COMPOST&quot; ! You would save on compost by making your own and there should be plenty of it mowing every 4 days. Personally, I am a satisfied owner of 2 choppers, 1 50&quot; Flatlander and 1 72&quot; City Slicker. I have had no trouble with either and would buy another in a heartbeat. One of my competitors in this area runs Lazers and Choppers. I asked him one day which one he prefered most and his answer was the Chopper. It's all a matter of opinion I guess thats why I would get a demonstration of each machine. Luckily you have a little time before you have to decide.<p>Put it to a vote on the forum again, but ask for the pros and cons, not just which model. This forum has been a valuable learning tool for me and I've met some very helpful people. I hope we can keep it.<p>Homer

Lazer
01-23-2000, 09:39 AM
Doc,<p>I did write a detailed response yesterday, but the server wouln't take it. Anyway, I suggested you aquire your own equipment and have a guy come mow and do other tasks for you.<p>Also, I thought a commercial contractor would get about $300/per time for those sites. I've done jobs exactly like that before.<p>Anyway, as far as commercial mowers go, I really don't have an opinion. :) Yeah, right.<p>Just look at Exmarks sales figures.

curlawngreen
01-23-2000, 10:21 AM
4 houses @ 1 acre = 4 acres<br>2 houses @ 2 acres = 4 acres<br> 8 acres<br>8 acres @ $50 an acre = $ 400.00<br>this is an estimate not a bid

Doc
01-23-2000, 12:29 PM
Homer,<p>Thank you again, I will look into a demonstration of all available mowers in this area. You said that you only have to close the discharge door but what about the baffles. Have you ever tried Ericís two blades per spindle thing? It works for him but his grass is taller than our grass or would that make any difference? I will make a new post for pros and cons of each machine. Thank you for the suggestion on what to ask for.<p>Doc<br>

Doc
01-23-2000, 12:30 PM
Lazer,<p>I wish to thank you for your response and for your effort. I believe the server experienced some technical difficulties. One way that you can prevent the loss of your work is to use your word processor and then copy it to your clipboard, finally paste it in the reply box of the forum. Is that $300.00/per cut taking into consideration Homerís procedure of setting the person up in business or what? I didnít understand what you meant. I am a little slow sometimes so please explain. I am following Homer suggestion and starting a new post where I will ask for the pros and cons of the various machines. Please give me your thoughts there. Thank you.<p>Doc <br>

Doc
01-23-2000, 12:31 PM
Curlawngreen,<p>Thank you for your reply and for the figures. I was only speaking about the amount of grass that had to be cut and the time that I have seen it cut in. When I originally spoke of eight acres, I was talking of price and we were willing to pay more than what you have quoted. You have been a great help because I know for sure that I was not being disrespectful to any Lawn Care Professional by offering him or her garbage money. Thank you.<p>Doc<br>

HOMER
01-23-2000, 04:33 PM
Hi Doc, Yes I am currently running two blades per spindle on both my choppers. As long as you don't hit anything solid the blades will stay put. It works very well and reduces leaves and grass to dust. As for the baffles, that is by design. After a minute or so those baffles will clog up and you will in effect have a blocked chute. If they don't clog it allows air in to better circulate the clippings and debris. These commercial mowers generate a lot of vaccum and need air coming in to help with the process. You will have a little debris that escapes but I believe you would have that with any machine. I cross cut almost every lawn I mow to give it a groomed appearance anyway so there is nothing left to show but a flat cleanly mowed lawn. <p>Good luck with the poll and with the demos. Make those guys work for the sale, if they know you have 3 or 4 dealers coming out I would think that would be leverage in your favor.<p>See ya,<p>Homer

Doc
01-24-2000, 12:11 PM
Homer,<p>I wish to thank you again for all your help. We have decided to do this pending our research for equipment and final estimates. We are thinking of using two people instead of one, partnership. We each will put up 3K and the two of us with the larger parcels will add an extra 1K each. We will also build a computer system and add the necessary software. Are there any scalping problems with high speed cutting of the Dixie Choppers and short grass heights? Since blades will have to be sharpened often, how do you change them? I was carefully looking the machine over on its website. I did the same with the other four machines. What are your thoughts on a high wheel trimmer? Is there anything else that we need to consider?<p>Doc<br>

