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View Full Version : Need assisstance selecting a Z-Turn mower/equipment


sky_lawncare
03-28-2008, 01:53 AM
Jacksonville, FL

New to business.

31 Years Old.

Vehicle: 95 Toyota Tacoma, v6, fully airbagged

Current Equipment:
Echo SRM-230
Echo PE-200

Next Purchase:
Echo or Stihl blower. I've owned a professional grade stihl blower in the past. I guess my biggest concern is that I will have to have a seperate gas can just for the 4-mix if I go with the Stihl. I like the controls on the Stihl as it appears that the throttle controls are located differently on the Echo blowers. The Echo has a slightly higher output.

If anyone has an opinion on that I would welcome comments as to which brand and what model would be appropriate.

I have the unique opportunity to obtain a no obligation, no interest personal loan of about $5,000. With that, I would be looking at purchasing a small trailer and a zero-turn mower.

I've been thinking about this for some time and I think I've settled on a Hustler mower. I'm considering a fastrack super duty 36 or 42. I know if I do some searching I can get some info on which size to go with.

This is such a huge and important investment you want to make sure you get the right equipment however I'm really unsure as to what Hustler product is going to meet my needs best. I decided on hustler after using one at my 9-5 job with the county. We also have use a Gravely. The Hustler is one tough, sturdy machine. Again, input is welcome.

Regarding trailers, i'm not sure what the standard size is that most landscapers use, I have no idea what manufacturers are around here, what makes a trailer good, or how much to spend. I realize I may have to make some compromises to fit my needs for a mower and trailer into the constraints of my budget. I do know that I would like it to have racks to hold the trimmer, edger, blower and equipment fuel.

The purchase of this equipment could happen rather soon, so any CONSTRUCTIVE feedback is greatly appreciated.

kleankutslawn
03-28-2008, 12:41 PM
maybe squeezing it trying to get a zero and a trailer for $5000 if you are trying to get them new

hackitdown
03-28-2008, 04:20 PM
The 4mix uses pre-mixed fuel. Why will you need a different gas can? Different mix ratios?

sky_lawncare
03-28-2008, 04:46 PM
I guess I don't really understand what the 4-mix is. I thought you had to use stihl 4-mix oil, hence a seperate gas can just for 4-mix equipment, and another for regular 2-cycle equipment.

Been trying to search the forum, reading threads.

It may not be possible to get a mower & trailer for 5K. One thing at a time though. I need to know if a 36 or 42" mower is more appropriate. I'm assuming the argument is that the 36 will fit through more openings, but takes longer to mow a lawn. The 42 will speed you up overall but will slow you down if it won't fit through a gate. What is the best compromise?

If I can get some good feedback on this issue I'd like to move onto the trailer dilemma next.

daveintoledo
03-28-2008, 05:01 PM
a decent mower is going to cost more then that... stay away from the homowners stuff, you be sorry if you dont....

in my opinion, the fastrack is just a homeowners mower, wont hold up...

sky_lawncare
03-28-2008, 05:09 PM
well, hustler touts the fastrak as a commercial model, but they elude to the fact that it would be suitable for a home owner or contractor.

When you go to the commercial section of their website they don't have anything smaller than a 52" deck. Given the quality of their mowers, I don't see how the fastrack wouldn't hold up to commercial use. Welded, not stamped decks, gusseted joints, 17-19HP kawasaki engine.

http://www.hustlerturf.com/Web-content/ProductPages/FTSD3642/FTSD3642Page/FTSDpage.html

KGR landscapeing
03-28-2008, 05:09 PM
i have been under the impression that the stihl 4 mix is just a diffrent name for a 2 cycle engine. with better emissons and stuff.

sky_lawncare
03-28-2008, 05:28 PM
Apparently it's a 4-stroke engine that runs off of a pre-mix, so if I understand correctly, you're going to need to make a pre-mix using stihl 4-mix oil, hence a separate fuel can.



Regardless, that doesn't help me figure out what riding mower i'm going to purchase or what deck size is preferrable.

sky_lawncare
03-28-2008, 05:29 PM
Apparently it's a 4-stroke engine that runs off of a pre-mix, so if I understand correctly, you're going to need to make a pre-mix using stihl 4-mix oil, hence a separate fuel can.

http://www.stihl.com/isapi/default.asp?contenturl=/knowhow/producttechnics/stihlengines/4mix/default.htm

Regardless, that doesn't help me figure out what riding mower i'm going to purchase or what deck size is preferrable.

