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What size lawn should a 36" walk-behind cut

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mwalz, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. mwalz

    mwalz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    Well I am going to be getting a sulky with it also, im planning on getting it tonight from a guy I know and it is used, he wnts an extra $100 for the sulky so for tht price why not get it
  2. No Weeds Left Behind

    No Weeds Left Behind LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    This is very true. What I made per hour close to double on most accounts when I started using a 48 ztr compared to 36 walk. Example. I had 8 accounts and it would take me about two days to do all with my 36. Moved up to 48" ztr, got them all done in a day, and broke my earnings down to the minute, literally timed it with a stopwatch. I made .92 cents per minute including drive time that day. except for one that I under bid when I started and am dropping. Just don't over extend yourself on bidding jobs because it takes longer people don't wanna pay cause you use a smaller mower. Learned that one the hard way also. First year was a big eye opener for me ha
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  3. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    .9 acre cut , trim, take care of low/fallen branches - $100 The trimming is two wood fence lines, two sheds, border of mobile home, one side of ditch, 3 trees.
  4. JimsLocalLawn

    JimsLocalLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Properties under .25 acres - GREAT! Fastest machine available!
    Properties around .50 acres - Decent.
    Properties 1 acre or larger - Get a different size machine.

    I use a 36" walk behind as my main mower. It's great as it fits through most fences. Mine goes around 7 mph on a sulky. Average lawn is $30 for .25 acre or smaller. One block I have 5 properties and can do all 5 in less than 1.5 hours. I walk away with $150 for 1.5 hours of work. However to tackle a 1/2 acre lawn it takes around 45 minutes (trimming included) which will yield around $45.
  5. mwalz

    mwalz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    Hmm, i cut yards about .25 acres and currently it takes me about and hour with a push mower, sounds like once you get to know how to handle one you can cut lawns fast
  6. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Keep in mind that we're all mowing different types of properties. Or maybe all of you are mowing lawns that are perfectly flat with no obstacles - I dunno...

    Anyway, I bought a 36" hydro walk behind because I thought it would speed things up a lot. It doesn't. It speeds things up SOME.
    That said, my properties aren't all well suited for a walk behind, as most are all relatively small. (because I started out with a 21" mower)
    Many of them have twists, and hills, and humps, and crap that make mowing with a WB a PITA. There are probably a lot of guys who would still mow them with the WB just because it's faster, but if a lawn looks better cut with a 21" that's what I'll use, even if it's slower.

    Sometimes I leave it on the trailer because the time I save on the small lawn isn't worth the time lost unloading/loading it in addition to the extra fuel used by the larger engine when I can be done almost as quickly, and with less effort with the 21".

    Also, with small lawns the mower was useless when side discharging - clippings went EVERYWHERE. I had to put a mulch kit on it - otherwise I couldn't use it. It didn't matter where I pointed it, clippings were going in beds, or somewhere they shouldn't be going.

    I don't regret buying it because it's GREAT for my larger lawns and will power through some tall grass like a champ if need be, but I thought I'd use it more than I do.
  7. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,853

    All different sized decks and different types of mowers have their place. Around here, it's a lot of .25 acre lots with fenced in back yards. Some are wide enough for a 48", but most aren't. I never see anyone else with a 36" and can't understand why. I see so many lcos mowing postage stamps with 60" zero turns. Yeah, I'm sure you're saving time on the 20 x 25 foot front lawn, but it's all for nothing if you're cutting the back with a 21" push.
  8. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    Last year I used a 36in mower as my primary mower. I cut lawns under 1/2 acre with it. Anything bigger than that was just slow in my opinion. Now I use a 52in ztr on most lawns and use the 36in for the back yards with gates or lawns with hills/slopes where I'm unsafe on a 52in ztr.
  9. mwalz

    mwalz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    Well I started the smae way, most of my lawns except maybe 1 or 2 I could use the 36 on. Maybe not at first because I found last night I'm not good at handling it good yet
  10. QLM

    QLM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    First belt drives suck. They really do take more effort to use and a real reverse is great. If you are new to the game they are great but as soon as you can get yourself a hydro something do it. I am partial to walkbehinds with a sulky. I like the less weight and can cut wet conditions sooner by walking behind them. Parts are less expensive seem to last longer.

    About what you can cut with them? Anything. Don't listen to you won't make enough an hour stuff around here. If your schedule is not full who cares what you make hourly. If you make less an hour using a machine that is paid for that is still a win. If you pass on a job cuz it is too big and are on the sofa not earning is that a win? Save money for a bigger mower that will speed up those jobs later. Just don't take on huge jobs.

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