36" VS 48" Walk Behind

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Smartgene, May 15, 2002.

  1. Smartgene

    Smartgene LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Should i purchase a 36 or 48 inch walk behind? Pros and cons of both. My initial thinking is that I want the 48 for the productivity. However, I'm wondering if a 48 will fit into a back yard through a standard gate?
  2. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    Where I am, a 36" won't fit through a standard gate. I've gotta go with a 32". If you can fit a 48 through a standard gate, I envy you.
  3. wesLESCO48

    wesLESCO48 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I remember reading an older post where a guy can
    jockey a 48'' walk through a narrow gate, but i think
    the gate opening would have to be 40'' or bigger
    because I've tried this on a 36'' gate and despite my
    efforts i could not make it through. Try doing a search
    with (48 gate) and i think you will find the post.
    As far as the 36 vs. 48 i would think the 48 would
    save time due to the larger cutting path as well as
    it's ability to trim around trees easier because of
    the deck width compared to the wheel base.
    One thing good about a 36 is it can fit in alot
    of spaces a 48 cannot. If your decide you can use
    a 48 you may also want to look into 52 because
    every little bit helps. You may also want to look
    into a 32 or 36 and get a flex deck installed on it
    this would give you a 50 or 54 inch deck with
    18'' that will fold up to get through gates.
    Do a search on flex deck i think you will find
    it's a neat invention.
  4. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    if your market requires that you fit through gates of 32 or 36 inches, then the mower you choose will forever be handicapped in terms of production on every property that doesn't have a narrow gate.

    it is possible to wiggle a 48 through a slightly smaller gate depending on whether there are other obstructions on either side of the gate opening. I used to do a property where if I pulled the gate I could get in and I could pull the gate in about a minute.

  5. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 587

    Yeah I jockey my 48 inch in narrow gates.Here what i do, back the machine in the gate.Have you left back wheel behind the left metal pole and your right front wheel infront of the right pole.Then push down on the machine, the front wheel will now come behind the left pole then slowly hold the right trigger in and back it up.Same idea to get it out.The idea is to have the rear tires on the side where the gate fits on to the pole.

    Another idea is to slide the fence down by unscrewing it from the pole then ride right under.
  6. ScotLawn

    ScotLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 309


    IS this mower going to be your first commercial mower? I do know that standart gates around here is 36" I would start out with a 36" and then save up and get a 52" next. I currently run a 48" exmark metro and have probs with gates on a few properties. I have to carry a push mower to handle those untill i can pay cash for a 36" mower.

    bit of advice, Pay cash for what ever you buy. If you cant do that at first, make due with what you have till you can pay cash for it. A inexpensive commercial mower like these will not take long to save the money to buy. 2200 for the 36" and 26-2900 for the 48 new.

  7. Smartgene

    Smartgene LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Hi Scot,

    Yes, this will be my first commercial mower and I'm so anxious to buy it. I've had to turn down several large jobs because I can't handle them with 21's. In fact, I just did an estimate on a large property yesterday. If they accept the bid, I'm going to work my rear end off trying to cut it with the 21's. I guess that's the price I have to pay until I save more. Why are you so anti-financing? The payment estimater on the 36" is like $40 a month?
  8. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    Cash is the best policy, especially just starting out. I know it's a catch 22, but you never know what may happen and if your equipment is paid for, it won't matter much what does happen. If you're like me, I had all kinds of notions about this business and how it would happen, until I found this website (I've learned through the mistakes of others). Even still, the experience I've gained since starting is invaluable. Your situation will dictate if financing is a viable option. Just be very careful and don't get in over your head.
  9. AielLandscaping

    AielLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    i too had to struggle with the decision of 32" vs 36" because of gates... so what i did was took a piece of pvc pipe, cut it down to 36" and made a mark at 32" on it.. then i carried my pipe with me to all the houses that i do and tried to touch both sides of the gate with the pipe.. i got the measurements for all of my houses and found that i could get a 36" mower into all but about 5 gates so odds of 70-5 the other gates that a 36 couldn't get into, only 2 would let a 32" in and not a 36" , so for me a 36" and a 21" seems the best way to go... so measure your properties you might be surprised:eek:
  10. ScotLawn

    ScotLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    That is exactly what i did at first when i started out. worked my butt off cutting yards with two 21's. one of the yards was an 1 1/2 acre yard.

    I'm dead set against financing esp on a mower that only costs 2-3000 is because in this type of business you can make that in one month easy. i cut 6 small yards today before i went to my reg job and billed out 170 bucks. All my equipment is paid for. so this is either money in my pocket or money towards more equipment. why pay someone else a finance rate when you can save the money and pay cash which makes the equipment cheaper in the long run. plus you get the full price of the mower as a tax right off. 40 a month is one yard a month. on a mower that cost 2000 that's paying on it for like 5 years. that mower will end up costing you about 3 thousand. hmm if you would have paid cash, that extra thousand could have bought a stihl blower, 400, a stihl weedeater 300, and almost a stihl stick edger 350. Now do you see my point.

    Sorry i got long winded.

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