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View Full Version : How fast do you mow?


BobbyKnight
09-02-2004, 04:22 PM
Yesterday I posted about possibly getting an account that was up to 7 acres. A lot of posts talked about how quick they could get it done and based their pricing from that, along with various other little things. I was just curious to how fast most of you mow. I know what I see when I'm out and about, and I know what I do. When I bought my first ztr, a dealer told me that the average garden tractor would mow at 2-3 mph. He said the average commercial ztr would go up to 10-12 mph, but the average mower probably cuts at a speed of 6 mph. My own lawn consists of about 4 acres. With my garden tractor I had, it would take me close to 5 hours, and that was with a 50 in. deck on my mower. Now, I have a 54 in. deck, and it takes a little less than 2 1/2 hours. Now, I'm no math wizard, but my time has been cut in half, which makes since, due to what he said. But some of the posts from yesterday said they were doing 4, 5, 6, or 7 acres in 1 to 1 1/2 hours. What's more important: speed or a quality cut? Will speed still get a quality cut? Just curious. What are your thoughts and recommendations on this topic?

chevyman1
09-02-2004, 04:29 PM
my Dixie CUTS very well at full speed man, 13MPH....It cuts the same whether you are at 6MPH or 13MPH

The C Man
09-02-2004, 04:34 PM
I understand your questions, but you have to take into account what kind of acreage a person is mowing. If it's 'field' type acreage and they just want it kept short then quality of cut won't matter as much as when it's 'lawn' type acreage. Each situation is going to be different.

jug head
09-02-2004, 04:36 PM
I'm good up to about 8 to 10 mph any faster and I'm hurting from the beating, stripes are crooked, and you have "corn rows" lol

txlawnking
09-02-2004, 04:38 PM
It is dependent on a lot of variables, but mostly.. How many obstacles there are, and what size the place is. On a place like you posted pix of, I belive there would only be two things that may limit your speed; The terrain (bumps,etc..), and the power of your machine..

Unless I'm in a VERY tight area, or slowing down and speeding up rapidly would damage the turf or the growth is bogging me, I run wide open.. BTW the manuverability is also one of the major factors in a ZTR's efficiency over a "conventional" mower..

Richard Martin
09-02-2004, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by txlawnking
It is dependent on a lot of variables, but mostly.. How many obstacles there are, and what size the place is.

There is also the variable of just what it is you're cutting. Cutting pristine northern lawns is nothing like cutting a transition zone thick crabgrass lawn that is growing at 3 and 4 inches a week.

Flex-Deck
09-02-2004, 04:59 PM
I mow as fast as I can.

If the deck starts bouncing on the brackets, I figure I am beating up on the machine. My 595 JD goes 8 1/2 mph. I have very few properties that I can constantly go that fast.

I have a few commercial properties that 4 mph is max - but I still get 5.5 acres per hr.

The specs at 100% would be about 8 1/2 acres per hr. but if you consider terrain, and turning (we always angle mow- looks better) you actually will be lucky to mow 50-60% of the 100% tables in your owners manual.

AuburnGuy
09-02-2004, 05:01 PM
Until i got my ZTR i never thought you could cut at 10mph. One of my friends said his cuts just as good wide open as 5mph (unless its a bumpy yard) But now i know you can cut as fast as the mower will go.

txlawnking
09-02-2004, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by Richard Martin
There is also the variable of just what it is you're cutting. Cutting pristine northern lawns is nothing like cutting a transition zone thick crabgrass lawn that is growing at 3 and 4 inches a week.


This is why I mentioned how powerful your machine is.. and the deck has a lot to do with it too.. Yes, northern turf, and overgrown Southern turf will bog lots of mowers..Horsepower is KING

rodfather
09-02-2004, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by chevyman1
my Dixie CUTS very well at full speed man, 13MPH....It cuts the same whether you are at 6MPH or 13MPH

Yeah, right...

Metro Lawn
09-02-2004, 06:41 PM
Originally posted by chevyman1
my Dixie CUTS very well at full speed man, 13MPH....It cuts the same whether you are at 6MPH or 13MPH

Yeah, right.... that's about it. I have used about every machine out there, and none of them cut really well after 8mph or so. My Hustlers will cut at 15mph, but not well. We can run them wide open on some of the city properties we do. These are mostly slow growers and weeds, but actually kind of smooth ground.

ScCo
09-02-2004, 06:46 PM
out of all the properties I maintain, there is only one yard where I can use my super z anywhere near it's top speed. that's about 1.5% of the time. The rest of the time I have to deal with those nice transition zone crabgrass lawns mentioned above by another poster, bagging zoysia grass that is just hellaciously thick, and running over some of the roughest, most rocky yards imagineable.

I'd be lucky if I average anything over 6 mph.

I'd really hate to see the results of anyone's work who says that they cut full speed all the time. They are either amazingly full of crap when they say the results are nice, or they have been blessed with some form of smooth, even dirtwork that I've never seen before, on not just one of their properties, but all of them.

for the abbrecviated version of my above ramblings: I'm not buying it when someone says they mow everything full speed and get the same results as mowing around 1/2 of full speed.

Flex-Deck
09-02-2004, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by jug head
I'm good up to about 8 to 10 mph any faster and I'm hurting from the beating, stripes are crooked, and you have "corn rows" lol

I have a 595 JD tractor that will go 8 1/2 - BUT most of my properties are so rough that I only have moments that I can actually put the petal to the metal. Go Figure - Those people that are talking about 17 mph type mowers are only talking about moving down the street to the next yard.

