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View Full Version : Whats a safe speed to mow?


trk53
02-01-2005, 11:03 AM
Everyone has opinions on what to charge for mowing. But I would like to know regardless of equipment is what is a safe speed that get the job done right. I see lawn mowing crews going flat out, but when you take a closer look they are not mowing all grass but just buzzing over it. So when someone says they are charging $60.an hour is that wide open or at a safe speed that does a good job ?
I find it hard to believe some of the prices that members post for mowing, by the minute or by the square foot. Seems to me that it should be by expereince when estimating jobs.

DSIM
02-01-2005, 11:08 AM
Seems to me you know very little about mowing. Study this site for a while or go buy you a $9k z and find out for yourself. With a blade tip speed of 18k you can pretty much mow as fast as the mower will go, given the right conditions. As far as safe, its up to the operator.

walker-talker
02-01-2005, 11:15 AM
My Walker with a ground speed of 6.5 mph (with the speed up kit) is plenty fast enough...most of the time. In the spring I have to slow that down a little bit. Most of the time I go balls to the wall and that is fast enough. During the summer I think I could go maybe a couple miles an hour faster...but that's it. Most of my properties are between 2K and 8K...so speed is not a huge factor. I might be bidding on some commercial properties and might get a bigger deck. I use a 52" SD now.

KathysLGC
02-01-2005, 11:18 AM
Prices will vary from state to state, town to town. You need to find out what the going rate is in your area. If your new, call up some professional landscapers to come out and bid your lawn to give you a ball park or just call them and ask them what their rate is for 1 acre. Every yard will set it's own cut speed. The yard might be bumpy or have dips so going fast can cause turf damage. Always think quality before quantity.I would say go as fast as you can to keep a quality cut. I usually cut at around 5.5mph.

plateau lawn care
02-01-2005, 12:05 PM
why write a big narrative telling someone to got to the search bar and tell them just because they dont have many post that they dont know what the heck thei doing and that their not a pro like you are i'm sur with your few hundred post just give the man or woman a answer..........mow as fast as you can and still be a quality cut and good luck in the bussiness......how hard was that..

trk53
02-01-2005, 12:10 PM
You may have misunderstood my question in full. I am trying to understand how anyone could quote by the minute or square foot for mowing .When in reality its by the lawn and the speed that you can mow it safely!

walker-talker
02-01-2005, 12:29 PM
You may have misunderstood my question in full. I am trying to understand how anyone could quote by the minute or square foot for mowing .When in reality its by the lawn and the speed that you can mow it safely!
Your time is money....is it not? Say your rate is $50 an hour. You look at a lawn and estimate how long it will take you. If it looks like it will take you 30 minutes or less....safely.....charge $25. If you don't think you can do it safely in 30 minutes, but rather 45 minutes...then charge $37.50. Estimating a job (mowing) by the footage is tough. You have been in business for 15 years...you should have an idea of how long a lawn will take you by walking it for a few minutes and comparing to other you do....right?

KathysLGC
02-01-2005, 12:31 PM
why write a big narrative telling someone to got to the search bar and tell them just because they dont have many post that they dont know what the heck thei doing and that their not a pro like you are i'm sur with your few hundred post just give the man or woman a answer..........mow as fast as you can and still be a quality cut and good luck in the bussiness......how hard was that..

?????? Would we be saying your not professional by asking you to use the spell check button? No, we would be helping you. No one said TRK was not professional.

KathysLGC
02-01-2005, 12:33 PM
You may have misunderstood my question in full. I am trying to understand how anyone could quote by the minute or square foot for mowing .When in reality its by the lawn and the speed that you can mow it safely!

A person should know his area and his proper cutting speed so it said person breaks it down by the minute and comes up to an average of say, $1. per minute, then they feel safe going with that as a general rule.

trk53
02-01-2005, 12:56 PM
Seems to me you know very little about mowing. Study this site for a while or go buy you a $9k z and find out for yourself. With a blade tip speed of 18k you can pretty much mow as fast as the mower will go, given the right conditions. As far as safe, its up to the operator.


Been a member longer than you, older than you , been in business longer than you, read lots and lots of post and have come to believe that if a lot of post make you an expert then I guess that I should give flipped answers to everyone so I can run my numbers up. I thought I had asked a fair question and should receive a well thought out reply. And I have received good answers from other members!

Soupy
02-01-2005, 01:13 PM
You may have misunderstood my question in full. I am trying to understand how anyone could quote by the minute or square foot for mowing .When in reality its by the lawn and the speed that you can mow it safely!

So tell us, How do you come up with a quote?

dishboy
02-01-2005, 01:21 PM
[QUOTE=DSIM]Seems to me you know very little about mowing. Study this site for a while or go buy you a $9k z and find out for yourself. With a blade tip speed of 18k you can pretty much mow as fast as the mower will go, given the right conditions. As far as safe, its up to the operator.[/QUOTE


Seems to me you know a little about mowing and not so much about quality mowing.

