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KMack
12-19-2001, 09:51 PM
Hello all,
I am new to this website. This is a really nice site, and has lots of useful information. I was looking for some advice from some of you pro's. I am 16 and live in northern Ohio. I am looking to start my own light residential, and possibly commercial lawn mowing service. Would a new Deere 345 with the 54" deck be a good choice to start out with? Or should I move up to the new Deere X series? I am trying to turn away from ZTR's although I like them a lot. At work they have a Grasshopper 928D with a 72" thats a blast to operate. Anyway, the reason I am turning away from ZTR, is because I need to use this tractor for my own personal use too. I would need to occasionally pull a lawn roller, cart, and various other things. I would also like to get a front snow thrower, or blower, and possibly plow some residential drives. Any ideas or comments? Thanks to everyone, Kyle
:)

lee b
12-19-2001, 10:09 PM
All depends on what you're main focus is gonna be. If you want to mow grass commercially, then the z is the way to go. They are much faster and give a better quality of cut. If you are going to use alot of attachments and just mow occasionally, then go with the tractor. The 345 is a good garden tractor, I have a 335 which is the same machine with an air-cooled engine, it's been great, but since I bought a M665 z, it doesn't do much mowing anymore. I mainly use the tractor for pulling stuff. The z will mow twice as much in the same amount of time and does a better job.:cool:

mklawnman
12-19-2001, 11:01 PM
Hey Kyle
Its great that you found this site at a younger age than me, im only 18, but at 16 i was cutting alot of grass and this site would have helped me alot more back then but as of now this site has helped me alot.
Now getting to your question, you said you are also interested in doing some commercial mowing. Well i have to agree with lee on this one, it depends on how much mowing you do. Before this past season i was using an old JD 314 and a JD 525 thats all. But as i got more residential customers i found that a ZTR is the way to go, and so we bought a Scag Turf Tiger 52inch. My thought is that a JD 345 will do the job fine of cutting and also using attachments for it, but you may end up relizing it will take you longer to use a tractor than a ZTR. IS that X series the new spin steer?? Cause i have heard that you cant put a snowblower on them. Also a tractor like that size costs alot too. Instead maybe look into a Hydro 52inch walkbehind and maybe find a used JD tractor for attachments??
If you are gonna be in this business for a while and want to make profit on your business a ZTR is the way to go, then once established a customer base, you could maybe afford a used or new tractor for attachments.
I like giving advice and hearing things from people my age on here too once in awhile
:cool:
Matt(Lawnman)
Kyle if ya have anymore questions just ask

andyslawns
12-19-2001, 11:17 PM
Hey Kyle! The Jd would work fine for a while, I made the mistake of buying home owners equitment when i started out. it worked fine for 3 or 4 yards, after that it starts wearing out fast. I bought a walkbehind and use it all the time, I still have my tractor for plowing,areating,rolling.....etc. I think it all depends on how much you are gonna do. John deeres ar awsome my Grandpa has a 325. If you get a Jd make sure it is a hydro, That will save you a little time. well got to go , just holler if you have any more questions!!!1

scagman
12-20-2001, 12:23 AM
I think almost everyone starts out with home owner equip as i did i thought that i would get away with this setup for my first year 69 ford blew a head gasket, 2 21inch yard machines, homelite trimmer, 3 wheel edger, and weedeater handheld blower of course this was last year and all this stuff is where it belongs at a homeowners house sold it in garage sale exept for the truck thats in my carport unfixed also 18 years old been in this buis for 2 years

AltaLawnCare
12-20-2001, 09:22 AM
I have a '95 345 w/ 48" deck. Good mower for a LT type. The hydro drive and power steering make it handle quicker than your average LT, but not as quick as a 'Z. I gave $3800.00 for mine used - from a dealer w/ 400 hrs on the clock. I wouldn't pay the big price tag for a new one, especially if your not sure what size of yards you're gonna be mowing.

Start off with the least amount of expense as possible. ;)

johndeere455
12-25-2001, 11:28 AM
A JOHNDEERE 345 is perfect to start out with, that was my choice of tractor when I first started lawncare. I have now moved up to
a JOHNDEERE 455 and a Sabre 2354. You may also want to check the Sabre's out, same features as Johndeere but about $1500 cheaper, same 54 inch deck, same hydrostat and a larger engine,
it's just a different shade of green, but it still has Johndeere's
name on it.