I do not know where a lot of people on this forum are from, or what kind of terrain the mow, but if it is in SE Iowa, You have to do two things to get a mowing job. 1. don't bid over $20 per acre, or you just as well sell your equipment because you will not land one contract no matter what kind of stipes you lay down, and 2. don't plan on a speed more than about 5-6 mph because we have bo-koo night crawlers and clay and BUMPY terrain - also have ditches and lots of contour mowing necessary.

economiclawncare
09-02-2004, 08:05 PM
you cant cut 5.5 acres in an hour going 4mph with a regular ztr you must not know how big an acre is.

Lawn-Scapes
09-02-2004, 08:59 PM
As fast as I can... which is usually dictated by the terrain.... which is typically rough... which means not as fast I'd like to be!

txlawnking
09-02-2004, 10:02 PM
for the abbrecviated version of my above ramblings: I'm not buying it when someone says they mow everything full speed and get the same results as mowing around 1/2 of full speed. [/B][/QUOTE]



I dig, In my case.."wide open" is only 9 mph or so.. I meant that i go as fast as the conditions allow.. since the growth is almost non-exsistant here lately.. That means 7-9mph.. You and some of the other poster's are correct.. No way the cut will be pretty or even close at full speed on any kind of heavy or even moderate growth..But that is sure what we all strive for isn't it?? Maximum productivity..

fixer67
09-02-2004, 10:58 PM
Well my mower will do 70 Miles an hour!!!







Down the road in back of my truck:p

Sneaky
09-02-2004, 11:26 PM
I would love to see some of these 15mph's on a bumpy lawn cutting bahia grass. Some of the local lco's mow wide open with Choppers and looks like crap.

Lawnchoice
09-02-2004, 11:59 PM
I would never consider going 15mph cutting on a high end residential landscape!


Lawnchoice

work_it
09-03-2004, 12:06 AM
I take care of a 5 acre property which I reguard as one of my "showcase" lawns. Using a 61" Scag TT my best time is 3 hrs 5 min. Due to all the mole tunnels, bumps and obsticles there's no way I can even come close to running full speed.

There's a lot of variables to take into consideration when bidding large properties. My only advice is to try to take every contingency into consideration when placing a bid (no matter how large or small).

LawnMower
09-03-2004, 12:12 AM
I can cut at full speed if theres no bumps and the grass is dry, and its not over grown. If its wet, it will clump anywhere over 3 miles an hour. If its high it will not disperse nice at anything above 3 or 4 miles an hour.

Man I wish I could go at full speed when ever I wanted. At best my mower goes about 8 miles an hour

Firstclasslawn
09-03-2004, 12:59 AM
I mow my dadas 4 acres with my Toro 52 inch ztr in about 1 hour at full speed, very very nice cut and believe it or not I actually cut from one corner to the next which is time consuming and still get it cut in about an hour

mastercare
09-03-2004, 12:39 PM
I used to work for a lco that purchased a dixie chopper. Not very exciting until I tell you what it was.

It was a proto-type....only 6 of them ever made. It had a 72" cut and cut grass at 14mph Clean Cut! The blade speed on that thing was incredible. Of course it's too big for most resis, and only got used on the large commrecials. But, with smooth ground, the thing left just as good of a cut as a Lazer, and you actually got chilly on it from the speed!

This was 5 years ago. The machine had TWIN 25hp's on it. When you disengage the blades, and put all the power the hydro pumps, it would do 20mph on the street! It was fun for the 1 season we had it.....just not enough uses for that large of a mower.....and a price tag of $14,000.

J.Gordon
09-03-2004, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by economiclawncare
you cant cut 5.5 acres in an hour going 4mph with a regular ztr you must not know how big an acre is.

He didnít say he was mowing with a regular ZTR. Flex Deck can take a big chunk out of a yard with one pass!

Moore Mowing
09-03-2004, 03:49 PM
Get a Dixie Chopper! You can mow at 15mph and do a quality cut if the blades are sharp.

DLCS
09-03-2004, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by economiclawncare
you cant cut 5.5 acres in an hour going 4mph with a regular ztr you must not know how big an acre is.


You must not read very well, Brad isn't using a ztr! lol Here is a picture of his wide area mower. He built this unit himself. I believe he cutting over 10'...wow

Shane472
09-03-2004, 04:56 PM
You must not read very well, Brad isn't using a ztr!

And you must not read very well because someone already pointed this out.

DLCS
09-03-2004, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by Shane472
And you must not read very well because someone already pointed this out.



:rolleyes: so what, do you have anything productive to add to this thread?

Shane472
09-03-2004, 09:23 PM
No, I just found it funny that someone who took it upon himself to make fun of someones reading skills made the same mistake he was pointing out. A bit hypocritical is it not.

DLCS
09-03-2004, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by Shane472
No, I just found it funny that someone who took it upon himself to make fun of someones reading skills made the same mistake he was pointing out. A bit hypocritical is it not.


No, I saw J. Gordon's post. I made no mistake. :rolleyes:

Flex-Deck
09-03-2004, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by LawnMower
I can cut at full speed if theres no bumps and the grass is dry, and its not over grown. If its wet, it will clump anywhere over 3 miles an hour. If its high it will not disperse nice at anything above 3 or 4 miles an hour.

Man I wish I could go at full speed when ever I wanted. At best my mower goes about 8 miles an hour

Don't we all wish our yards were smooth as the autobon of Germany - Unforturnately I am limited big time due to rough terrain. My mower should do 8 acres per hr. but only does about 5 in actual long term averaging.

ed's lawn service
09-03-2004, 11:37 PM
if the blades are sharp on my JD 657 QuikTrak, i can cut at 8 mph clean cut.