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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just starting out in this business, with no prior experience.
I can only purchase one WB to start with. I am looking at a 54" JD. The only problem is that I am concerned with the width. I will not be able to get through many gates. Am I on the right track with my concern?
 

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Well IMHO, it's pretty simple...you have 2 choices.

Choice #1 - buy a smaller mower

Choice #2 - don't take on accounts that have gated areas
 

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I would start with a good 21inch w/b and the 32inch w/b. The 21 will get you around all the small tight lawns and the 32 will help on some of your larger open area gated lawns. Since you are just starting I would stay with the smaller equipment until you can justify the big mowers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am also looking at a 48" New exmark. Belt Drive 1 has a Kohler ($2700) engine, the other has a Kawasaki engine ($2900) Both have full factory warranty . With a push mower for the small areas would that be a good start. Or should I consider a used hydro?
 

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I'm from a suburban area, and what I have found is that I really need 3 mowers, a 21" (i prefer honda), a 36, and a rider...starting out though i had only the 36, and it got me thru.
 

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I've got a 52" snapper walk-behind and have not had any gate-issues. If you think you can get the amount of work you need without taking on any small "gated" yards, do it! They can be a pain. If you think you'll need all the lawns you can get, you might consider a smaller one.

Also consider buying the 54" and pushmowing inside the gates. . . if it is a small gate, it is probably a small area to mow inside of it.
 

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Yes, at 54" you are limiting yourself to larger properties and forget the gates. It has been my experience that the smaller lawns have the highest profit margin. A 54" and a 36" would be an O.K. combination.
 

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IMHO (and you know what they say about opinions) it depends who your targeted customers are. If you are targeting a certain neighborhood and a lot of those residents have gates that won't fit the 54" WB, then you probably go for the smaller one. However, if the opposite is true, then more likely the bigger the better (up to a certain point). You really need to go around to your target neighborhoods and look at the yards. I have two 48" WB and after one year of business I haven't had to turn anyone down b/c of the fencing issue. In fact, my one customer is putting in a fence this year and actually wanted to make sure the mower would be able to get back there. I've spoken to him and he's putting in a double gate. Of course I explained this would be easier to get many other things back there as well, but hey, works for me.

Bottom line, you need to decide for yourself.
 
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