Thanks

stslawncare
12-25-2001, 01:50 PM
a ztr can pull a roller and car and push a snow plow and a blower

johndeere455
12-25-2001, 06:19 PM
ZTR is nice but if your just starting out a ZTR is a little expensive.
I am now considering one for myself, but I have enough yards that it would pay for its self in no time and yes you can pull a yard roller but not as easy as you can with a tractor. Pulling a car? I have never tried it!

The Wright Way Lawn N Landscape

BerksLawn
12-25-2001, 07:30 PM
I think he meant pulling a cart, the only ztr that might pull a car is the dixie chopper with the jet power engine.


Later,
Steve

lawrence stone
12-26-2001, 09:35 AM
In the real world a 52" walkbehind with a stand on sulky would be much more productive and practical lawn mower.

lee b
12-26-2001, 07:19 PM
Stone, why are you trying to hold the man back? Let'em get a z and watch his production soar.:D

KMack
12-26-2001, 09:45 PM
Lets not forget, I am only 16. I dont think I could justify buying a ZTR. I like them a lot, and they are very productive. However, I just dont have the money, and don't like borrowing it. Also I dont have a truck or trailer so I need to spend as little as possible so I can save up for those 2 essential items in the future. Not that a ZTR wouldn't be able to drive everywhere, I just have somewhat of a budget. In the future though I would either like to get a ZTR or commercial front mower. Thanks for all the comments. I am pretty certain I will buy a new Deere 345 with a 54" deck this spring. Thanks again, Kyle

lee b
12-26-2001, 11:13 PM
For the price of a new 345, you could buy a ztr.

David Haggerty
12-27-2001, 07:15 AM
You're ignoring some pretty good advice.

Homeowner grade machines don't make any money mowing commercially. They wear out faster than the money comes in.

Dave

KMack
12-27-2001, 01:18 PM
Locally there are only a few types of ZTR to choose from. If I do get one I would prefer a front mount. Grasshopper, Cub Cadet Commercial, and Deere are the local brands. The Deere ZTR's are rather expensive though, as everything Deere is. My friend has a Cub, and he really likes it a lot. At work we have a Grasshopper as I have mentioned. Excellent machine, my only complaint is the scalping but thats because the 72" was poorly designed. The new Grasshoppers are supposed to have a better cutting system, the ones that they use on the midmounts. My budget is no more than $8,000. Which entry level ZTR's would you guys recommend? Thanks, Kyle

johndeere455
12-27-2001, 07:04 PM
You can get a Toro which is who makes Exmark for less than $8000 with a 60 inch deck just check out their website at www.toro.com but if you are only gonna mow 5 to 8 yards the 345 deere is alot cheaper and will handle them just fine.

The Wright Way Lawncare

lee b
12-27-2001, 07:20 PM
I gave $7500.00 for my M665 last April. My Deere dealer is also a Bush Hog dealer and he priced me a new BH z with 25hp Kohler, 60" deck and suspension seat for $7100.00. But, if you like the tractors, send me a private message, we can deal.:D

LawnMan883
06-06-2006, 10:59 PM
You're ignoring some pretty good advice.

Homeowner grade machines don't make any money mowing commercially. They wear out faster than the money comes in.

Dave
I disagree. i have a Deere 345 with 2100 hours on it and since i boguht it with 238 hours i have made my money back and then some. it cuts very nice and is very versitle. I'm sold on liquid cooled engines and for the money the 345 is a very high quality machine. I use mine all year round for everyting from blowing a foot of snow to vaccuuming leaves to aerating and rolling lawns. I've owned 3 deere tractors and the liquid cooled models i have had have been more reliable they any other piece of equipment i have.

7 IRON
06-10-2006, 11:11 PM
I have sold a ton of 345/GX345's and many for commercial guys starting out.
I would agree that a ZTR is the way to go for mowing effiency,but If your
going to get a garden tractor for versatility,it's a great choice!Powersteering
is a plus:) I will say though, the cut qaulity is not of the 7IRON Decks