Need Some Advice for estimates and mower scalping problems

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by THEoneandonlyLawnRanger, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. THEoneandonlyLawnRanger

    THEoneandonlyLawnRanger LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    Hi, I have a HD70 John Deere walk behind with a 54 inch deck, It had no gauge wheels on the deck when i bought it and it scalped the yards like crazy, so i purchased an optional kit for the front for 100 bucks and it has helped the problem 50%, but i need the back guage wheel kit but it costs double that plus you have to weld it on. I was wondering if there were any tips on how to keep scalping down without buying the expensive rear gauge wheels? I am going to buy them but probably not until next season, or at leasat till i can get some more yards to help pay for it. ALSO I was wondering how to give estimates, one of my friends has 30 yards and charges $35 per hour, I am just starting out commercially and dont really know how to price lawns, i have been mowing 5-6 lawns for my family for several years and have just always thrown out a price that sounds good to me and worth me time to them, but im kind of afraid to do that to potential customers. I want to give a fair deal, but still not go broke, If anyone could give some suggestions on either of these problems i would greatly appreciate it.........Ben:usflag:
  2. M and S Lawn Care

    M and S Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    Are the yards you're cutting really bumpy and or are you cutting really short? I have a 48" fixed deck walkbehind and never have a problem with scalping.
  3. THEoneandonlyLawnRanger

    THEoneandonlyLawnRanger LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    I have my deck set on the middle position its what i mow with my 60inch jd rider, but my jd rider has 6 wheels on the deck, so it never scalps, but yes most of my yards have alot of bumps and hills

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Even though that's a big walk behind, you should still be able to use some "Body English" as I call it, when you see a scalpable spot coming up you should be able to push down on the handles and pop the deck up enough to clear that area.
  5. lawn guy1350

    lawn guy1350 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 214

    yeh, scalping is very hard to do unless your cutting too short. most all my yards are cut at 3.5" and i hardly ever scalp, theres sometimes you just cant get around it though. On bidding just go with what you think will keep you making money and not losing money. im at $50 an hour right now. and if gas prices keep going up, im going up!

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