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Rodriguez11
06-23-2011, 11:47 PM
I cut close to 100 lots every 6 weeks for a local home builder. They expect the grass to be cut as if it was done every 2 weeks and wont accept bush hogging them. I currently run my 25hp 48" tank m with the help of a scag 48"... I am curious to know what anyone thinks about getting something like the toro groundsmaster with the 9' rotary cut? used of course cuz i cant afford one of them new! But anyway I am just looking for something to pick up the pace a little and I am also looking at some fairly large properties to bid for next season that i have watched a crew of 4 with 2 scags, one 60" and one 48" taking 8 hours to complete and figure it could be a good investment... But im really just curious to know how well they would handle in tall grass that i cut every 6 weeks, it gets approx knee high bahia, and can get thick if it rains, which is rare this year

Liberty Landscaping LLC
06-24-2011, 12:09 AM
Hi
A few questions. One is why do they only do it every 6 weeks? That's a huge gap. I would say 3 wks max but thats me. I would charge them like I was there everytime for those 6 weeks and that would be my price. Second how big are the 100 properties? You said "he expects it to be cut like it was done every two weeks" do you mean not leaving anything behind? I am not sure rotary is the way to go then you would have to go bag over it with a bagging unit if that's the case. I looked into a groundmaster when I bidded on a 10 acre golf course. Didn't get the bid so never looked into it anymore. Let us know what the outcome is.

Fisher
06-24-2011, 12:18 AM
If it's able to be mowed then you wouldn't need a bush hog, but if you are so equipped to bush hog then you may want to consider swapping the bush hog over to a finish mower.

There is a 20 acre track of land adjacent to my subdivision divided up into about 35 lots that the developer has this done on at most once per month. The guy who does it even does the plaid striping when he cuts it. It looks good up close and great from a distance where you can the striping better.


I really wouldn't think that rotary mowers would be ideal for unkept acreage. Though I wouldn't be the one to say either as I've never tried it, nor have I ever seen them used on land with more than a week or so growth on it.

Rodriguez11
06-24-2011, 12:32 AM
Well the guy in charge i guess does not like to spend money yet wants it to look like he is spending the money if you know what i mean.. It is actually a friend of mine that does all the model homes for the builder at a set price because they say its quantity. So they pay him 25-35 per yard.. Which some are every week so not bad when they would typically be $40 yards.. Anyway, to the lots.. The lots are typical 1/4 acres lots and some are just from the road to 20 feet off.. The company will only pay $15 for the 20 ft ones and 25$ for the 1/4 acre. Which does not sound great but we go in and knock 88 lots out in 5 hours and then 2.5 hours of weedeating. The money ends up being good I just am starting to get really busy and wanting to get the large acre properties to work on so want to invest in something bigger. The lots do not have to be bagged but they do complain if the grass is just bush hogged. So we ride them with our mowers which takes a bit longer and sometimes double passing some stuff.

Rodriguez11
06-24-2011, 12:39 AM
My friend is possibly getting a full time job because he said he is over grass cutting and running his own stuff. So lucky me will take over his 50 yards plus entrances and the close to 100 lots that come with it. The main guy is the one that only wants it cut every 6 weeks while the guy below him wants it cut more often, so hopefully if i take over the contract i can do a little talking and let him know the wear and tear it puts and the time it takes to double cut because of the thickness. My mower now does a good job, I was just thinking going bigger like real big because the properties I have looked to bid are school board properties with a lot of open ground and city areas also with alot of ground.. One of the city bids I did last year which I did not get, not even sure i did the bid right it was so awkward. But anyway it is 460 acres total of mowing, 9 ft toro would have been awesome

Fisher
06-24-2011, 12:55 AM
I would stress the point that you are cutting them at least twice anyway every six weeks that in the end it's not any cheaper than mowing once every three weeks and that the appearance would really look consistently better if they just went with a single mowing where you only have to make one pass every two weeks.

They have some great 9' finish mowers though apparently you might would have to explain the difference between this and a bush hog.

The mowers I see most often by those with big state or county contracts for large common areas, school ground etc,. are the F series kubotas along with tractors with finish mowers.

