If you could only have one mower….

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Very few situations? HAHAHAHAHA!!!
Like I said, you gotta think outside of what you know.
There isn't a lawn around here for a few miles that you could use a ZTR on without also needing a small mower too.
Most of everyone here is mowing residential lots
Most people mowing residential lots are mowing with something bigger than necessary by far.
Omg! It’s so much faster.
No not really.

i have mowed and collected data all over the country 10 states personally and 11 more from associates.

there was a time when almost every commercial mower (more than a push mower) was 40-48” in the residential scene.
commercial cutters and residential SS also used to be as different as plumbers and carpenters; that is to say one didn’t do the other kind of work.

the blur came when the ztr became more common and the larger deck was on a more manuverable tractor.

however the more maneuvering and overlapping a 60” has to do the less productive it is.

most 36” walk behind velke riders can finish the mixed route in about the same time as a 60” ztr supported by a 21”
Depending on the area this is also true about a 48” walk with sulky.

one to three properties that are larger seem to cement in someone’s mind about how much “faster” the ztr is than anything other mower, but they overlook they had to use the 21 here or there, the extra trimming, the blowing than wouldn’t have been needed etc.

Are you mowing one lawn for profit?
Or the whole route?

lots of people have way bigger equipment than is good for their margin because of the one or two bigger properties they’re convinced they have to have the big machine for, then they falsely justify that it’s faster on all lawns… it’s not

I ran a 36” swz on everything for several years, it’s not as slow mowing big properties as one might think when you have a velke

In fact I often didn’t have to double cut because my deck fit in the dips and rolls where the bigger deck I would have fake certain areas at a different angle.

do you spend a little more time mowing
Sure
But it’s not hours
Do you save in trim?
Yes
Save on economy of motion?
Yes
Overlapping what you already cut just to get the battleship to fit?
Yes
Big deck ZTRs are faster on paper but the actual properties most residential lco service aren’t shaped like a piece of paper
 

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
In fact I often didn’t have to double cut because my deck fit in the dips and rolls where the bigger deck I would have fake certain areas at a different angle.
I had a hard time articulating this concept but this hits a home run with me. There’s plenty of places that would need to be gone over two or three times with a big mower in my route. In fact, a guy was asking about the Deere at the dump once and mentioned that his Husqvarna 52” was a little too big and he probably should’ve gone with a 48” or 36”. Another solo guy that I see around and made friends with had a scag 36” stander magically appear on his trailer one day. He said he loves it and now uses it more than his 52” ztr and was glad to hear my reasoning behind my “puny” little 36” stander. Big trucks, big trailers and big mowers seems to be the image in most peoples mind when thinking about a successful mowing operation lol, not for this guy.
 

cool breeze

LawnSite Senior Member
We use a 60 ztr on lawns over 12k sf, and 48 wb on lawns under. Only use 36 on gated back lawns. Lawns don’t need to be rectangular shaped for a ztr.
 

lawnspecialties

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Garner, NC
Since I run Gravelys, that's what I know. But other brands could be comparable.

If I ran almost all residential, the Gravely 152.
If I ran mostly commercial, the Gravely 260.
 

KjnTiger

LawnSite Member
Location
Washington, PA
I have a toro grandstand . 52" it's awesome on hills . I will always have one of these. The exmark sit down is awesome but not on hills . Walk behinds are terrible for hills . Yes , hills . I do alot of lakehomes . Both come with Kawasaki engines ,another item I will always have
Are you talking walk behind in general or the Exmark ones? There are alot of hills in my area and walk behind are what I was looking at for first mower. I was told about a dual rear wheeled cub cadet, but I don’t see where anyone runs those. Also saw a Dixie Chopper Xcaliber that I’m wanting to go look at.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
I had a hard time articulating this concept but this hits a home run with me. There’s plenty of places that would need to be gone over two or three times with a big mower in my route. In fact, a guy was asking about the Deere at the dump once and mentioned that his Husqvarna 52” was a little too big and he probably should’ve gone with a 48” or 36”. Another solo guy that I see around and made friends with had a scag 36” stander magically appear on his trailer one day. He said he loves it and now uses it more than his 52” ztr and was glad to hear my reasoning behind my “puny” little 36” stander. Big trucks, big trailers and big mowers seems to be the image in most peoples mind when thinking about a successful mowing operation lol, not for this guy.
There’s certainly companies or routes within a company that tend to require that “big stuff”
Too often however people try to route things geographically rather than putting the right equipment on the right job.
Ideally when you have multiple routes , they will overlap at some point or more then once.
This is by design
If one is behind or had down equipment you can help or drop off extra equipment
At that point it might not be the right equipment, but it’s better than none.

