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General Talk

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Old 06-29-2008, 10:21 PM
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Default Productivity

This year I decided to try to start a grasscutting business. I did my advertising and got a few clients. I went to buy a mower and every dealer of course tells me their mower is the best made. I bought a Scag 36 Freedom Z a zero turn riding mower. The Scag dealer told me that it's great because I could get through gates were other mowers couldn't. I ended up with 14 accounts my problem is this its taking me 2 days to get all these lawns done. I don't bag any of them so that doesn't slow me down. As far as the getting through the gates I have 3 accounts that have gates. The 36 inch WILL NOT go though the gates. So I have to cut them by hand UH. I checked to see if I could get the Scag retrofitted with a 48 inch deck the dealer told me no? My accounts are close together so thats not an issue the accounts being far apart. I thought maybe I would try to trade in my mower for another bigger one but another landscaper told me I probally won't get squat for a 36 inch riding mower, its new with only 45 hours on it. I have heard Scags are the best mowers but I have had my issues already, its a really heavy mower and its leaves impressions in the lawns. I cut in a different pattern every time and I get bounced around because of the last impression. I lost 2 customers because they didn't like the way the mower cut. I could hire another person but I am really thin they way things are already. This 36 inch rider is killing me I should have gone with a 48 inch. Anyone have any suggestions about what I could do to get things done faster? Also what brand of mower is a good one?
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:55 PM
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That is a very good question and an interesting situation.

I guess first off, I am wondering how wide is the mower? Is it 36" wide in total or is it wider due to attachments? Also how wide are the gates that it won't fit through? Are they really close to being 36" or a lot narrower?
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:00 AM
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Default mower

buy a 60 inch and then buy a small walkbehind for were that will not get into
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:49 AM
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Welcome to our forum. What kind of mowers do you use and recommend?
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:29 AM
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Default Equipment selection.

Hello and welcome to the forum.

Proper equipment selection is something I always attempt to learn more about. Buying the wrong mower can really put you in a bind. It is terrible having the wrong piece of equipment. We have mentioned on this forum that the cutting width is often not the width of the deck as there will be a natural extension of width for the frame of the mowing deck. It is always wise to measure a deck, gates of yards, and your trailer to make sure they all work with one another before making a purchase.

Here are a few suggestions for your other question.

1) Are you mowing when the grass is wet or the ground is soggy? The mower you describe really shouldn't make indentations on solid, dry ground.

2) Have you checked your tire pressure? Incorrect pressure may increase rolling resistance and damage the turf during turns.

3) Are you trying to make up time by travelling too fast? Bumpy ground and a high mowing speed will give a very uneven cut and make the grass look bad.

4) Do you have the correct tires on the mower. It seems unlikely but maybe the tires you have on your machine are not designed for turf mowing.

If it comes down to selling this mower, how much of a loss are you willing to take in order to buy the correct equipment and make your business life easier and more profitable?

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Old 06-30-2008, 08:13 AM
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The mower I have is 36 inches wide all around. The gates are about 30 to 32 inches wide so there is no way this mower is going to make it through. When I was bidding out jobs I went with what the dealer was telling me that I should be able to get my mower through. I cannot afford to take a loss on the machine at least not at this stage of the game. Knowing what I know now I should have gotton a bigger mower and the yards with a gate I would have to do by hand any ways. But 48 inches would make the other yards go faster. The Scag is just a heavy mower its like a Sherman tank. Anyone know of a lighter good quality mower?
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:17 PM
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From what I've been told, Scagg's parent company is a steel manufacturer. Thus their machines are built like you said "a sherman tank". It'll last forever before the frame or deck rots thru but they weigh a ton. I do like that the leading edge of many of their decks are slanted outwards rather than a flat wall, This allows the grass that gets pushed over by the front of the deck time to stand back up fully prior to being cut by the blade. I was told it makes for a nicer cut...
Due to 6-7 months of rainy weather here & steep ditches & canal banks, I choose not to go with scagg based on the excessive weight. I bought a 52" Yazoo/kees that has worked well for me so far. I will tell you though it seems to me any commercial 48-52" machine is going to weigh around 850-900 lbs + fuel + operator. A full sized ZT is going to compress the soil & crush the grass a bit. You just have to alternate cutting patterns as much as possible. I have had to explain to several customers reasons why in certain areas the tracks are so defined.... the 1st pass along a seawall or the bottom of a drainage ditch I can only cut those passes in one pattern (along the bottom of the ditch, or along the seawall) the rest of the middle areas I can change it up.
You could go with a commercial walk behind with a sulky to put less weight on the tires though?
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gate, mower width, productivity

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