View Full Version : Just starting out and need some info on equipment

03-26-2002, 04:52 PM
I am looking to start a new venture in the lawn care field. I currently am a sales person and am just sick of being behind a desk. I want to start out the right way and buy the right equipment. I think I would like to buy a zero turn mower but which one is the best? From what I have read I am leaning to the Exmark but is this the right one or should I look at something else. New or used? Asking for alot on my first post huh?:D

mdb landscaping
03-26-2002, 05:04 PM
First of all welcome to the site. There is a search engine in the top right corner that has hours of reading material. As far as what equipment you need, it all depends on how many properties you plan to service. I have a 60 inch exmark lazer z and love it. Ztrs are a costly item, but really save you time when mowing. Maybe if you give us some more background, we could recommend some equipment.

Doc Pete
03-26-2002, 05:55 PM
I'm not big on riders, but that's another topic. Anyway, regardless of what you buy, you'll need a walk behind. My vote is for a Hustler Hydro 48. They have a great discount structure, which is many hundreds of dollars cheaper than any other top quality machine. I'll be the first to admit, though, they aren't overly popular. Nevertheless, there is no other machine that is as simple to operate, stronger built, faster or more accurate to use, and all with absolutely no physically tiring impact on your hands, shoulders and arms. FWIW, after dumping my other brands of walk behinds and bought my Hustlers, my hourly rate increased by $10/hour, without any other changes in my mowing style. Furthermore, the calluses on my hands have disappeared (the wife loves that), plus I'm not picking thorns out of my hands like I used to, when I was forced hold onto the "hand lever", as I went past rose bushes, and other appropriate "hand shredding" material :D :D .

03-26-2002, 06:03 PM
Thanks for the fast replys. You brought up a good question that I was asking myself. Hopefully I will be doing alot of mowing. I think I will be doing more residential than commercial. I think, but not sure that the walk behind will do a better job as far as getting in and around the "stuff" in peoples yards. Now the zero turn seems to be able to mow faster and still be pretty good getting around also. Am I right? Should I look at getting both?

Again thanks so much. I would hate to buy something and regret it later.

Doc Pete
03-26-2002, 06:30 PM
I'm sure all the people on this forum will add some great information and personal experiences. FYI, you sound like myself when I started out. It sounds like you may be a perfect candidate for a walkbehind and velky. It's much cheaper than a rider, and very honestly is a very good working system. I usually do all the trim mowing first, taking notice if there are any spots the velky won't like. Then, I attach the velky and blast around making fast work of the open sectons. Currently, in my area, you can walk out the showroom door with a 48 Hustler hydro with 17hp Kaw and two wheel velky for $5,000 (+/-) $100.
For Pete's Sake

mdb landscaping
03-26-2002, 06:32 PM
hey switchless. what happens if you switch internet providers? you going to change your LS name then too?:D

Doc Pete
03-26-2002, 06:40 PM
Hey guy,
And I thought this forum would be boring..... NOT :p :p :p
They say "the grass is alway greener"......... Well, actually, that's only if it's one of my accounts :D

03-26-2002, 07:20 PM
If you can afford to buy a new machine that is the best way to go. You will know exactly what maintenance has been done on it. If not, try to find a good small engine shop to check out any mower your really considering.

eXmark w/b's are top notch. You can't beat the cut and performance. They are very low maintenance and the quality is awesome. The factory guys are always there to help. They really know their mowers.

Good luck and I'm really glad to see you've used the search to read up on the mowers before you posted. Shows that your willing to put forth the effort.

03-26-2002, 08:56 PM
Most commercial mowers are comparable to each other. However, dealers are not. Do not buy a mower from a dealer without knowing how the service department handles business. I made that mistake. I could have bought a Crapsman and been better off with good service.

03-26-2002, 09:58 PM
well first of all i would like to welcome to the biz.
now if you are going to do more res than comm. then i would reccomend a 36" w/b (exmark)lol for the sole purpose of gated yards. or a 48"w/b and a 21" intermediate mower for the backyards(not recomended)but you have got to start somewhere

03-27-2002, 12:03 AM
If you get a walk behind make sure it's a hydro because gear shifting is slow and a bit awkward. However, I don't recommend starting off with a wb. A ZTR is SOOOO much more convenient. If you go for a smaller deck, say 52 or below and an air cooled gas engine like a Kohler Command you won't be spending that much more than for a big hydro wb. Of course you will always need a small (21") push mower for tight spaces too.

03-27-2002, 11:26 AM
Thanks again for you opinions. I just got back from looking at a 25hp Kohler Scag 61. Nice machine, I think. They had a demo 2001 with 160 hrs on it for $7400. I think I can get him down some on this. I am also going to go look at an Exmark with the same hp and a 60" deck. From what I have read both of these machines are good. But is one better than the other? What about a Gravely or a Dixie Chopper? I am going to buy hopefully in the next week and just don't want to make any mistakes.

Doc Pete
03-27-2002, 12:41 PM
If you aren't doing larger lawns, or those that allow a "turning point" (driveway, sidwalk, etc.) you may find out the time needed to spin a larger rider around, and not marr the ground (those annoying brown grassless divits every 3 ft.), that a walkbehind may work out better. Also, the big heavy riders need to able to mow the lawn a different way each time or the ground will take a "set", and look really poor. Actually, any lawn looks better mowed a different way each time. Keep this in mind when you bit, too.........
For Pete's Sake

03-27-2002, 01:31 PM
Try to buy the best commercial equipment you can.Stay away from the used stuff if at all possible. If I was you I would try to start off with a good ztr. Check out all your dealers in the area to find someone who fits best with you. You could do a search on ztr brands and make your choice there.

03-27-2002, 02:11 PM
dont mean any bad ,by this buti suggest u park in a densly populated area and count the lawn care trucks u see.
compare that to other type service trucks. u may get
what im trying to say.
any way a good walk behind with the new hydralic controlls,
might be a good bet.