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Mowing large jobs I mean big

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by paul, Jun 1, 2000.

  1. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Ok guys, we build parks and the trend is for us to maintain for one year. Lately the size of parks have been increasing, the last job we bid was for 38 acres of ballfields and another 25 acres of regular turf. Of course these are larger than normal(most are in the 10 to 12 acres) but with this trend we see happening what would you use for maintaince on these type of jobs?<p>----------<br>paul<br>
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,180

    A 72&quot; Dixe Chopper will mow them fine.....nice flat cut, good stripeing ability, 10 mph ground speed. I wish I could put mine on a ball field! The fields around here look terrible, anybody and everybody mows them and they look cut, thats all, cut!<p>Homer<p>p.s. 2 of them would cut that in a day easy!
  3. gorrell

    gorrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 536

    Paul, we mow two large industrial sites, each being 40-45 acres. we can mow each site in 5 hours using 2 61&quot; grasshoppers and a 61&quot; scag. Lynn
  4. It depends on how big your trailer is :)
  5. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Messages: 1,670

    Paul, Thanks to Eric, I use 2 72&quot; Dixies with 26hp diesels I tow in a 8' by 20'enclosed trailer. We cut 30-35 acres in 6 hours. These are ball fields and reg. turf areas. The co. that had the contract before me used an 11' batwing ($40,000) and it took them 1.5-2 days. No one in my area has ever seen a Dixie Chopper, we get people who stop and watch in disbelief at how fast and well these machines can cut. I was always thought that it would be impossible to cut at that speed with a great quality finish until now.<p>Chris <br>
  6. Nilsson Associates

    Nilsson Associates LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Paul,<br>You build parks and maintain for one year?<br>Keep building parks, subcontract the maintenance, get a cut of that, own the contract rights beyond the year if you're the successful bidder, subcontract those additional years, get a cut of that for as long as it lasts. Do a non-compete, &quot;own&quot; the maintenance work but don't do the maintenance work?<p>Less competition building parks than doing maint on parks?<p>Phil Nilsson
  7. OP

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Ok we are talking about 63 acres of turf that needs mowing once a week after it reaches 3&quot;. So it should take 2 days with with 2 6' DC or 10 hrs with 3 other brand mowers. thats 3 or 4 man days (cost not including fuel and transportation or equipment) about $350 to $600 per week. Adding that in would bring cost up to about $100 per day for fuel and transportation. How comes the hard part, cost of the mowers, <br>grasshoppers cost about $8000 to 9000 each and DC are close to the same, life expendcy on each?<p>Question about building parks, there is a growing competition in this market,and people are starting to under cut prices on installs but running into problems with getting the right size material, so there costs are going up along with fuel cost(off road deisel fuel now $1.20 per gallon on road $1.69), (Gas prices are close to $2.00 to $2.25 per gallon).<p>There are no long term maintance options with these jobs. Looking for people to handle these jobs are above most guys in this area except for the larger companys that might be bidding against me.<p>Think it just might be worth it to buy a Toro 580 and be done with it. Cost is large but labor is a larger factor in the long run.<p>----------<br>paul<p><p><font size="1">Edited by: paul
  8. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Hello,<p>you mentioned the 580, and yes, costs will be high. Just demoed a 455 and yes, it was a great machine, very efficient. Would love to own it. Only problem is the 45k price tag. I can't imagine what a 580 would cost, especially new. Probably in the 55k plus range. For this, you could get 6 choppers, always have a spare if one breaks down (maybe even two spares,) and still have great productivity.<p>A tricky subject that needs to have the numbers ran through. For instance, I think gorrel said he can mow 40-45 acres in 5 ours, with 3 machines. Thats 15 man hours total. <p>With the 580, I'd imagine you could probably do the same job in the same time, but with only one machine. The labor savings here could be very signifigant.<p>One thing, though, is that all areas may not be able to be cut, and the quality of cut may be a issue. If you don't have to have &quot;stripes&quot; (which I'd imagine you don't) and have the park look like wrigly field, then I think a big mower may be just the thing. <p>The 455 I did had a very nice cut. I doesn't stripe per say, but it leaves a very nice finish. I ran it for a day, and figured out this. We have (2) 72&quot; 25 hp diesel groundmasters that take 3.5 days to cut our fields. With the 455, I figured I could do it in about 2 days only (bigger motor, faster mowing) with the same quality. Thats a comparison of 16 man hours to 56 man hours.<p>A big difference. Theres no way the smaller machines can compete with this savings in labor. Also, one machine can be cheaper to maintain than two, another cost savings. <p>I would have to say go with the bigger machine, especially for parks, where I imagine the grass just has to be cut, and not &quot;striped&quot;. Also, I always say the less labor you need to depend on the better. <p>And by the way, the 455 was very maneuvable. In fact, better than our smaller machines . And with the fold up wings, it can do the tighter areas too. A great machine I thought. Not familiar with 580 though. It looks nice, but also a little bit too &quot;mechanically&quot; complicated with those fold down wings. <p>My suggesting is to get a demo. Only real way to see how the big mower will work for you and your jobs. Toro will gladly drop one off at one of your parks for a day to try out (they better at least for the potential bucks they will make off the sale). I think real world testing is the best start in deciding.<p><p>steveair<p><br>&lt;font size=&quot;1&quot;&gt;Edited by: steveair<p><br>&lt;font size=&quot;1&quot;&gt;Edited by: steveair<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: steveair
  9. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Messages: 1,670

    I had used the 455 as a demo on the properties that I maintain now use the 2 Dixie Choppers on. The results were that the 455 would cut the property in 12-15 hours. With the Choppers I'm out of there in 5-6 hours. The larger batwings are to slow and don't cut as nice. I spent $24,000 on the 2 choppers instead of $45,0000 on one 455 and the choppers are more versatile. You can tow aerators and spreaders with them. Demo both on the same property and then you will know for sure what equipment will fill your need. I also priced out the 580 and they wanted $65,000 for it ( I told the guy to go take another hit off of his crack pipe :))<p>Chris

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