KGR landscapeing
03-28-2008, 05:42 PM
Apparently it's a 4-stroke engine that runs off of a pre-mix, so if I understand correctly, you're going to need to make a pre-mix using stihl 4-mix oil, hence a separate fuel can.

http://www.stihl.com/isapi/default.asp?contenturl=/knowhow/producttechnics/stihlengines/4mix/default.htm

Regardless, that doesn't help me figure out what riding mower i'm going to purchase or what deck size is preferrable.

i would imagine anydeck on a ztr under 60 would be a waste of time

4curbappeal
03-28-2008, 05:46 PM
I would go with the newer Echo PB 755 I believe. Also, check out craigslist.com in your area. There are a ton of good used mowers in the Tampa and Sarasota areas! You can also find a good used trailer on there. 5K is going to be enough to get you started! Just shop around for good deals! I dont think I would blow the entire 5K on a Fast Track SD. Good luck!

sky_lawncare
03-28-2008, 05:54 PM
i would imagine anydeck on a ztr under 60 would be a waste of time

We're talking about residential lawns, I don't think a 60" deck would be appropriate.

I'm thinking the echo blower would be a good bet. I don't mind using a used trailer but i'm a bit funny about buying used power equipment.

I see a lot of guys around here using dixie chopper and exmark mowers.

ALC-GregH
03-28-2008, 07:02 PM
I'm 100% positive I'll use Exmark as my choice when I get things going.

MOWEMJEFF
03-28-2008, 07:30 PM
Do you have any work secured? If not I would not recommend tying up all your money in a ztr. If I had $5000 I'd just get a used 48 w/b with a sulky, a decent push mower, blower and find a 12x6 on craigslist. Take the rest and get insurance and advertising. If you have too much work that you need a rider then you'll have made enough money to afford one. And a 12x6 should hold a w/b and a ztr if loaded right. And redmax8001 blower is the champ of champs imo.

sky_lawncare
03-28-2008, 07:32 PM
I'm 100% positive I'll use Exmark as my choice when I get things going.

Can you quantify your decision for the Exmark vs. other manufacturers?

bmjones17
03-28-2008, 09:43 PM
I've owned two different Exmarks. Both machines scalp like hell. For those of you who ask then why by the second Exmark because it is the only commercial mower I could buy locally. Today I own two different Zero Turns. Dixie Chopper and a Land Pride. There is no other mower( and I have tried them all Ferris to Hustler) that will cut with a Dixie Chopper. The Land Pride is a 48 inch cut and has one of the best articulating arms including Ferris. To me, the Land Pride has one of the smoothest rides. I have owned three DC's in the last 5 years never had a single problem with any of the three and put 700 hours on two of them and 900 on the other. The DC that I have now has about 120 hours give or take a few. Lots of good products out there just depends on your applications. By no means do you need a 60 inch cut to do residential or commercial lawns. I would actuall suggest a 48 inch cut. Then you can use a 5 ft wide trailer and fit through alot more gates. Acreage difference between a 60 inch cut and a 48 inch cut is not that much. My .2 cents hope it helps

KGR landscapeing
03-28-2008, 11:00 PM
We're talking about residential lawns, I don't think a 60" deck would be appropriate.

I'm thinking the echo blower would be a good bet. I don't mind using a used trailer but i'm a bit funny about buying used power equipment.

I see a lot of guys around here using dixie chopper and exmark mowers.

for resi walkbehinds r the way to go. or alot of people say walker mowers because they suck up everything. i am a walkbehind person

freshprince94
03-29-2008, 12:35 AM
Jacksonville, FL

New to business.

31 Years Old.

Vehicle: 95 Toyota Tacoma, v6, fully airbagged

Current Equipment:
Echo SRM-230
Echo PE-200

Next Purchase:
Echo or Stihl blower. I've owned a professional grade stihl blower in the past. I guess my biggest concern is that I will have to have a seperate gas can just for the 4-mix if I go with the Stihl. I like the controls on the Stihl as it appears that the throttle controls are located differently on the Echo blowers. The Echo has a slightly higher output.

If anyone has an opinion on that I would welcome comments as to which brand and what model would be appropriate.

I have the unique opportunity to obtain a no obligation, no interest personal loan of about $5,000. With that, I would be looking at purchasing a small trailer and a zero-turn mower.

