PDA

View Full Version : Thinking of selling my 52" and mowing only with my 36"


BadRancher
01-20-2011, 09:18 PM
Hey guys. A few weeks ago I posted about dumping clients with small backyard gates and selling my 36" mower. I got to thinking today and since I owe money on my 52" and I can sell it and get pay off, I was thinking of selling it and going at it with my 36". A few Pro's are: I can still pick up clients with small back gates and business will be ran with 0 debt. A few Con's will be: It will take longer to finish up a yard and double cuts will take a good bit longer and I will not have a mower for back up.

Also from your experiences how much extra time does it take that you've notice when cutting with a smaller mower on a 1/4, 1/3 acre lot???

Not to get too personal, but the reason I'm asking all this is because my wife and I are working on dumping all the debt we can. We want to move to a better area. I also think I would have better "business karma" operating on 0 debt for the business except the truck which is half business and half personal sort of I guess.


If you have a smart ass comment to make please post it on another thread.

Your thoughts please, and Thanks in advance,

Chris

TNGrassCutter
01-20-2011, 09:23 PM
I think I would keep the 52. You can't have too much to pay on it and its good to have a backup. Also you could use money you save elsewhere and pay off the 52. IMO I would rather have my 54 on larger yards it seems like it would take forever to do them with the 36.
Posted via Mobile Device

cvcook
01-20-2011, 10:12 PM
Do you work solo? how long would it take you to pay it off with the number of lawns you have? plus you ALWAYS need a backup mower

BadRancher
01-20-2011, 10:23 PM
I run solo and part time. With me being part time it would take a while possibly. When I purchased mower, I purchased a pole saw and chainsaw also.
Posted via Mobile Device

knox gsl
01-20-2011, 10:30 PM
As much as I like to be out of debt you'll never sell it for enough to recover what you'll loose in money, convenience and time of having 2 machines. I would look at pushing to get 3 more accounts and paying it off sooner and saving for more downpayment on the new place, good luck on the house selling.

BINKY1902
01-20-2011, 10:40 PM
If I had all 1/4 - 1/3 acre lots I would probably just run a 36" myself. A 36" with a sulky can knock out some yards that size. Are you pretty dedicated to sticking with the smaller lots? If you are I don't see a problem with just running a 36". However, if you start seeing some larger yards coming your way you'll wish you still had the 52". By the time you mow a small lot front with the 52", go park it, get your 36" out and get in the back gate, cut it, you really aren't gaining that much time over cutting it all with the 36". The time your putting up the 52" and getting the 36 out, you would still be cutting. Just depends on what size lots you have really, and what size yards you market for. Being out of debt is nice as well.

ShooterK2
01-20-2011, 10:54 PM
I totally agree with Binky. I had a 48" ztr last year, and could barely tell any time difference between it and my 36" walk-behind on yards the size you are talking about (common size for my area). Plus, there's less trimming to do with the 36", as it will fit in smaller areas where you may not fit the bigger mower. And it seems almost all gates around here are just BARELY wide enough for a 36" and nothing more. Yes, I've heard the "replace all your gates for your customers for free" argument, but I'm convinced that my 36" is as big a mower as a person needs for 1/4 - 1/3 acre properties.

As far as a backup, you could always just have a couple of 21" mowers stashed somewhere just in case the 36" breaks down. They aren't as fast, but they are cheap and they will cut the grass, and anyone can operate one with minimal training, meaning you can recruit some help.

Oh, and I can tell you from experience: operating debt free ROCKS!

BadRancher
01-20-2011, 11:04 PM
I really think so too, but I still don't know yet. My only thing would be breakdowns. I could also downsize my trailor and put a lil more money in the pocket as far as gas too. I LOVE my 52" though.

a clear difference lawn
01-20-2011, 11:16 PM
I use a gravely commercial 34" ztr exclusively. I have a new one and an older one as backup. I pick up a lot of business that other guys skip on. I only have three large properties and over 70 smaller ones - it just does not make sense to me to buy, maintain, and carry around a bigger mower. The gravely cuts at 10mph and finishes the larger properties suprisingly fast. It easily fits through all my gates. Because I only use one compact z I can get away with a smaller trailer which leads to lower fuel costs.

