Currently, for each crew, we provide three different lawn mowers:
1) Primary mower
Each crew has a primary mower which is a 52″ hydro Ferris. The favorites are the 52″ walk behinds (pictured above). We also have a Ferris 52″ ride on mower but the quality of cut isn’t as good. We have also used a 52″ commercial Wright stand on mower which we didn’t like as well. The quality of cut was not as good, although I love the maneuverability of the wright and there is a little less maintenance since there are less moving parts and it is a simpler machine.
The primary mowers are new machines (0-3 years old) that we finance at 0% interest.
Hydro (Hydraulic) mowers are definitely far superior to belt drive mowers. They are self powered, smoother and more steady operation, and easily move in reverse.
Cost: $7000-$9000, 2-$300 per month.
2) Secondary mower
Our secondary lawn mowers are 48″ and are belt driven. These mowers are used to help finish up on properties where the trimming takes longer than the mowing, or in the case that the primary mower would break down in the middle of the work day. We used to have 44″ Toros which I liked because they fit through small gate entrances, 48’s are usually just a hair too big.
Cost: Used, about $1000
3) Push mower
Lastly, each crew has a 22″ Lawn Boy push mower. These mowers are used to get into areas where other mowers can’t fit. Eventually, we may replace these with larger deck commercial models. For the time being, we have been buying these push mowers new for about $300, using them for 2 or 3 years, and selling for about $50.
At first I stuck with the self push models, in fear the self propelled would be heavier. However, since buying the self propelled the weight difference is nominal and they are much easier to use.
Leaf Collection Box
To perform fall cleanups, you need something to hold the leaves if you plan on removing them from customers’ properties. For the most part, most of the time these are constructed by the landscaper unless you want to invest thousands of dollars in a custom manufactured box. Some landscapers will purchase a separate dump trailer and tow it behind their truck. However, the disadvantage to this is that you can’t bring a lawn mower with you to the property. I have decided that it is best to build it into the dump body of your dump truck, this way you can carry away leaves as well as tow a trailer for your other equipment.
In terms of designs of this box, we have made them of solid wood (plywood and 2x4s) but this is a very heavy design. I tried PVC since it was lighter, but it was not strong enough. At the moment we have settled on a 2×4 frame combined with shade tarp, a strong, lightweight, breathable fabric. More details of the design can be seen in the youtube video below: