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I Feel Like an Idiot!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Nomoslowmow, Sep 21, 2002.

  1. Nomoslowmow

    Nomoslowmow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    I read here over and over how you guys use big mowers (36" +) on your residential customers. I have been using 21" mowers for these small lawn for 9+ years - am I stupid?

    I use a TORO 32' WB for some larger back yards and the ditches of my 1+ acre customers. Everytime I try the 32" on the smaller (60' X 120' lot size) lawns, the results are embarassing compared to the smaller mowers. We did about 150 lawns this week with the 21" mowers and maybe 8 or 10 backyards with the 32" . The long wheelbase of the 32" seems to promote scalping. Our Bermuda grass lawns show every deviation in cutting height as you dip into the brown stem area - UHG!

    The lawns here are rough because of poor grading and shoddy sprinker installations, but I see my competition happily mowing away with big mowers and big smiles, as my employees walk back and forth, back and forth.

    Am I being too picky? Are the lawns in your area smoother so you get good results with the big mowers? Are your average lawns larger than mine so the bigger mowers work better? Do alot of customers not care about quality as long as they save money? Is my 32" Toro just a bad scalping machine?

    Thanks for your help in advance!

  2. rvsuper

    rvsuper Senior Member
    Messages: 930

    I used to have two Toro 21" wb's and I got two new 36" Prolines and it cut my time in half. I mainly use my walk behinds. I use the F-725 mainly for my comm. accounts and large open areas...I dont have too many of those anymore though. I'm thinking about buying a ZTR of some kind. Really interested in Toro and eXmark.
  3. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533


    At what height are you ,owing the bermuda ?
  4. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,917

    I have the same problem i have many bermuda lawns....i cut them at 3.5" and every time i hit the smallest bump it looks like its scalping.
  5. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    I will preface this first.... I don't mow Bermuda or anything like it, so my contribution may be worthless.

    I will put my 52 rider anywhere it will go. I will do anything to avoid using my 21, anything. All my walkbehinds and rider mow very nicely. I prefer the look of the big mowers compared to the 21 myself.

    Perhaps Bermuda only is green near the top of the blade, giving the impression of a scalp when it is only revealing the browner aspect of the blade of grass.

    I think if that is the case, and you are not hurting the lawn, I would save a bunch of man hours with the biggest mower I could fit in the yard. That is just my opinon.

  6. TurfGuyTX

    TurfGuyTX LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 648

    We have 21's, but I put my 61" Turf Tiger on everything possible. It's not an issue of quality. The residential lawns that I'm able to use the 61" look great. Just my opinion. Good luck.
  7. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    I wonder if fixed or floating deck would be best for your needs? The Walker deck is floating and doesn't seems to scalp. My jd 36
    is fixed and on even ground gives a near perfect cut. Don't have much advice, just something for you to think about/try out...
  8. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    after a few weeks of mowing with the bigger mowers on these lawns you will train the grass to accept the scalping and it wont show as bad.
    when i first moved into my house the previous owners used a 21" i used a 60" scalped it everywhere . now you cant even tell now that i ever scalped it
  9. Grasshog

    Grasshog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    150 Lawns in a week with 21" PM. WOW. How many employees do you have. WOW 150 lawns.

    If you went to Exmark"s 36" mowers you could save enough in man hours to cover the expense in no time at all.

    Custr do care about quality. I would bet on that. I have found that Exmark"s deck will cut Bermuda grass real well.

    I have found that my Lawn Boy mower with the bagger kit does do the best job for quality, but who has the time.

    TIME = MONEY No need to say more.
  10. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    No, you're not stupid, lol. If you were I don't think you could do 150+ lawns a week. The key is to work smarter not harder. There's no way I could do 150 yards a week, wow! I use a 36" wb on my smaller lawns. The only time is use my 21" is either when my wb wont fit through a gate or an island. There is one residence that I do though that I have to use my 21" because the front is on a steep slope (the one I twisted my ankle on yesterday), and the back yard is sepaated by a 2 ft. rock wall. I cant get my wb to climb up that wall:D , but the customer pays well:) .

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