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Mower's question

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JCee, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. JCee

    JCee LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 113

    Hello All,

    Love the site and this is my first post. I have always thought about starting a small mowing buisness on the side and this site has been very informative. Next year I may take the plunge. Here is a quick background and what I am thinking.....

    I work 2nd shift 3pm-11pm and am 25yrs old. I would obviously be working in the mornings-afternoon. I am pretty financially stable so technically I can afford any 1 mower, but I dont want to get in over my head and quit. Also I have another guy at work that had great work ethic and wants to get involved as well.

    I already have a hand blower, hedge clippers, spreaders, trimmer, and push mower(s) at my disposal. They are all fairly new and in good shape. I also have a utility trailer and SUV. I am thinking that the best thing to do would be for me and my prospective partner is to both get 36" wb's so we can tackle everything that comes...backyards with gates and obsticals. Most lawns in my area are .5acres-1acre max.

    One of my biggest questions at this point is what do you need in a walk behind. Again money is not the biggest issue, but I dont want something that I dont need. What are the pros and cons and your opinions on Gear Driven vs. Hydro Drive? What about a fixed deck vs. a floating deck?

    My main question at this point is my last, but any opinions on a buisness plan would be greatly appreciated. Also there are alot of LCO's in my area. I have a feeling it is going to be tough getting into this. Also what is your thought about the best 36" wb? Thanks

  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    You know the old motorhead saying:
    "There is no replacement for displacement" (?)

    Well, in this business the same holds true with cutting width of mowers.
    To really bag the bucks you gotta use the fastest thing you can on a lawn without freakish overkill.

    So naturally, the 21" might come in handy for small stuff, but you'll want the biggest fastest operating gated yard mower you can squeeze in. I suggest measuring the average gate in your area... basically you'll end up probably having to use a 32" 34" or 36" unless you want to go with a special purpose high production gated lawn mower... such as a Cub Cadet Z-Wing zero turn rider, which is a 48" cut you can squeeze in gates... or a Great Dane Gateway which is a 52" walkbehind wing mower... and one other MFG is rumored to release something similar.

    So for that you have choices between 32" or 36" standard small walks, 34" zero turn riders, 36" stand-ons, or one of the special purpose machines.

    For the front lawns and open areas, you'll want to follow the same rules. I encourage 52" or better yet 60" class walks and riders. As a general rule, I will put a 60" on any lawn that is at least 12-13 feet wide one way.... 3 pass rule basically.

    But the average stuff is far bigger than that.

    So I would look at basically atleast getting one small and one large walkbehind or upgrade from there.
  3. JCee

    JCee LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 113

    Wow, I really like that cub cadet z-wing....that thing looks really interesting and looks very functional. I read some opinions on it that says it is not good on inclines but most of the lawns I will be doing are fairly flat. That is something to look in to. Also the gateway is pretty sweet too.

    Again a quick question regarding gear vs hydro...and fixed vs. floating. What do I need? Is one a ton better than the other?

    Also I am worried about scalping...do all these mower's do this or again is this something that the floating deck will stop. I know even on my fathers top of the line john deer mowing tractor w/ floating deck it still scalps some parts of my lawn (ex. quick dips). Is this something that can be stopped or just minimized.

    Thanks again

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