I've been thinking about this for some time and I think I've settled on a Hustler mower. I'm considering a fastrack super duty 36 or 42. I know if I do some searching I can get some info on which size to go with.

This is such a huge and important investment you want to make sure you get the right equipment however I'm really unsure as to what Hustler product is going to meet my needs best. I decided on hustler after using one at my 9-5 job with the county. We also have use a Gravely. The Hustler is one tough, sturdy machine. Again, input is welcome.

Regarding trailers, i'm not sure what the standard size is that most landscapers use, I have no idea what manufacturers are around here, what makes a trailer good, or how much to spend. I realize I may have to make some compromises to fit my needs for a mower and trailer into the constraints of my budget. I do know that I would like it to have racks to hold the trimmer, edger, blower and equipment fuel
The purchase of this equipment could happen rather soon, so any CONSTRUCTIVE feedback is greatly appreciated.

As far as blowers I am going through the same dilemma. I am going with either a Stihl BR-420 or Echo PB-620. These are fine units for medium size clean-ups and grass. Don't listen to the guys recommending you the big BR-600s and 755s, you don't need one quite yet. Maybe in a year. I know I will never need one because I don't do very many clean-ups. Anyways, I recommend the 420 and 620. Don't go higher or lower for a while.

Your trimmer and edger are nice units. Wish I could have a 230 but can't afford it just yet. I use the PE-200 and it's a little under-powered for overgrown edges but does the job sufficiently for me.

For mowers, right now don't buy bigger than a 36 unless your doing only huge wide-open lawns. The Hustler FasTrak Super Duty is a Commercial Grade unit, the entry level FasTrak is not. FasTrak 36 would be perfect for you. It is the Mini Z with a different name (PJ in the Hustler forum told me this). The eXmark Phazer is a good unit as well. Just go with the best 36 mower you can afford.

As far as trailers, I am fortunate enough to have a family member that is a god-gifted craftsman. He built an amazing 4x8 trailer that does the job perfectly for me. Best part is, it's all I'll ever need because I will never buy bigger than a 36 due to gates in the communities I service (until I go commercial). A 4x8 can fit a 36 rider. That size should work out fine for you.

Good Luck, and welcome to the business.

sky_lawncare
03-30-2008, 07:31 AM
Thank you, FreshPrince, for an honest and thorough reply to my post.

I've decided to pick up an ECHO PB-620 Blower. I like Stihl just fine but I don't want to bother with the 4-mix if thats my only Stihl equipment, besides, all my other equipment is echo.

I did some phone shopping for a mower yesterday.

The Hustler 36, with a 17HP Kawi was the most expensive at about 6,000 out the door.

The Gravely was a 34" with a 17HP Kawi and it was about 5,500 out the door.

I wasn't able to get a complete quote on an Exmark, but the 34" Phazer comes with a 19HP Kawi. The guy I talked to wasn't the salesman, but he thought they ran about 5,000 - 5200, which would probably be about 5,500 out the door I'm guessing. I'll have to call back and get a final price on that.

I really like the hustler, but the 36" deck probably just barely squeezes through gates with the discharge chute removed, plus it's the most expensive.

Don't really care about the Gravely.

The exmark, with a 2HP larger engine than competing models might end up being the best bet for the price.

As far as trailers, i'm going to have to skimp a bit since the mower is already blowing my budget. I know I should buy the biggest trailer I can afford but that is just going to have to wait. Going to call around for prices next week and shop around on craigslist and equipment trader for a used one.

I'm going to keep my county job for now and take my time learning this business and build it up slowly.

I have some unique ideas on how to structure it. I think I'm going to flip the business model on it's head. Keep watching and I'll post my plan here pretty soon.

Thanks for the feedback.

cgaengineer
03-30-2008, 10:15 AM
I would purchased a used WB and a used trailer...you should be able to get a good used WB for about $2500-$3000 and a 5x8 trailer for around $500. A new 5x8 around here will set you back $850 and a 6x12 is not much more at around $1000.

Look at used Toro and Exmark...your money is better spent going with a WB at first in my opinion.

I started/am starting with a WB, my next or second mower will be a stander.

cgaengineer
03-30-2008, 10:19 AM
Wow...only a 1 year warranty on the Hustler Fast Trac when used commercially...you may as well get a used machine if thats the case.

sky_lawncare
03-30-2008, 06:00 PM
Hey CGA, I see we both have tacomas, you should check out customtacos.com if you get a chance. Lots of great truck info there.

