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Need advice on Push vs. Ride mower

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Berserker, May 22, 2006.

  1. Berserker

    Berserker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4


    I haven't been happy with the level of care that I have been getting on my yard maintenance. I have a half acre of relatively flat property. Mostly I have grass and do not have many obstacles to go around.

    For $250 per month the maintenance company has been essentially mowing and blowing. I have a small bank of iceplant on the side of the house that they trimmed about once a month to keep it off of the sidewalk and about 20-30 pygmy palms that they trimmed about once a month.

    They would mow once a week and do a little trimming as well.

    What I want to do is start doing this myself. I think that I can mow every week though my walk behind (push) craftsman mower needs the grass catcher emptied about 20 times. This is a pain and probably takes more time than the mowing alone.

    So right now I spend $3000 per year for maintenance. Knowing that I want to make it easy and not back breaking should I go for a ride mower/tractor or a better walk behind model? How mch easier are the ride on mowers? Do you find that you can't get close enough to fences, etc and have to go back over those spots with a push mower?

    Right now I know I want a decent blower and some sort of string trimmer/edger.

    Any help is appreciated.

  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    first question...why bag? waste of time unless the grass is really thick and clumping. 1/2 acre is not enough to warrant a rider, IMO. I'm on 1/2 acre of hill side...and i walk.. if you do get a rider. cut the lawn and where ever your rider could not get, enlarge or creat shrub beds, less trim work. you will need to purchase a string trimer and a blower as well to get a nice looking job.

    the pygmy palms are easy to take care of, provided you don't get speared by the spikes.... You can do it yourself cheaper in the long run....however. do not over lookthe maintenanceof your equipment, IE oil Changes, Blade sharpening, ect. and plan on spending 1-2 hours to do a thorough and complete job.

    the palms you can trim them on an as-needed basis so you're not stuck having to trim all of them at the same time...Dont forget about weed control and fert... I would reccomend buying your equipment from a dealer and not a "big-box" store. You'll be much happier with your service after the sale, should you need it....
  3. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    You are going to take food out of the mouths of the poor lawn mowers mouths? How dare you!
    Actually you sound just like me. :lol: Get nice commercial grade equipment that will produce good looing results and that lasts a long time. In just a year you will have paid for your equipment and your lawn will probably look better.

    About the bagging why not just get a mulching mower? Honda makes a nice commercial grade ones. I just ordered an 36" cut exmark turf tracer hp lawn mower for my yard. You can get a mulching it for them and the cut is very nice. A lot of the professionals around here use them. It would take up about 2 years of your mowing budget but that mower should last a homeowner forever.
  4. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    Push is good exercise but if you cant push they make walk-behinds, stand-ons, velkes. Be sure you really enjoy working outdoors before you invest, remember your paying for thier time and equipment freeing up your time to go play.


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