HOMER
01-24-2000, 03:34 PM
Hi again Doc, <p>I am glad to hear things are progressing well. I will try to answer your questions based on the knowledge I have.<p>#1. SCALPING. If you buy the 60&quot; Dixie Chopper it has an ample supply of anti-scalp wheels to prevent most scalping, I say most because a lot of scalping occurs when an inexperienced operator gets on a machine and approaches uneven terrain from the wrong angle or doesn't compensate for a rise in the turf by raising his deck a click or two. Getting to know the terrain is all it takes to avoid any mistakes. I mentioned the Chopper but in all fairness the Lazer has plenty of anti-scalp wheels as well. The deck lift on the Chopper is located on the floor pan by your left foot. Once the operator gets used to this it is a snap to raise the deck up and down as needed, even at a nice speed you simply click it up with the ball of your left foot or place your foot at the bottom of the pedal and bring it down. My Scag has a handle on the right side that you raise and lower the deck with and since I am familiar with both types I prefer the floor pan version now. I don't know how short you want to keep your grass but if you have fairly even terrain you should have no problem with either machine I mentioned. Letting the grass grow longer has many advantages, eliminating scalping problems is only one of many.<p>#2. BLADE CHANGES I either do one of two things, put the mower on car ramps to remove the blades or put it on my trailer ramp if I am in the field. It works fine on ramps, be sure to chock one or both of the back tires for safety sake. To remove the blades you have to go under the deck using a 15/16&quot; socket on a 1/2&quot; drive ratchet. There are 3 bolts, one for each blade. The bolt is removed in standard fashion, nothing unique here but be sure to put everything back the way it came off. Starting with the cupped washer, don't turn it over, re-install it the way it came off, it has a purpose. You will also find a leather type flat washerbetween the blade and spacer, be sure to put it back on as well. I know there is a torque spec. on the blades but I have my own method of tightening them. I have found that by snugging the blades up good rather than putting everything you have into it, the blade removal will be easier the next time. I have never had a blade come loose. If they are overtightened you may have to call out the troops to help you loosen them. All it takes is a blade hitting something solid and there you are, get a pipe! i would recommend sharpening the blades every 4 to 8 hrs. of use. You may not need to if conditions are optimal but never exceed 10 for sure. Always keep a spare set around just in case. You will need a blade sharpener, I use a bench grinder and get them as sharp as possible, others have a true lawnmower blade sharpening device. Be sure to balance the blades, they also sell blade balancers. I hang mine on a nail, probably not the preffered way but I have never had a spindle related problem. I also don't rely on others to sharpen them. If you do get one that is out of balance, remove it. It will do damage to your spindles, and vibrate the mower to pieces. You'll know it if it happens.<p>#3. HIGH WHEEL TRIMMER I would not invest in this. A man with a hand trimmer can do much, much, more than a guy with a tricycle lawn mower! If you want to spend a little more since it will be a community thing get a chipper shredder of some kind so you can grind up all the sticks and debis. In no time you can have a compost pile started and once it goes through a heat you can use it for your beds!<p>#4 OTHER CONSIDERATIONS I checked out a aerato made by John Deere the other day. For your uses it might be O.K. It cost around $380.00 but would be a worthwhile investment. Eric is buying an electric fertilizer spreader to mount on his Chopper, that would be another good one for the ground you are covering.<p>I will be thinking about more. E-mail me and I will be working on it!<p>Homer

Stephen
01-24-2000, 07:00 PM
i don't know how many other guys thought about this but i looked into the push trimmer such as the dr., and my main concern is after i spent all that time manicuring a lawn to get stripes, i don't wan't to push the trimmer across the lawn to each tree, bed, etc. that needs to be trimmed and leave wheel marks all across the grass to make the job look shabby. you can actually see the wheel tracks very clearly in almost all conditions.<p>----------<br>Stephen<br>

Doc
01-25-2000, 02:43 AM
Homer,<p>I appreciate the full description of my questions. Some grasses are very beautiful but require a lot of care. They must be maintained at certain heights and mowed regularly. I will forget about the high wheel trimmer. I will get one of those commercial sticks you were talking about. Can you tell me the difference between a mid-mount machine and an out front machine? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type? Do both cut grass well? You mentioned a blade sharpener, do you have brand in mind? The John Deere aerator you mentioned is that one you attach to the machine and pull or does it work some other way? If you pull it, will it damage the turf on the turns? Homer, we already have a chipper/shredder.<p>Doc

Doc
01-25-2000, 02:44 AM
Stephen,<p>Thank you for your help. Homer is in agreement with you. He stated that they are not the best thing to use either. We will leave that one alone. Thank you. What mower do you use? <p>Doc

HOMER
01-25-2000, 07:07 AM
Doc, <br>A midmount mower is what you have been looking at, the mower deck sits beneath the rider/behind the front wheels. A front deck mower is similar to something you would see on a golf course. The deck is out in front of the operator. Most commercial mower mfg.'s make a front deck. Exmark, Scag, John Deere, Grasshopper and Toro to mention a few. Walker mowers are also an out front mower. The midmounts are more maneuverable and get the job done faster, they also have the ability to make a zero radius turn. An out front has more mechanical parts and are not something I see many commercial guys use. You can't fit many on a trailer! Dixie Chopper does not sell an out front. The ability to cut grass well is dependant on the design of the deck, how it is chambered, how the air flows in & out of it. They should all cut grass well.<br>I would ask about the blade tip speed though, I believe in higher speed! <br>I use a 6&quot;Black & Decker bench grinder, I have not invested in the real thing yet! I do know there was a post earlier on concerning blade sharpening. Go to the top of the page and click on search, it will pull up all the pages concerning this discussion. I do know that others mentioned what they used.<p>The aerator I looked at had 3 seperate tine assemblies. I assume as you turn the outside tines slow down and the inside speed up. I asked Eric about his and he said you would not tear the grass unless you made a extemely sharp turn. I have not used that one yet but am in the market, even if I have to rent one. I hope this helped.<p>Homer

Stephen
01-25-2000, 09:26 AM
Doc- currently i have a 36&quot; and 52&quot; Scag walkbehinds, a 48&quot; woods walkbehind and a 52&quot; Exmark Lazer Z ZTR, i have 4 trimmers: 2 echos, a green machine and small stihl, red max and echo hedge trimmers and a little wonder push blower that doubles as a vac i hook up to my trailer and a echo hand blower.<p>----------<br>Stephen<br>

