1 Man Crew

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GOLDSTAR, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. GOLDSTAR

    GOLDSTAR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Hello Everyone,
    New To The Site, Enjoy The Wealth Of Info. My Question Is What Mowers Size/type Would Anyone Recommend For Doing Mainly Residential/light Commercial 1/4 To 1acre Accounts. I Have Considered 36 Wb Or Rider For Gates And 52 Rider. Also What Size Trailer Would Any Recommend. Thanks In Advance!
     
  2. DistLawns

    DistLawns LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 120

    Im a one man crew with about 60 accounts. Some big commercial, mostly residential and medium size commercial. I get er done with a 52inch Exmark hp, a 52inch stander Great Dane surfer, and a push mower.A 12x8 trailer works for me, I dont have any racks for my whips and blowers, I just throw it all in the back of my truck.This all works great for me, but im getting to the point where I might need a bigger trailer for next year, because I may hire some full time help. But I highly recommend the 52 Exmark hp for your main workhorse.
     
  3. TURF DOCTOR

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    He is right 52 and smaller cuts work on all your properties.
     
  4. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    :D We run into quite a few gates that won't let a 36 through. You might consider either a 32 or 34 inch deck for your small machine.
     
  5. GOLDSTAR

    GOLDSTAR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thanks For The Input. Do You Think I Should Use A Small W/b Or Rider For The Gates. I Was Told Gravely Makes Some Small Riders, But Wondering About Slopes?
     
  6. TURF DOCTOR

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    We looked at a ariens gravly ztr price was like 2grand cheap price we went with a z cat scag 42 inch cut
     
  7. chopsticks33

    chopsticks33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    I think exmark is coming out with a 34" rider? i think that's what i saw...;)
     
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    It all depends on your actual property mix, but a good general purpose, versatile lineup would include one ztr and one wb, one a wide deck and one narrow enough to handle gates and other small spots, plus a 21" for really small spots.

    32" will fit through more gates than a 36", but you may not have that many small gates and a 36" will perform better due to wider tires and a little more trim edge sometimes.

    A stander is quicker than a wb/velke but may not handle soft or wet turf conditions , steep embankments, or gullies as well. It's nice to have a mower that will go anywhere w/o worries. A stander will also cost a little more than a hydro wb, and a lot more than a gear drive wb. If you're just using it on small gated areas from time to time, the extra dough may not be worth it. But the Stander would fill in as a backup for the ZTR in a pinch a little better.

    Next question, mulching decks or discharge/bag. I have one set up for each. I use 3 mowers and vary the loadout based on the day's jobs. That's one reason belt drive wb's have their place. You can buy a wide deck and small deck belt drive wb for around the same price as a 36" stander.

    It's always a compromise when you choose any mower.
     
  9. Greenbrier

    Greenbrier LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    I have been solo for three years now. I have some larger propreties. If your largest ones are no more than one or two acres, you don't need a big zero turn. They have a tendancy to burn holes in the grass when you do 180's. And on a small lawn, I would expect you will be doing lots of turns. Also, the "through the gate" factor is important too.


    .02
    Coop
     
  10. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    I maintain a little over 30 properties solo. I would say that 80-90% are residential. Most are a quarter to half acre, though I do a few residentials that are 3 acres+. Right now I'm running a 50" gravely ztr and a 22" non-commercial push mower. I really can't justify the cost of buying a small walk behind for the gates. I only use the push mower on about 3 properties and the largest gated area takes me about 10min. A friend of mine with a much larger lawn business (probably 4x my accounts) only runs 60" Hustlers and if they won't fit he doesn't take the job (refers it to me:) ). So I would say you need about a 6x12 trailer, 52in ztr (I hear good things about Hustler and Exmark), and 32in walk behind (if you have too many gates for a 22" to be feasable).
     

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