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21" or 36"

Island Lawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Golf Coast, SC
I'm cash strapped and need to upgrade!

I started last year p/t on a sears credit card.
Craft 21", trimmer/edger combo, homelite handheld blower.
Well it got me started and never had any problems. I feel this stuff would make good back-up equip.

I am solo and do a pro job for the small, high end residentials in my area.
My min. stop is 50.00. After the first hr, I get 50.00 hr.
I am not a low-baller! (anymore)
Not many people take me up on this, but I do a lot of shopping around for prospects. Also, with my low overhead, I dont need many.
Most of my lawns are under 7,500 sq. ft. This year ALL of my lawns will be under 7,500 sq. ft and on annual agreement.

MY QUESTION IS, Would a 36" (48") make me any more productive on such small properties, many w/ trees and such to go around.

Between dealer financing and my $, I have a paltry 2,200.00.
I can either get a husky 36" wb for the full 2,200
and replace the craftsman stuff ASAP
since I am concentrating on the smaller properties,
should I just go w/comm. 21"trimmer, edger, bp blower, ect. and get a bigger mower later when I can better afford it. Which shouldnt be too long
I'm leaning towards the latter.



LawnSite Fanatic
Memphis, TN
Go find an exmark dealer in your area. The 36" belt drive with Kawi is around $1999. Get the mulch kit for $110 and you will have a beautiful cut. All your customers will think it was bagged. But only you need to know :)

It will make you more productive and look a lot better. The wider the cut the smoother the lawn. I have one, and I never use the 21" for anything.


LawnSite Member
I agree with 65 Hoss, get a 36 inch exmark. It will make the work a lot faster and easier, and will allow you to take on more work when it comes. If you plan to grow get the exmark.


LawnSite Silver Member
I would also agree that your production will increase with a 36" wb for obvious reasons.

If you are planning to stay with small lots under 6m/sf I would upgrade to a 36. If you are planning to upgrade to say 6-12m/sf lots than I would consider the purchase of a 48" wb.

Just my .02


upstate new york
A 21" mower at 3.5 mph will only do about a half an acre an hour vs. a 36" at 3.5.mph will do almost a full acre a hour. BIG improvment! Also, stick with the Exmark. Don't know about were you are, but an Exmark up her is about $2200.


LawnSite Platinum Member
Get a bigger mower than the 21". After the first day that you use it , you'll wish that you'd bought it earlier! A larger mower will allow you to do more properties and make more money, in the same time it took you to do it with the 21". I started out with a 21" mower ,and now I won't even take on a lawn that requires using one! (Have 2 61" mowers)

Island Lawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Golf Coast, SC
I'm talking to Exmark tommorow!
My residential stuff will have to do while I upgrade it as I can.
What kind of price diff between 36" & 48"?
There are lots of properties similar to the ones that gusbuster has on his link. All my current clients are comparable to this.
I doubt if a 48" would fit on my small stuff!
I'm leaning toward the 36".
I'm a one man show and I just cant take on the bigger properties. I offer a complete service and mowing is just part of it. I spend considerable time on hedging and pruning.
I am planning to grow and have a crew. Maybe this year, but doubtful. I feel I need more experience/ mgt skills
I can always upgrade later, right?
Thanks, everyone, for your help!

[Edited by Island Lawn on 01-21-2001 at 03:21 PM]