I mean, why go WB if I can get a rider? I'm down with the used trailer, but to invest 2-3K in a used piece of equipment I have to walk behind, no way.

Didn't find any commercial application specific warranty info on Hustlers site, but it says there is a 2 year warranty on the machine.



Probably looking at the Exmark right now for the price/engine combo.

MOWEMJEFF
03-30-2008, 08:49 PM
I heard theres a recall on tacomas and theyre giving people 150% of the resale value.? I'm not sure which make/model/year but tha may be worth looking into.

SkyLawncare
03-31-2008, 12:56 AM
Yeah, it's regarding frame rust, primarily in areas that salt their roads in the winter.

http://blog.lexus.com/2008/03/living-up-to-ou.html#more

No issues with mine.

lhenryp1
04-01-2008, 02:53 AM
Jacksonville, FL

New to business.

31 Years Old.

Vehicle: 95 Toyota Tacoma, v6, fully airbagged

Current Equipment:
Echo SRM-230
Echo PE-200

Next Purchase:
Echo or Stihl blower. I've owned a professional grade stihl blower in the past. I guess my biggest concern is that I will have to have a seperate gas can just for the 4-mix if I go with the Stihl. I like the controls on the Stihl as it appears that the throttle controls are located differently on the Echo blowers. The Echo has a slightly higher output.

If anyone has an opinion on that I would welcome comments as to which brand and what model would be appropriate.

I have the unique opportunity to obtain a no obligation, no interest personal loan of about $5,000. With that, I would be looking at purchasing a small trailer and a zero-turn mower.

I've been thinking about this for some time and I think I've settled on a Hustler mower. I'm considering a fastrack super duty 36 or 42. I know if I do some searching I can get some info on which size to go with.

This is such a huge and important investment you want to make sure you get the right equipment however I'm really unsure as to what Hustler product is going to meet my needs best. I decided on hustler after using one at my 9-5 job with the county. We also have use a Gravely. The Hustler is one tough, sturdy machine. Again, input is welcome.

Regarding trailers, i'm not sure what the standard size is that most landscapers use, I have no idea what manufacturers are around here, what makes a trailer good, or how much to spend. I realize I may have to make some compromises to fit my needs for a mower and trailer into the constraints of my budget. I do know that I would like it to have racks to hold the trimmer, edger, blower and equipment fuel.

The purchase of this equipment could happen rather soon, so any CONSTRUCTIVE feedback is greatly appreciated.

Go with whatever blower you can use the same gas can with. I would start with an Echo handheld that fits your budget. Don't be ashamed to even go with Homelite if you have to!

Forget the "no obligation" loan. That is a gift and you don't need it.

Forget the Hustler...Get your but on craigslist and buy a decent used WB in your price range...and if it is a 21" so be it.

If you go with a 21" do you need a trailer? What I am trying to say here is build what you need and don't choke yourself with debt. You will have much more staying power if you are debt free.

bmjones17
04-01-2008, 03:03 AM
What? Thee is absolutly no reason to buy a walkbegind unless you are mowing slopes leave alone the guys comment about a 21 inch mower. If that is what you would have to do you are wasting your time getting into this industry. You can not economically survive with the wasted hours of a 21" mower . That was a ridiculous comment. And your time per job must mean nothing to you. People are on here trying to get help and you make suggestions like that????

Alta Lawn Care
04-01-2008, 08:00 AM
What? Thee is absolutly no reason to buy a walkbegind unless you are mowing slopes leave alone the guys comment about a 21 inch mower. If that is what you would have to do you are wasting your time getting into this industry. You can not economically survive with the wasted hours of a 21" mower . That was a ridiculous comment. And your time per job must mean nothing to you. People are on here trying to get help and you make suggestions like that????

I can't agree more. He's in Florida! Is there one hill there? Get a zero turn. I was looking at Snapperpro which is a Ferris without the suspension. The pricing is very competive. They have a 0% for three years financing program now in effect. Buy the 21" mower if you are in high school and doing it part time, have no insurance, and have no interest in the value of your time or making money.:laugh:

sky_lawncare
04-01-2008, 08:35 AM
Finally, someone who understands! :laugh:

Yeah I'm just starting, but I'm not in high school. "Time is Money" was never more relevant than in the lawncare business. Profitability rests on how fast while maintaining a professional result. I can get a 5-6K gift/0% interest loan. The increase in productivity by getting a rider will pay that off in a season easy.