Jason Rose
01-20-2011, 11:32 PM
greenstarlawns makes a good point. It's really hard to sell a peice of equipment and come out ahead. unless it's paid off and has paid for itself (basically done it's duty and is nearly worn out) you really don't come out well selling it. How much do you owe on it? how much could you realistically sell it for, especially if you are looking for a pretty quick sale in the off season? plan on taking at least a few thousand dollars off the original price, possibly more for a fast sale... Unless there's a strong market in your area for those mowers.

BadRancher
01-20-2011, 11:39 PM
Payoff would be 4000, it only has one season on it. It cost me 5700 new plus velke. A few people on the forum have said they paid a lot more new for one.
Posted via Mobile Device

Jason Rose
01-20-2011, 11:54 PM
Yeah I thought the TTHP models went for around * grand usually... Which I think is INSANE for a mower that you don't have a seat to ride on!

With the price you gave you definately have a lot better ability to sell and not take a big hit.

BadRancher
01-20-2011, 11:58 PM
Yea it was bought as an 09 model in 10/09 so technically it still has a season left under warranty on which is a plus for me selling or me keeping it. My dealer is reasonable on prices. He runs his shop on a 0 debt principal so he can deal pretty good on equipment because he doesn't have loans to pay interest on. My neighbor is his 2 stroke mechanic so I'm sure that helped too.
Posted via Mobile Device

Landscape Poet
01-21-2011, 12:02 AM
Hey guys. A few weeks ago I posted about dumping clients with small backyard gates and selling my 36" mower. I got to thinking today and since I owe money on my 52" and I can sell it and get pay off, I was thinking of selling it and going at it with my 36". A few Pro's are: I can still pick up clients with small back gates and business will be ran with 0 debt. A few Con's will be: It will take longer to finish up a yard and double cuts will take a good bit longer and I will not have a mower for back up.

Also from your experiences how much extra time does it take that you've notice when cutting with a smaller mower on a 1/4, 1/3 acre lot???

Not to get too personal, but the reason I'm asking all this is because my wife and I are working on dumping all the debt we can. We want to move to a better area. I also think I would have better "business karma" operating on 0 debt for the business except the truck which is half business and half personal sort of I guess.


If you have a smart ass comment to make please post it on another thread.

Your thoughts please, and Thanks in advance,

Chris

Until this year all I ran with was a 36 inch Hustler Mini Z. Was working up to 68 accounts all year long with it. Down side is yes it may take you a little longer and the fact is now you are spoiled from the 52. Upside is that I think you are missing a competitive advantage you have. You have a 36 - and not everyone else does. All those smaller gated back lawns you are talking about - those are your target clients, you should be able to get a nice rate for them because NOT EVERYONE can mow them!
As far as time - you will not really feel the time your are losing in performance if you ask me. Most of my accounts the real time is spent trimming, edging and shrub work so a extra couple of minutes on the mower is not going to make or break the job.

BadRancher
01-21-2011, 12:09 AM
Until this year all I ran with was a 36 inch Hustler Mini Z. Was working up to 68 accounts all year long with it. Down side is yes it may take you a little longer and the fact is now you are spoiled from the 52. Upside is that I think you are missing a competitive advantage you have. You have a 36 - and not everyone else does. All those smaller gated back lawns you are talking about - those are your target clients, you should be able to get a nice rate for them because NOT EVERYONE can mow them!
As far as time - you will not really feel the time your are losing in performance if you ask me. Most of my accounts the real time is spent trimming, edging and shrub work so a extra couple of minutes on the mower is not going to make or break the job.
Good point. My only other deal is the TT has a better quality cut to me the my Metro, but on the flipside I don't believe my customers notice that. Also I like the height adjustment on the TT. The metro is kinda hit and miss. But I'm kinda excited about the 0 debt deal.

