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Stihl Cordless Mower Suitable???

I am considering taking on a potential contract in a country park which is currently being maintained ( if you can call it that) by the local council.

They use ride on mowers and whizz around leaving a very poor job with cuttings left in situ.

My Plan is to cut using a Cordless Stihl RMA 765 V pedestrian mower and collect cuttings ( mulch every so often also)

The area to cover is split into 4 separate areas totalling approx 4 acres. Each area Varys in size the largest being approx 1.5 Acre. Not all areas need cutting on the same day as I live on site. The intention is to cut each area  every 2 weeks .

does anyone have any experience with the Stihl mower, and do you think this is a feasible proposition.

any advise greatfully received.

TIA

 

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Replies

  • I would strongly advise NOT mowing four acres with a hand mower of any sort. The sheer amount of time needed would be totally unfeasible, making your price far too high to get the job in the first place or meaning you would be working for peanuts. There would be many trailer loads of grass clippings also.

    What you need is a ride on mulching mower. You will get a perfect ‘grass collection’ type of finish but without the collecting and without the days of walking up and down, not to mention the time taken to dispose of the grass clippings.

    I have work of this size and believe me, the thought of hand mowing it makes me shudder. Also be aware that Councils tend to work very cheaply compared to most private contractors, as they are subsidised by the council tax. I have come across this a lot. My District Council will mow a 4.5 acre playing field for less than £50. I quoted for a 3 acre football pitch last year and discovered the Council were doing it for £33. I only have one hand mowing job, which is very small and that is £35. So 3 acres for £33. We can't compete with that.

    If you get the work and want to improve standards then a ride on mulching mower is the way to go. This is the finish I get with both of mine.

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    • Thanks for tour input Vic. I appreciate that it doesn't sound a great proposition.

      my thinking is, since it is a country park the 0 emmisions amd low noise will allow long periods of work without upsetting Visitors and each area could be done on a separate morning. I have estimated about 2 to 2hr hors mowing per acre so 4 mornings a week would be easily enough time.

      i must add this is not my main income, this is a a bit of additional labour to keep me outta trouble and supply a bit of beer money.

      thanks again Vic will defiantly take your comments on board. 

      • I think your timing estimate is on the optimistic side Martin. I have a 4.8 acre playing field, which I now sub contract out, but last year I was mowing it with a John Deere Z535m. It has a 48 inch deck and will mow at 8.5 mph. There are a few obstacles to go around but it is mainly a wide open space. It used to take me three and a quarter hours. So about 1.5 acres [7260 square yards] per hour. If it was a wet, warm spring and the grass got long between cuts, it could take longer. This was without the mulching kit and with side discharge, so I was able to mow very fast.

        You also have to consider not just the noise of the mower in terms of disturbance, but also the time you are there on site. So a battery mower might be very quiet, but if you are there for long periods, this in itself will cause a disturbance to visitors if you are in the way or if they have to avoid you for H&S reasons. Whereas using a fast ride on, although noisier, would mean you won’t be there very long and therefore not in anyone’s way.

        I am certainly not trying to put you off Martin, but I have been doing this for 35 years and have in the past been caught out myself when estimating how long a job will take.

        • Hey Vic

          thanks for that, you bring up a valid point that I never even thought about, the time I would be operating in the area.

          i based my timings on walking at 2.5 mph which I think is fair and covering approx 3/4 an acre before battery requires recharge.  
          My site is divided into 4 areas one of 2 acre and 3 of 0.7 acre so lends itself well to 5 separate cuts.

          i appreciate you have been doing this for a long time and as such have a much greater understanding of the potential pitfalls I will therefore give this some greater thought before I jump in 

          thank you

           

           

          • hi Martin yes a ride on better and i think you would be recharging the batteries many many times just to do one cut. i have a lot of cordless mowers some are pro models but they soon cane the batteries especially if cutting plenty off or damp grass. best to take manufacturers claims with a pinch of salt on how many square metres battery mowers cut, me thinks. maybe a few battery ride ons becoming available but very expensive

            • Thanks for the reply Billybop, will take your advice on board. Can't see me being able to justify the cost of a battery ride on TBH.

              `I guess if I'm honest, I just like the idea of Battery operated equipment due to the quiet enviromental issues, a massive investment and possibly time consuming but I'm sure it would appeal to a certain proportion of the public.

              As far as the Park work goes, after reading Vics post, i think it is probably very improbable that i would be able to match the local authority price, so am now considering larger gardens to be my target audience.

              • hi Martin yes the good quality battery kit is lovely to use, for most large lawns I use the Bosch GRA53 mower [now discontinued I believe] which I have had around 5 years. This takes 2 batteries and will run for up to an hour on each set..It is built like a tank with amazing build quality and only maintenance is changing the blade occasionally. These were originally 1200 quid body only but I ended up buying 3 brand new machines for that price as in the UK at least the market was not ready for them. I bought 6 batteries [ie. 3 sets of 2] on a deal and after 4 seasons of use and hundreds of charges still working fine. Despite this I recently bought another 6 batteries as they came up at ''only'' 150 quid per battery, which should see me out. I could still sell my 6 old batteries on Ebay and get 100 pounds each but I like having 12 of them lol. As for electric ride ons I know Ryobi made one a couple of years ago but think it never made it to the British market and was lead acid batteries I believe, there maybe some more high end machines but probably the price of a luxury car 

  • PRO

    Are you hoping to sell the battery operated benefits to the council?

     

    My experience of local councils... They talk like they care about environmental issues etc. but it all ultimately comes down to cost first and forget everything else when they have got to sort out budgets.

    • Hi Seth

      Not so much to the council, as i believe you are probably right in your assessment of their priorities.

      my position is probably very different to many of you on this forum. i have a. Funtime employment as a firefighter so have all my basic bills etc covered however i have plenty of time off which i have for the last few years used to volunteer in the lcaal park where i rent a property. I have managed to persuade them to pay me for some of the work i do, and would like to expand on this and keep myself busy whilst earning a bit of pin money. Not looking to poach anyone's work or anything like that, just get out a do a bit, and battery power seems to me the way things should be going especially in this industry.

      Good to hear Billybops experience of battery equipment is fairly positive.

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