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? For the Pros

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Fire/Grass, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. Fire/Grass

    Fire/Grass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    I am a part-timer and I only do residentual lawns in my neighborhood. I was looking at the Exmark CT 19hp. Still undecided if I will go with the 48" or 52". Keep in mind I'm only looking to get a max of 20 lawns. Do you pros out there think this piece of equipment will work for that. All lawns are 1/2 acre or less. I am demoing the 48" 19hp this week. I'll let you all know how that goes. Thanks for any input.
  2. walshdevo10

    walshdevo10 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    My advice to you would be...If your going to stay part-time and strictly stay with residential accounts, why go with such a large mower? I am not familiar with Cinci's yards are but I feel you would be dropping cash unnecessarily. Running a 36" hydro would enable you to stilll knock out the job in no time, give you access to all backyards if their gate is not wide enough to fit a 48" deck, and should save you quite a bit of money. Heck, I put hydro...A belt driven would save EVEN more money and you will be surprised how quick it would cut your yards. On my residentials, I run a Toro 44" hydro w/b. I have an account that's almost 3 acres and i'm in and out of there in no time. On a 1/2 acre, the time difference between a 36" and 48" would be like less than 3 minutes but could save you nearly $2000 in costs depending on what you look at. Good Luck either way!
  3. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 997

    I'd suggest the 52". You will have more cutting width and faster blade tip speed. I have two 52" machines (not this brand) and they are very manuverable.

    If you buy a 36" machine you will quickly find that it is too small for your needs. Don't let the size of a 52" scare you. Production is the key to making money.
  4. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    It depends on the lawns. Bear in mind that riders of any stripe are less dependable than walk-behind mowers on slopes.

    Frankly, if you're aiming to nail down only 20 jobs of half an acre or less, I question whether it makes sense to invest that much in a mower. Are you sure it wouldn't make more sense to put about three grand into a 36" walk-behind? I don't know what the CE goes for , but it can't be much less than six thou.
  5. Fire/Grass

    Fire/Grass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Hey guys, thanks for your replies. I curently mow my lawns with a 38" John Deere riding mower. It is a hydro and I feel I'm very proficient when it comes to operating it. But it is taking me 26 minutes just to mow on some of the larger lots. Add the trimming and blowing it off I'm getting up close to 50 minutes to a hour on some of these. If it wasn't for all my equipment being paid for, I couldn't afford to do this work with the time i'm putting in compaired to what is being charged.
  6. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 980

    i agree with walshdevo10. If you are looking to stay part time go with the 36. If you later want to step up the number you do you can easily get into a 52. I guess that i look at it like this, how many back yards do you have that the 52 wont fit into? The time you save in the front might not be much if you are losing alot in the back by having to use a 21". Find the mower that will speed you up greatest in general. If you decide not to continue mowing then you have a nice liittle mower for around the house too instead of a monster commercial machine taking up space. JMO though.
    And: I would defineately get a hydro! Do not waste your time on a belt drive. you will FOR SURE be sorry you did. Especially if you ever decide to step up to a hydro later then you will look back at this post and know i was right all along. Good luck!:D
  7. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 983


    You said " If it wasn't for all my equipment being paid for, I couldn't afford to do this work with the time i'm putting in compaired to what is being charged."

    I run into alot of firemen doing "part-time" mowing on their days off. They (& sounds like you are in the same position) ARE NOT CHARGING ENOUGH. (The line of thinking that I see here is, You already have your primary source of income, (FD) plus your health insurance/benefits paid, so you just need some "walking around" money that you can get from mowing!) You have to be charging enough to be able to REPLACE your current equipment when it dies! By NOT CHARGING ENOUGH, you are dragging the market down for us PROS that don't have another source of income & benefits and are doing this FULL TIME!

    Upgrading to a commercial mower may/should improve time efficiency. IF you get too big of a mower (anything bigger than a 48, IMHO) it scares grandma when you show up to cut her lawn.

  8. Fire/Grass

    Fire/Grass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Your right, I do enjoy cutting lawns to make extra money. Do I need to, the answer is NO. But, I grew up on a farm and enjoy working outside. I tell you this, some of the so called "pros" in my area run the prices down on one another. I did alot of research on this website to find out going rates. I also called around and talked to some of the local lco and found out the going rate. So in my opinion, my prices are just fine. I got a bottom line price, if they agree to it, all is well. If not, sorry about their luck, they can find someone else in their price range. I don't need this money to pay my bills. But if I got two days off, I'm going to do something productive, not sit on my butt. But, its nice to have that extra money this kind of work can bring to buy the little toys in life we would love to have. So in short, don't accuse me of dragging business prices down, until you have something to back up that kind of statement. Don't just group me with "the others" because that is your experience. Thanks
  9. grassman2001

    grassman2001 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    What part of cincinnati do you work in cause I work in Western hills, and I have found that riders tend not to work that great here because of all the hills. If I were you I would either buy one of the standers or a hydro wald behind with proslide. I have both
  10. Fire/Grass

    Fire/Grass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Actually grassman, I live on the other side of the river in Kentucky, I usually put Cincinnati area because most people know where that is. All lawns in my area are pretty flat to mild grades. Nothing way out of line. As stated earlier. I currently cut my lawn and the others with a 38" John Deere rider. Would really like to pick up my mowing times also if I decide to give it up I got a mower that I would still be able to use on my own property.

    Gentleman, your replies are greatly appreciated!

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