New to Lawn Mowing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BeautifulBlooms, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    We purchased a 52" Ferris IS1500Z last fall used (only 25 hours for $5500) I didn't think I could get such a well rounded machine with so low hours for that little money so we went ahead and bought it with the thought to add lawn mowing this coming season as a way of getting more landscaping work for those customers. We already have one contracted mow job and are looking at a huge condo and apartment complex. The home lawn I think I can figure out no problem but the large complexes are a little more complicated. So I am asking for some specifics. If you have one piece of the puzzle answer that question, if you have a general scope for the whole project say it that way. I am just looking for a baseline to start with I am not asking for your pricing per say.

    I am based in Milwaukee so you guys have an idea where I am doing ym work. I have been told typical mowing season is May 1st through October 1st with a few cuts in October to clean things up a little. Would you guys go out in April? I woudl think you could also take a cut in April to clean things up a little too.

    I know I need to know my costs and I have a part of that so i need to formulate some more costs.

    1) Do you figure out a linear foot measurement for string trimming? And figure what a string trimmer can move along at? Or do you use a time percentage of mowing time (for instance if you mow for 4 hours does trimming typically take you 1 hour) and (blowing another 1 hour)

    2) What would you say your average ground mowing speed is? I know the spring will be wetter and higher fertility will also cause a slower condition but what would your yearly average be? If you answer this please say what type of mower you have. The ground speed chart for my Ferris mower w/ 52" deck ranges from 4-10 so I would guess that springitme might be 4 mph summer might be more like 6-7 but there is almost no way I think I would ever mow above 6-7mph, does anyone agree or disagree with this? Maybe if I was mowing a field of crabgrass or something or possibly if I was asked to mow dirt I would mow at 10mph.

    3) What do you typically overlap your mower deck by 3, 4, 5"?

    4) Any other tips or issues I didnt ask about?

    Again I know everyone is different, I know every machine is different I know every operator is different and everyone probably has a different idea of quality, btu I am looking for a baseline to go out and make an educated proposal. I am looking only for averages not specific circumstances. Ia lso know I need to base my quotes on my costs and that is exactly what I am trying to do figure out my costs because I have never done lawn mowing for hire before. I have mowed so many total acres of turf (10 years of golf course experience) in my life but never from the perspective of charging for it.

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