Tired of using a push mower...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by TheOtherSideLL, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. TheOtherSideLL

    TheOtherSideLL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I'm sure not too many of you use a push mower for lawn care huh? Dumb question I know. I've been using a 21" Craftsman Platinum Series with a 7.25 hp Briggs on it. Great mower I might say, I've mowed more grass with that thing this year, than I have mowed in the previous 29 years of life... (I just started my biz this April)

    I started with this Craftsman push mower, an echo weed eater, stihl edger, and husquvarna back pack blower and my father-in-law's trailer. All of this cost me less than $500 bucks. I did buy the mower new and craigslist for the rest.

    I work a full time job so this year I just wanted to build some clients and buy some equipment. ( so far I have bought a 24" Still Hedge trimmer and 2 fixer upper ztr's with no success on either. I know, I know, stupid me. Lesson learned. ) I'm currently mowing 4-6 yards on the weekends and I'm getting tired of push mowing it all. I want to get a 36" walk behind as my next piece of the puzzle... any input here would be great!

    My plan was to go full time next spring, but now I'm kind of fearful about that. I have a wife, 4 daughters, and one on the way, (Surrounded by women and lovin' life) that depend on me. can anyone here give me some sound advice on this? I dont like my day job... I cant wait for the weekend to come and cut some grass... I Love it! I've dreamed of owning a lawn biz for as long as I can remember.... Can anyone in Northwest Florida help me with prices? I think I'm doing ok with them but you never know.

    Thank you to you all!

    I have thick skin so let me have it.
    All your advice is appreciated.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  2. pythons37

    pythons37 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    With four children and another coming, I'd leave it the way it is. Be patient. I would keep walking and stay at 30", max. Used. Keep fooling with the ZTRs, or resell for whatever you can get for them. I'd try to stick with the Craftsman. As you said, it's a very good mower. I have one and use it a lot. I also have a 46" rider. Used. Look into that, too. Some of them are pretty good and in the 300-500 dollar range. They look dopey, but a 30" or 28" mid or rear engine rider should be considered, too. They are usually one blade and give a good cut. Keep the day job, or get a better one, but you need a weekly check you can count on, for the next several years.
  3. ilike2mow

    ilike2mow LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,032

    I mow 6 yards total and use my Honda mower and troy bilt mower. I would say for a while to continue to use your setup you have now as it seems to work well for you. When your daughter on the way has grown up a bit then you can go full time lawncare.
  4. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,105

    It really depends on the types of lawns you are mowing, but my life lesson taught me that if I had to do it again, I would NOT buy a 36" walk behind - I would buy a 30" Toro/Exmark and if I felt the need for a walk behind, I'd get one LARGER than a 36".

    I'm in year #5 - started with a 21" Toro SR4 - used it exclusively for the first/second (?) year then got a new hydro 36" walk behind. Nice combo especially for tight access (which is why I got the 36"), but this season I bought a 30" TimeMaster and the thing cuts so well and so fast that the 36" isn't worth the hassle of unloading for most of my jobs. The difference between the two is only notable if I need to cut some really tall stuff that the walk behind can power through - can't do that so well with the TimeMaster.

    If I were doing it over, I'd go with a 48" (min) walk behind and the 30" mower. I'm actually phasing out the 21" mower altogether if I can - the 30" is just that much faster.
  5. JeremyKuhn

    JeremyKuhn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 511

    There are several guys here who only use push mowers. It all depends on your area and what your target market is. I prefer the .5 to 3 acre lots so I do have a ztr, but with a pushmower you can market for the smaller less than half acre size and get enough to live off of.

    You just need to market to the smaller lawns, it does hurt to say no but it's better not to take it on than to have problems when you can't do the job.
  6. ilike2mow

    ilike2mow LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,032

    I'm one of the people who exclusively use push mowers. Like you said, it all depends on your area and the types of yard your working in.
  7. Rob_In_MO

    Rob_In_MO LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    +1 on the Toro Timemaster. I'm on my 2nd year (part time also) with one and wouldn't want to do without it. I also use a Husqvarna AWD 22" mower, and they each have their place. Going much bigger than a 30" is sometimes more hassle than it's worth for small lawns - as stated above.

    One thing about a rider - make sure it has a floating deck (wheels or rollers around it) or the deck can slant and dig in on a sharp turn.
  8. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,566

    ^^^ I agree, with most all of this.

    My 30" has become my primary mower. I only use my Lawn Boy at lake properties that are very steeply sloped and barely walkable. Otherwise, I wouldn't have a 21"/22". I like the idea of a 30" and ~60" stander or ZTR (extra speed over a WB), if I had to pick two.
  9. TheOtherSideLL

    TheOtherSideLL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    To those of you who have a Toro Timemaster... do you use the residential or the commercial version? I talked with my local dealer yesterday about them they just started selling Toro last fall so he can't give me a solid answer about how well the residential holds up in a commercial world. He did tell me that Toro only offers a 45 day warrenty for commercial use of the residential model and that it comes with the briggs motor not the kawasaki that's on the commercial. He did have a residential in there for repairs that had been in the shop three times this year, two times for cables breaking and now for a belt coming off. The owner of that one has a commercial as well but likes the use of the residential better.

    Any comments on this... the $800 difference in price can be a game changer.
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    With a family like that I'd recommend you keep the full-time job and use the lawn care gig to supplement your income, even if you don't like the full-time job. Steady income and benefits are a huge deal when you have a family!

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