I'm really funny about buying used power equipment. Used, abused and ridden hard. I will buy a used trailer though.

The 34" exmark phazer may be the one to go with.

The exmark has a 19HP Kawi where as others only have the 17HP Kawi. The hustler seems overpriced, but it is a 36".

bmjones17
04-01-2008, 09:51 AM
Finally, someone who understands! :laugh:

Yeah I'm just starting, but I'm not in high school. "Time is Money" was never more relevant than in the lawncare business. Profitability rests on how fast while maintaining a professional result. I can get a 5-6K gift/0% interest loan. The increase in productivity by getting a rider will pay that off in a season easy.

I'm really funny about buying used power equipment. Used, abused and ridden hard. I will buy a used trailer though.

The 34" exmark phazer may be the one to go with.

The exmark has a 19HP Kawi where as others only have the 17HP Kawi. The hustler seems overpriced, but it is a 36".

If you have a dixie chopper dealer around you. Give them a look. They may not look as flashy but the best built in my opinion. Ride superbly and nothing cuts with them apple to apple.

sky_lawncare
04-01-2008, 10:25 AM
Man, Dixies are pretty expensive. The exmark seems to be a good compromise between price and performance. I still need to buy a trailer. After I've been in business awhile, depending on how well I've liked the exmark I'll look at dixie and hustler next time.

Just got some quotes:

Exmark Phazer 34" = 5200.00 = 5563.99 out the door at tools for a time.

For a 6x12 single they want 1135
For a 7x14 tandem they want 1700 :eek:

I called allpro trailers:

For a 6x12 single = 970
For a 6x14 single = 1074
For a 6x12 tandem = 1290
For a 6x14 tandem = 1390

So all in all the 6x14 single axle for 1074 sounds like the best bet.

CLARK LAWN
04-01-2008, 10:33 AM
a 36"or a 42" cut witha z is about a waste of money a w/b would be more efficient. as for the stihl 4 mix you dont have to use separate gas/oil mix you can use the same gas in all your 2-strokes. you can buy a brand new 36" w/b for about 3000-3500 and still have money left for trailer and blower.

sky_lawncare
04-01-2008, 10:57 AM
Well, the exmark viking walk behind does 6.2 mph. 2.2 in reverse.

The phazer does 8mph. 5 in reverse.

I see you're in Ohio.

Later this summer when it's 112 degrees with 100% humidity here in Florida you tell me that the phazer won't speed things up.

I can claim a loss on this business for up to 3 years. I plan on reinvesting most of the profit back into the business for equipment and vehicles during that time.

If a rider costs $2,000 more than a walk behind, but speeds up the job by even 5 minutes. That could mean enough time saved over the course of a day to service one more account adding 35.00 to the bottom line.

That means that the increase in productivity for the better machine would pay for itself in under 3 months.

That means that over the remaining 5 months of the season it could mean an extra $3,500 in gross earnings, not to mention an additional $2,000 in deductions at the end of the year. And I didn't have to walk.

Seems worth it to me.

As for the 4-mix, I called a dealer and you're right. You can use standard mix. I'm sure Stihl wants you to use their brand but theres no telling how using non-stihl formulated mix could affect the equipments life span.

KGR landscapeing
04-01-2008, 12:37 PM
Man, Dixies are pretty expensive. The exmark seems to be a good compromise between price and performance. I still need to buy a trailer. After I've been in business awhile, depending on how well I've liked the exmark I'll look at dixie and hustler next time.

Just got some quotes:

Exmark Phazer 34" = 5200.00 = 5563.99 out the door at tools for a time.

For a 6x12 single they want 1135
For a 7x14 tandem they want 1700 :eek:

I called allpro trailers:

For a 6x12 single = 970
For a 6x14 single = 1074
For a 6x12 tandem = 1290
For a 6x14 tandem = 1390

So all in all the 6x14 single axle for 1074 sounds like the best bet.

tandems pull much nicer and rnt so hard to back up. just cant pick them up by the tounge and move them around thou

bmjones17
04-01-2008, 12:45 PM
Man, Dixies are pretty expensive. The exmark seems to be a good compromise between price and performance. I still need to buy a trailer. After I've been in business awhile, depending on how well I've liked the exmark I'll look at dixie and hustler next time.