Doc
01-25-2000, 09:29 PM
Homer,<p>Thanks again for your answer but this time I am very confused with it. I have seen being cut with the Walker, SCAG Turf Runner, EXMARK Explorer, and JOHN DEERE Z-Trak. As I stated previously, these are the machines used by the lawn care professionals in my area and they are small. I thought from the information I found on the net that these are also ZTR machines. Please feel free to correct me if I am in error. I need clarification on this matter.<p>Doc<br>

Doc
01-25-2000, 09:30 PM
Stephen,<p>Thank you for sharing your equipment list with me. I have read the posts concerning your equipment and most were favorable. Have you had any problems with anything?<p>Doc<br>

accuratelawn
01-25-2000, 09:56 PM
Doc,<br>The mowers that you listed-<br>Walker JD Z-Tract Exmark explorer are ZTR mowers. The difference between those mowers and say a Dixie or Lazer is that they have the deck out front whereas the Dixie and Lazer are mid mounts.<br>Jeff<br>Take a closer look on their respective web pages. Exmark.com Walker.com

Doc
01-25-2000, 10:44 PM
Accuratelawn,<p>Thank you for explaining this to me, but would you do me one more kindness and help me to under the advantages and disadvantages of each type. <p>Doc<br>

Keith
01-26-2000, 12:12 AM
The mowers you listed that are front mowers are ztr's. I use a Grasshopper 721, and Yazoo/Kees ZTMax for riders. The Grasshopper is a front deck mower and the ZTMax is a mid mount. The Grasshopper has a three cylinder liquid cooled Kubota gas engine. As far as reliable engines, they are probably tops. The problem with Grasshopper has been the support from dealers to distributors to the Grasshopper company itself. I really liked mine when I first got it and really it is still a good mower but without a good dealer and distributor I would not recommend it. The mower is extremely well built but it is almost like you are dealing with a separate company when it comes to service and parts. Others may have better dealers/distributors and may not run into the problems I have with Grasshopper.<p>The Yazoo/Kees is a lot like the Exmark Lazer. Exmark and F.D. Kees are based in the same small town in Nebraska (Beatrice). I chose it over the Lazer based on price and a couple of other small things. It is obvious that Exmark and F.D. Kees had a good relationship when these machines first came out. From what I understand, a company bought Yazoo and F.D. Kees in 1998 and that's where the use of Yazoo/Kees name came. Exmark was bought by Toro in 1998. The ZTMax really has nothing to do with Yazoo. The two brands are built in different locations. In fact I asked a Yazoo dealer for a price on a ZTMax and he could not get them, he was a Yazoo dealer but not a Yazoo/Kees dealer. In late 1999 the F.D. Kees part of Yazoo/ Kees was purchased by Husqvarna. So now there are four companies making mowers that originated from one. Hope I didn't confuse anybody. LOL<p>As far as which cuts better, they both cut very well. The front deck is a little more stable on steeper hillsides due to its length and lower center of gravity. The front deck will mow under things and in corners better. If you have a really tight spot you can pull into or under something more easily. The downside is it is longer and you have part of the machine in back and you really have to be careful not to sling it into anything, but it is not that hard once you get used to it. <p>The mid mount mows a lot faster (generally) and will mow fairly steep hillsides. They seem to be much simpler and on the average yard is just fine. If pulled up to a bed midmounts will just back out without any damage. Sometimes front mounts, with their small front wheels, will tear the grass if you are not careful. The midmount does not stop as well on hillsides. Other than that they are both good machines. Midmounts just seem to be the way to go.<p>I would base my choice on the dealer support. You will not go wrong with the Lazer or a Dixie Chopper if you have a good dealer. They are both really good machines. I live in Florida which is of no help to you, but both machines are popular here and both cut well.<p>If catching clippings is important, I hate to say this, but Walker is the clear cut machine to have.

HOMER
01-26-2000, 07:11 AM
Doc, <p>My suggestion would be to have the respective deaalers bring their midmount ztr's and their out front mowers and demo both. I have never operated an out front mower so I could not give a fair overview of one. I have heard a lot of bad things about the Scag Turfrunner, even from the dealer. There is one or two that run a front deck mower in my area, one is a Kubota, the other a John Deere. I finally saw a Walker being used the other day by a Co. that commutes bak and forth from a town 30 miles from here. My dealer sells Walkers and nobody in my town buys them. The problem for commercial cutters is the overall lengt and size of the front decks. I would have a hard time getting around some of my smaller yards with one. I would also be limited to the # I can get on my trailer. I am hauling 3 mowers now and it takes a 20&quot; trailer to do this. I know I couldn't fit 3 (maybe 3 walkers would) out front mowers on it.<p>Your situation is different,yours will be a dedicated machine staying on the ground at all times. It is easier to change the blades on the out front mowers because most of them have flip up decks. I would have to demo one myself one day to find out more about them, pros and con. Make the dealers work for their sale! Get all of them demo'd and go over them with a fine tooth comb. Drive them yourself, they may not let you engage the blades except on the true demo units, I could not cut with mine until it WAS mine. It will be a process of elimination for you and the others.<p>Scott

