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So I’ve been a solo operator going into my fourth year this season. This year was all about becoming more efficient on how I do things to be able to grow a little and take on some new customers. My equipment for the entire time I’ve been landscaping is a Cub Cadet ZT 21” Self propelled mower, and Echo trimmers, saws, blowers etc. today, I did a basic Mow, Edge, and blow, but it took me 4 hours to complete solo. Property is just under 6,000sqft. But on a corner lot. There’s a curb strip, gazebo, shed, swing, stone lined garden beds front and rear and fence line all around, so you can only imagine how much trimming there is. I take care of this customer every other week, but this week the grass was super long amd didn’t know until I got on-site. I dont usually bag it after the first mow because it’s not usually this long, so needless to say, the mower did great and cutting through it all but it clumped up the yard and I had to double cut, and then blow out the yard on top of everything else I had to do. So (yes, long story to get to the point haha) What mowers do you solo operators use to make quick work on properties such as this one? I’ve recently been thinking of getting a commercial stand on mower OR getting a rear discharge ride on to suck everything up as I mow and help with the fall cleanups etc. This addition will also help me get larger customers and possibly get into some commercial accounts. I have a FT job and do this on the weekends. Thanks in advanced!
 

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Solo since 1992 other than a few years my son helped in the 90's.

Exmark 60" Vertex, 60" Turf Tracer, 48" Turf Tracer, Exmark 30", Timemaster

Reports from the field indicate Scag and Deere mowers do the best job of clipping dispersal.

Not sure if there are bagger attachments for rear discharge riders. Have also heard that rear discharge mowers don't cut as well as side discharge.
 

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I'm in Massillon Ohio east of central Ohio. I have been out on my own since 2007. This is my only income.
I currently running with 7x14 enclosed that houses 52 VR2, 30 Toro, fs56 trimmer, bg86 hand blower, Br800 backpack blower. I have 19 Weekley stops. Done on Wednesday and Thursday, Two of them are string trim, & blow only.
During the spring growth. I bumb up the cut. Starting at 3.25 cut.
I'm currently on week 5 of 30 weeks. I'm up to 3.5 cut
I will work it up to 4.25 cut.
I think it helps. To avoid double cutting.
Then work my way back down to 3.25.
As things slow down.
I'm actually a Landscaper
That uses lawn mowing for other work.
 

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the big question is what dealers are near you? John Deere, Toro, Exmart, wright, etc.. go visit them and build a relationship with them.. I currently run a Deere, but ive been using the same dealer for about a decade. they really care and want me to succeed ( besides if I succeed, it helps them because I spend more $$ with them buying new mowers and equipment). so if you can find a dealer that wants the same for you, it definitely helps. you'll always find a debate on who has a better cut. but the biggest question is which one you can afford, provides great dealer support and is close to you, and fits your particular needs the best.
 

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Do you do landscaping projects solo? I need to find someone to refer projects to now that I am solo (not by choice) since I'm so busy mowing and fert & squirting.
Pretty much maintenance only. Pruning, mulch. maybe install a few shrubs here and there. I'm in my 70's so full on landscaping is getting beyond my physical capabilities..
 

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Have read some guys run gator blades to manage clipping size. Gators don't work as well on Ultracut decks, at least one don't. Great for leaves though.
I only ever used stock high lift blades.
When doing leafs.
I Drive over them in reverse.
That mulches them nicely.
The velocity deck doesn't dispense so well when going in reverse. It gives the deck time to chew them up.

When I do a leafs jobs.
I Just get the leafs to the grass.
The VR2 does the rest.
I'm doing my leaf clean ups in the same time frame as a normal mow day.
Weekly.
The string trimming time is spent driving in reverse & the half deck passes.
 
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