Just got some quotes:

Exmark Phazer 34" = 5200.00 = 5563.99 out the door at tools for a time.

For a 6x12 single they want 1135
For a 7x14 tandem they want 1700 :eek:

I called allpro trailers:

For a 6x12 single = 970
For a 6x14 single = 1074
For a 6x12 tandem = 1290
For a 6x14 tandem = 1390

So all in all the 6x14 single axle for 1074 sounds like the best bet.


You should be able to buy the 36 inch dixie for well under $5 grand. Exmark in Tennessee is extremely more exspensive than Dixie here. I'm telling you it is the mower to have if you are goint to have alot of gates to get through even if you dont get a Dixie. I think that would suit your budget fine and increase your dollars per hour.

sky_lawncare
04-01-2008, 01:06 PM
You should be able to buy the 36 inch dixie for well under $5 grand. Exmark in Tennessee is extremely more exspensive than Dixie here. I'm telling you it is the mower to have if you are goint to have alot of gates to get through even if you dont get a Dixie. I think that would suit your budget fine and increase your dollars per hour.

Well,

The 34" exmark Phazer with a 19HP Kawasaki is 5200.

I called a Dixie dealer, their 34" Silver Eagle which only comes with a 27HP Generac is 5999.

27HP for a 34" mower is way overkill and Generac isn't the most well established brand in the industry. At my county job they bought a new 60" Gravely and it only came with a 25HP Kawasaki and let me tell you it does 15mph!

I'm still inclined to believe the exmark is the best value I've found so far.

supercuts
04-01-2008, 01:41 PM
ive said it before on here, i should copy and paste. more important, IMO, is dealer service. most commercial machines are close, they all have pros and cons. all mowers break too. and when they do, you better have a good dealer who will stand behind the machine and fix it fast for you. id stop by a few local dealers, speak to someone about how fast they can get it fixed if it goes down. tell them your starting and want to build a long term relationship. i dont like all the brands my dealer sells but i buy though him because he goes the extra mile for me.

once you find a good dealer, come back and ask us to pick between the brands he sells.

good luck

sky_lawncare
04-01-2008, 01:54 PM
Well,

The Hustler dealer sucks, noone even helped me when I was in there walking around the mowers.

The Gravely dealer isn't much better, they never call you when a part you've ordered comes in, it takes them 15 mins. to track down a part, and they gave me the wrong part before.

The John Deere dealer, I took my residential push mower in one time, two weeks later they hadn't looked at it, finally the mechanic walked over, pulled the string once and said it was toast - no charge -, duh, but 6 months go by and I start getting billed for it. Took me 3 months, including going to the store in person, bill in hand to get them to stop billing me.

I haven't been, but I think tools for a time is probably pretty good, they actually sell the exmark I'm looking at. They offer financing, ground up equipment packages - etc.

lhenryp1
04-01-2008, 03:51 PM
What? Thee is absolutly no reason to buy a walkbegind unless you are mowing slopes leave alone the guys comment about a 21 inch mower. If that is what you would have to do you are wasting your time getting into this industry. You can not economically survive with the wasted hours of a 21" mower . That was a ridiculous comment. And your time per job must mean nothing to you. People are on here trying to get help and you make suggestions like that????

No reason??? How about the reason he can't buy it without a gift?

C'mon boys, he doesn't even own a mower yet, doesn't have a single yard to mow and you are telling him go spend 6K on a new mower.

How about getting some accounts first, using the 21" or abused scag WB and THEN deciding what is the best mower for the jobs?

Naive.........

lhenryp1
04-01-2008, 03:55 PM
I can't agree more. He's in Florida! Is there one hill there? Get a zero turn. I was looking at Snapperpro which is a Ferris without the suspension. The pricing is very competive. They have a 0% for three years financing program now in effect. Buy the 21" mower if you are in high school and doing it part time, have no insurance, and have no interest in the value of your time or making money.:laugh:

Well he is doing it part-time and pretty sure he doesn't have insurance now.

lhenryp1
04-01-2008, 04:02 PM
Do you have any work secured? If not I would not recommend tying up all your money in a ztr. If I had $5000 I'd just get a used 48 w/b with a sulky, a decent push mower, blower and find a 12x6 on craigslist. Take the rest and get insurance and advertising. If you have too much work that you need a rider then you'll have made enough money to afford one. And a 12x6 should hold a w/b and a ztr if loaded right. And redmax8001 blower is the champ of champs imo.


