How large of a mower is too large?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by shovelracer, May 7, 2007.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    My lawn crew can average of 20 yards a day. Average is 3/4 acre. Amost all clients are in strips in neighborhoods. 2 days a week they unload in the morning and 20 yards later they reload. The majority of this is done with a 52 Lazer HP, with some help from a WBH 48 and WBH 32. This is normally OK, but with late spring coming and many double cuts on the way there just isnt enough time in a day for about 5 weeks. I am considering a new mower. I can sell the HP and get a new one maybe a 66". A 60" isnt that big of an improvement from my experience. Would even consider a 72" Question is how big can you go before you are running into issues with size? Also what kind of improvement can I expect to see as far as time savings? I would like to get 10-12 hour days down to about 7-8. Also most yards are pretty open so not a tremendous amount beds or trees. Thanks
  2. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,278

    20 lawns in the same spot at 3/4 acre each and it takes your guys 10-12 hours each day? Are you out working with them because it sounds like they are slacking.

    We have 1 spot with 5 lawns of which 4 are 1 acre each and the 5th is 1 1/2 acres and with 3 of us it takes an hour and 20 minutes. Thats with me on the 48" Tank, my father on the 34Z and our buddy trimming.

    Anyway if all of them are wide open then a 72 sounds like it might work well for you.
  3. CRF500

    CRF500 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    A lot of it depends on your properties, if they are wavy and bumpy I would say no 72. I personally would not use a 72 on anything smaller than an acre. I have not bought one because I only have 3 properties that justify it.

    A 60 is good for a ZTR,all Ztr's for my conditions would be no smaller than 60. I believe the standers and a good wb with velkie fill in anything under a 60.

    Machine comfort and ride is another concern, if one mower can cut at 15MPH and another only goes 10 than which one is going to mow more grass?

    I personnally think if you want to keep all your customers happy and try and line them up back to back lighter WB and Standers are a better choice over a ZTR.

    The ZTR's are brutal on most lawns when going at a good clip, I really like standers for what it sounds like you are doing and if a ZTR a bigger one may save you some time it may lose you some work on the other end with torn up turf issues?

    You have to weigh all these issues, but for my big commercial accounts just give me a Hustler super baby and I am gone and on the trailer in a flash, BANG ZOOOOOOOOOOOM!
  4. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    I think you need to remeasure your lots, 5.5 acres is a bit much for your equipment in that time frame.
  5. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    I agree I have one place that is about 5.5 acres and it takes about the same time w/ 3 guys but that is on 2 on 72's 1 guy one a weedeater.
  6. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    Most of the year I am with them most of the time. 3/4 acre is a guess on the average. A few are 1/4-1/2 and the others are 1.5-2. For example it takes a 2 man crew 2.5-3 hours to mow a 6 lawn block of 8 acres. 99% is done with the ZTR. During the summer when it grows less it is 2 hrs. 3 guys can bang it out in 1.75 hours. This is with absolutely no slacking. Is something wrong? Average day is 8-9 hours, but when the sprinklers get turned on, Chem Burn double applicates, and the temp is right the same route can take 11 hours. This lasts for a few weeks usually. I understand the ZTR problems, but the 48 is real slow compared. Would a 60 WBH be a better choice?
  7. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    Basically I'm looking to get more power, save some time, and pic up a few more lawns. I need to keep the 32. Other than that I just need some thing big, fast, and powerful but not overkill. And another no wider than 52" WBH for hills and large gates. I'm not opposed to replacing both mowers if it will help.
  8. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    I agree ... this sounds a little too fast !!
  9. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    You're only as fast as your trimmer. If you have 10 72" going balls to the wall and the man trimming takes 2 hours, well now u have a problem.
  10. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    Yes but trimmers come cheap and so does labor, but finding someone who can mow straight, clean, and fast and wont rip up the lawns or crash into stuff is much harder. One guy, one mower. Rather than multiple slow WBHs being run by trimmers.

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