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How much seat time?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Stewart, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Stewart

    Stewart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I was reading a post on another site that said that most commercial LCO's don't spend 8 hours a day actually mowing. Is that correct? Here are a couple three quotes:

    I agree - no commercial guys use riding tractors, they all use ZTR's or walk behinds, they dont run them 8 hours a day, at most maybe 5, becuase like the poster said, travel time, trimming, blowing etc, rain especially they all eat into the work day.

    I guess my point is there is no way a lawn mower is running 8 hours a day, 7 days a week unless it is on a test bed. There is the mowing season; days off; rain days; loading and unloading; travel; maintenance, breaks, goofing off, etc, and etc.

    Well for the folks just looking at this on a 7-day week it works out to 2,912 hours per year (7 days a week times 8 hours per day). Regardless of the make, they will have issues under these conditions. FYI--I currently have an ExMark ZTR and considered by many to be one of the very best grass cutters on the market, but it too would have problems under these conditions

    What is your take on this?:confused:
  2. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    I personally have never run a mower 8 hours in a day, 5 days a week not to mention 7. Forget the mower, the operator could'nt stand it. Some LCO's here probably could run one that much but use a second or third mower to provide them (the mowers) with more longevity and to get more done in that 8 hour period. Having said that, I not so sure some mowers could not do it. I think you would have to go up in class to the "commercial" line of mowers like Toro outfront diesels, Jacobsen, Hustler, Ransomes, these are the tops in the commercial line. But, that still is a lot of moving parts to keep together for that type of non stop service.
    Just my opinion.
  3. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    I don't know about everyone else, but my 48" WB's run an avg. of 10-16 minutes per account, servicing roughly 12 accounts per day two days a week. Maybe 3-4 production hours each week per machine, tops. There are some LCO's doing wide area mowing that probably run some extreme mowing days, but not many.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I've done spread sheet analysis of mowers running during the course of a normal 8 hour day...it comes to about 5.5 (billable) hours per shift. That helps me determine my hourly rate and how much I can assume each 2 or 3 man crew will pull in each week.

    Hope that helps some...
  5. lawnGUYnMD

    lawnGUYnMD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    Ok here is what I say in a average week you get 4 good days in at about 5 hours a day. just say you work from march to oct. which is about 28 weeks. Thats about 112 working days and if your making 50 a hour at 5 hours per day. Thats 28000 billable dollars for just the tractor. say your paying your people 15 a hour then thats 8500 which leaves you the company with 19500 for maintaince and expences. so anyway you look at it even if the tractor is worn out fast you are more than making your money. so if you have to replace the tractor every 2 years at a cost of lets say 10000 then over 2 years you have 39000 for expences sounds like your more than making you mondy to me.

    So what I guess Im saying is that your making more than enough to cover those conditions at those hours. cause if you ran that ex at 2912 hours a year then you should have bill out 145,600.00 @50 per hour. So my take on it is That I Made a ton of money and would replace it every year if needed with that type of profit.
  6. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,119

    The most we have ever put on a machine is 900 hours per machine- 2 machines this past season. I don't know the hours we put on our WB's and other Dixies this season. I felt like that was a lot of hours, I couldn't imagine 2912 or even 1200 for that matter.

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