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54"... dead perfect in the middle?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    OK, one of my considerations for '05 is a new 54" cut mower.

    Now if I can squeeze it in everywhere I that put a 48" and since it's only 6" shy of a 60".... to a large extent, does it not sit right dead perfect in the middle, effectively cancelling the need for the 48" & 60"????

    If it squeezes in, the 48" is less productive and obsolete, understood....

    I also understand I have to look at the entire picture and how all the accounts stack up once my '05 schedule is final....

    But for instance, in your opinion, just how big does a property have to be on average before you think the gains of a 60" mower justify it as cost effective to have in addition to a 54"???

    Not reading too much into it... just in general....
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    You need to look at this from a different perspective.

    How small does a property need to be before I can't use a 60" on it? Unless there is some overwhelming need to use a smaller mower why bother? You're just adding the cost of another mower, insurance for that mower and maintenance. If you are already thinking ahead to a 60 just skip right over the 54 and get the 60.
  3. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    52-54" is universally acknowledged to the the most useful size mower when trying to span 1/4 acre residental accounts and larger multi acre ones. I personally have a 60" because one of my commercial properties demand it and most of my resi properties can handle a 60". Those that can't need a 36 so a 52 would not have made a difference. and I agree with Richard Martin.

    you need to look at if from the perspective or how many properties can you not use it on.
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062


    Thank you for your post. It was an excellent one.

    However, the trouble is, the mower I'm considering is not available to me in a 60" cut.
    The 54" is a consideration as a possible replacement for the 48" though.
    So that leaves me with the statis quo question in mind.

    Based on my '04 accounts:

    The 48" & 60" works and the 60" gain is justifiable over the 48"
    The 54" hits dead in the middle and might work for me by itself
    The 60" doesn't work alone

    If the 54" works out it will be the maximum do-all-size.

    I realize in bare basics that every 8 passes with the 54" I save a whole pass over the 48".....and that every 9 passes with the 60" I save a whole pass over the 54"....

    I guess what I'm trying to rationalize in my mind is just how big on average a property would have to be in order for you to see a considerable production gain above a 54" by using a 60"..... I'm trying to visualize some sort of cenario.... a combination of accounts.... both big and small.... where having a 54" and a 60" would be cost effective....

    I really can't see one, except having the 54" because it's the maximum do-all-size.... and having a 60" for dual duty, as a backup mower that you happen to take with you and use every dang chance you get to save a few minutes here and there.

    Am I right or wrong here???
    To play the rational big mower small mower game like you would with a 36"/60" or 48"/60" combo....
    In the case of a 54" as the small mower, doesn't it really need to be a 54"/72" combo to be as equally rational?

    Ah s#it!!! I blabbering here....
    I hope someone sees what I'm trying to get at ;) :dizzy:
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    You posted while I was trying my best to spit all that out in my previous post ;)

    But YEAH.... what you said....

    All but in the tightest of places, the shortest of crests, sharpest of crowns, the narrowest of water sheds, and spots prone to scalping or gouging.... the 60" can be used.

    But at what point does an extra 6" break out and prove it's worth?
    It's for me to visualize how it could produce enough to be worth it.

    ....Well aside from looking at it as a backup mower that you use every chance you get.
  6. CharlieBingo

    CharlieBingo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    I've thought too about this and it does't make sense, it's not as productive as a 60in and one can't match the stripes of a 48in. I wanted to buy (2) Hustler WB's but they don't make 60in WB's. We have 48,52,60 and 72in as standard why make a 54 why not make a 57 or for that matter a 66in. It's like manufacturers making parts non interchangeable from year to year (more $ for them and more confusion for us and less aftermarket parts). If you want a 60 buy a 60 hopefully they'll get the message when sales drop. I bought (2) 60in Exmark WB's, Hustlers odd size cost them two sales.
  7. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    I always figured that a lot of the rationale behind the size of larger mower decks is based on standardized existing parts, such as the 18" blade. They all make a 36" so a 54" mower can use existing blades whereas a 57" deck might require a new blade.

    As for the question of a 54 not being able to stripe as well as a 48, that doesn't sync with what I've heard on this subject before. Have you compared the stripes of those two deck sizes?
  8. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Posts: 365

    I would have to agree that the 54" would be a good compromise between the 48" and the 60". If the 54" would fit in all but the tightest areas, it would be a great asset compared to the 48". As far as how large would a property need to be before justifying a 60" deck; I wouldn't mess with one. If the property demanded something larger, I would get a 72". The 60" would be too close in size to be any real advantage. When I bought the 60" JD that I have, I thought it would be a real good "middle of the road" size. I have found out that it is really too large for many areas that have rough ground. I got a real good deal on it so I will live with it for now. Future plans are for a 36" WB, 54" and 72" ZTR.
  9. CharlieBingo

    CharlieBingo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    I didn't mean the 48 stripes better, just that there's 6in difference therefore the stripes don't line up!
  10. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    I'm just as confused now as I was an hour ago. The stripes don't line up? What do you mean?

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