Common sense!

SkyLawncare
04-01-2008, 04:05 PM
Look guys,

I have a full time job already, so I don't have as much pressure on me starting out.

I don't argue the fact that I could get off cheaper.

I want to do this so I can pay off some debt, dabble, and see if it's viable to do full-time.

If nothing else I will do it, regardless of how much my initial investment is, until I at least break even. And if I decide to quit, at least I'll have some kick-butt lawn equipment for the house.

I'm not 18 years old. Since I refuse to finance anything, if I didn't have some start-up capital available to me then I would probably go with a commercial Honda mower. Then I would probably graduate to a walk-behind. Regardless, having the ability to get a rider will boost productivity, hence profits, hence rate of return on investment.

bmjones17
04-02-2008, 11:24 AM
No reason??? How about the reason he can't buy it without a gift?

C'mon boys, he doesn't even own a mower yet, doesn't have a single yard to mow and you are telling him go spend 6K on a new mower.

How about getting some accounts first, using the 21" or abused scag WB and THEN deciding what is the best mower for the jobs?

Naive.........

Are you even in the business. There is absolutley no reason to by a walkbehind unless there are slopes. The don't mow any better. In fact they are slower. IF your case is right why not just buy a 21" murray from wal-mart and try to look professional. Disgrace. Have pride in the industry!

bmjones17
04-02-2008, 11:31 AM
No reason??? How about the reason he can't buy it without a gift?

C'mon boys, he doesn't even own a mower yet, doesn't have a single yard to mow and you are telling him go spend 6K on a new mower.

How about getting some accounts first, using the 21" or abused scag WB and THEN deciding what is the best mower for the jobs?

Naive.........

Lol are you even in the business??? wow? Thats like saying I need a back hoe but I'll start with a shovel? Go get your 21" push murray and I'll bring my equipment and lets see who maximizes time and profits. $40 bucks says you don't win?

THRIFTY
04-02-2008, 11:57 AM
Towing a trailer with a bagged truck could prove to be interesting...Post up some pics! Does it lay frame? I know semi trucks are bagged, but on a commercial setup. Are you worried about reliablility? Just a thought.....

SkyLawncare
04-02-2008, 08:26 PM
I don't plan on using my truck for very long. I'm already looking at picking up an 4.3L S-10. As far as being bagged, it was professionally done and it's been extremely reliable. In fact, I can haul MORE weight than when I had leaf springs. Believe me when I say it's a temporary solution.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/buttscratcher5000/DSC01199.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/buttscratcher5000/DSC01189.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/buttscratcher5000/DSC01219.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/buttscratcher5000/DSC01210.jpg

As far as the original intent of the post, I've decided I'm going to get a rider, the only REAL question is am I correct in going with a 34"?

bmjones17
04-02-2008, 11:37 PM
How big are the lawns you are planning to take care of? acre or less ? More than an acre? Bigger than two acres? Are there alot of privacy fences? gates ?If the money is taken care of, these questions should answer what size deck you need.

freshprince94
04-02-2008, 11:43 PM
SkyCaptain:

That Phazer is a great unit, it has the best engine out of all the ones you mentioned and cuts great. I also agree with you buying a rider rather than a W/B. These guys don't understand how walking around in the 100 degree FL heat is!! BTW, I'm in Central FL so I understand how hard it is working lawn care here.

Don't use a 21 unless you're absolutely cash strapped. I hate using a 21 but it's all I can afford.

And finally, sweet truck!

SkyLawncare
04-02-2008, 11:51 PM
For those with positive comments, I appreciate it, although sometimes a rude awakening and reality check is appropriate :o

My plan is to initially restrict myself to residential subdivisions, so, smaller lots with fences and gates being more frequent. As I rationalize the situation, for the lots without gates a little wider deck will finish the job quickly, but if I can't get through a gate, anything gained will be lost,

whereas a 34" deck will go anywhere, will be a little slower overall but I'll make the time back anytime I need to squeeze into a backyard.

Overall I think the 34 is the most versatile. If things go well I may invest in a 60" next year and have the best of both worlds.

Hopefully I'll be getting my business license sometime this week.