Doc
01-26-2000, 03:28 PM
Keith,<p>I wish to thank you for your time and help. No grasshoppers in my area but it sounds like a good machine that is poorly backed-up. I have seen this happen many times over the years. You would think companies would learn from the downfall of so many before them but they donít. I have not heard anything good about SCAG, I think I will remove them from my list. I also read some other posts that indicated that the original owner has left and started a new company. Things like that usually cause problems in the initial phase of separation. I have some concerns about the small front wheels tearing up the grass. Is this an operator problem or machine one. Hills are not a problem. Ideally catching clippings one cut and mulch the other is what we would prefer. Since we cut every four days that would give enough time for the mulch to break down. <p>Doc<br>

Doc
01-26-2000, 03:28 PM
Homer,<p>Thank you again. I was going to one of the dealers today but the storm prevented me. Officials have stated that if it were unnecessary to go out, then we should remain home. I only went out to the mailbox and to inspect my property to see if there was any storm damage, I found none. I like that you can easily change the blades on the out-front mowers because of the flip up decks. It appears as if this would be a plus, if the cutting is as good as that of the mid-mounts. Being able to pick up clipping every other time is also a plus. You mentioned smaller yards, how small are they? It is funny how things are. In your town Walkers are not even used, here they are king. I am down to one of four, no SCAG. <p>Doc<p>

Keith
01-26-2000, 06:27 PM
Funny you should mention Scag. I had a problem with a Scag walkbehind about 6 years ago. The dealer and distributor were pretty good about dealing with the problem. They gave me a mower to use (4 months) while they decided what to do with mine. They eventually replaced it with another. But the cut was never up to my standard on any of the three machines. I sold the mower at a pretty good loss shortly after.<p>As for your question regarding the small tires on the front mowers tearing up grass. It actually result from the small squared off tires. A larger rounded tire is not going to have the problem. The Grasshopper tends to do it worse than the Walker due to the heavier deck. It can be mostly avoided by a careful operator, but will happen from time to time. I would not consider it a huge problem.<p>Also, if the idea of a liquid cooled Kubota engine interests you, the Walker is available with it too.

curlawngreen
01-26-2000, 06:58 PM
In Fl. The three wheels are the only ones that do not leave track marks. In clay? The high end mowers use Walkers in Fl.

Doc
01-27-2000, 03:31 AM
Keith,<p>I thank you for the help that you have given me. I have one more question about this tearing up of the grass. Our grass is short by what appears to be the normal standards. Would this be more of a problem? We have discussed SCAG it is no longer on our list. What is the life expectancy of the various engines found on these machines?<p>Doc<br>

Doc
01-27-2000, 03:32 AM
Curlawngreen,<p>Thank you for your post. Our soil here is sandy. How would the Walker or any of the other machines do here? I have noticed that many professional in my area use Walkers.<p>Doc

curlawngreen
01-27-2000, 07:11 AM
In FL. all we have is sand.The companys I referred to use Walkers only. The simple reason is that when you get done mowing your lawn it does not look like a football field.<br>Maintenance or operating cost is higher than <br>generic mowers.Blades app. $16.00 each Belts app. $36.00 each Blower housing app.$350.00. One of these co. does all of one <br>small sub. with 1000m houses and you cant see<br>one track maerk or lines.This summer I will<br>buy a new one.GHS,25 hp. gas, 48&quot; deck, $8300.00 + tax.If needed, you can also get a bigger deck that discharges out the side $1700.00 complete.Takes about 3 min. to change.

moonarrow
01-27-2000, 11:57 AM
Doc, here in louisiana where the grass grows thick and fast I use a wright stander it is a 48&quot;cut and only 52&quot; long does a great job very manuverable you can get a larger cuting deck check it out on their web age whish you were here would be glad to service you ilove to service customers that take great pride in their lawns make me care more and proved even a beter job probably would charge 4to500 per service(mowing weading and edging) can't say about hedging without seeing good luck with your project.

moonarrow
01-27-2000, 11:58 AM
Doc, here in louisiana where the grass grows thick and fast I use a wright stander it is a 48&quot;cut and only 52&quot; long does a great job very manuverable you can get a larger cuting deck check it out on their web age whish you were here would be glad to service you ilove to service customers that take great pride in their lawns make me care more and proved even a beter job probably would charge 4to500 per service(mowing weading and edging) can't say about hedging without seeing good luck with your project.<p>----------<br>Dale moonarrow@hotmail.com<br>Southern lawn and Landscape

Doc
01-27-2000, 12:53 PM
Curlawngreen<br>Moonarrow<p>I wish to thank you both for your posts. They give me an idea as to what to expect in my area. Costs information, machine capabilities and encouragement are greatly appreciated. <p>Doc<br>

Doc
01-27-2000, 12:56 PM
Homer<br>Eric<br>Lazer <br>Curlawngreen<br>Keith<br>All Who Have Given Of Themselves<p>All that you have done, is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. I went to John Deere and looked at the F625 Z-Trak. It has a 25HP Kohler with a 54in. deck. It has a ground speed of 8.2 MPH. It has a nine-bushel grass collection system. The dealer will let me have it for $8865.00 all cash transaction. I still have to demo it but all of you let me know what you think. Donít worry about my feelings please speak your minds. Thank you again.<p>Doc <br>

Lazer
01-27-2000, 03:11 PM
I've never used one or know anyone who owns one. They look intriguing, though.

