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What do homeowners want?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by woodydog, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. woodydog

    woodydog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    We are a new company buying 2 mowers both 61" scags. We are doing alot of residential bidding. Do you think the owners care about the size of the mower that we take on their lawns? Everything we have looked at so far is able to handle 61" mowers, but just wondering if they will prefer the smaller mowers for the striping patterns? What are your thoughts?
    Also, any idea what to charge to mow lawns around 12,000 square feet? Bidding alot of those, all similar, easy jobs with very little string trimming.
  2. lawn_pro

    lawn_pro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    Are they all flat? No fences? Just curious...
  3. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    Honestly, my way of thinking has been to seriously consider going to a bit smaller walk-behinds (48"-52") instead of our ZTR's and see if we can't get a little higher price for the higher quality we like to do. No matter how much you try, after a few years of a ZTR mowing certain properties that only allow you to go certain directions and certain spacing between beds and trees, really does compact and rut the soils. Starts to beat them up.

    And yes, some customers don't like the big equipment on their lawns, for those reasons. They feel they are damaging to the turf. Operator ability has a lot to do with it as well, but you can't always get the best operators around. They don't always think it's a big deal to scuff the turf a little, whereas it is an issue to the homeowner. Which I agree with the homeowner.

    As far as pricing, you're on your own for that, sorry.
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    Woodydog, I have never ran across any customers that really cared about the size of the mower, if anything they are more impressed with the bigger "ball field" stripes and how well the lawn looks after you are done. Efficency = profit.
  5. woodydog

    woodydog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    mostly flat open yards, no fences. Some beds to go around but nothing as far as obstructions in any lawns.
  6. jaguar4000

    jaguar4000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    woodydog- although I am no longer in the biz I used to maintain alot of exclusive residential properties w/ 61" bobcat frontrunner deck and never had any problems w/ customers. We also had a 50" wb gravely and a 36 bobcat we used when needed for gates or smaller lawns w/ obstacles. The 61" deck provided a great cut for us and I still does as I now use it for my personal property. good luck! - I like the those Scags by the way- should do you good!
  7. lawn_pro

    lawn_pro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    If they are flat and open you can probably get by with 61" mowers if you are good with them. You might want to consider buying something smaller for yards with gates...most 36" walk-behinds work good for gates. I guess what I am saying is that (2) 61's might limit you in terms of property size and layout. I have had a few people complain about the size of equipment we use but never anything serious, just explain to the customer what you are doing and why.
  8. WoodBrothersLC

    WoodBrothersLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 418

    The yards that we mow range from 5-9000 square ft. Our biggest mower is our 52" Stander, and it seems to be about as big as we would go...even on the 9000 sq. ft. yards with no fences. For residential 61" seems to be to large IMO. My reasoning behind nothing larger that 52" is that the customer might just think that you are buying the biggest thing to just rush through their yard. Best of luck to you in whichever route you take!
  9. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    It all depends on the area a 60" mower is the standard in my area across the board Residential & Commercial. Get a 61" ztr and a 36" or 48" Walk
  10. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,266

    Most of my accounts are postage stamp in size, this is the reason I prefer 36" mowers. If I showed up on one of these accounts with the size mower you are talking about,I'd get horse laughed or let go.

    Don't let the size of your mowers dictate what accounts you can take on. That is to say, that no one will care if you use a 36" on an acre of lawn, but they will care if you use a 72" on a 2k lawn.

    If your accounts are various in size, purchase mowers that will accomodate those accounts.

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