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  #31  
Old 06-01-2012, 05:13 PM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Oomkes View Post
Well crap, after doing this gig for over 30 years I just found out you can't mow at full speed.

Huh, wish someone would have told me that a long time ago.

No, you can't go full speed all the time. But you don't have to go slow all the time either. It depends on the lawn, the height of the grass, whether it's dry or wet, etc. I agree completely with this.

I have no idea what a Cub Cadet will or won't do, but some of these guys advice is ridiculous, some of it is OK and some of it is right on. Most of it is getting a feel for the mower and what it can and can't do.

As for mowing in circles, those ballparks with circles look pretty awesome. Besides, it beats the crap out of raking the whole lawn.

I have never seen a ball park where they mow in circles in the same direction for every pass. Every single one I have seen where they made circles used alternating passes, which will not keep blowing the clippings in towards the center to make raking easier like the OP mentioned trying to do. Mowing in circles in the same direction until you reach the center of the lawn looks like crap when you are cutting grass that can and will stripe easily. Down south it may not matter which way you mow, but on northern turf it does, if you want repeat business.

And orangemower, you haven't made a single mistake? Whether business related or the actual work? A manager of a lumber yard knows everything about the lawn business and prevented any and all mistakes. Wow, better watch out Donald Trump. That is truly amazing, that you have never made a mistake.
I agree with being a little easier on the new guys. We all have/had to start and learn somewhere.
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  #32  
Old 06-01-2012, 08:58 PM
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charmill26 charmill26 is offline
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i think we should all just quit now and give orangemower our businesses
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  #33  
Old 06-01-2012, 09:24 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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So that's the 19 HP 48 inch Cub you were considering buyin? I think slowing down will solve a lot of your problems. If you're moving full speed with that thing it's probably bogging down and slowing your engine and blades, causing lousy dispersal of the clippings.
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  #34  
Old 06-02-2012, 12:03 AM
orangemower orangemower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmill26 View Post
i think we should all just quit now and give orangemower our businesses
No, that's OK. I have enough to keep me busy.

My point was that you don't just buy a mower you've never even tried to operate and actually cut a private residential property to "see" if you want to do this. That's totally the wrong way of going about it wouldn't you say? Sure I've made mistakes but I didn't dive into a empty pool either. I knew what I was up against before I even got a mower. I sat down and loaded the dining room table with papers stacked up with notes and other info that I felt I needed. I covered the entire spectrum of lawn and landscape maintenance so I was completely aware of everything I was up against. When the time came to start digging deep into the equipment I'd need, I didn't just buy something used to see if I wanted to do this for a living, I already knew I was going to do it and knew what my income potential was going to be BEFORE I bought any equipment. In other words, I knew what size I needed because of the area. So I then shopped around (and yes I did make a few mistakes) and "thought" I made a good choice and bought a Cub Cadet. Wrong. It was the worse choice I to this day have made for my business. I within a month had a Scag Tiger Cub with collection system, striping kit and some other stuff. I had to go over budget but the return on the first season of leave clean ups that I had gotten, paid for the bagger kit 2 times over.

I think you understand where I'm coming from. Nobody including myself is perfect but if you have a plan drawn out, and we both know the numbers don't lie, you have a MUCH high chance of success in the business. Wouldn't you agree?

I have a sun up to sun down day tomorrow so if I find this thread on Sunday I'll see if I can answer your questions that you might be concerned with.
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  #35  
Old 06-02-2012, 12:22 AM
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charmill26 charmill26 is offline
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I do agree completely with this statement. Everyone does start somewhere. Some higher up than others. Buying a ztr and experimenting on clients lawns to see if you like mowing for a living isn't necessarily the best way to get started. But everyone starts in different situations. You (orangemower) seemed to start in a very organized and financially prepared/knowledgable manner. Which I do respect greatly. But not everyone can start that way.
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  #36  
Old 06-02-2012, 08:10 AM
Mark Oomkes Mark Oomkes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangemower View Post
No, that's OK. I have enough to keep me busy.

My point was that you don't just buy a mower you've never even tried to operate and actually cut a private residential property to "see" if you want to do this. That's totally the wrong way of going about it wouldn't you say? Sure I've made mistakes but I didn't dive into a empty pool either. I knew what I was up against before I even got a mower. I sat down and loaded the dining room table with papers stacked up with notes and other info that I felt I needed. I covered the entire spectrum of lawn and landscape maintenance so I was completely aware of everything I was up against. When the time came to start digging deep into the equipment I'd need, I didn't just buy something used to see if I wanted to do this for a living, I already knew I was going to do it and knew what my income potential was going to be BEFORE I bought any equipment. In other words, I knew what size I needed because of the area. So I then shopped around (and yes I did make a few mistakes) and "thought" I made a good choice and bought a Cub Cadet. Wrong. It was the worse choice I to this day have made for my business. I within a month had a Scag Tiger Cub with collection system, striping kit and some other stuff. I had to go over budget but the return on the first season of leave clean ups that I had gotten, paid for the bagger kit 2 times over.