Keith
01-27-2000, 06:50 PM
I have never used one nor has anyone I know tried one. I guess you can tell us about it. :)

lawrence stone
01-27-2000, 06:54 PM
Hey Doc,<p>I have been lurking folowing this thread for some time.<p>IMHO you will be bitting off more than you can chew by doing your own lawn care.<p>You homeowners need to form a non-profit and<br>then invite QUALIFIED LICENSED AND INSURED<br>CONTRACTORS to bid on the entire job.<p>You guys need a $9000 mower like you need your property taxes raised. <p>1. You will need to provide workmans comp<br>ins, pay matching Social securtiy taxes, and<br>unemployment taxes for your hired laborer.<p>2. What do you plaining on mowing with when your $9k mower breaks.<p>3. How will you get it to the dealer for repair.<p>4. How will you dispose of the yard waste?<br>On Long Island your just can't dump that<br>WASTE product anywhere. You will need to<br>rent a truck for the day then pay tipping fees at the recycling dump.<p>5. What will you do when your laborer gets sick or quits?<p>6. What about the pesticede regs. you will have to have a business lic. and your laborer<br>will have to be certified.<p>any questions?

Eric ELM
01-27-2000, 07:37 PM
Doc, I don't know anyone that has a mower like that either. I know they have aluminum spindle housings. If someone was so kind as to offer me a free mower and I had a choice of only that one or a Lazer, (Lazer will be proud of me for this one), I would definately take the Lazer. It seems like John Deere has a way of drawing in home owners in our area, but I don't know of anyone using JD's in commercial mowing anymore. I am thinking that Mr. Stone gave you some good advice above.<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.townserver.com/elm/&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>

Doc
01-27-2000, 08:46 PM
Lawrence Stone,<p>I do wish to thank you for your post. It was kind of you to take the time to provide us with information. Many heads are always better than one. Our original plan and it remains such is to help a young man or woman start their own business with a condition that they serve us as a customer and meet our mowing requirements. We will have a written contract stating our obligations and his or hers. We know that from time to time equipment breaks down, needs repairs or even completely fails. We will take whatever steps are necessary up to and including buying a second mower. I know that it may seem funny but a lot of us on Long Island own a variety of vehicles. When you have been living on Long Island for as many years as we have you get to know people in all position. I hope you understand what I am trying to say in my old, slow and simple way. We realize that people get sick and that is why we told Homer that we were considering getting two people and establishing a partnership. We possess many certifications and we have a working knowledge and understanding of business. Our individual histories were never discussed. We are retired but we are not helpless. We originally asked for help in purchasing a mower but Homer came up with an awesome and brilliant idea. We have been working on it ever since. Thank you again for your time and effort.<p>Doc<br>

Doc
01-27-2000, 09:00 PM
Eric,<p>Thank you for the information. I was under the impression that John Deere was making both homeowner quality and commercial grade machines. I thought that the Z-Trak was a commercial machine. If it is not then I wasted my time in going to look at and pricing it. I still have to see the Dixie Chopper, Lazer and the Walker. Thanks for the information. By the way I like your lawns.<p>Doc <br>

lawrence stone
01-27-2000, 09:53 PM
I find it hard to believe that with the 100<br>or so lawn care companies in your general area that none can serve your needs. <p>IMHO no company wants to do business with<br>your or your neighbors. Retired folks with<br>little to do all day make the worst possible<br>residential customers.<p>You are opening up a huge can of worms by trying to &quot;set up&quot; someone in business.<p>They will cut your grass a few times and then<br>you will never see them or the equipment<br>you purchased.<p>You can't &quot;set up&quot; someone in business.<p>Either they have &quot;it&quot; or they don't.<p>

HOMER
01-27-2000, 10:58 PM
Mr. Stone, <br>It appears you really have it in for the retired community. I hope one day, if you make it that long, you too will become one of the retired members of our society. <p>I strongly disagree with every point you tried to make. I have as good a relationship with my &quot;retired&quot; customers as I do with those baby boomers that are still contributing to this society. You obviously have had a bad experience with somebody along the way. This forum was started for people to share information with one another, not bash a very large percentage of our population who have contributed many, many years of their lives to make this the country that it is. <p>If I were a betting man, I would bet my business against your that these &quot;ol geezers&quot; as you really wanted to call them, could take a willing person and make him a millionaire! They are obviously more educated than you because I haven't heard them make a single negative comment about anybody or anything. The residents on this dead end street have made their living and are entitled to spend their money any way they please. The people they have had in the past were probably just like you and no wonder they aren't using them anymore, I wouldn't either! Who are you to tell these people what they can accomplish and what they can't. Strength is in numbers remember. If they are all in agreement with the plan they have then mountains could be moved and all could be well in Long Island New York. The best part of this plan is that people like you actually inspire others to make things happen. I have no doubt that these educated, worldly, energetic, analytical, focused, decisive citizens can do exactly what they set out to do, and do it the right way, with all the t's crossed and the i's dotted, and along they way might produce a man/woman/partnership that will rival all of us put together. I wish I had all of the attributes these folks have, maybe one day I will, until then I am still enrolled in the school of hard knocks and doing my internship at screw-up university but I'm learning everyday.<p>Thank you for listening!<p>Homer

