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Thinking of doing more, but have ?'s about equipment

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Cathman, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Cathman

    Cathman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    First off, great site with lots of info. Thanks for all the research information i have found.

    Situation at hand....i do my mom's and mother in laws lawns now. I have been approached by several of their neighbors about doing their's and have done a couple on occasion but had to pass on many others. Takes me about 1.5 hours to do each and the same would be for the neighbors.

    What i am looking to do is be able to say sure and even land these each week, etc. but with my SP Husq 21" it would take me all day to do 4 or 5 lawns. Other problem is, they are older homes with gates that i think are about 3' wide.

    So, i would like to know what you guys who do residential with the smaller gates use to speed the process along. So far i have looked at Encore, some Cub Cadet stuff, and some Snapper and eXmark stuff....all have local dealership and i can get Gravely stuff in a nearby town (although i have not been to look at these). Encore makes a 34" rider with dual hydraulic controls and they make a 32" and i think 36" walk behind that are belt driven...closest service guys. Snapper also makes a couple of smaller ones, but not sure how long they would hold up as the ones i was shown were said to be residential use. Also looked at the Quick 36" walk behind. Are WB mowers pretty easy to maneuver and do they leave a lot to be trimmed once done cutting in back yards or??

    So, do you guys use a bigger mower to do the fronts and then do the backs with a 21" or bigger SP/WB or what? I would really like to get one mower that can do it all being right now i only plan to do this on the side and not go any bigger than residential lots with back yards that are fenced/gated. Also, any info on brand/type of mowers would be great...again, looking for it to last and of course something i can get local service on.

    Hope that all made sense. Any info or insight would be greatly appreciated.
  2. SSS 18734

    SSS 18734 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    go with a 36" Belt-drive W/B mower. You'll save a lot of time over the 21", be less fatigued, leave a nicer cut, and not break your budget.

    They're pretty easy to maneuver and leave just as much to be trimmed as the 21's do, unless you have some wicked tight spots to maneuver it.

    You'll probably cut your 1.5 hour lawns down to about 40 minutes with the 36.
  3. Lohse's Lawn Service

    Lohse's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    from US
    Messages: 213

    Buy a Toro 32" walk-behind. I was told when I bought it that 32" is the standard size for gates. You can get a 36", but you may have trouble with some gates, I don't know. If you plan on mowing only those few around you, measure the gates and go from there. You won't go wrong with a 32" though. I bought my 32" Toro used about 3-4 years ago and still have not had any major problems with, just a few adjustments that should be periodically made and we re-ringed (is that a word?) the engine which will add to it's lifespan. Good luck.
  4. Darrin A.

    Darrin A. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Definately measure the gates of the people you have done before and those that you have asked. If the gates are 36" wide, get a 34" or less. You can also go to the dealer and actually measure the deck width. If the gate is exactly 36" and the deck is 36 1/4 " , it won't make it through.

    Using a 32 or 36 inch walk behind will save you so much time over a 21" push, any extra trimming will not be that much and will still get you done with the job in at least half the time (unless you are triming more than just the normal stuff) Belt drives are alot less $$ than hydros (usually).
  5. SSS 18734

    SSS 18734 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    Yes, do measure the gates. My 34" mower barely fits through some "36 inch" gates.
  6. Trimmer Man007

    Trimmer Man007 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Just wondering, is there a difference in reliability between belt drives and hydros?
  7. Cathman

    Cathman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    Ok, so i checked out a gravely 34Z today. Nice looking, Kawi 15hp engine, and a price of 4400.00 + tax. Oh, and they are trying to sell me a mulching kit....you guys use these or blow and go?

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