Why do companies cut a lawn with 21" mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by swing blade, Jun 26, 2003.

  1. swing blade

    swing blade LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    Ok, I have a question that has been bothering me for weeks. I am from Cincinnati where there is Bluegrass and Fescue. When I worked up there I always mulched or side discharged the lawns with a walk behind or ztr. I never cut a lawn with a 21" mower. I am now working in Oklahoma City for the year while I am in college and the companies out here use nothing but 21" mowers. I understand that most walk behinds and ztr will not fit through the small gates out here, and I know that there is a big difference in price when initally buying these mowers, but since time = money, wouldn't it be more profitable to use a bigger mower, and if needed spend a little $$$ to widen the homeowners gate??? I mean you would re-coup it in the long run for the gate. Or is there other reasons as to why these companies are using 21" mowers

    The very confused

    Swing Blade:confused:
     
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    there are some companies here that use almost only 21" mowers as well. It confuses me too as why don't these companies go out buy larger mowers to cut down on production time, then they can cut back on employees, and thus increase their net profit.
     
  3. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    Interesting post but, did you ever stop to think that maybe the customer is requesting 21" mowers? I have lawns that pay to have them cut with a 21" mower.Just because the property owner wants it done with a small mower. Also some lawns are so small that even a 36"WB I'm turning so much that the lawn looks better with a small mower. Though I will eventually weed all of these out. :)
     
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    we are lucky enough that we only put up with one customer that wants a 21" mower for their back yard. We were mowing it with a 32" mower, but she didn't like the result. So she requested using a 21" mower instead, so of course the price went up and she blew up because of the price increase. So i had to explain it to her that I make money off from time, not from just one particular lawn. So when my time is dragged down because I have to use a 21" mower I have to increase my price to cover for the lost time.
     
  5. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

    There is a company in my town that has used 21" mowers since day one. Been 30 years or more. they also don't use trimmers either they use curved hand sickles :dizzy: he has some pretty nice accounts. Some of the old school people like the way the 21"ers cut and don't want the big Z's on there lawns
     
  6. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    On smaller urban lots, you cannot match the appearance of a 21" cut with any larger deck. All I do is 21", and am constantly turning down business. One time, even had owner of a 5 acre site, half of it lawn, ask me if I could do his that way. When I tried to discourage him by stating a price 3 times what he was paying and pleading time constraints, his reply was, "Well can you do it next year, then?"

    Bigger machines are more productive, therefore more work can be done. But you price for what you are running, be it 21", 36", 52", or whatever. One can make a living with any size machine, as long as you can find the clients that appreciate the work you do. Doesn't matter how many you lawns you can cut a week, it matters most to me what you net after the expenses of the week, LOL.
     
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

  8. grshppr

    grshppr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    A large majority of our lawns are small urban lots too, and a 21" mower is simply faster. You couldn't go around all the obstacles/trees etc. with a 36" or larger. We have always used mainly 21" and it has worked good for us. Of course if it is bigger that 1/3 acre or so we'll use a lager mower.
     
  9. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 989

    I don't use only 21" mowers, but on several accounts, they are the ones that provide the quality of cut I demand.
    I have used equipment from 36" to 60" in various parts of this account and was never happy with the results. The funny thing is the homeowner was.
    However, a trademark of the service I provide, the best possible work performed. Due to the uniqeness of this property, the 21" mowers worked best.
    Interestingly enough, when I looked at the account service log times, it was not appreciably different between the 36" vs the two 21". The handtrimming time dropped greatly with the 21", with the resultant rise in quality appearance.
     
  10. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,655

    32" is the smallest I own. I had 21" mowers in my shop for the last three years collecting dust. Finally got rid of them this year. Most people don't want to pay the price to use them and quite frankly I don't like teh way a lawn looks after using them. Just my opinion guys.
     

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