Doc
01-28-2000, 11:44 AM
Lawrence Stone,<br>Homer,<p>Thank you very much for the posts, support and thoughts. There is a time in your life when you slow down and find that so many of the things that you took for granted earlier are now more difficult, sometimes impossible. We all have the need to be useful, productive and loved. Some learn this early, other later and some sad to say never. They grow old, very angry, hurt and very bitter. Look for the good in people and you will find that your joy in life will be greatly increased. We are all imperfect people and have many faults. If we have a need to be negative or we want to look for the negative in people or things, we each can look deeply into a mirror. What we each find should be sufficient for a lifetime but we can work on it a little each day. Lawrence Stone, I do thank you for the information concerning security. We are not setting up someone in business, they will have to do their own work, find their own customers and work hard to make it grow. There are many people that have a fine business head but lack the resources. We are going to find such a person or persons and assist them by becoming their resource. We will not tell them how to run their business nor will we interfere. If asked we will help but if not asked we will simply watch. Their obligation to us will be to cut our grass, as we will outline. Homer we are all still enrolled in the school of hard knocks and doing a lifelong internship at screw-up university. We all learn something everyday. <p>Doc<br>

Doc
01-28-2000, 03:54 PM
Homer<br>Eric<br>Lazer <br>Curlawngreen<br>Keith<br>All Who Have Given Of Themselves<p>All assistance is truly appreciated. Thank you very much. I went to the Exmark dealer looked at the several Lazers. The Lazer Z HP has a 52inch deck and a 23HP Kohler engine. It has a ground speed of 9.5 MPH. It has an eight-bushel grass collection system. The dealer said he would beat John Deere. He gave me a price of $8600.00 all cash transaction. I still have to have a real demo but he let me drive it around his yard. He explained how it worked and demonstrated a little, then he let me go with it. It is not as hard as I thought it would be. I know that it is for serious work but I had fun with it. LAZER it is a nice machine and it appears to be well made. I think I could learn with a little time to do it well. Please let me know what you know what you think. Again I say donít worry about my feelings please speak your minds. Thank you. I still have to look at the Dixie Chopper and the Walker.<br> <br>Doc <br>

Keith
01-28-2000, 06:06 PM
I don't think you will be disappointed with the Lazer.

curlawngreen
01-28-2000, 06:12 PM
KEEP LOOKING! GOOD LUCK! THESE ARE ALL GOOD MACHINES. WHAT YOU NEED IS WHAT FITS YOUR CONDITIONS. SLOPES, BAGGING. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHY YOU'ALL CANT GET A MAINTENANCE CO. TO SERVICE YOUR PROPERTY.TUES. FRI. SCHEDULE<br>OVER $800.00 PER WEEK. PLEASE LET US KNOW

Doc
01-29-2000, 11:09 AM
Keith,<br>Curlawngreen,<p>Thank you for your time and encouragement. I am sorry that I didnít answer sooner but the server was experiencing some technical difficulties. We will try with your help and the others to find the best machine that will meet our needs. We have mostly flat sandy soil. Ideally we would like to cut every four days, bagging one cut and mulching the next. Why we canít get someone is something I really donít understand completely. I have gotten a little insight from reading the various forums, here. I also realize that there are far more customers than there are good lawn services. For now, it is a lawn services market.<p>Doc<br>

curlawngreen
01-29-2000, 11:23 AM
LOOK AT THE WALKER. EASY TO CHANGE DECKS.

lawrence stone
01-29-2000, 11:30 AM
Doc,<p>I have come to the conclusion since you are<br>personally demo-ing mowers YOU are the one<br>who wants to start a lawn care business.<p>Why not save yourself $4k go to a Toro<br>dealer and take a look at a 48&quot; walk<br>behind with a fixed deck. You could buy<br>almost three of these machines instead of<br>one ZTR.

curlawngreen
01-29-2000, 11:44 AM
DOC, GO TO THE TOP OF THE PAGE:CLICK ON DIRECTORY CLICK<br>LAWN CARE CLICK<br>INFORMATIONAL CLICK<br>LAWN SERVICE CLICK<br>TOP TEN PAGES BOX CLICK<br>MANUFACT. CLICK<br>ALL THE MOWERS ARE THERE.

Doc
01-29-2000, 12:30 PM
Lawrence Stone,<p>Thank you for the compliment but I am a little to old for that. It is a young manís or young womanís game. The machine was fun. I went for the demonstration at the suggestion of Homer, Eric and some of the others. I wanted to share with all of you how I felt riding one of these machines for the first time in my life. I guess I did a poor job. You are entitled to your opinion. When I told some of the others of my group about my little demonstration they decide that some of them would go the next time and this included a few of the ladies. Maybe all of us including the ladies will start an Old Retireeís Lawn Service. Thank you for the information concerning the saving of $4K but I have to say one thing, this isnít about money. Money is a tool like a hammer, computer or a mower. You use it to accomplish various tasks or to care for your needs and wants. Our trees, shrubs, flowers and lawns are a part of our wants. They fill a need in us. You may not understand but they are very important to us and we take the best care of them that we can with as little help from others as possible. This cutting of the grass is the one thing we need help with and so we ask, we plead. We are willing to exchange the precious paper that so many crave for that help. When we seek negative things we only have to look into a mirror and each of us will find plenty otherwise look for the good in others so that you can find it in yourself. Thank you for giving us some of your time. <p>Doc <p>

