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View Full Version : Good zero turn for start up


Clean N Green
10-10-2009, 09:52 PM
Im starting my company in Spring of 2010. I have almost ten years of landscaping experience. What is a good zero turn for start ups. I will be doing mostly residential and have about 15 customers lined up.. Most are about 10 to 15 k square foot lawns.. Advice please

Jay Ray
10-11-2009, 02:53 PM
Fortunately you really know what you are doing now. You know your price range and how to pick a unit from within that range.

I see a lot of 60's on subdivision small lawns, but a 40 to 48 would be better imo. Depends a lot on gates where you are.

Lafman
10-12-2009, 09:22 PM
I cut about the same sized yards. I bought a Toro 42" with a 21 HP for $2600 plus tax. It works great, plus i can get it the majority of the homeowners backyards. Those that I can't, i use my Toro 22 self propelled. Use a Maruyama trimmer and Echo edger. All work great.

good luck

LushGreenLawn
10-12-2009, 09:37 PM
I would buy a good used commercial Zero Turn or Walk Behind, something around 48".

Do not buy the $2600 homeowner toro that above poster reccommended. It is not designed to cut 15 lawns a week. Most homeowner equipment will start having major issues the first or second year when used to cut more than a couple of lawns per week. It is designed for one largeer lawn per week.

Lafman
10-13-2009, 08:37 AM
The major difference between a "more" commercial duty toro than the one i recommended is the deck. The one i purchased has a stamped deck vs. a welded deck. The engine is the same which is what really matters in my opinion. While the more commerical duty ZTR's are bigger, what good is it to have one if you can't use it to cut the homeowners backyard. Why buy a huge lawnmower to cut a small frontyard? This person, like myself is just starting out. It doesn't make good business sense to pay for an over-priced lawnmower than can only be used for 50% of the yard. I am assuming he will be a single operator. He doesn't need a $10k mower. But, to each his own.

txgrassguy
10-13-2009, 08:54 AM
First of all this has been discussed many times here - do a search for the multitude of answers.
Secondly, the best mower in the world isn't worth squat without decent dealer support.
So, find a dealer you can establish a good rapport with, discuss your business plan and aspirations with the dealer to determine what level of support you are going to receive.

Jay Ray
10-13-2009, 11:00 AM
The major difference between a "more" commercial duty toro than the one i recommended is the deck. The one i purchased has a stamped deck vs. a welded deck. The engine is the same which is what really matters in my opinion. While the more commerical duty ZTR's are bigger, what good is it to have one if you can't use it to cut the homeowners backyard. Why buy a huge lawnmower to cut a small frontyard? This person, like myself is just starting out. It doesn't make good business sense to pay for an over-priced lawnmower than can only be used for 50% of the yard. I am assuming he will be a single operator. He doesn't need a $10k mower. But, to each his own.

If it is a matter of getting going, or not getting going, then yes, the $2600 42" Z is an option that will work for now.

But Toro makes a commercial 40" subcompact Z for around $5.5k that is much better and will last many years longer.

Granted, that extra 3k is a lot of scratch to come up with or make payments on.

Not mentioning wb because the OP said Z. But I started with a 32 wb and still had gates in old Biloxi it couldn't get thru.

LushGreenLawn
10-13-2009, 12:58 PM
The major difference between a "more" commercial duty toro than the one i recommended is the deck. The one i purchased has a stamped deck vs. a welded deck. The engine is the same which is what really matters in my opinion. While the more commerical duty ZTR's are bigger, what good is it to have one if you can't use it to cut the homeowners backyard. Why buy a huge lawnmower to cut a small frontyard? This person, like myself is just starting out. It doesn't make good business sense to pay for an over-priced lawnmower than can only be used for 50% of the yard. I am assuming he will be a single operator. He doesn't need a $10k mower. But, to each his own.

Toro commercial mowers use a hydrolic system, vs. The cheap hydrostatic in the timecutters, not to mention a heavier frame (first time your timecutter is stuck in a ditch you will bend the frame pulling it out). Last time I checked the timecutters they were using a briggs engine, what engine does your have on it?
Posted via Mobile Device

LushGreenLawn
10-13-2009, 01:00 PM
If it is a matter of getting going, or not getting going, then yes, the $2600 42" Z is an option that will work for now.

But Toro makes a commercial 40" subcompact Z for around $5.5k that is much better and will last many years longer.

