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  #1  
Old 09-22-2001, 11:59 PM
TFL TFL is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Mt. Pleasant TX
Posts: 210
Wide Area Mowing

Do any of you strictly cut wide area about 3 or more acres. I have 6 5-7 acre jobs. They seem more profitable but wondering if they are in the long run. If they are i was thinking of switching my operation to just wide area. Any advice would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2001, 01:14 AM
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grassyfras grassyfras is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
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The only problem I see is you wouldn't get much landscaping buisness for it. If your aereating and fert. it could be very profitable but i dont know to many people that would fert. that much area.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2001, 02:59 AM
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vipermanz vipermanz is offline
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Location: Birmingham Alabama
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guido is the expert on this!
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2001, 05:24 AM
LAWNGODFATHER LAWNGODFATHER is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: St. Louis, Missouri Gateway to the west
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If your price scale is set right, size of lawn should not matter. Now what you are going to find by limiting your self to only large properies, is with larger mowers you can't handle smaller propeties. You start putting wing deck mowers with a 9 - 10 foot cuts on a lawn you'll only make 5 passes with can't be worth your time. With the right mix of equipment, you can cut most sizes. Another thing is you will be marketing large props. and find a small market to have clients in.

I have sevral 3+ acre props. and lots of less than an acre props. I price by how long to mow amd consider how many sq/ft. Eg: 3- 1 acre lawns next to each other, 2 very few trees and light trimming, $59. Next one moderate trees more trimming and same blowing as others, $64. now that's $182 and they get cut in close to 1 hour. Thats a lot more than my $75 per a man hr. mowing price, but they are bid as one lawn. Without your equipment line up, It's real hard to know exactly what your looking for but your shooting for a limited clientell. I gave an example don't know if that's what you were looking for either but hope it helps. As far as the long run, anything can happen.

LGF:blob1:
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2001, 05:49 AM
Guido Guido is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: North Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 2,085
It can be, and it can't be!!

It all depends.

You have to think of a few things, i.e your equipment costs for larger stuff, and other work referals as was mentioned already.

CONS:

If you work resedential your current customer base is much larger, which means more refferals for other types of work and more customers. (Thats to say that you offer full service to your customers now). Another thing to think of is equipment costs. The cost is much higher to maintain a farm tractor and batwing mower than a Z or walkbehind. Transporting the equipment is another thing.


PROS:

Its not as detailed (usually) as resedential and small commercial mowing. Higher cost of equipment, but less needed for a specialized wide area mowing service. One man could do much more per hour with the larger equipment than he would be able to do on resedential maint.


As far as price, ANY service you can provide can be profitable, its all how you price it and how you work your overhead costs down.

The big question should be if you have a large enough customer base that you can reach with this service.

It has its potential.

A member here (Karl) Southside Slashing from Australia is strictly large area mowing, and I believe there are a few more. Hopefully they'll pop their heads in soon, because I am definetly not the expert in this area as was said earlier!

Hope I helped clear some stuff up though!
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2001, 07:55 AM
Pauls Mowing Pauls Mowing is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
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We mow for a developer, mowing un sold subdivision lot ranging from 8000 sf to 45,000 sf per lot, about 250 lots total. We use a John Deere 1050 tractor with a 6' rotary behind it. Due to another subdivision opening next spring, and requests for added services from the boss, last week we bought a john Deere 955 with a loader. The 955 will have a 5' rotary behind it. It has taken us about 30- 35 hours to make one complete round. Each round of the subdivisions change as lots are sold. All lots are trimmed around pad mount transformers, water and lot line stakes. They have asked that the curbs be edged. We will now be doing lot clean ups, loading broken concrete, excess fill material from the home builders, and picking up the endless supply of rocks in the lot.

Equipment:

1992 Chevy C-3500 dump $6500
1986 JD 1050 Diesel 5500
1995 JD 955 4x4 hydro 12,000
Befco 6' rotary 1,100
King Kutter 5' rotary 500
14' DCT tandem axel trailer 1,800
5' box blade 150

Since I drive the dumo truck to work, I split the cost of it with the company. The trailer hauls both tractors, one at a time. The Befco mower was a poor choice, too pricey, could have been in the 600-800 range.

For us, in our situation, this works out great. I work full time, my wife part time. She has the summers off, and mows 8 hours a day. I mow in the evenings and we both mow on Saturdays. This still leaves time for our other customers, and we are operating at a profit.

Paul
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2001, 08:58 AM
bubenberg bubenberg is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 76
we do quite a few large properties each week and have been very successfull with our powertrac 425 (60 inch deck) plus two kunz eng. acrease 57 inch deck in tow gives you about 14 feet wide nice , prof cut.
last year we used an exmark 60 inch deck and the two kunz acrease.
the cost is much less than any of these large machines available and transporting especially with our power trac fork devisce is a snap
any questions please feel free to ask anytime
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2001, 09:00 AM
SLC1 SLC1 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 164
All we do is wide area mowing, I have found that it is more profitable, only if you have the equipement for it. We started with smaller machines and now are doing it right with the correct equipment, we are running all 6' outfront riders, 12' rangewings and also 15'batwings on the back of tractors. We are able to do some very large properties in some unbeliveable time. We do all large school systems, commerical sites and goverment sites, what i like about this work is that there is less people to deal with, they are usually happy with what ever you do and because of the high insurance, bid&performance bonds and also the equipment costs there are usually not a lot of other bidders, only like two or three for a large site instead of a homeowner calling six companies for a $30per mow job , I go and look at one large property with two competitiors and are bidding over $1k per cut ect, Just My two cents
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2001, 11:52 AM
BLakin01 BLakin01 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rensselaer, IN (Heart of the Midwest)
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All we do is large acreage mowing. We have two contracts that are about 60-70 acres apiece. It is enough to keep us busy. It started out as a side job, but now is looking like we might have to go full time. We also started out with small equipment, but now have a 21' mower, a 7' mower, and a 60' John Deere F911. We are looking into either a Dixie Chopper or a Grasshopper to replace the John Deere. We are trying to get a couple more accounts to expand the business. But in other words, we have had much success with just large acreage mowing. Not as many people to hassle with.

Brandon Lakin
B&H Mowing Service
Rensselaer, IN
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2001, 06:58 PM
mrgreenjeans mrgreenjeans is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Canton, Ohio
Posts: 4
just my two cents

I have learned a thing or two from mowing these many years. One of the basics of the mowing business is this:
If your mowers are running you are making money (or earning income)
If your truck is running you are spending money

If you have the proper equipment for WAM, it has great potential since you dont spent time driving around and loading and unloading the trailer.

There is also truth in the fact that there is less competition. Not as many people can meet insurance and equipment requirements for large jobs. The downfall is the you oftentimes become so specialized that you limit your opportunities in other areas. You have equipment that is not very versatile and you have fewer clients. If you only have 2 very large clients you work for and one takes his business elsewhere, you are half-way out of business.

Specialization in WAM (or anything) can be both good and bad. Just be sure you are aware of the risks as well as the benefits.
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