How many ZTR guys bag lawns? what size lawns?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    Since it seems it would help as far as cleanup goes who bags and who doesnt?most customers would probably pay more for bagging, and ive already lost 3 accounts this year because they THOUGHT for my price i bagged.

    I have a accellerator bagger for my 34" walkbehind but thats for smaller yards where im not bagging 800 cubic feet of grass.

    I do 85% of my lawns with my 61" wide Ferris zero turn mower. They offer a tripple bagger with turbo accelerator fan kit for like $2200 which is a lot to me.

    I see guys with ztrs and bagging equipment but dont see the lawns they use them on. what is a fair price for 1/4 to 1/2 acre lawns from strait broadcasting to bagging? I charge mainly $32-$38 per cut now. It would only be worth my time and bagging aggrevation if i charged $45-55 for the same sized lawns per say.

    I know theres people who have complained about the grass left over, even after blowing it around, others are ticked it they can spot left over grass :confused:

    I have the standard "sharp" i may add, blades on my 61" mower, what else can help?

    Who runs the gator blades? I had one on my push mower before, didnt notice much difference if any.

    My Ferris seems to cut 4" grass and lay it right over, it doesnt chop it up much at all, its cut and ejected quickly. Im hesitant with a mulch kit because ive yet to see one work 100% of the time and not look all clumped up or lines in the yard afterwards. :dizzy:
  2. TriplePLandscaping

    TriplePLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 166

    there is one lawn that I bag consistently and its only the backyard b/c he has a pool. i use a rackem catcher, which was only 200 installed compared to 1500+ for a vac system, it works for what i need it to do. its a 30$ lawn, for bagging i charge him 32$ per cut. other lawns i bag as i see fit, one which is a friend of the family and in a high end development, so we keep the lawn tip top for him, we bag on occasion when it gets too big to mulch, plus hes got a sprinkler system. anyway we bagged that house yesterday, and its an average sized lawn, cut at 3.5" we took out over 1cu yard of grass, it was ridiculous.
  3. drumbo

    drumbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    You charge $2 to bag a yard (on top of the cut price)? Please elaborate on that.
  4. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

    Iwould never do any bagging...both of my smaller riders have mulching decks and now i,m putting a mulch kit in my 72".
    I always tell the customers its better for the lawn to leave the clippings.
  5. SOMM

    SOMM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    We've yet to see any brand of commercially operated Z around here with the motorized vac rear bagging units used on lawns April-Sept., mostly because they're operating on the weekly routes.

    We see them on Fall leaves and first Feb.-March cleanups but only in about 20% operations.
    Z's with deep draft & high speed decks will mulch clippings and leaves nicely with a combination of gator blades and the chute-baffle (ocdc) lever down.

    Another good thread Ram.
  6. Husky03

    Husky03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 432

    If you double cut every time with a mulch kit you can't tell the difference between it being bagged or mulched. If you mulch you don't have to haul all of the clippings away and double cutting ends taking about the same amount of time as bagging for small 10K residential yards with less mess. I have never been able to make side discharge look respectable for the areas that I mow. This is what I have found with my 34Z. I am a year around full time mulcher.
  7. drumbo

    drumbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    Do you cut higher the first time or do you just run it twice at the same level? I put my mulch kits on around the end of June. In the spring (last year), I was leaving a mess and bogging down due to the rapid growth.
  8. Husky03

    Husky03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 432

    It depends on whether or not the second cut is going to be going a different direction. I have found it works best to double cut it at the same length if you can cut in an X or + pattern. If you are in a narrow area where you can only cut one direction then cut it twice taking off an even amount of grass each time. My 34Z with the 15HP Kawi has no problems taking on the tall stuff if you do it as above. Hope this helps.
  9. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    yeah lol, or is it $32 MORE? i would guess its nearly 35-50% MORE to bag most lawns that NEED bagging, so much grass.. You bag 1 cu yard of grass? good god, thats like a nightmare lawn, id like bagging but im not looking to eat up hours on end making half as much per hour just to bag for these people. pay the price ill offer the service.
  10. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    so what do you guys charge when you double cut? i had a lady ask me that this season, lol i looked at her thinking, fine you want it cut twice, not $48 per cut its $96 per cut then lol, ill do it three times for $144 too!

    I just ordered a blockoff baffle kit I THINK that is the KIT/brand i ordered. It was like $175.

    Im hoping that using this i can try it out blocked off, see how it looks, then change from the large sized stock blades to gator blades and see how much that helps. I dont want to mulch 100% of the time since some areas are so darn thick or certain accounts i cut off contract a few times per year i need to broadcast only to have any hope of not killing the machine.

    In the future i still will look for a fast Vac kit for it for fall time. just seems like a lot of work to bag and then charge people so much more because its taking 2-3 times longer when bagging and having to dump clippings.

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