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View Full Version : Best Mower Combination


smlavin
12-24-2004, 09:40 PM
I know some of you guys own 1 mower and do everything with it and I know some of you guys own and carry several different mower styles and deck sizes.

BUT, If you could own and carry ONLY 2 mowers for small/medium commercial and residential accounts, which would they be?

Share with the rest of us what combination of 2 mowers gives you the most efficiency and productivity.

If you have to throw a 21" in the mix, as a 3rd mower, I guess we can allow it, but try to limit your choices to 2.

wrestlingcoach
12-24-2004, 10:19 PM
Small-medium lawns a 44" toro make sure of a floating deck

meduim to large 52" toro

dcondon
12-24-2004, 10:33 PM
72" ZTR and a 36" W/B

LLandscaping
12-24-2004, 10:34 PM
Scag Tiger Cub 48/52 and Scag walkbehind 36in.

Kelly's Landscaping
12-24-2004, 10:46 PM
My main crew I run a 60 lazer with a trac vac and a 44 inch lazer I do keep a 21 inch snapper on the trailer but it only sees action on 1 lawn.

Soupy
12-24-2004, 11:04 PM
A 52" ZTR will go on any of those lawns unless it has a small gate. Then you have to ask yourself how many times is this going to be a problem? If you are mowing a lot of gated lawns then you will want a 33-36" mower. If you are just doing a few and they are pretty small then a 21" will do fine.

With the 21" you will will have less maintenance etc.

I own all 3 sizes, but today if I could only have two sizes I would get rid of the 36".

If you are going to be doing a mix of lawns up to an acre or more then you could consider swapping the 52" for a 60". A 60" will still go on some pretty small lawns but if they have a lot of landscape then there will be more trimming. The 52" will go in-between a lot of landscapes that the 60" won't. My first ZTR was a 60" and when I made the move to 52" I soon realized that the 52" was the perfect sized mower for my operation.

I hope some of this helps.....

s and s mowing
12-24-2004, 11:42 PM
lazer 60 and a metro 36 for tight spots,gates,and big slopes or where customer pays for walk behind.you guys can preach about 21s till you blue,i will take my 60 and 36 and smoke it.to each there own.some of you guys give a 1000.00 bucks for those 21s,i have a property i was 21in mowing the front and side(customer request),took me 40 min to mow.with new metro 36 belt it took me 15 min,and fresh as a daisy.remember the post says BEST mower combination.

SHARP CUT LAWN SERVICE
12-24-2004, 11:55 PM
I Am Runnin A 52 Inch Grasshopper Midmount 223 Model And A 36 Ex Mark Wb I Use The 36 3 Times A Week I Am Doin Between 50-55 A Week And I Have A 21 Inch Only Use It Once A Week For About 15 Mins Yall Have A Merry Christmas

Jusmowin
12-25-2004, 12:22 AM
I mostly run a 52 lazer, 36 metro and a 21 metro and I mow from town house yards to 2.5 acre lots on the bay.

Lawnchoice
12-25-2004, 12:32 AM
Tiger Cub 52"
Walker for the tighter stuff

I try not to take on 21" stuff as we are really not setup for it.

Likestomow
12-25-2004, 12:39 AM
For medium sized properties I like the 52" Wright Sentar. This unique mower allows you to maneuver quicker than most. It will hold a steep hill better than any other Z - period. And being able to stand up while mowing gives needed relief to the back.