it may seem like a waste with more travel but it’s really not
Especially when you’re not circling a neighborhood like a great white shark trying to hunt for a plane to park the beast

there was a guy on here years ago talking about a fleet of rangers
Yea he was a poser but the concept is sound
There’s maybe three or four solos on here that use rangers or tacos
With the right up fitting you can get in and out of places with low stress and begone almost before the aircraft carrier can park and unload its mowers.

i have had for years (before moving to uhaul vans and cab overs) run a regular pick up 8 foot bed and fit nearly everything needed for a residential lawn
Several of these trucks would run two full size 48” walk behinds , ramps
Blowers
Gas
Trimmers

some of them ran 21s with a single 48 and a wheel blower.
It was fantastically efficient.
especially with the higher end customers that have the long driveways down windy roads that have like no shoulder to park on?

yes the set up doesn’t work well for grass collecting or leaf pickup
It’s just a mow blow and go set up
But
I always have advocated a dedicated for a separate leaf/grass pick up rig.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Are you talking walk behind in general or the Exmark ones? There are alot of hills in my area and walk behind are what I was looking at for first mower. I was told about a dual rear wheeled cub cadet, but I don’t see where anyone runs those. Also saw a Dixie Chopper Xcaliber that I’m wanting to go look at.
The xcaliber is huge
 

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
There’s certainly companies or routes within a company that tend to require that “big stuff”
Too often however people try to route things geographically rather than putting the right equipment on the right job.
Ideally when you have multiple routes , they will overlap at some point or more then once.
This is by design
If one is behind or had down equipment you can help or drop off extra equipment
At that point it might not be the right equipment, but it’s better than none.

it may seem like a waste with more travel but it’s really not
Especially when you’re not circling a neighborhood like a great white shark trying to hunt for a plane to park the beast

there was a guy on here years ago talking about a fleet of rangers
Yea he was a poser but the concept is sound
There’s maybe three or four solos on here that use rangers or tacos
With the right up fitting you can get in and out of places with low stress and begone almost before the aircraft carrier can park and unload its mowers.

i have had for years (before moving to uhaul vans and cab overs) run a regular pick up 8 foot bed and fit nearly everything needed for a residential lawn
Several of these trucks would run two full size 48” walk behinds , ramps
Blowers
Gas
Trimmers

some of them ran 21s with a single 48 and a wheel blower.
It was fantastically efficient.
especially with the higher end customers that have the long driveways down windy roads that have like no shoulder to park on?

yes the set up doesn’t work well for grass collecting or leaf pickup
It’s just a mow blow and go set up
But
I always have advocated a dedicated for a separate leaf/grass pick up rig.
I’ve had the idea of operating out of a sprinter van since I started. I’m still not completely certain that it’s a good fit for my business but it’s a good possibility, forgive my redundancy as I’ve mentioned it before.
You speak from a background of many hats and I wonder what you think now that I’ve run my 636 for half a year. If my 36” stander, 32” sw15 and possibly the hrx217 or an electric tucked away would fit in a sprinter and be all I need, how does that sound?
Hauling stone or something? I have a decent trailer. Gas fumes? I want a wall separating the cabin for a few reasons. Load the stander through the back on ramps and the sw15 through the side on ramps. Batteries chargers, blowers, powerhead and attachments on the walls.
The Ford transit in particular is a reasonably small sprinter that could double as an easy to drive personal vehicle. Maybe wrap it, maybe something less involved but still tasteful. Just seems like it just might work.
 

KjnTiger

LawnSite Member
Location
Washington, PA
The xcaliber is huge
Thank you, I’m not looking for huge, I’m looking for efficient in a variety of lawns with a definite variety of slopes. I will be the land watch tour for now though as I have a crew cab dually that is full of welding equipment that I use for my regular job while I transition.
 

Derwood

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
SE Wisconsin
So 1 account we have is a 64 home hoa with common areas. The 21s don't come off the trailers even though in between some of the houses the 60s won't even fit. All we use is 2 60" ztr and a 72" ztr and string trimmers.
Totally get it. You’d be there FOR EVERRR with a 21!!!

But my dad lives in a place like you described. Huge tree ring in a tiny yard, in front of every home. They mow with 60 Toro’s and it looks terrible. They can’t maneuver without tearing grass, and they miss a ton of turf because it’s soooo tight in there. I gotta stop over with my 21 and clean it up for him all the time.

To answer the OP’s question I’d say my accounts would dictate what I’d want, and it would be a 61 vride. Then I would tailor all my growth towards that, until I was forced to add a mower.
 

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