Doc
01-29-2000, 12:45 PM
Curlawngreen,<p>Thank you very much. I will use this to the full. <p>Doc <br>

HOMER
01-29-2000, 12:53 PM
Doc, <br>You're my kind a guy!<p>Homer

curlawngreen
01-29-2000, 06:25 PM
WHAT'S UP DOC!!

klite
01-30-2000, 06:46 PM
Hi Doc<br>If I wasn't 2 1/2 hours away here in N.E. Phily. I would come and take you all up on your deal<p>----------<br>Ken...Lightcap's Landscape Service<br>

Doc
01-30-2000, 08:49 PM
Homer<br>Curlawngreen<br>Klite<p>Thank you for your time and encouragement. I am sorry that I didnít answer sooner but the server was experiencing some technical difficulties again. I have been looking over the various manufacturesí websites getting some of the specifications. We intend to visit a dealer tomorrow if the weather permits. Curlawngreen could you tell me a little more about the Walkers since you intend to buy one. I looked over the specifications. It seems to have a slower blade tip speed, slower ground speed only 6.5 MPH. How about the deck design, is it a superior one or what? Does it have a deep deck, high-lift blade and extensive directional baffling?<p>Doc<p>

Dingo
02-01-2000, 12:11 AM
<br>Doc<br>and anyone else that cares,<br> I think its a great thing what Doc is doing. I wish I had the chance to work for you. I am in the process of starting my own lawn service and I am 17 years old. I must say it is not an easy task. I run into problems from not having enough money to worrying about getting work because of my age. I am a very dedicated person and take great pride in my work. I believe that not all people are out to cheat others. I think Doc is doing a great thing by helping someone establish their own lawn service. I know for a fact that if Doc was helping me to start my own business that I would not run off with his investment. I am having to invest my own money that I have been saving for most of my life. I have been following up on this post for some time now and felt that I should throw in a little input. <br> Hunt

HOMER
02-01-2000, 12:52 AM
HEY DINGO, I care, and am glad you have the ambition at your age to attempt a move like this. Don't be fearful of your age, stick to residential stuff for a while, establish yourself in that market, be careful I don't think you can get liability ins. at your age.<br>Once you get the insurance go after some commercial work, by that time you will have aquired some more equipment and have some training under your belt as well as more people skills. If I could give you one good piece of advice it would be to work on your people skills. Communication is the key that will unlock many doors. If you can speak well, you can sell well, it's that simple. Be sincere and never worry about your competition, make them worry about you.<p>Homer<p>P.S. If I can ever help just e-mail me

Doc
02-01-2000, 03:37 AM
Dingo, Hunt<br>Homer<p>I thank you both for your comments and your encouragement. Dingo I hope everything goes well for you.It is good to here that you are an honest person. Some people feel that the world is made up of only dishonest persons. I try to look for the good in people. Since you are just starting tell me, what machine would you pick if you could have any one that you wanted? I would also ask you why you made that choice? Listen to Homer when he tells you to develop your people skills. Communication truly is the key. It will become your best asset. Many business people fail or do poorly because they are lacking in this area. Treat people the way that you want to be treated and things will go well for you. Give older one an extra minute or two, you will be surprised what it will accomplish for you.<p>Doc

HOMER
02-02-2000, 12:02 PM
Doc, <p>We need an update! How is the employee search coming, or have you got there yet? Have you demo'd a Chopper yet? Let us know when you do, we are all anxiously awaiting your reply.<p>Homer

Doc
02-03-2000, 02:03 AM
Homer,<br>Eric,<br>Lazer,<br>Everyone,<p>We when to see the Dixie Chopper today. It is a incredible machine, built like a tank. If there were a lawn mower demolition derby, you know which mower would win. We spent several hours with the dealer. We talked to one of his mechanics. We even made machine comparisons. The dealer said that there were only two machines that we should even consider the Dixie Chopper and the Walker. We looked at, road on and open up the XW 60 inch machine. I made some zero turns to the left, rights and backward. I got really carried away and had the machine continuously turning in a complete circle for about a minute. We looked over some old machines that were in for routine service. Some of these machines had many hours on them from 1992 to the present. All were in good shape. We can get the XW 2500-60 with a 25HP Kohler engine and a ground speed of 10mph for $8000.00 without a bagging system. Next, we will see the Walker.<p>Doc<p><br>

Eric ELM
02-04-2000, 10:44 AM
Doc, That is a good price. I paid that much back in 94 for mine. My dealer won't sell for less than $9500 now. I guess I'll have to drive to NY next time. Choppers are built to last and my 2 have lasted a long time and still run like new. Sounds like your having fun out mower shopping. I did hear that DC came out with a new bagging system that they took out in a corn field that had been picked and cut corn stalks trying to plug it up, but couldn't plug it even with corn stalks. I haven't seen this, but was told this by a dealer. I just thought I would pass this along. Have a good day. :)<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.townserver.com/elm/&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>

curlawngreen
02-08-2000, 09:36 PM
Hey DOC, let us know what you have decided.