I think you understand where I'm coming from. Nobody including myself is perfect but if you have a plan drawn out, and we both know the numbers don't lie, you have a MUCH high chance of success in the business. Wouldn't you agree?

I have a sun up to sun down day tomorrow so if I find this thread on Sunday I'll see if I can answer your questions that you might be concerned with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by charmill26 View Post
I do agree completely with this statement. Everyone does start somewhere. Some higher up than others. Buying a ztr and experimenting on clients lawns to see if you like mowing for a living isn't necessarily the best way to get started. But everyone starts in different situations. You (orangemower) seemed to start in a very organized and financially prepared/knowledgable manner. Which I do respect greatly. But not everyone can start that way.
Funny, I heard a competitor speak at a banquet last week who has been in business for close to 60 years now. Bought his mowers from his brother and was in the lawn business. Didn't know squat about the business though.

I'm not knocking anyone for doing their research, good for them. Great in fact. But I'm also not going to knock someone for jumping in headfirst and learning by experience. The real world is a far better instructor than any book or college.
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  #37  
Old 06-02-2012, 08:27 AM
orangemower orangemower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmill26 View Post
I do agree completely with this statement. Everyone does start somewhere. Some higher up than others. Buying a ztr and experimenting on clients lawns to see if you like mowing for a living isn't necessarily the best way to get started. But everyone starts in different situations. You (orangemower) seemed to start in a very organized and financially prepared/knowledgable manner. Which I do respect greatly. But not everyone can start that way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Oomkes View Post
Funny, I heard a competitor speak at a banquet last week who has been in business for close to 60 years now. Bought his mowers from his brother and was in the lawn business. Didn't know squat about the business though.

I'm not knocking anyone for doing their research, good for them. Great in fact. But I'm also not going to knock someone for jumping in headfirst and learning by experience. The real world is a far better instructor than any book or college.
Both of you are right. I just hate to see guys just dive in without knowing what they are getting into.

I appreciate the respect as I DID do tons of research and lots of number crunching and got lots of headaches before I knew I could make it work.

No, my brother-in-law doesn't know the specifics on operating a lawncare business but he knows how to "manage" a large business and make that business very profitable. A whole lot of the same thing goes on in a large business as does in a small business. He helped me on the administrative side of things with numbers and how to manage the business by reading the numbers. He was a huge help. Had he not stepped in and helped I might have went a different route. Either way, thanks for understanding.

To the OP. He should step back and take his time. I realize everyone has to start somewhere. I just hate to see guys jump in not knowing at all what they are getting into. I do agree, on hands training/experience is the best you can get. Anyone can read a book and say they know "how to" ..... but have they ever done it?
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  #38  
Old 06-02-2012, 08:34 AM
Justin5309 Justin5309 is offline
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Thanks to everybody that provided constructive advice with respect to eliminating some of the lawn clippings while mowing. I will try all of these techniques: Driving slower, getting new blades, etc in an effort to improve my lawn cutting experience.

I mentioned in my original post that I was thinking about getting into the biz. Many of you assumed that this is all I would be doing to earn income. The fact of the matter is I have a good full time job where I earn plenty of money. I am a bit of a workaholic though and I was looking for additional ways to make money; I also was hoping to teach my son responsibility in owning a business; oh and I love to drive those zero turns.

I thought this forum was an opportunity to learn from others who have learned some of these lessons already; not an opportunity for those who feel they know everything in the business to showcase their knowledge in disrespectful and a condescending manner.

Again, thanks to everyone who provided constructive advice. I'll let you know how things turn out.
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  #39  
Old 06-02-2012, 08:38 AM
Justin5309 Justin5309 is offline
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Yes, this was the mower I was researching. In the end, I believe the cub cadet was better for me as I won't be cutting nearly as many lawns as most people on this forum. I saved quite a bit of money and love using it.

Anyhow, I'll figure this lawn clipping issue out. Especially with all the help from posters on this forum.

Thanks again guys.
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  #40  
Old 06-02-2012, 08:47 AM
orangemower orangemower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin5309 View Post
Thanks to everybody that provided constructive advice with respect to eliminating some of the lawn clippings while mowing. I will try all of these techniques: Driving slower, getting new blades, etc in an effort to improve my lawn cutting experience.

I mentioned in my original post that I was thinking about getting into the biz. Many of you assumed that this is all I would be doing to earn income. The fact of the matter is I have a good full time job where I earn plenty of money. I am a bit of a workaholic though and I was looking for additional ways to make money; I also was hoping to teach my son responsibility in owning a business; oh and I love to drive those zero turns.

I thought this forum was an opportunity to learn from others who have learned some of these lessons already; not an opportunity for those who feel they know everything in the business to showcase their knowledge in disrespectful and a condescending manner.

Again, thanks to everyone who provided constructive advice. I'll let you know how things turn out.
I have a feeling you're directing this at my post. Owning and operating a business takes a lot of time invested just to "learn" how to do it. You going out and buying a mower to see if you want to do this isn't the best way to go about it. Now you think if "fun" to ride around on a ztr. It was more then 8 years from the time I "thought" about doing this to the time I had my business name and all the other things in order before I even got on a mower to demo.
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