Question about Residential Lawns and Mowers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Shopkeeper, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. Shopkeeper

    Shopkeeper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 85

    Around my town I have noticed that a lot of the other companies use pretty big mowers to do residential lawns (48inches+) and when they are done it looks like complete and utter crap to say the least. I am very very very small and use two 21 inch mowers and I think that it looks a lot better than when the other companies bring out the huge mowers. I was thinking about getting a 32 or 36 inch mower for next season or possibly bigger, but I fear th at the yards will look as bad as the other companies work and I refuse to let the word I do look that bad.

    So, my question to you guys is, what size of mowers do you use and how do you keep the lawn looking good? Those bigger mowers just seem to tear the lawn apart!

    Thank you!


    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    21" 36" 44" 48" and all Zs were 60"
    Not only do you live in the party capitial of Ill. but i believe also in the very best area to start a lawncutting business. A good operator on a commercial mower will always leave a highly manicured look to a healthy lawn. If what you say is true about all the guys leaving bad jobs than there must be nobody that knows how to operate profesional mowers and you will have no problem learning how to do it right and making a killin.
  3. Down2EarthLawns

    Down2EarthLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    New here as well. I have a 52" Lazer Z that I do residentials with. I belive most of the guys "tearing up" the lawns are just in too much of a hurry. I love the speed of my mower, however, I slow down greatly when turning, wet grass, and if there is unlevel terrain. I don't let the temptation uf running through it get the best of me.......most days:rolleyes:
  4. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    I have a mix or properties, most are very open 1/2 to 3/4 acre lots and the 54" Z saves me ALOT of time. I have a few that I could use the 36" walk behind on and not lose any time, but it takes longer to get it out and crank it than the Z, so i only use the 36" in places that I cannot get the Z.

    I agree with another post that said that other operators in your area that are using the larger mowers must be in too much of a hurry to care about the quality. If your accounts can justify a Z, then I would get one as a time saver. Like I said, I use a 54" and all of my lawsn look great. A friend uses only 60" decks and he rarely has scalping problems and his lawns look great.
  5. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    What do they leave clumps,turf taring what??
  6. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    Size of the mower?- Depends on the size of the lawn.

    We run everything from a 22" to a 60" - depends.

    Give us some lawn sizes before we can help you more.
  7. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I use my 48" WB on anything it will fit into.

    As long as the blades are sharp(always are) I don't go too fast, and the grass is healthy and well-maintained, the lawn ends up looking like a nice green carpet.

    Turf tearing can happen if the operator does not properly make turns(pivoting on a completely stopped inside tire), or is too "jerky" on the controls(making the tires spin or skid with sudden starts and stops).
  8. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    Shopkeeper , most Mid sized W.B. mowers are very heavy, they can weigh up to 500 pds and the Z 's can easily double that weight. I know if the grass is wet these large framed mowers can rut more often. Or when turning they tend to tare or rip the grass. Sometimes these thing happen in certain conditions. Try to cut a little slower when the grass is wet. Try to make turns with the tires cement.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Way I see things, practice makes perfect. You have to watch those tires and learn the slip point (that's the exact pressure on the handle it takes when one or the other starts to slip) and avoid that as much as possible. Don't let it slip, and don't make zero turns (with one tire not moving), those are the worst two offenders, other than wet turf / soil.

    Turning is the trickiest, you gotta kinda glide (but not slip or slide) into it, become one with the Wb...
    I've got 4 years and a few thousand yards into my 48" fixed decks...
    Sure sometimes they tear a little, it happens, but:

  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    What I see a lot is LCO's cutting way too high, like around 5", in an effort to cut off as little as possible and thus eliminate double cutting/bagging...on all except the thickest lawns this just looks crappy. Then the trimmer guy scalps around everything down to a quarter inch...:laugh:

    So may not necessarily be the equipment itself, but more in how it is used...

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