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58 years old and feeling my age

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mowmasteruk, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. mowmasteruk

    mowmasteruk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    I've been mowing since I was about 15 and in business since I was 20. I'm 58 now and finding it hard to do as much as I used to. I've considered cutting down to say four days a week, or maybe just work till one or two p.m. each day. It's a shame because I really like the job, but I guess hard work gets harder the older you get. When I started out all those years ago my father said "You won't want to be doing that job when you get older", my was he right! Are there any other "oldies" out there still pushing walk-behind mowers?
  2. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 967

    I can't say I am but don't you think a ZTR would be a good investment? What size properties do you mostly service?
  3. mowmasteruk

    mowmasteruk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Sizes range from very small to meduim large, but it's not so much the size of the lawns but the access into the properties which determines the size of mower - I use 21" or 18" wbs for most lawns and have a 30" rider for a few larger jobs with good access. We don't see many ZTRs here in England, most are imported from USA and they are mainly used by local authorities for grass cutting where bagging is not necessary. Bagging the cuttings is essential here in most cases, especially residential properties. Also US imports such as Lawn Boy, Jacobsen, etc. don't cut low enough for British lawns. I've got a dandy little Etesia 18" wb with Suzuki two-stroke engine that will cut and bag wet grass like butter, the drawback is that it has no power drive so you have to push it! That's why I'm worn out! Having said that I've just taken delivery of two similar 18" Etesias with power drive and Honda 5.5 four-stroke engines and will be trying them out this week. Thanks for your interest.
  4. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852


    I'm 56 myself, but I push a mower very little thanks to my Z. I do spend time with a trimmer and chain saw though. I'm afraid that what you describe is just a normal part of aging.

    I do believe that as we get older we learn to pace ourselves.

    Reminds me of a joke. There was a very young Bull and a very old Bull standing, looking over the fence at a herd of cows. The young Bull enthusiastically said: "Hey, let's jump over that fence and run out there and breed one of those cows!" The old Bull very calmly replied: "No son, let's go through that gate, WALK out there and breed 'em all."

    Moral of the joke is that as we age we learn to make every move count and get the job done right.

    Take care of yourself,
  5. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    I don't see how you have the patience for a 18" mower. My weedeater can cut 18". I get annoyed how long it takes me to do some yards on my 50" ZTR. I'd try and find some larger properties and hire a guy to run the pushmower. I can't believe you are 58 and running a push mower, it's crazy.
  6. mowmasteruk

    mowmasteruk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Yes, but your weedeater won't bag the grass. But you are right, I'm crazy using a push mower at my age, I need to reserve that mower just for the jobs where it's really needed and use the powered walk behinds or the rider as much as possible. Thanks for your comments.
  7. robby

    robby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 89

    Lately i've been complaining about aging and aches and pains, and i'm only 40. My knees are getting worn out from riding a sulky.My back is showing its age from too much mulching work. My wrists were giving out from using pistol grips. I can hardly imagine the kinda aches that come with being over 50 and still doing this full time. Using a push mower is too much work for ANY age! I'm reallyyy hoping to be working 3 days or less a week by the time I hit 50. May have to send the wife back to work.:D
  8. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    At 58 I would have found a better way than pushing a mower. Adopt a Z to your situation, take on more accounts to hire a younger employee, with age comes wisdom. Time to use it, start by selling those customers with narow entrances on the benefits of a wider entrance and then charge to do the change. Then you will be making money by upselling and by having the advantage of the use of a Z.
  9. jim dailey

    jim dailey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 614

    Well, I am 57 next March. I have been at this for the last 16 years. I get so engrossed in it everyday that I lose track of time. I absolutely love this business. But, as stated, I get TOO involved most days. Then the nights are full of pains and Ibuprofen. But every morning is the same. I just can't wait to get at it again. I am SOLO. I have 55 customers. I used to have more, with some additional help. The help went by the wayside. I trimmed the customer list for this year, and did it all by myself. It wasn't easy. I think I will trim the list to about 40 for next year. I will keep all of the GOOD customers, and turn the rest loose. I plan on doing it for a few more years, and then just retire. Even in retirement, I will probably dibble and dabble with it. I just love the business, that much.
  10. oldturf

    oldturf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    I am 57 and do nothing anymore than ride the Zs and direct the crew. Their are plenty of good bagging Zs and most will cut to one and a half or two inch, I would think that is short enough. Next year I am running all crews and I will just manage and sell and do maintenance. You don't have to quit, just revise, its still fun and you still keep real busy. Good Luck and many more years of health.

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