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Is it possible??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WJW Lawn, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,330

    I posted a thread about 21's the other day and got great response. Here's another question. Is it possible for a single-man operation...to run only 21's and still make as much as the guy running a 36 or 48. Consider this...the guy with the 21...may be slower...but has less overhead...ie gas, repair, payments on a 36 or 48. And we're talking cutting up to 1/2 an acre. Just curious...any thoughts?
  2. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    I suppose it's possible. But, I think you woul dbe beating yourself up pretty bad if you took any addtional work on. At some point, I would think if all machines in question were paid off, even with the increase on maintenance costs, the bigger machines would make more money in the long haul. Don't forget, you have to travel farther to cut what they cut.
  3. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383


    I have run a just 21" crew in the past and they did make a good bit of money but they are not the most productive.

    If you are going to service small (1/3 acre or less) properties with the 21" mowes then it is doable but you must have crews doing the work for you. If you yourself are going to be in the field, then you need the most productive equipment. Even if a crew is not running the the most efficient way for every property, you can still make money (as long as each crew is running in the black) by adding more crews. If you are in the field, the only way for you to make more money is to become more efficient. You only have so much time.

    So, the Justmowit approach works well for multiple crews but if you are solo or in the field with your crew, then you need the equipment that will maximize your efficiency.
  4. Diablo

    Diablo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Well now, lets not be so quick to assume that the bigger machine would be more expensive to maintain. A 21" mower has to work two and a half times as hard as a 48" does to mow the same yard, in fact the biggest reason I am all about everything commercial is the fact that they do hold up longer. If you were going to get a good commercial model 21" mower you would already be out several hundred dollars, why not spend the extra cash and try to find a gently used 36" to 48"? And about the money, no way you could compete, the bigger mowers are also going to be much faster and thus able to do more jobs in a day. Just a thought. Good luck.:usflag:
  5. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,330

    Okay...all very good points...how about a single man operation and a 36"? Say...like a Quick 36
  6. Idealtim

    Idealtim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 939

    Okay, that sounds more realistic and would be more productive. That will work, i've done it before.
  7. centrallawnmaintenance

    centrallawnmaintenance LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I have operated for 3 years now with just a GS 30 36" walk behind. I now own two GS 30's just incase one goes down. It is possible to make money this way but I am planning on purchasing a larger walk behind or a ZTR next year.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Several hundred... ? The Toro 21" commercial mower is almost a grand.

    You could save money if you had 2 people in the truck and left the trailer behind, loading everything in the truck bed instead as a true mow-n-blow operation. With one person, that 21" would be a headache in logistics to load and unload, but with two it's not so bad, then one person cuts while the other weedeats and edges and blows down and does all the other stuff...

    You would have to target really small properties, even 1/4 acre seems a bit much for a 21" to finish in fast enough time thou...

    Because I do agree, I know for a fact my 48" cuts grass around 4- 6 times faster than a pushmower, you'll be hard pressed to keep up with that 4-foot deck moving along at 6-odd miles per hour, if you're in top shape and you really bust it out, the 48" is still at least 3 times faster, don't forget the heat of summer because the 48" has a velke :cool2:

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