Rodriguez11
06-24-2011, 01:06 AM
If I get the contract this season I will definitely talk to the big boss about having to cut at maximum 3 weeks to get the look he wants and to save myself and friend the extra work which we dont get paid extra for. I think the man just does not want to pay the extra money because it would go from $2300 every 6 weeks to $4600 every 6. But at the same time he compares their lots to that of the other major home builder that keeps their lots cut every 2-3 weeks. Makes us look bad because he does not realize how often they actually cut it. I could really consider just doing a 72" kubota. Somewhat curious about the tank 72 with the 31hp cat diesel in it, either tank m or s since i already have a tank. The only downside i was thinking with the tractor and finish mower is time. Im looking to go fast and cut good. I have never used a finish mower so I cant discredit using one on the tall grass

picframer
06-24-2011, 05:31 AM
If you are doing 22 acres in 5 hours with two machines, I doubt you can improve on that. We had one large private subdicision, 7 acres, 5 homes, used a 48" deck mower on a Deer X749 and a 72" finish mower on an X749, fook four staff 7 hours with trimming.

One machine that would be a lot faster is a WAM (Wide area mower) however you are talking serious bucks considering what you are getting paid.

Steve
06-24-2011, 06:21 PM
I'd love to see some before and after pics of this jobsite.

I'd also be concerned about sinking anymore money into equipment for this job because it seems the customer wants absolutely the bare bones minimum cutting for the property. The only way I could see spending money on larger equipment was if you would be using it on more jobs and expand your business into serving larger properties once you get it.

Otherwise, might you make more money instead by finding more customers with smaller properties that want it cut weekly?

Rodriguez11
06-28-2011, 03:44 PM
I will get some pics up next time i cut them.. I wouldnt want to lose this customer because when i take over the lots completely It will be $1600 for the lots in only 5 hours and I will be able to pay someone $10/hr and have another mower.

Rodriguez11
07-13-2011, 09:46 PM
Here is just a sample of what the lots look like, grass gets about 3 ft tall in 6 weeks.

Liberty Landscaping LLC
07-14-2011, 12:08 AM
You cut 100 lots that tall in 5 hours? What's your secret LOL that's a lot of work do you bag it all? Or do you cut in one direction and then cut a second time in another direction and leave the clippings? If your bagging I can't believe you cut 100 lots in only 5 hours thats fenominal!

Rodriguez11
07-15-2011, 09:55 PM
Ha no way! I was just showing an example of what we have to deal with and that they want it to look like its cut every other week! But no we do not bag any of it. On that particular lot we had to cut one mower behind the other. first mower was at 4" next at 1.5" just to get a clean cut. It actually went fairly smooth. This lot is from a different neighborhood. The neighborhood with the 88 lots does not get near this thick just really tall bahia which is such such a pain

Steve
07-18-2011, 02:32 PM
What's the size of the property in those pictures and how long does it normally take you to mow them when the grass gets that high?

monoshock
07-19-2011, 10:38 PM
1.5" :eek: way to low. Going to kill the grass, kill your mowers, kill the operators. IMO

Rodriguez11
07-20-2011, 01:00 AM
That particular lot was about half acre. That one took about 25 minutes to mow low enough for them.. The 1.5" cut would delight me at the homebuilder if it killed it actually. Less they have to keep cut, its just trash grass that is blown out there. mainly thick weeds. The other lots are 3/4 acres and take about 20 minutes, rough guess. The lots in other neighborhoods do not get bad. We are going to the other side of town to cut lots in the morning, I will take pics and see exactly how long it takes.

jasonw
08-11-2011, 08:46 AM
I cut close to 100 lots every 6 weeks for a local home builder. They expect the grass to be cut as if it was done every 2 weeks and wont accept bush hogging them. I currently run my 25hp 48" tank m with the help of a scag 48"... I am curious to know what anyone thinks about getting something like the toro groundsmaster with the 9' rotary cut? used of course cuz i cant afford one of them new! But anyway I am just looking for something to pick up the pace a little and I am also looking at some fairly large properties to bid for next season that i have watched a crew of 4 with 2 scags, one 60" and one 48" taking 8 hours to complete and figure it could be a good investment... But im really just curious to know how well they would handle in tall grass that i cut every 6 weeks, it gets approx knee high bahia, and can get thick if it rains, which is rare this year

I have one that I cut once every 4 weeks, Sometimes the grass is taller than knee high. Sometimes it comes clean over the hood. I use a 17.5HP TB Pony with a 42" deck, Its only about an acre and the trim and mow takes maybe 4 hours at the most when its tall like that but
I have been doing it for 2 years and have never had an issue with my tractor. I would say you could pick up a couple of those for $2,500 brand spanking new and go to town. I love my tractor and after 2.5 years of serves I have only had to sharpen the blades a couple of times and change the oil. Still even running the factory air filter and spark plug. I know a lot of people scoff at equipment like this but I think my equipment is a great testament of how home and garden store tractors and other equipment can handle abuse rather well so long as you care for them.