Part-time contractor maximizes time with Grasshopper productivity, versatility

Feb 10, 2011

Gary Tobe likes his job, but he loves his side-job. Tobe, a full-time shipping and receiving foreman in Union, Ohio, finds time in the evenings and on the weekends to jump on his Grasshopper and mow 24 residential yards as well as the green spaces at a vet clinic, an Irish club and a local church. “Shipping and receiving is a hard job. I’m tired when I get home,” says Tobe. “But at the end of an evening of mowing, I’m wide awake. I just enjoy doing the work.” And Tobe enjoys his mowing even more with his 722D FrontMount™ mower, his third power unit since he switched to Grasshopper in 1995. “Everything about this mower is great,” he says. "It’s comfortable, relaxing to sit on. And it runs good, it cuts good, and it’s easy to use.” Tobe says that by using Grasshopper, he is able to cut down on the time investment for each property he mows, which in turn helps him mow more yards than he could with a push mower, or even a garden tractor. “I don’t have much time to get the jobs done, since I do this in my spare time,” he says. “I’m mowing 15 acres each week. I try to keep my total time investment to 25 hours a week, including road time.” The maneuverability of the mower helps reduce trimming time and the quality of cut allows him to cut the grass in one pass without mowing back over the same track a second time to get a nice finish. Keeping the mower blades sharp helps, but Tobe says that it’s more a testament to the quality of construction and equipment performance. "The diesel engine has the power to cut through anything,” he says. “It out-cuts other gasoline mowers I’ve used, and it uses half the fuel, which saves me money, too.” The Grasshopper does such a good job cutting grass that Tobe decided to keep it going year-round, so he added a PowerVac™ collection system for leaf removal in the fall, and a snowthrower and winter enclosure for snow removal in the winter. “I don’t do a lot of snow removal, mainly because it’s hard to get out of the warm house to move snow,” says Tobe. When he does brave the elements, he only clears drives for a few elderly clients that otherwise wouldn’t be able to clear driveways and sidewalks on their own. “I just love the snowthrower. We get six to eight inches of snow at a time up here, and the drifts can easily be four feet or more,” he says. “But that Grasshopper and snowthrower mow through those drifts like they aren’t even there. It makes it easy, that’s for sure.” Easy enough to keep going even after a full week’s work, and well into the future. “I’m looking at retirement in a few years,” Tobe says. “When I do retire, I’ll still out there on my Grasshopper. I just love it. There’s nothing else I’d rather do.”

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