I used to carry a 36" Toro with me, but now my second mower is a Lawn-Boy. For those occasional backyards, it's smaller, lighter and easier.

cutnedge
12-25-2004, 12:51 AM
lazer 60 and a metro 36 for tight spots,gates,and big slopes or where customer pays for walk behind.you guys can preach about 21s till you blue,i will take my 60 and 36 and smoke it.to each there own.some of you guys give a 1000.00 bucks for those 21s,i have a property i was 21in mowing the front and side(customer request),took me 40 min to mow.with new metro 36 belt it took me 15 min,and fresh as a daisy.remember the post says BEST mower combination.
And remember the post also says small/medium accounts.
52" ZTR, 21" ($1000)commercial

PaulJ
12-25-2004, 01:26 AM
All I use is a 48" hustler super walkbehind with a sulky and a 21" profesional ariens. I have my 36" lesco but the only time I used it this past season was as a backup.
The 48" hydro super walk soes everything I need it to do from 1200 sq ft up to over 30000sq ft. I only use the 21 on less than 10% of my lawns and the 36" wouldn't work on them. If were to need a socond mower It would depend on wht kind of accounts I added. for largter ones I'd maybe add a 60" hustler or for smaller or gated yards might add a 36" trimstar or 48" gatestart hustler walk. I am also considering adding a flexdeck to my super walk and having two mower in one. (48" or 66")

impactlandscaping
12-25-2004, 01:49 AM
First mower would definitely be a Wright Stander with a 48 / 52" deck...second would either be a 36" Stander or a 36" hydro WB

Soupy
12-25-2004, 02:58 AM
lazer 60 and a metro 36 for tight spots,gates,and big slopes or where customer pays for walk behind.you guys can preach about 21s till you blue,i will take my 60 and 36 and smoke it.to each there own.some of you guys give a 1000.00 bucks for those 21s,i have a property i was 21in mowing the front and side(customer request),took me 40 min to mow.with new metro 36 belt it took me 15 min,and fresh as a daisy.remember the post says BEST mower combination.

Depends on how many gated lawns you do. I only have 4 that a 52" will not fit in and they are small. 21" does the job on 3 of them and one is just big enough to justify unloading the 36" for. If I didn't already have the 36", I wouldn't purchase one just for this lawn.

Here is something to think about. Depending how many big lawns with gates you have. It might be cheaper to pay for a larger gate. You could buy a lot of gates for the cost it takes to run a 36" (this includes the cost of operating and maintaining a 36"). Just for the mere fact that I don't like using anything other then a ZTR. I would rather install 5 gates a year then buy (if I had to buy one) and use a 36". If a lawn is real big then I would buy a gate for it no matter what, but most big lawns already have larger gates. Just tell the customer that because of the gate it will be $5 more, but if they replace the gate the price will be lower.

MTR
12-25-2004, 03:00 AM
A 52" eXmark TTHP and a 36" eXmark Metro, got rid of all 21ers. 52-36 is perfect combo to do everything, anything smaller than 36", Stihl trimmer takes care.

Fantasy Lawns
12-25-2004, 03:06 AM
Exmark Laser 60" & 42" Walker .... Have not had a push mower in last 7 Years

mowerman111
12-25-2004, 08:09 AM
My crews carry a Walker 36" and a Snapper 21" w/b.

rodfather
12-25-2004, 10:46 AM
It would help if you would define what is "small" and what is "medium" in terms of square footage. Where I live, small would be considered up to an acre, medium like 1 - 3 acres, and large is 3+ acres.

As for choice of mowers, I would load the 2 largest deck sizes we have (61's and 72's).

smlavin
12-25-2004, 11:00 AM
rodfather,

Suburban lawns 5 to 16 thousand sq. ft. some with gates of all sizes included. Commercial up to 1 1/2 acres, buildings included. Anything larger than these IMO would call for very different mowers.

Thanks for all the reply's. It is very interesting to see some of the different approaches to these size properties.

Merry Christmas! Here is hoping that Santa was good to you all!

mcclureandson
12-25-2004, 11:51 AM
48 or larger ZTR and definitely a 36 over a 21...never seen a 21 you can put a sulky on, or mulch big piles of leaves with in the fall before sucking them up with a bagger...maybe less maintenance on a 21 but I'm going to get a much bigger return on my investment with a 36 than any 21 on the market...bigger, faster and more useful (keep a $300 21 for those small backyards and tree lawns etc)