tjlco
01-21-2011, 12:18 AM
I know this is a part time gig for you, do you want it to be a full time gig? Or are you content with what you have and only adding new clients IF they come to you? If you intenend to keep it part time, then sell the 52, 0 debt for you. All your money is in your pocket, minus gas, taxes, insurance...ect. Now if you want to grow, then I would keep them both...just my opinion.

BadRancher
01-21-2011, 12:28 AM
I know this is a part time gig for you, do you want it to be a full time gig? Or are you content with what you have and only adding new clients IF they come to you? If you intenend to keep it part time, then sell the 52, 0 debt for you. All your money is in your pocket, minus gas, taxes, insurance...ect. Now if you want to grow, then I would keep them both...just my opinion.

Not trying to brag what so over, but I work in an auto factory and make pretty good. So its not really something I want to seek out full time, but I must admit the thought has crossed my mind before. But full time in the biz with a good plan and good services the sky is the limit. There are alot of things I would like to/need to learn before I would consider that. I am strictly mow, blow and go. I don't BS with customers about pretending to know stuff, If I'm not sure I refer them to someone else.

bc3xx0
01-21-2011, 12:57 AM
The only thing I mow now is little subdivision lots. I had a 48", 2 36"s, and a 32". They were all paid for, but I didn't need that many mowers. I decided to keep a 36 and a 32, but found people were paying top dollar for commercial mowers and couldn't resist making a killing on the 32 and sold it too!

A month later, pulled up at the first house of the day, unloaded the mower made one pass and engine started knocking like hell. Spent the day 21ing lawns cause I sold my backup!! Motor took a week to come in and cost me about 750 for the motor and another 75 for crap, like a longer throttle cable, choke cable, and kill switch. I was able to do the work myself, so I didn't have to pay someone to swap.

My point is, if you are getting paid to mow, you need a backup. Whether it is a second mower, or the capitol to get the repairs done quickly. 21ing all your yards sucks!! But going to the customer and saying I have to wait till next week because my equipment is down is not an option!! I wish I would have had a back up mower!!

In your case IMO, I'd say lose the 52 and use the money to buy a decent used 36 that way you can get into the yards with gates even if your primary 36 goes down.

ShooterK2
01-21-2011, 08:50 AM
A used belt drive 36" can usually be found for around $1,000 in good working order. If you can swing that without going into debt, then you are still debt free AND you still have a backup mower.
Posted via Mobile Device

jaybow
01-21-2011, 12:09 PM
If you can swing the payments then I would keep it. I just sold my 60" exmark rider but I went and got a fix me up scag 52" walk behind. I dont think I could have swung the payments this winter, but thats not the only reason for selling. The 60" wasn't being utilized and was to heavy to use on the majority of my residential properties. It seems whenever you do something like this thats exactly when you need the machine you just sold. I can still handle some prettty large properties with the hydro 52" Scag I bought but I wouldn't want to go back to using a 36" for all my yards. I did this my first year and dont think I could handle it again. I also work anafternoon job and cut between 25-35 yards a week.

Valk
01-21-2011, 02:54 PM
In talking with a few other local mowing buds, they say that double-cutting is a somewhat common occurrence with 48s and larger. That seems like a waste of time...and counter-productive as to why one would run a larger mower to begin with.

I'll theorize that that 3rd blade is where the issue begins...obviously the trim-side blade clippings are handed to the central blade, then over to the discharge blade/side for either discharging or bagging.

My experiences are only with 2 bladed WBs (Quickie 32s)...and, frankly, other than leaf season, I don't recall double-cutting even one lawn last year...or the year before that, or the year before that. There was no need to.