ProMo
02-01-2005, 01:25 PM
I was mowing a church just before a funeral and one of the police escorts radared me at 14mph on my dixie there was no loss in quality

trk53
02-01-2005, 01:56 PM
So tell us, How do you come up with a quote?


You just know. Mowed lots of lawns and from on the job experience you learn very quickly. I can look at and walk a lawn and tell what a fair quote is. And the more you mow that lawn the quicker you become by learning the best way to mow it.( A feel for the land ).

coonman
02-01-2005, 02:19 PM
We always walk the lawn. Too many variables (swing sets, pools, trees, flower beds). Take all that into consideration, you then figure how long it will take to mow and trim all that. Then quote your price. Sq footage does not come into play when we bid. We have some small lawns that we get more money for than lawns that are much bigger just because of obstacles and excessive trimming and edging.

Soupy
02-01-2005, 02:27 PM
You just know. Mowed lots of lawns and from on the job experience you learn very quickly. I can look at and walk a lawn and tell what a fair quote is. And the more you mow that lawn the quicker you become by learning the best way to mow it.( A feel for the land ).

So basically you know how long it will take you and you quote based on time. We charge by time, but not the fastest time. We know how long it will take by our standards.

trk53
02-01-2005, 03:00 PM
So basically you know how long it will take you and you quote based on time. We charge by time, but not the fastest time. We know how long it will take by our standards.

I think we are on the same wave length.

walker-talker
02-01-2005, 03:46 PM
You just know. Mowed lots of lawns and from on the job experience you learn very quickly. I can look at and walk a lawn and tell what a fair quote is. And the more you mow that lawn the quicker you become by learning the best way to mow it.( A feel for the land ).
But do you have an hourly income you try to accomplish?

trk53
02-01-2005, 04:14 PM
But do you have an hourly income you try to accomplish?


Thats a fair question. I am not sure how you figure travel time ,fueling, talking to customer, fuel cost ,insurance ,taxes etc. and come up with a hourly income. I think it is by the job. If you bid $60.00 did you make $60.00? Or if your mower breaks down . So many variables.How do you figure it?

DennisF
02-01-2005, 04:28 PM
To answer your original question...the fastest that you should mow is the speed that will allow you to cut the grass without tearing up either the mower, the lawn, or yourself. If the lawn is flat with very few obstacles and the grass is not too tall then the mower can be run wide open. If there are obstacles or steep slopes that might cause a roll-over, then caution takes precedents over speed. I suppose that the key factor in determining the fastest, safe speed for mowing is common sense.

ince8728
02-01-2005, 04:33 PM
it's me and my 2 employees with a walker 48" ghs and a 36", along with string trimmers & blowers etc... we can do around 3-5 homes an hr none are more than 5000 -8000 sq ft. I don't drop the gate for any less than 25$ so on avg i'm taking in anywhere between 90$- $150 per hr. I just estimate by eye, walk the property and compare it to others i do.

gramps
02-01-2005, 04:41 PM
As fast ass I can push it.

PMLAWN
02-01-2005, 05:05 PM
On smaller lots we use the WBs and they can only go about 6.5 MPH. There is no way we can get up to that speed on those lots. I have a square footage that I can cut in an hour and I use that along with walking the property and adding in other things to quote properties. On bigger properties where we use the Zs I will bring my (get ready to laugh) bike with on the est. I will ride across and back and forth on the lot to get a feel for the bumps. The Zs will go over 10 mph and on OK land we run at that speed. So I base my proposals on that fact. Got burned bad 2 years ago as we cut the lawn going North and South and all was well. Next week we went East to West and there were so many ruts that we could hardly go 1/2 speed. Lot took twice as long as we planned. That was when I started to take my bike with. Always use safety as your guide first and than quality of cut.

DSIM
02-01-2005, 07:47 PM
I didnt want to come off the wrong way but your original question just seems like a question that would be asked by a novice, not a professional. Especially 15 yrs experience and esp. since you've monitered this site for some time now. This is something that you would learn in the first few months of business. There are some 14 yr olds on here that could have answered your question for you. The question you asked would be more like a homeowner question not a 15 yr vet.

I didnt look at your profile when I first answered your question and figured it was asked by a newbe.

and no, I am not just trying to gain the number of posts for myself on this site. I could care less about that.

I am getting a little tired of some of the very simple questions on here that have been asked a million times.

I appreciate an educational source such as lawn site and hope to learn more all the time and hope I can share my knowledge with others BUT that being said, I have little patience for elementary questions on a professional site.

trk53
02-01-2005, 09:01 PM
I didnt want to come off the wrong way but your original question just seems like a question that would be asked by a novice, not a professional. Especially 15 yrs experience and esp. since you've monitered this site for some time now. This is something that you would learn in the first few months of business. There are some 14 yr olds on here that could have answered your question for you. The question you asked would be more like a homeowner question not a 15 yr vet.

I didnt look at your profile when I first answered your question and figured it was asked by a newbe.

and no, I am not just trying to gain the number of posts for myself on this site. I could care less about that.

I am getting a little tired of some of the very simple questions on here that have been asked a million times.