Metro Lawn
12-25-2004, 02:51 PM
Most of our crews only carry 2 mowers. The brand is really up to you, but I can tell you what sizes work for us. A 36" is a must in this area with the many gates here. Then a larger machine, either a 52" walk behind with a sulky or a 60" ZTR is used for larger areas.

jcb287
12-25-2004, 03:33 PM
60" Lazer and 48"TTHP.Works out the best for us. :)

o-so-n-so
12-25-2004, 07:48 PM
^what jbc287 said^ :)

Cobra Jock
12-25-2004, 09:07 PM
If I could only have 2 mowers it would be a Hustler 37" Hydro WB and a 52" Hustler Super Mini Z with a 24HP Honda. A winning combination :D

TClawn
12-25-2004, 09:09 PM
I would take an exmark lazer Z 52" and a quick 36 for the smaller props.

DSIM
12-25-2004, 10:25 PM
In my neck of the woods, 99.8% of all lawns are fenced and gated. A 36" is a must. Cant live without a 21" either. My 2 best mowers are the Hustler Mini-Fastrak 36 Z & Toro Proline 21.

splatz100
12-25-2004, 10:29 PM
have you had any problems with the mini fastrak, and how has it been??

Itsgottobegreen
12-25-2004, 10:44 PM
For medium sized properties I like the 52" Wright Sentar. This unique mower allows you to maneuver quicker than most. It will hold a steep hill better than any other Z - period. And being able to stand up while mowing gives needed relief to the back.

First mower would definitely be a Wright Stander with a 48 / 52" deck...second would either be a 36" Stander

What they said.

52" stander, 32" stander. A very deadly combo. One word discribes it, "fast"

If you were running a 21", then a 52" stander and a 42" stander.

smlavin
12-25-2004, 11:05 PM
Itsgottobegreen,

The Sentar and Stander and similar - but different - machines that both come with a 52" deck option. You own both, but when given the limitations given in this thread, you chose the Stander. Why?

Mycannon
12-25-2004, 11:22 PM
A 60 z, 32 wb or 44 z

DSIM
12-26-2004, 10:26 AM
have you had any problems with the mini fastrak, and how has it been??

So far its been a great machine. No problems. 43hrs on it now. I'll be making a mulch kit or ocdc for it soon, since Hustler is dragging their heels on it. :rolleyes:

ALarsh
12-26-2004, 10:58 AM
Why such the popularity in 52" decks? Most 52" decks will not fit in a gated area here (although there are very few gated areas) so if your not going to fit into the gate, why bother getting the smaller size? Get the 60" because you weren't going to fit into the gate anyways and you will be more productive.

I would have to say a 61" and a 48" because we have very few gated areas (probably 1 house in 300) and 95% of the lawns have a smaller front yard than back, both totaling around 1 acre.

MTR
12-26-2004, 01:09 PM
Why such the popularity in 52" decks? Most 52" decks will not fit in a gated area here (although there are very few gated areas) so if your not going to fit into the gate, why bother getting the smaller size? Get the 60" because you weren't going to fit into the gate anyways and you will be more productive.

I would have to say a 61" and a 48" because we have very few gated areas (probably 1 house in 300) and 95% of the lawns have a smaller front yard than back, both totaling around 1 acre.

Why 52" the most popular ? simple
1. It fits any trailer, little 5x8 and up.
2. Transportablility, quickly in and out from place to place, keep in your house garage and it is compact.
3. Its maneuverability on lawns, and hills
4. It fits 5 ft gate here in Florida thus giving us productivity
5. It won't scalp as bad as 72" or 61" if you do residential.
6. Its resale value is good cause that is what people looking for

Not to take away good productivity of 61" and up deck.

rodfather
12-26-2004, 01:22 PM
Why 52" the most popular ? simple
1. It fits any trailer, little 5x8 and up.
2. Transportablility, quickly in and out from place to place, keep in your house garage and it is compact.
3. Its maneuverability on lawns, and hills
4. It fits 5 ft gate here in Florida thus giving us productivity
5. It won't scalp as bad as 72" or 61" if you do residential.
6. Its resale value is good cause that is what people looking for

Not to take away good productivity of 61" and up deck.