Now, IFF you're intending to dbl cut, then the widest deck possible makes sense - as you'll save a bunch of time.
.02 // YMMV, and it will depending on where you live and what kinds of grass you cut.

BadRancher
01-21-2011, 10:45 PM
In talking with a few other local mowing buds, they say that double-cutting is a somewhat common occurrence with 48s and larger. That seems like a waste of time...and counter-productive as to why one would run a larger mower to begin with.

I'll theorize that that 3rd blade is where the issue begins...obviously the trim-side blade clippings are handed to the central blade, then over to the discharge blade/side for either discharging or bagging.

My experiences are only with 2 bladed WBs (Quickie 32s)...and, frankly, other than leaf season, I don't recall double-cutting even one lawn last year...or the year before that, or the year before that. There was no need to.

Now, IFF you're intending to dbl cut, then the widest deck possible makes sense - as you'll save a bunch of time.
.02 // YMMV, and it will depending on where you live and what kinds of grass you cut.

Some of the double cutting is from the spring and for the good folks that have a large dog in the back yard. If I changed to a 10 day schedule vs. a 14day schedule I would probably be better off as far double cutting, but it will probably be hard to get existing customers to switch over to that.

BadRancher
01-21-2011, 10:50 PM
A used belt drive 36" can usually be found for around $1,000 in good working order. If you can swing that without going into debt, then you are still debt free AND you still have a backup mower.
Posted via Mobile Device

Yea, but its always a gamble getting a used mower. It may look clean and good, but you never know how abused it is. But I know I will have to get a back up.

Jason Rose
01-22-2011, 12:03 AM
14 day schedule??? why aren't you mowing once a week?

ShooterK2
01-22-2011, 12:09 AM
It is my understanding that a two-week mowing schedule is pretty much the norm in the south. I don't really know why. I assume they have a lot of Bermuda grass, which is what we have here in Oklahoma, and almost all my clients get mowed every week.

BadRancher
01-22-2011, 12:15 AM
Its split somewhat. Some LCO run 2 week and some do 10 day. But some yards around here are pretty tough at the two week mark. One of my customer was hell the whole season and still needs maintenance monthly during the winter, but it is a beautiful yard.
Posted via Mobile Device

ShooterK2
01-22-2011, 12:19 AM
It sounds like it's working for ya. I have some that could probably stand to go more than a week (except during heavy spring growth), but not very many. Thick Bermuda is almost impossible to deal with if it is very much overgrown. Clippings EVERYWHERE, even after triple cutting, and if you bag it, you better bring a semi truck........

Ok, maybe I exaggerate somewhat, but you get the picture.

Jason Rose
01-22-2011, 12:32 AM
What happend to the 1/3 rule? Around here even mowing every 7 days rarely do we only cut off 1/3 of the blade. Once it gets hot and dry once a week is ok on most lawns, but even that is pushing it a lot. Warm season turf it's even more important to not take too much off at one time. We deal with a mix of both here and the warm seaon turf is a nightmare to mow even every 7 days. Every 5 days would be ideal for everything. This is the reason we bag most everything here too.

BadRancher
01-22-2011, 12:36 AM
Clippings are my major problem. I have to double and triple cut to mulch them.
Posted via Mobile Device

BadRancher
01-22-2011, 12:42 AM
What happend to the 1/3 rule? Around here even mowing every 7 days rarely do we only cut off 1/3 of the blade. Once it gets hot and dry once a week is ok on most lawns, but even that is pushing it a lot. Warm season turf it's even more important to not take too much off at one time. We deal with a mix of both here and the warm seaon turf is a nightmare to mow even every 7 days. Every 5 days would be ideal for everything. This is the reason we bag most everything here too.
Well most folks in Miss wouldn't go for that every 7 days. About the only way you'll get a commercial acct is on a 14 day schedule. But 7 day schedule would be awesome. I wouldn't need as many customers.
Posted via Mobile Device

BrunoT
01-22-2011, 01:54 AM
Getting rid of debt is good. Minimize it whenever it makes sense. But debt used to earn a living is not the same as debt used for personal consumption.

1. What is the payment on a wb mower? I know Exmarks are expensive, but if it was say a 48 month term, it should be something no bigger than $150/mo. Seems that mower might help you mow enough extra each month to at least pay for itself. Maybe one moderate sized account would handle it. I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize your ability to earn a living just to save what is practically a rounding error in many family budgets.

2. I would be very careful BUYING a home now. Home prices are still trending down. People who thought they were getting "bargains" in '08 after the initial crash are stuck in homes worth less than they paid for them.

3. It'd be nice to have a backup.

4. Your mower setup is already not extravagant compared to the norm. I mowed full time with a 36" years back for a season thinking I was saving money. I realized later I was spending way more time on lots than when I got a more productive machine. Unless you never mow anything big enough to benefit from the 52", I'd keep it.

BadRancher
01-22-2011, 02:07 AM
Bruno its just mostly residential lots for me. All my big stuff is pretty ridiculous and I probably shouldn't be mowing anyways.
I like the 52" even though its not nearly top of the line its like the Cadillac of mowers to me. I dunno yet, I'm still on the fence.

As far as a home It'll be a lil while on that. My wife wants to pursue a new teaching job in another area which happens to be pretty close to where I work. Better area, better schools and etc.
Posted via Mobile Device

outlaw1960
01-22-2011, 11:58 AM
Bad, I was in your situation a few, many, years back. In the area I live most gates are less than 40". Got rid of the 52" mower and went with a 36" wright. Let most of the huge properties go as well, and concetrated on residentials. It was tough for a year or two but it has worked out well in the end. I miss the speed of a larger mower on a few properties but in the end it only saved a few minutes per property because of having to change mowers in the middle of the job. Hope this helps and good luck this year.....

BadRancher
01-22-2011, 10:21 PM
Bad, I was in your situation a few, many, years back. In the area I live most gates are less than 40". Got rid of the 52" mower and went with a 36" wright. Let most of the huge properties go as well, and concetrated on residentials. It was tough for a year or two but it has worked out well in the end. I miss the speed of a larger mower on a few properties but in the end it only saved a few minutes per property because of having to change mowers in the middle of the job. Hope this helps and good luck this year.....
Thanks for the input to you and every one. I forgot to mention that I have a 48" belt drive Bobcat, but its pretty old. It has a 1 cylinder 14hp Kawi motor on it and is no good in thick stuff. It would be ok for a backup. I need to research and see if I can swap to a 15 or 17HP Vtwin. I am still on the fence though, but sort of leaning to selling. My uncle cuts also and is interested in it.
Posted via Mobile Device

7625
01-23-2011, 01:12 AM
Bad Rancher, hang on to your mower if you can, you already have it and if you need one later it might cost you more. I don't know what grades your wife teaches, but since you work at the auto plant, I'm sure that you are aware that a new high school is opening about two miles down the road from the plant next fall. I also teach school in the county that the plant is in and mow every day after school and all of my yards are weekly and I use a 60" so you might think twice about selling your bigger mower just in case you are thinking of moving, but competition is tough, don't know how it is in south of Jackson.

BadRancher
01-23-2011, 01:55 AM
Bad Rancher, hang on to your mower if you can, you already have it and if you need one later it might cost you more. I don't know what grades your wife teaches, but since you work at the auto plant, I'm sure that you are aware that a new high school is opening about two miles down the road from the plant next fall. I also teach school in the county that the plant is in and mow every day after school and all of my yards are weekly and I use a 60" so you might think twice about selling your bigger mower just in case you are thinking of moving, but competition is tough, don't know how it is in south of Jackson.

Good to see someone on here from my area. I actually have a majority of my accounts in Gluckstadt. My wife is going for Germantown High.