Sharpening wont be a factor I got it coverd. Other things like backlapping and adjusting I do myself. At my age we used to mow with sheep. The hard part was loading them on the trailers and keeping straight lines on property edges along with keeping them away from foundation plantings. We could also charge for fertilizing a double whammy.
All fun aside I can see the points you guys bring up. I feel I can still get cutomers and be competitive and still pull profits though. Or it might be a thick head here talking too. Ive been working on this for a time now looking at all the angles and seeing the prices being charged in this area allows me to go this route and still make money at it. Like I said before some lawns here would require a ZTR machine to efficently mow the lawn, I dont plan on beating my head against the wall and being so bullheaded against these machines. After all it isnt the machine cutting the grass wrong its the company. There are plenty of lawns here that a reel mower will work wonders on. Having a machine with a 6+ ft cut would be in my opinion as fast as any walk behind machine used today. Thus time being money. My time spent on a yard would be the same if not less than everyone else. There for keeping the rates about the same and still adding in the factor for sharpening a few times a year. Also having spare cylinders and bedknives in the shop ready to go on the machine doesnt have me waiting for someone to sharpen that machine.
Again though it all needs to be sold to the cutomer I can buy all the machines out there and if I dont have customers what good is it. I am still putting thought into it so keep the opinions coming. I am listening.