back fence opening size?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by moneyclass, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. moneyclass

    moneyclass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Im new so this might be a silly question....for a basic backyard fence what is the entrance size?

    Im looking into my first piece of equipment but dont know if I can buy a 48" or 52" because dont know if they will fit in a persons backyard if they have a fence.
     
  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,511

    It depends.
     
  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Murphy's law, always expect the unexpected.

    So, if someone has a fence, always assume it's only 36" wide.

    Regardless of what mower you want to get, just get it and then find an el-cheapo push mower for those small gates.
     
  4. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,742

    depends on the account. i have yards where my 46" Lazer z fits through the gate, then some where i have to use my 32" wb( and it just fits) and i have a few where only a push mower will fit.

    i really wouldnt look into buying any equipment if you dont have any accounts yet.
     
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    MoneyClass.

    You really need to start out as small as possible. You've got this notion in your head that you're going to make money in the green industry with no experience.

    Just get a cheap push mower, trimmer and blower to get started.

    I think your going to find out that the 2-3% margin in this industry is going to get you in trouble if you buy too much equipment in your first year.

    Stats to chew on.

    1.) It takes 5 years on average for any business to turn a profit, or even to finally cut yourself a paycheck.

    2.) In 5 years, 90% of new businesses fail. By year 9, 90% of those business left after 5 years, fail.

    Personally, with the type of employee turnover you see in the green industry, I think you wouldn't have any problems finding a job and working for someone else for a couple of years before starting you biz, only because you have little experience.

    ....
     
  6. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    Remember that mowers are wider than their "cut". But depending on their design you can sometimes get them into smaller openings. Walker mowers are a perfect example. I can get a 48" Walker through a 45" chain link gate. But I can't get it through a wood fence gate because the posts are square and too big.

    My 48" Gravely Walkbehind actually needs an opening 51" wide or it won't fit.

    Just depends on the situation. And experience is what will bring you the knowledge you need to know what you can or can't do with a mower. If you buy a mower that is truly 49" wide and you're trying to put it through a gate that is 52" wide but the gate is on a hill you may not be able to fit.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,536

    Oh there you go, clouding the issue with facts.:usflag:
     
  8. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,747

    This varies greatly in different areas. I've been mowing commercially for 8 years and have only run into about 4 or 5 properties with only a 36 inch gate. From what I've read on here, in many urban areas, 36 inch is the norm. Nearly all here are 48 inches up.

    As for that 5 years to turn a profit crap, I totally agree if you are looking at a typical retail business, or even a service-based business with multiple employees, but it is like anything else, some will fail, some will prosper. There are more lawn care companies around here than you can shake a stick at, and every year, there seem to be more. Some you'll just quit seeing in a couple of years, others are around year after year, and some of them I, honestly, am surprised to see still hanging in there.

    Depending upon your ability to manage a business, the local market, and numerous other factors, it is possible to turn a profit operating solo the first year in business. Just don't count on getting rich, because it probably isn't going to happen. As for the question at hand regarding gates, go scout out some neighborhoods where you think you might pick up business, and see what is the most common gate size.
     
  9. lawnservicefreak22

    lawnservicefreak22 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 116

    It depends on what type of account your dealing with. Most new construction gates are about 48" wide, but old construction like chain link fences are 38" so you will need a 36" or a push mower.
     
  10. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    My 40" Toro walk behinds will fit through almost all of my gates. If they don't, I use a 21" and charge accordingly. 48" decks will not fit through very many gates in our area.
     

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