Dingo
02-08-2000, 10:44 PM
Hey guys,<br> Sorry its been so long since I responded. I have been pretty busy with looking at mowers. This weekend I went and price the walker 20 hp 42&quot; $8,200, exmark Lazer Z HP 44&quot; 17hp kaw $6,299, toro z master 44&quot; 17 kaw $5,200, and the big bad Dixie Chopper xw2002 for $6,895. All looked like great mowers but Im going to be doing mostly residential mowers and I think the dixe chopper is going to be way to big. I think the walker would prob. be the best but it is way to much for my novice pocket. I know that the exmark and the toro are made by the same company and I did not see any justification of why the exmark is worth a 1000 more for the same machine. Well, actually I think it has just been over priced because that is the only dealer that carry exmark. I think. I still need to check around some more. I know that i am going to need to have some kind of bagging unit for some homeowners and i want to do leaf removal so i think the walker would be nice but that's just not going to happen. well i hope to decide in the next week or two. well i must go ill talk to yall later if you have any opinions for me please post them. thanks <br> Dingo

accuratelawn
02-17-2000, 09:54 AM
Doc,<p>What brand of mower did you purchase?<br>

Doc
02-17-2000, 12:08 PM
Hi Everyone,<p>I must apologize to everyone but I had a death in the family about the time the server went down. When I returned I found a war going on here and didnít wish to find myself under attack, so I just read the posts and waited for it to come to an end. It didnít. We had gone to see the Walker and made a final decision. We picked up a used walk-behind. It is beat up but it run pretty well. Out of the three machines we discussed, Dixie Chopper, Exmark and Walker, we have chosen two. We ordered one new machine and we got another late model with a blown engine. We will rebuild the engine. We were fortunate, we came across a man that was pretty angry because he had bought this machine new for his son who was starting his own business last year. The son never really got started and he didnít have any respect for the equipment. I am not going to state what was purchased because I have no desire to become a part of the war here. Others of my group are interviewing persons to make up two teams. We are going to set things up using the basic ideas from a story in the Dixie Chopper brochure. In behalf of our group, I wish to thank all of you for your help. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! <p>Doc<br>

curlawngreen
02-17-2000, 04:04 PM
Doc, sorry for the tragedy in your family.Good luck in your venture.Don't worry about the war, after all everybody has one,an opionion that is.

HOMER
02-17-2000, 08:05 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your loss Doc. I understand about staying away due to the negative nature of some of the posts, I apologize for my part. I am glad though to hear that things are progressing along, sounds as if you guys will be ready for spring. Keep us up to date as things go a long, even though we bicker a little at times I feel we are all still making progress and sharing information that we would not otherwise be able to do if it weren't for the forum.<p>Again, I wish you continued success in your quest and hope you keep us updated as you go along.<p>Homer

Millertime34
02-22-2000, 07:11 PM
Wow! I wish I would have read this post earlier. I just read the whole thing from start to finish. It was like a story. When I got to the end of the story and I was excited and I was just about to find out what kind of mower was purchased and then I was let down. It was like watching a movie and having the elctricity go off during an exciting part. But, anyways, good luck with your new mowers Doc and also with your employee search. <p>----------<br>Bryan..Heartland Lawn Care<br>heartlandlawn@hotmail.com

thelawnguy
06-11-2000, 07:45 AM
Doc,<p>How has the arrangements worked out, so far? Keep us updated.<p>Bill

stslawncare
06-11-2000, 08:47 PM
Hi doc. Sorry to hear about your loss. i just read this who thing from start to finish and agree with Bryan. Its a whole movie and the electric goes out. well i learned a lot about mowers. i am not clear as to what you got though. I wish i was in ny. i love doing work for retired people and what you have is perfect for me. i am just startin out. well ive been on this topic for the past two hours so i better go.<br>Scottie<br>STS Lawn Care

Doc
06-15-2000, 07:11 AM
Hi Everyone,<p>It is nice of you to inquire about how we are doing. I wasn't going to answer because certain persons feel that we older ones have no useful purpose but to make things more difficult for the young. We are doing fine and have set up three teams. Two are field teams and one is management, maintenance, trouble shooting and field if necessary. We only do older persons. We are all having fun and making a few dollars too. I continue to read and learn from every post made here.<p>Doc<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: Doc

HOMER
06-15-2000, 06:35 PM
Well at least you come by and pay us an occasional visit! I'm glad to hear things are going o.k. Doc, sorry you left us and sorrier you haven't let us in on your progress. Don't let anyone run you off again, there are some of us who are concerned and do give a %%%%%%. <p>Best of luck,<p>Homer

fdew
06-15-2000, 10:56 PM
Doc.<p>I just tripped over this thread. It sounds like you and your neighbors are having a lot of fun. I am curious as to the teams Are you and or your neighbors doing the mowing? Great. I am 53 and just bought a used (2 year old) professional mower (61 inch 3 wheel rider) I bought it because I have 4+ Acres, I know and understand good machinery, and it is fun to use and it's my money. There is a tremendous wealth of information in most people who have been on this earth 60+ years. I have often met fascinating people in there 60s and 70s and wished that we came with a network port so we could download all that knowledge. I have learned in my short time that wisdom comes from experience and experience comes from mistakes. It takes time to make enough mistakes to become wise. Anyway, Keep up the good and fun work, I hope you will alert us when your business hits 1 mil a year and let us know about any articles about it.<p>Frank