I do mostly residentials and get asked to do<br>yars with gates. Many times Ive been asked to mow a 1/2 acre back yard that has a 32 in gate leading to it. I carry a 32 in mower for yards like this but naturally the price goes up. We use the Z where ever its possible but sometimes a 48 in walk behind makes more sense.<p>----------<br>gus....<br>
Gus, thanks for your reply. It always seems like bigger is better, but when I get to thinking about what's usually in the back yard; swing sets, picinic tables, lawn furniture, flower beds, etc., I wonder if a cutting deck larger than 36" is a benefit or a problem? Also, I doubt if the biggest benefit of a Z, speed, is useful because the yards are small and I end up making lots of turns. Question for you, how do you get your 48" deck into gated yards? Are your gates bigger than 48"?
I can get my 48 inch scag into about a 44 inch gate, this is possible if you take the mower in on an angle. You must first clear one side of the dech through the gate then shimmy it sideways, pushing down on the handelbars will help get you a little more room too.
Hope for a double gate. I cant fit my 48" through any single gate. The price for an additional 36" cant be justified personally. So I huff it with the Lawn Boy on those few lawns. Makes a guy appreciate his nicer toys.
We handle this problem in any number of ways. Been doing this for 10 years and have come up with various solutions for the problem. NONE of them involve purchasing a $ 3000 36 inch walk behind which will ride the trailer 99% of the week.<p>Option 1: Two guys can walk the mower thru but this is dangerous and difficult. One guy stands inside the gate, the other in the operator position, raise the mower on its side, carberator side up and then allow the machine to walk itself in. Like i said difficult and can seriously damage the fences the house or your people.<p>Option 2: If its chain link, you can unbolt the fence from the post, slide the fence webbing down the top rail and slide the mower under the rail. Time consuming cause u have to put it back together before you leave and sometimes need to add an extra link or two of chainlink to allow it to be easily reassembled if its stretched tight.<p>Option 3: Offer to install a larger gate for free or at minimal cost and they pay the materials( ie new gate and post). Easier to do if they have been clients in the past and theyve seen the struggle of you getting it thru in option 1. Requires you to remove the existing post, install the gate and the new post. Should take less than an hour.<p>Option 4: Wooden/ vinyl fences--Lot more difficult because u have to match up the gate style and usually have to have them custom made. Tell the client they need to contact the fence company to install the bigger gates or they cant be clients, or give them a price that makes it possible to still make a profit using a 21 inch mower. When they see that the extra 20 or 30 bucks it costs them a week to cut just the back yard instead of just paying the $ 100 or $ 150 once for a new gate they tend to get the new gates.<p>
I simply refuse them unless the client is willing to install a new gate wide enough to accommodate a ZTR. It really seems ridiculous to me that in a day when almost everyone has a lawn service that fence company's are installing the smaller gates. I have had clients, who have been clients for a long time and know that we only run the large ZTR's, have fences installed with a small gate. It is a pain in the butt to say the least. <br>Chris H.<br>
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