What do you use for the small lawns????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FCS Services, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. FCS Services

    FCS Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    I was wondering what you guys use to mow small yards (under 5k). I currently have a Toro 21 and a 52/25 Super Z with a bagger. I mow most of my residential yards with the Super Z and a few with the 21because of access and obstacles. The super Z I have mostly for commercial accounts but sure makes short work of some residential lawns.

    The reason for the question is that the Super Z seem to be overkill - too big for small lawns but its so fast its hard to use the 21. It seems silly when I pull my super Z off the trailer to do a 1500 SF lawn - but it only takes about 5 min and does a great job - its just too big and heavy…

    I was wondering what everyone else uses on the small lawns so I can plan for next year and still try to be as quick as I am now.

    So what do you use - 21’s,WB’s, ZTR’s ????

    Any input would be helpful and thanks in advance.

    Frank
     
  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    I try and use my 48 hydro if I can't get it through the gate then the 36.
     
  3. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    my entire route is "small" lawns, roughly 100 a week. exclusively 21" mowers with a handful for 36".

    do you work solo, or have an employee? solo, i'd say get 36"/32".. if have an employee, (2) 21"s
     
  4. FCS Services

    FCS Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    Thanks for the input - I was thinking that another 21 and maybe a 36wb or rider would work. I don't like the bagging syatems on the WB's, they seem to stick way out. Is there a bagging system that sits on top the mower??? I work solo now but may hire PT help next year???

    Thanks
    Frank
     
  5. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,823

    700 Chicago stamps,most of which are 500 to a 1000 Sf, 21-inch Honda and Toro proline\Exmark metro 21 mowers.
     
  6. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    700? wow.how many guys/trucks do you run? here the biggest i know of is 400+ weekly's.
    you must make a fortune on the extras:waving: just picture half of those requesting some shrub trimming:hammerhead:
     
  7. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 720

    2 man operation. 90 customers in a retirement community. Most lawns are 4-6K, mostly Tif 419 bermuda. Max lawn area is 11K. 36TTHP (w/velke sometimes in the big heat) and 2 - 21" Prolines is all we need. Almost all front lawns are done with the 21", the TTHP does the backs. They love it.
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Lo and behold, once I instituted a $30 minimum charge, the postage stamp lot virtually disappeared off my schedule. It would appear as if the small lots are what we tend to start out with (for more than one reason), thou I can also respect the Lco who sees the fortune in it because I don't.
    Far as 21"... I'm allergic to pushmowers, and below a 44" deck, why even bother: Where my mower don't fit, I can't cut.

    For those willing to pay the price, 48" Wb takes care of anything up to 3/4 acres, although the 60" z is faster in the straights, it also eats a ton of fuel and wastes time in the turns and loading / unloading and more weedeating etc eats just as much time, the 48" Wb runs circles around that Z in lots under 30k square feet.

    But below 1/4 acre, I mean ok 1/5th acre and a bit smaller but it gets to a point... I've had people with a stamp of grass the size of the spot a car would occupy ask me to cut it... You know, like can you move my office chair two houses down the road with your 18-wheeler?

    It's just not worth it, it costs me more time and hassle to schedule these lots, drive out there, load / unload, collect and deposit, I mean... I gotta get $30 minimum, and that seems to have put a stop to the horse and pony show.
     
  9. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,823

    lo and behold you're an idiot.
    You figure it idiot, or can an orangutan cypher ...complete full service on stamp accounts routed so tight the guys only move the truck ,to move further down the street, or to the next block.



    Now something you don't know jack about..PROFIT MARGINS are higher for the city stamps than the less tightly routed suburban accounts we do.Less fuel, less equipment maintainence.


    I'm running a business, not working a job cutting grass.
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I never questioned why or how YOU do your job mister, all I did was explain how I handled the postage stamp lot, but then we hardly get 3-4 houses per block around here, where I am certain the average city block... It's a whole different story.

    Thou I did forget the average size of our lots is 1/4 acre+, while my average size lot is closing in on a 1/2 acre and I've found while you people always speak in terms of square feet, I speak in terms of acreage... Perhaps that helps explain the differences here, and why I don't deal in small lots.

    As far as money, I am sure it all adds out... While you save time and make money on the day your crew is cutting, you also get to make daily deposits with all those teenie checks while I make one deposit a week maximum, my smallest check is 20 and 25 (one each of those, literally), then a few 30's and by the time the amount hits 35, it starts to creep into the average, so when I deposit 15-20 checks, it's always over a thousand dollars... Less deposit slips, less time spent filling them out and endorsing, and much less labor and fuel in trips to the bank, it all adds out, I am sure.

    My smallest mowers sport 48" decks, and I just acquired a 60" and if I get way more than my 6 acre+ lots that I have now, I'll be sure to check into one of those flexdeck 100+" mowers... I wouldn't even dream of getting anything smaller than a 44" and even that would have to be such a good deal that I can't resist it, it does always amaze me how folks can tolerate those 30-36" decks, nevermind pushmowers, what a pita that would be on my 75,000 square foot lot.

    So if that makes me an idiot, so be it, I never called you that, my post is my perspective, has nothing to do with how you run your employees, I did say I respect those who see the money in it, and have no appreciation for your reply.
     

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