All good points. Even though our 52" WB gets used less than our 61's and 72's, I will always have one on hand.

smlavin
12-26-2004, 02:45 PM
Why such the popularity in 52" decks? Most 52" decks will not fit in a gated area here (although there are very few gated areas) so if your not going to fit into the gate, why bother getting the smaller size? Get the 60" because you weren't going to fit into the gate anyways and you will be more productive.

I would have to say a 61" and a 48" because we have very few gated areas (probably 1 house in 300) and 95% of the lawns have a smaller front yard than back, both totaling around 1 acre.


ALarsh,

I was wondering the same thing. When I started the thread I had thought I would see the 44" Z as a much more popular mower because it is small enough to go thru 4' gates - which is most gates in our area - and that way a person could do front and back with one mower and a trimmer on 85% of the accounts (at least in my area).

What I am learning is that the 52" is small enough to avoid scalping issues, can still go many places, but also offers a trim side unavailable to 44" and 48" Z's. Evidently, with the addition of a 32" or 36" mower people are still making good time on small lots and still making pretty good time with the 52" on the larger.

At least that's what appears to be working for most people who have responded so far.

Itsgottobegreen
12-26-2004, 03:09 PM
Itsgottobegreen,

The Sentar and Stander and similar - but different - machines that both come with a 52" deck option. You own both, but when given the limitations given in this thread, you chose the Stander. Why?

I bought the 61" sentar because the account I bought it for was 15 acres a week. 10 acres at 5" and 5 acres around the house at 3.5". So I needed a quick change deck. Didn't help the fact the customer dropped dead on my 2 weeks into the contract. So my sentar has sat all season doing nothing. If it was a 52" deck it would have been mowing every week with the standers.

I perferr the fix decks of the stander. Since they are lighter in weight and more compace. They are fast and will mow any hill in any direction. It soon will be the only mower I run.

dmc456
12-26-2004, 03:56 PM
I currently have a 48 and 52. I love my 52 but could not do without my 48. Any of my customer with gated back yards have gates with 48-52" openings.

I personally would never purchase a 36" mower. Too much money for such a small deck. If I can't use my 48" then I bid quite high. If I get it still, then I'll use a 22" or install a larger 48" gate for free. But since I don't own a 22" either because they are a waste of money, I have installed 1 larger gate.

Who really uses a 22" anyway. I can mow with my trimmer about as fast as I can with a 22". And I can mow small areas much faster with my trimmer than to unload another mower from the trailer.

Back to the question. Next year I'm going with a 48" and a 61" or 72"

cutnedge
12-26-2004, 04:26 PM
Who really uses a 22" anyway. I can mow with my trimmer about as fast as I can with a 22".
I do. I'm also capable of mowing as fast with my trimmer as well. However, as a solo operater in the dead heat of summer here, I try to keep the trimmer out of my hands as much as possible.

If you keep your 48" for next year why would you get another mower(61") so close to it in deck width? It seems the 72" would be the way to go.

Soupy
12-26-2004, 06:08 PM
Why such the popularity in 52" decks? Most 52" decks will not fit in a gated area here (although there are very few gated areas) so if your not going to fit into the gate, why bother getting the smaller size? Get the 60" because you weren't going to fit into the gate anyways and you will be more productive.

I would have to say a 61" and a 48" because we have very few gated areas (probably 1 house in 300) and 95% of the lawns have a smaller front yard than back, both totaling around 1 acre.

A 52" fits around landscape better. It all depends on what size property you are mowing. If you mow a lot of 10k residential with landscape then the 52" will fit in between a lot of areas that the 60" will not. A lot of these lawns have bushes etc planted close to fences etc that the 52" will fit more often then the 60".

In my situations a 52" ended up fitting in several gates that my 60" will not. I hardly ever use my 36" now.

Why do you need a 48" on your size properties? If you have no gates then why not all 60-61" mowers?

