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View Full Version : Reel Push mower Lawn care... good idea, bad idea


alehandros_lilbreaker
04-14-2008, 06:58 PM
I am planning on opening a eco friendly lawn care service with push reel mowers. They don't need gas, low maintenance, eco friendly and actually leave a better cut on your lawn. Now why aren't people using this method! is it some kind of lawn care taboo?

I also need to find a way to edge and blow lawns without using gas. I know there are some eco friendly options but here are the problem with those: The problem with battery powered is that the battery only lasts 30 min or so, which will make it impossible if i am going to mow 10 houses a day. And if i use plug in equipment, im stuck carring an extension cord everywere, not to mention that houses only have outlets in the back yard. I can always just use a broom vs using a blower... but for the edging...are there any manual trimmers for the grass?

If this topic was already discussed please send me the link so i can read up on it.
thanks

Steve
04-14-2008, 08:16 PM
Hi alehandros,

I think you are on to something. It can work but I think it depends on many factors. First off, what area are you in? Is this an area that will be more eco-friendly? Then I would wonder what are the average yard sizes in the area you would service? Are they small enough to allow you to do this work and not be worn out too quickly?

Maybe you could go with an electric mower instead of a push mower? Or maybe even a propane powered mower?

As far as electric edgers, could you take something like the one in the picture below, like get a used one and convert it to be powered by a car battery? That could be really cool.

What do you think about this?

alehandros_lilbreaker
04-14-2008, 10:03 PM
I am planning on targetting smaller lots that require walk behind mowers anyways.

I live in montreal and I can say that eco-friendly products are poping up everywhere, but it isn't so popular in the services.
As a formal employee of a landscaping company i know that a quieter, smog free lawn mower would be most ideal for the worker and most importantly the home owner. With that said, an electric powered lawn mower wouldn't be ideal for the same reason of a trimmer, too much hastle with all the cords and the innaccessibily of powering your lawn mower from outlets located in the back of houses. If you look up a reel mower you will find out that they actully cut cleaner than a rotary lawn mower and have several other benefits. IT also cuts costs on gas expense so thats more profitable for you.
Anyway, a machine that is that large and still runs on gas or propane, still wouldnt be ideal. If i want to go eco friednly id have to go all the way. And even if i convert it to a car battery, i guarantee that the car battery won't last me through a full day. there for i'd have to carry multiple batteries with me. Thanks for the suggestion though.

I also want to suggest to all landscaping companies to sell off your gas lawn mowers and change to reel mowing. Global warming is a huge problem and changing our habits can hopefully influence others and ultimatly cut down on pollution. Gas mowers and other small motors don't have catalytic converters to clean out most of the pollutants, on a gallon to gallon basis a mower is 93 times more pollutant than a new car. Imagine how many lawn mowers per year are blowing out pollutants right in your backyard.

Steve
04-14-2008, 10:26 PM
Maybe just start with a push reel mowers and go from there? See if the market would jump on it. It sure would be interesting to see!

UniversityLandscapers
04-14-2008, 10:28 PM
We've also bought a reel mower to do smaller lots as part of our push to get into organic lawn care. I live in Vancouver, so I'm pretty much in the same boat as you in terms of lawn size...we do all of ours with push mowers.

For a lot of other people to convert to push-reel mowers it would be difficult, because of the scale of jobs. I definitely agree that it's a better cut, also stripes the lawn nicely. They're just more of a hassle to sharpen the blades on.

alehandros_lilbreaker
04-14-2008, 10:35 PM
thanks for the post.

I actually just found on google a trimmer WITH a catalitic converter and from what i know, are allowed to be selled in california. the reason why i mention california is because they have a strict emmision law that prevents high smog-emmision products to be sold within its state.
heres the name of the trimmer:
Makita BCM2610 25.6CC

How are people reacting to the idea of reel mowers in vancouver?
Another great factor is that you don't need a truck and trailer to haul your equipment. Reel mowers are very light and very small. A mini van or even a car with seats that fold down in the back can cary all the equipment needed.

makbootzy
04-14-2008, 11:25 PM
Quote[/b] (alehandros_lilbreaker @ April 14 2008,8:35)]A mini van or even a car with seats that fold down in the back can cary all the equipment needed.
or a hybrid?

UniversityLandscapers
04-15-2008, 12:20 AM
Quote[/b] (alehandros_lilbreaker @ April 14 2008,11:35)]How are people reacting to the idea of reel mowers in Vancouver?
Don't know yet, I don't start working for another two weeks. Gotta finish school.

alehandros_lilbreaker
04-15-2008, 10:19 AM
A hybrid vehicle is very expensive. that is my goal one of these days, but to afford that every crew has a hybrid vehicle would be too much of an expense.

makbootzy
04-15-2008, 02:04 PM
Yeah they are a bit much....what anout buying a small old diesel and convert to run on vegetable oil

alehandros_lilbreaker
04-15-2008, 04:47 PM
that is an option, im looking into the costs of converting one.

makbootzy
04-16-2008, 12:12 AM
I think if you did, you might be able to pick up a commercial account and cut for fuel.

alehandros_lilbreaker
04-17-2008, 08:08 PM
Thats true.

Is there a a certain method in getting commercial lawns?
I herd that you call up the company and ask to be put on their bidding list... so does that mean that they ask all the companies on the list to give them a quote and they pick the best one?

alehandros_lilbreaker
04-17-2008, 08:23 PM
I also want to know how much should I be charging?
Average homes in my city are charged 20-30$ a cut depending on the company.
I was thinking of charging near the 25-30$ mark. I know i am a new company starting out but the service and benefits are well worth it and shouldnt be under charged. I think that if people see a low price quote they might think that it isn't a very good service (especially considering that i am just going to be 18). I am targetting the newer more financially set areas too.
What do you think i should do?

Steve
04-18-2008, 10:35 PM
Hi Alehandro,

Check this article out (http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2008/04/17/new-lawn-cutting-business-goes-green/). This lawn care business owner is REALLY going green.

Here is how he edges using only manpower.

justin_time
04-18-2008, 10:54 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ April 18 2008,10:35)]Hi Alehandro,

Check this article out (http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2008/04/17/new-lawn-cutting-business-goes-green/). This lawn care business owner is REALLY going green.

Here is how he edges using only manpower.
Been there.. done that.. was doing a better job with my gas trimmer especially doing this on a fussy man that has a property on a private island

UniversityLandscapers
04-19-2008, 01:20 PM
My attempts to go green have been a little less extreme than that. Mostly by cutting out chemicals and using a reel mower when I can. I think the whole bicycle idea he had going is a little extreme, plus those hand edgers waste a ton of time and produce a terrible result when compared to a string trimmer.

alehandros_lilbreaker
04-19-2008, 05:58 PM
well that is prety amazing. i guess there are degrees of going green. The point is to find the right balance, to make a difference and still make a living.