I appreciate an educational source such as lawn site and hope to learn more all the time and hope I can share my knowledge with others BUT that being said, I have little patience for elementary questions on a professional site.

You know the old adage: there's no such thing as a stupid question just a stupid answer. You know when I asked this question I was really wondering what speed people mow at. Me being a older guy I don't try to set land speed records ,but also want my equipment to last. IF YOU HAVE READ SOME OF THESE POST you can see there is a lot of bull out there .Everyone but you gave me a reasonable answer. If you are that feed up with elementary questions maybe you should move on!

1grnlwn
02-01-2005, 09:22 PM
I like how almost no one answered your question. I probably mow about 6MPH. Mower does 8 I think. I haven't had the speedo on for a couple of years. You won't find anyone who bought one of those silly fast mowers telling you they mow 6 mph. Even if they do. The real question is what happens when you turn an employee loose on one of these speed demons. More on post counts later.

PMLAWN
02-01-2005, 10:00 PM
I may be reading into this the wrong way but the last few posts sound like there is disbelief that mowers can go 10mph+ or that they can cut well at that speed. We do some properties where we run in one direction in a straight line for over a minute before stopping and turning. We use Toro Z masters with the turbo force deck. At full speed it cuts very well. No left behind grass (as long as the blades are sharp) and on flat/smooth ground we feel they are very safe. We run with the roll bar up and seat belt on. On many lots we have to run slower because of safety or terrain but on the open stuff, Yes we run full speed.

As far as equipment lasting, I feel that we pay for the tool to do the work and the tool was built to do just that. Compared to the dollar amount that the mower brings in over a 2 -3 year period the actual cost of the mower is insignificant. Not that we go out of our way to break a mower but we can not lose time by pampering them either.

Precision
02-01-2005, 10:28 PM
PMLAWN

Amen to that. change the oil, grease the fittings, keep her clean, Clean air filter, fresh sharp blades every day, maybe even wax her up once in a while if I am bored. But go gentle so she lasts longer. ROTFLMAO. You must be kidding.

My mowers are tools, tools will eventually get worn out. That is life. I make a living with this tool and she is going to work hard, fast and well past her payment life. And when she gets 2/3 done trade her in and get a new shiny one.

Time is money, I run as fast as I can and not tear up the turf and still give a great cut. On my Gravely PM260 that is about +9mph in anything other than Peak growth, then I slow down to about 5-6mph.

DSIM
02-01-2005, 11:33 PM
You know the old adage: there's no such thing as a stupid question just a stupid answer. You know when I asked this question I was really wondering what speed people mow at. Me being a older guy I don't try to set land speed records ,but also want my equipment to last. IF YOU HAVE READ SOME OF THESE POST you can see there is a lot of bull out there .Everyone but you gave me a reasonable answer. If you are that feed up with elementary questions maybe you should move on!

I gave you THE MOST reasonable answer. buy one for yourself and find out how fast you can mow. No one on here is going to be able to determine that for you. Then its up to you as far as safety goes!

You really got incensed by this didnt you? Well I was straight to the point with you, thats all.

Patrick.B
02-01-2005, 11:33 PM
SPEED is not the key in this business ,,Is how you cut the grass no matter how fast you rmower is ,,,i have pm144 gravily and i learn how to cut the customer yard by Learning which way i have to cut it ,,,Crossway Or Long way ,,,,,,sometime it Take few times to know which way you have to cut the yard and be supprised it will make the different,,,,

Soupy
02-02-2005, 12:40 AM
I must have read the post wrong. I thought it was about pricing. I didn't know he wanted to know how fast we cut. I couldn't answer that because I don't have a speed odometer on my mower. I do price using the $1+ a minute rule, but it has nothing to do with the mph of my mower. I look at the job and know how long it will take and then price it. I don't cut at full speed unless it is a large lawn and then I slow it down closer to the traffic areas. This way the outer points look good enough and it doesn't matter if there is a stringer or two where no one looks.

green acres lawns
02-02-2005, 02:41 AM
When we were mowing the local school system, we mowed the open grounds(football stadium,socker fields, baseball diamonds etc.) as fast as my exmark would run, which was 9.5 mph according to exmark. The playground at the elementry was 1/4 mile long and 100 yards wide. At 6 mph it would feel like you were creeping.Of course I would slow down up closer to the buildings etc, but if my mower would have run 15 mph and still cut clean, then I would have done it. Common sense should make you adjust your speed to fit the conditions, just like driving your vehicle.

LawnsUnlimited
02-02-2005, 11:11 AM
I gave you THE MOST reasonable answer. buy one for yourself and find out how fast you can mow. No one on here is going to be able to determine that for you. Then its up to you as far as safety goes!

You really got incensed by this didnt you? Well I was straight to the point with you, thats all.
You have responded to this thread 2 or 3 times DSIM and each time your answer was appropriate.

DSIM
02-02-2005, 11:21 AM
LawnsUnlimited,
thank you sir, I can tell you are a scholar and a gentleman. :D

LawnsUnlimited
02-02-2005, 11:57 AM
I call it the way i see it my friend! :)