Granted, that extra 3k is a lot of scratch to come up with or make payments on.

Not mentioning wb because the OP said Z. But I started with a 32 wb and still had gates in old Biloxi it couldn't get thru.

You don't have to go new. I bought my JD717 for 4k with 66 hours on it, still under warranty. They had an identical mower with 200 hours on it, no waranty for $2700.
Posted via Mobile Device

LushGreenLawn
10-13-2009, 01:10 PM
If it is a matter of getting going, or not getting going, then yes, the $2600 42" Z is an option that will work for now.

But Toro makes a commercial 40" subcompact Z for around $5.5k that is much better and will last many years longer.

Granted, that extra 3k is a lot of scratch to come up with or make payments on.

Not mentioning wb because the OP said Z. But I started with a 32 wb and still had gates in old Biloxi it couldn't get thru.

You don't have to go new. I bought my JD717 for 4k with 66 hours on it, still under warranty. They had an identical mower with 200 hours on it, no waranty for $2700.
Posted via Mobile Device

Lafman
10-13-2009, 03:56 PM
Toro commercial mowers use a hydrolic system, vs. The cheap hydrostatic in the timecutters, not to mention a heavier frame (first time your timecutter is stuck in a ditch you will bend the frame pulling it out). Last time I checked the timecutters they were using a briggs engine, what engine does your have on it?
Posted via Mobile Device

It has a 21Hp Kohler Courage. The trick is to NOT to get the mower stuck in a ditch! lol..I'm just saying as an initial investment, for the size yards he will be cutting, the amount of yards he will be cutting that the mower i use will suffice. The biggest problem as i see why most mowers don't last per se is because the majority of the time, the person that is operating the mower isn't the owner of the mower. They work FOR a company. Being that I am the owner and operator, I take care of my equipment. Its how i make a living. I don't get in a hurry(because i don't need to cut 25 yards in a day to make money), i take my time and make sure my equipment is in tip top shape EVERYDAY. It didn't pay for me to buy a 60" superduper mower to cut a front yard that could be cut with a pushmower in 20 minutes. In my neck of the woods, new homes are situated on a small lot, with a small gate. For the larger yards(mine is 100 x 150), it takes just a few minutes longer to use my 42" vs a 50" or bigger. The price difference just didn't make dollar sense to me. I may be wrong about buying a Toro, but seeing that every golf course i have ever played on uses Toro, plus i own a Toro self-propelled, plus they have been in business for years, thats what i bought, not an overpriced, superduty yardhog which i don't need.

Jay Ray
10-13-2009, 05:23 PM
You don't have to go new. I bought my JD717 for 4k with 66 hours on it, still under warranty. They had an identical mower with 200 hours on it, no waranty for $2700. Posted via Mobile Device

Great deals. Never seen anything comparable around here.

Hoy landscaping
10-13-2009, 05:32 PM
Most homeowner equipment will start having major issues the first or second year when used to cut more than a couple of lawns per week. It is designed for one largeer lawn per week.

hes exactly right. my husqvarna tractor started to crap out after the second year. now yea i was only cuting a few hours a week, but i put 250 on it

mobileboy
10-14-2009, 11:27 AM
Great deals. Never seen anything comparable around here.

GOOD GRIEF! I'd have 2 at those prices! 40-60% more for same units here!!:hammerhead:

LushGreenLawn
10-14-2009, 05:48 PM
It has a 21Hp Kohler Courage. The trick is to NOT to get the mower stuck in a ditch! lol..I'm just saying as an initial investment, for the size yards he will be cutting, the amount of yards he will be cutting that the mower i use will suffice. The biggest problem as i see why most mowers don't last per se is because the majority of the time, the person that is operating the mower isn't the owner of the mower. They work FOR a company. Being that I am the owner and operator, I take care of my equipment. Its how i make a living. I don't get in a hurry(because i don't need to cut 25 yards in a day to make money), i take my time and make sure my equipment is in tip top shape EVERYDAY. It didn't pay for me to buy a 60" superduper mower to cut a front yard that could be cut with a pushmower in 20 minutes. In my neck of the woods, new homes are situated on a small lot, with a small gate. For the larger yards(mine is 100 x 150), it takes just a few minutes longer to use my 42" vs a 50" or bigger. The price difference just didn't make dollar sense to me. I may be wrong about buying a Toro, but seeing that every golf course i have ever played on uses Toro, plus i own a Toro self-propelled, plus they have been in business for years, thats what i bought, not an overpriced, superduty yardhog which i don't need.

