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Commercial Lawn Care how far its come

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HarryD, Oct 15, 2002.

  1. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    how many of you old timers have been mowing for 20+ years and have seen all the new mowers and gizmo's we wish we would have had back when we first started mowing .
    I started mowing back in 1980 out of high school for a guy we didnt have a blower then and used our heavy assed green machine trimmers to blow and our belt drive Buntons made for a long day if it was wet . a year later we got a new green machine back pack blower that seemed like it weighted about 100lbs that made our life much better . wish i had a picture of the first claussen 3 tine piston aerators man those things didnt work vary well and took forever to do 10,000 sq ft you had to really push them babys .
    im glad to see everyone is working smarter and not harder with all the new ideas that i see every year thanks to all the guys that have made my job much easier :drinkup:
  2. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    i guess the young ones dont know how tuff it was i bet i walked around the world once in all my seasons of mowing . how many years has everyone been chasing a mower im getting ready to go on my 23rd season and its only getting better :cool:
  3. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 835

    I used to trim with a hand scissor thing
    i thought my sears curved shaft was the greatest thing ever back when i was 7. That was until i pulled the lever for full rpm to trim a dandelion and a stone hit me in he shin. Been afraid of these machines since
    all shields are left on my 5 trimmers.
  4. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489

    In the early 80's, I would use duct tape to tape a electric hedgetrimmer to a pole pruner so I could trim those tall hedges that we couldn't reach with a ladder.
  5. The Lawn Choupique

    The Lawn Choupique Banned
    Messages: 199

    Back in the 60's making $1.65 to $2.00 per hour was considered doing good. Now just about anyone can make $25.00 per hour.
  6. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    I thought you old guys used dinosaurs to cut grass back then???
  7. Loosestrife

    Loosestrife LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 80

    I remember having a Homelite trimmer with the engine mounted at the bottom of the shaft, near the head.

    I remember mowers without operator presense controls.

    I remember when there were NO ztr mowers on trailers.

    I remember when there were NO walk behind mowers on trailers.

    I remember when there were no stand on sulkies.

    I remember when bagging clippings was the norm.

    I remember engines that had "points and condensor"

    Perhaps the most improved item I can think of is the newer varieties of seed. We now have grasses that require less fertilizer, are a deeper green, and are more resistant to insect damage as well as disease.
  8. fastlane

    fastlane LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    I started in 1974 with 2 21" LBs and a broom. BY 1976 I had 42 customers so I got a CubCadet 16hp hydro tractor and 5hp vac,Stihl trimmer etc. Had a bike mishap in 1980 and sold buss. sold auto buss, last year. Got back in lawns last year. It"s a whole new world!!!
  9. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    When I started in the early 80's, the pros were using Bunton and Bob-Cat belt WB's. A few Locke's and those Yazoo's were flying around pretty good.

    I was using Pop's 1968 Cub Cadet. Thats back when they "made" tractors that held up! I remember the Homelite/Agway bottom engined weed wacker. The handle tube was the gas tank and the muffler exited out the guard. The head was automatic feed. Rev it up a few times and it advanced automatically. Before that it was an attachment for my Dads big Poulan chainsaw. Talk about HEAVY!!! Operator presence was toatlly non existant. Push mowers were starting to come out with a zone start and handle bale brake shutoff. First few years had me using a corn broom on walks and driveways! I was pretty good at that!

    The mid 80's brought the big pros into using the JD F-900 series front mounts. I drooled over them for a few seasons and eventually had a few. ZTR's were slow to take in the LCO market. With SCAG haveing the hydro WB's, that was the cats meow! The 3 wheel rider was a big staple for a while as well. I didn't see my first Dixie Chopper till 1994 and just shook my head at how "cheap" they looked compared to my big F-935 JD!

    The mid 90's brought the ZTR to everyone. The big names were Scag and DC/Wheelhorse.

    Looking back, if I had a modern day ZTR back in 1980, I'd probably be a millionaire right now. Yes, you heard correctly, a MILLIONAIRE, easily. They, by far, revolutionized the mowing industry. Those that start out with one today have no idea how bad us "older" guys had it back in the day.

    Sometimes its fun bringing back the old days!

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