Batwing Mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tony Clifton, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. Tony Clifton

    Tony Clifton LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 865

    I was wondering if anyone uses a batwing mower for large commercial properties. None of the other maintenance companies in my area operate these mowers so I have never seen them used on commercial properties, only on golf courses. I know they are only effective in wide open areas and are extremely expensive, but to be able to mow 64 acres in one day with one person and one piece of machinery seems awesome. Thanks
  2. rkk95

    rkk95 LawnSite Member
    from west PA
    Posts: 165

    we use a 15 foot bush hog at our office about 12 acres, it does a pretty good job. we run it with a Kubota 4690, you'll need at least a 40 hp tractor to run it. We aren't in the mowing business just lawn care.
  3. worthbrown

    worthbrown LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    He is probably talking about batwing finish mowers. I have a 22' Progressive Finish mower to mow a sod farm. I can mow about 15 acres per hour, but it is in a big open field driving 6 mph. My smallest field is 25 acres. You can do a zero turn with this mower, but if there are many obstacles or turning around, it may not work for you. The quality of cut is equal to ZTR's in my opinion as long as the ground is flat. My mower is essentially (3) 92" finish mowers on a flex frame. Cost is not that bad, Progressive cut better than any I have used, and a 22' is about 15k to 16K, and whatever a 55-60 hp tractor will cost you. I buy used tractors without cabs, so only 10k -12k for the tractor.
    They make finish batwing finish mowers in 12', 15', 17', 20', 22'. Progressive even makes a 36' mower that takes about 110 hp to pull.
    A sod farm in Lexington has an old combine with (7) 92" progressive finish mowers on the front. with the 6" overlap on each, they can mow a 50' swipe at a time. That is covering some ground. I have not seen that set-up, only heard about it.
  4. ducky1

    ducky1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 252

    Where I work we have 3 of them. While they are running they can cut down some grass. A few things to think about if you are going to buy one. Sometime they can get pretty expensive to repair when they break and I ain't seen nothing yet that wont break sometime. Another thing is that you have to have a trailer that will carry it both weight and size wise. They are somewhat bigger and heaver than a regular mower. You wont get it moved quite as quick as a smaller mower. Keep up your maintenance on them and it will pay off in the long run. Just what I noticed about them for what it may be worth. Good Luck!!
  5. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937


    Are you talking about front runner batwings or tow behind PTO driven ones?

    Seems like the above posts are leaning toward the tow behinds, but something tells me that you mean the big Toro/Jake's/JD Front runners with side mounted retractable batwings, no?

    They're lots a bucks but when used they can be had for a reasonable amount.

    A few guys here have them, I'm sure they'll chime in. They definately have their place, but you really need some acerage to keep it busy! Nothing like $60 grand sitting around collecting dust!

    Smart golf courses often times rotate equipment before it starts nickel and diming them. If you don't mind a few nickels and dimes, then you should look into that route.
  6. ducky1

    ducky1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 252

    I was talking about out front runner batwings. Like Hustler.
  7. longviewlawncare

    longviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 298

    Find out whole your local JD golf and turf, toro golf, and jacobsen dealers are. There is your key to finding a good used self contained batwing. they can be gotten for around anywhere to 10-25 dpending on shape. good luck. Oh yeah they weigh about 4000 lbs. and you need a deckover trailer or a trailer with no sides to carry them.
  8. I have the 580 plus a Toro 325-D in a trailer I pull behind a pick-up truck. The truck's a Dodge Cummins dualie.

    I started with a 12' bat wing Alamo in '89. Then a 15' Howard Price HP180. Now I'm all Toro Commercial.

    I'm doing well with it in this market. But bluegrass is the indiginous ground cover here. It just grows wild. If you want a lawn, just mow. It becomes a bluegrass lawn.
    I can just tell a customer, "You know that 3 acre back lot? I can keep it mowed as a lawn." Pretty soon they're having company picnics back there.
    In an area where you have to plant, fertilize and irrigate a lawn, add ons like that might not go over so well.

    Grass grows like crazy in the nortern climates. I'm starting a 5 day rotation this week. You really need capacity to handle the onslaught of growth here.

    Labor here is at an absolute premium here too. I bid for lawns "giving away" contoured shrub beds, vinyl bed edging etc. to reduce hand labor.

    But a bat-wing being for big areas only? I don't think so!
    They trim as good as a ZTR.

  9. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937


    What I meant about your mowers is that they would be of NO use to me and my 1/2 to 1+ acre majority lawns. I have trouble weaving my 60" deck between trees and shrubs, and my 1200 lb Lazer is often times too heavy.

    Now if I had a few 12-15 acre industrial/commercial sites and larger 3+ acre open lawns (I have a few of those) you could almost be sure I'd bring out your big GUNS!!! :cool:

    But there's nothing worse than seeing a piece of equipment sitting around collecting dust because he only uses it on one 3+ acre residential lawn a week,

    Does that explain things better? :D
  10. SLC1234

    SLC1234 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    We run 3 Hustler 3400 72" decks and 1 Hustler 4600 12' Deck, and they are great it breaks you into another market that you can compete on very competitivley. They are a good machine and we can do many different properties with them, We have a 15' pull behind PTO mount for our tractor but we dont use that as much because of the speed and manuvarbitlity of the zero turn 4600 12' Deck it is awsome and can do some really tight areas. Just My two cents

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