Soupy
12-26-2004, 06:21 PM
I currently have a 48 and 52. I love my 52 but could not do without my 48. Any of my customer with gated back yards have gates with 48-52" openings.

I personally would never purchase a 36" mower. Too much money for such a small deck. If I can't use my 48" then I bid quite high. If I get it still, then I'll use a 22" or install a larger 48" gate for free. But since I don't own a 22" either because they are a waste of money, I have installed 1 larger gate.

Who really uses a 22" anyway. I can mow with my trimmer about as fast as I can with a 22". And I can mow small areas much faster with my trimmer than to unload another mower from the trailer.

Back to the question. Next year I'm going with a 48" and a 61" or 72"

Very good post. This is my thoughts exactly about a 36". It does depend on your area though. If every single lawn has small gates and medium size lawns then a 36" would be good. But I look at my 36" mower sitting in the garage and think about how much money it is costing me to have it. I did get a great deal on it and that is why I bought it. But I always tell myself that it would be cheaper to sell it for a $1000 and use that money to install a lot of gates. Then I don't have storage & maintenance on a mower that I currently hardly ever use.

I currently use my 36" on 1 lawn a week. I have installed gates on a couple of lawns and the other gated lawns have very small back yards so I just use the 21" Toro. The only reason I still use the 36" Toro on one lawn is just to give it a weekly work out. Unless I pick up a slew of lawns next spring that would benefit from the 36" I am selling it.

Precision
12-26-2004, 06:32 PM
What I own

3 36 in mowers, yeah I know a little over kill
1 48 " ZTR
1 60" ZTR

I got the 60 for 2 commercial properties that I cut and on a lark decided to try it out on my resi properties. Gotta follow more larks. Every single one that I was using the 48 on now gets cut with the 60".

I carry the 60 ZTR and a 36" WB.

I find that is best for my resi's. Any that are too tight for the 60, I cut with the 36 and it also does small gates. I also use it as a trim mower on 2 commercials that have 40" flat banks around retention ponds.

The ground is relatively flat here in FL so scalping with the 60 isn't such a big deal once you learn to drive well.

Long winded way of saying either a 52-60 inch stander or ZTR as mower one and a 36" stander or WB as number 2.

dmc456
12-26-2004, 07:52 PM
cutnedge,

I'm looking at a 72" Dixie Extreme to replace my 52". The only problem is I'll need a wider trailer. Oh well, I have to make the jump sometime.

ALarsh
12-26-2004, 08:00 PM
Why do you need a 48" on your size properties? If you have no gates then why not all 60-61" mowers?

I would take a 48" for the front lawns, to make them look more proportional with the smaller area. Like I said, most of our front lawns are smaller than the back, so I would take the 48" to use on the front, making about 15 stripes, instead of using the 60" and making 9 stripes, making it look better. Then I would use the 60" on the back, to be more efficient.

I do not need a 48". The thread said what 2 deck sizes would you have and if I had to have 2, I would take a 61" & 48". I currently have a 61" on order and Iím selling my 48Ē.

Soupy
12-26-2004, 08:19 PM
I would take a 48" for the front lawns, to make them look more proportional with the smaller area. Like I said, most of our front lawns are smaller than the back, so I would take the 48" to use on the front, making about 15 stripes, instead of using the 60" and making 9 stripes, making it look better. Then I would use the 60" on the back, to be more efficient.

I do not need a 48". The thread said what 2 deck sizes would you have and if I had to have 2, I would take a 61" & 48". I currently have a 61" on order and Iím selling my 48Ē.

Maybe a 52" would be a good compromise for what you want to achieve. Smaller stripes in front and still large enough to handle an acre. A 61" would be a good choice too though.

Scag48
12-26-2004, 08:57 PM
Right now I'm running a 36" TTHP and a 21". After I get out of college and start running the route for living, I'll have a 52" w/b, 36" hydro w/b, and a 21".

captaingreen
12-26-2004, 09:49 PM
When I had a smaller trailer I always ran a 52" and a 36", this worked perfectly for me on small/midsize lawns. :)