I'm not in a huge hurry so I want to take my time and do things right, but I am eager to start earning some extra money, plus the season is upon us, but I believe there is always opportunity.

MOWEMJEFF
04-04-2008, 02:01 AM
Common sense!

you must be talking about the redmax:laugh:

seriously though, just trying to help out the noob, i wish someone told me that 3 years ago then i wouldnt be a year behind where i am....then again i didnt find lawnsite till last year, wouldnt be where i am today without you guys help.:drinkup:

kleankutslawn
04-04-2008, 02:36 AM
yep this site is great

Stillwater
04-04-2008, 03:03 AM
i would imagine anydeck on a ztr under 60 would be a waste of time

Why.........?

KGR landscapeing
04-04-2008, 06:42 AM
Why.........?

how many gates are you gonna find that you can stick a 60 threw

Stillwater
04-04-2008, 07:42 AM
how many gates are you gonna find that you can stick a 60 threw


Exactly.... but your quote was any deck UNDER 60 is a waist of time....so if a gate is under 60 why would a deck under 60 be a waist of time

KGR landscapeing
04-04-2008, 11:28 AM
Exactly.... but your quote was any deck UNDER 60 is a waist of time....so if a gate is under 60 why would a deck under 60 be a waist of time

i am a walkbehind person. i feel that you shouldnt need a Z enless you have some place thats gonna let you cut 5ft wide

MOWEMJEFF
04-04-2008, 12:36 PM
i am a walkbehind person. i feel that you shouldnt need a Z enless you have some place thats gonna let you cut 5ft wide

In my area EVERYONE runs walkers...you go 50 miles north towards the mountains and ive heard of companies running 10 walk behinds, no ztrs, because of all the slopes once you get into the foothills of the mountains, it all depends on your location and your customers...whoever said anything smaller then a 60 is a waste of time is probly from kansas and just thinks "that john denvers full of ****"

SkyLawncare
04-04-2008, 05:25 PM
Lol, not just from the difference in productivity argument,

Accuweather says it's 37 in Solon, Ohio and 86 right now in Middleburg, Florida.

Next time it's 115 degrees with 100% humidity dead summer in Ohio, you give me a call. :)

KGR landscapeing
04-04-2008, 08:20 PM
Lol, not just from the difference in productivity argument,

Accuweather says it's 37 in Solon, Ohio and 86 right now in Middleburg, Florida.

Next time it's 115 degrees with 100% humidity dead summer in Ohio, you give me a call. :)

well how about 90 and 90% humidity cause it gets there. or how about you call when u get 20 plus inchs of snow. we all fight diffrent battles. i just feel the walkbehind is the heart of any resi mowing company its always been.

MOWEMJEFF
04-04-2008, 09:16 PM
1 vote for Maine...perfect summers for the lake...winters sking and sledding...aka Vacationland

supercuts
04-05-2008, 09:35 AM
you drive that thing??? sell it quick before a customer sees it. i dont think id hire anyone showing up to my house in that thing

Alta Lawn Care
04-12-2008, 11:58 PM
I'm not 18 years old. Since I refuse to finance anything, if I didn't have some start-up capital available to me then I would probably go with a commercial Honda mower. Then I would probably graduate to a walk-behind. Regardless, having the ability to get a rider will boost productivity, hence profits, hence rate of return on investment.

Skylawn care,

I have a good friend who refuses to borrow also. His business grows SLOOOOWLY. I'm not advocating borrowing wildly, but I'd ask you to consider what most successful companies do--they use other people's money to grow their business. In other words, they don't save up (tie up) all their money to buy real estate or equipment.

Being a frugal person myself, It takes a while to get used to being in debt, but when you see your company, its cash flow, and the bank account grow, it's amazing what you can get used to!

P.S. I started part time in '06 and netted $1,700 (in the black). In '07 I netted $17,000. (ten times the amount). I'm hoping the trend continues . . .:rolleyes:

P.P.S. NIIIICE truck man--never seen one like it.

ffemt1271
04-13-2008, 12:20 AM
i know shindaiwas C-4 equipment uses the same 50:1 as everything else

milkie62
04-21-2008, 02:32 AM
The way I started was to find which mower I wanted and find some zero % financing.Got my ZTR for 36 mos interest free and my trailer put on a zero % 15 mo credit card.Now just hustle and roll everything to another % card if everything not paid for in alotted time