I hear what you are saying. If it works for you, great, but I would not go around recommending it for people getting into the business. That kind of mower will not hold up to the 15 lawns per week this person is planning on cutting, no matter who is doing the mowing. It is just not designed to. Golf Courses Toro Golf Course quality equipment, not $2600 Toro Timecutters.

He is asking advice on what to use when starting a business, and the best advice, the advice that you will see from seasoned professionals,that you will see over and over again on this site is a used ZTR or Walk Behind. It will hold up far better than a residential grade zero turn, for not much more money.

Keep in mind, a Kohler Courage is not a commercial engine. It is a cheap engine that kohler built to compete with low cost engines. Its in the same category as Tecumseh and Briggs.

LushGreenLawn
10-14-2009, 05:49 PM
GOOD GRIEF! I'd have 2 at those prices! 40-60% more for same units here!!:hammerhead:

The mower only costs $6300 new...

Lafman
10-14-2009, 07:29 PM
I hear what you are saying. If it works for you, great, but I would not go around recommending it for people getting into the business. That kind of mower will not hold up to the 15 lawns per week this person is planning on cutting, no matter who is doing the mowing. It is just not designed to. Golf Courses Toro Golf Course quality equipment, not $2600 Toro Timecutters.

He is asking advice on what to use when starting a business, and the best advice, the advice that you will see from seasoned professionals,that you will see over and over again on this site is a used ZTR or Walk Behind. It will hold up far better than a residential grade zero turn, for not much more money.

Keep in mind, a Kohler Courage is not a commercial engine. It is a cheap engine that kohler built to compete with low cost engines. Its in the same category as Tecumseh and Briggs.

It does work for me and will work for him also. I cut between 20-25 yards a week. Have been at it now for 7 months.(I know what your going to say..he is a newbie, doesn't know what he is talking about.) and have not had a single problem. Only time will tell. When STARTING a business, all facets have to be taken into account, including startup costs. Like i said, why pay 2-3 times for a mower than itsn't needed for the application. Sure, it may last 10 years. I don't want a mower for 10 years. I'd rather start small, invest in better equipment once a profit is being made. I personally know of 3 other guys that have bought the same mower. All are very glad they did. In our applications, an overpriced McMower isn't needed. I say keep your startup costs low, be competitively priced, do a great, not a good job and business will come your way. Worked for me so far. I love getting yards from a 3-man crew job. Every single time its the homeowner that approached me, not the other way around. From what i see, speed and a lack of quality work is good for my business. The seasoned pro does have the volumn of work but personally i don't need it, hence no need for the big mowers, etc. Like i said, to each his own, and time will tell.

mobileboy
10-15-2009, 08:47 AM
The mower only costs $6300 new...

I know. That's how steep a used 717 is here. The one you listed at $2700 would be at least 4k here, prob much more.:clapping:

LushGreenLawn
10-15-2009, 09:53 AM
It does work for me and will work for him also. I cut between 20-25 yards a week. Have been at it now for 7 months.(I know what your going to say..he is a newbie, doesn't know what he is talking about.) and have not had a single problem. Only time will tell. When STARTING a business, all facets have to be taken into account, including startup costs. Like i said, why pay 2-3 times for a mower than itsn't needed for the application. Sure, it may last 10 years. I don't want a mower for 10 years. I'd rather start small, invest in better equipment once a profit is being made. I personally know of 3 other guys that have bought the same mower. All are very glad they did. In our applications, an overpriced McMower isn't needed. I say keep your startup costs low, be competitively priced, do a great, not a good job and business will come your way. Worked for me so far. I love getting yards from a 3-man crew job. Every single time its the homeowner that approached me, not the other way around. From what i see, speed and a lack of quality work is good for my business. The seasoned pro does have the volumn of work but personally i don't need it, hence no need for the big mowers, etc. Like i said, to each his own, and time will tell.

You've been using your mower for 7 months, give it a few more, and you will be having problems.

I can't understand why all you new guys want to tell guys who have been in business for years, and have "been there done that" how things work. This mower will not work for him in the long run. After a year and a half when it breaks down, he will have to spend another $2600 on a mower. How is that starting out cheap? This is my last response on this thread, the new guys obviously know the best ways to do things.