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No more gates lawns!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassyfras, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    Next year I'm thinking of getting rid of all my gated residential lawns. I am willing to convert their gates to fit a 52" deck for material plus $50. The extra mower seems to add a lot of unneeded expense and time for the few people who have gates that don't accommodate a bigger deck.

    I am just wondering if anyone has experience in the transition of switching over customers with smaller gates so that they don't lose them. Some of my best customers have small gates that I would like to keep and accommodate. I really don't have anything else better to do in the winter to make next year more efficient.
  2. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    Good customers might be worth doing a free gate upgrade for?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. igotdiesel2

    igotdiesel2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    I did 1 upgraded gate this year. I did the labor free. I did a little every time I was there for 3 weeks until the gate was done. Using the 52" more than made up for the time I had in the gate. Plus he was a LEO and those are always nice to have on your side. He also tipped me nicely when the job was done. -Jason
  4. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Yes I think you should do such a conversion, more than one if you need to or until you're convinced.
  5. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,853

    I think it depends on how many gated lawns you have, verses non gated. In NJ, this is just not possible. Smaller houses almost always have gated back yards. Your upgrade idea is great, two of my customers did their own upgrades after watching me cut their front lawn with a 48" deck, seeing how nice it comes out, and then spending triple the time push mowing the back.

    I hate push mowing, but took the accounts anyway since I'm going to buy an additional 36 inch for next year, which will fit through all my gates.
  6. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,678

    My final 2 gated lawns got converted a few years back.

    Only run 48" decks on everything.
  7. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,687

    Of the 84 in my rout I have 5 maybe 6 that my 72 wont fit in. I hate switching to the smaller mower it is tempting to drop em. To bad they always seem to be in clusters of 5 or 6 lawns on the street.
  8. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Yeah I did a conversion or two until one day it hit me...
    Did you ever stop to think?

    That you make JUST as much money with a 21" pushmower as you do using the big bad 72"?
    After all the expenses you didn't pay 12 thousand for the 21" did you?
    No, and you didn't acquire the 72" for what you paid for the 21" either.

    Stop and think...

    The 21" takes longer but it also cost a LOT less and in maintenance than the 72"
    You really have to take the cost of the machine you're using into consideration.
    Because the 21" might take you longer but at the end of the month, same money.

    Two Lco's...
    One with a 72" and the other with a 21"
    All else being equal, they make the SAME money.
    Sure the guy with the 72" grosses more...
    And he spends more, too.
    The guy with the 21" grosses less but keeps a lot more of it.
    Sure enough, end of the month, same money.
    Telling you...
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    But all else is not equal.

    The 72" mower is significantly more efficient per man hour than the 21" mower could ever hope to be.

    You come into my neighborhood with a 21" versus my 60" Dixie. We both get 50 bucks to cut these 5/8 acre lawns. I paid $4500 for my Dixie with 28 hours on it. I expect it to last at least 4,000 hours. That's a per hour cost of $1.125. Plus maintenance and gas and we'll say it costs me $7 an hour to operate. I pay myself $15 an hour to cut grass. My total cost per hour is $22. Lets say it takes me 1/2 hour to cut each lawn. For 4 lawns thats 2 hours at $22 an hour for a total of $44. I earned $200 for all 4 lawns minus $44 cost leaves me with a net of $156 for 4 lawns.

    Now I'll be generous and say that it takes you 1.5 hours per lawn. And your cost to mow these lawns is only $1 per hour plus $10 an hour to pay you. That's a total of $11 an hour. But, due to your lower efficiency it takes you 6 hours to cut all 4 lawns. That's a cost of $66 for a net of $134.

    Now who made more money?
  10. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    I would say all have good points. My point is what do you want? Myself I do it all. Seems like the smaller mower excell and then the bigger ones do. 3 or so years ago, all smaller stuff and the last 2 years I have picked up the bigger lawns.

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