View Full Version : What mower should I buy?

01-20-2011, 12:22 AM
Just starting my business from scratch. Tired of working for others, time to go into biz for myself. Looking to do mainly residential mowing, 25 -35 average sized lawns per week, full time.
Here's what I'm working with:

$3000 - $5000 for a mower. I think I need a zero turn between 48"-52", please correct me if I'm wrong. Whats going to be my best bet for my money. Would definetly prefer new. Durability, longevity and reliability are my biggest concerns as this one piece of equipment will be my only source of income.

What should I buy?



01-20-2011, 12:45 AM
First off you better double your budget for a new machine. What size yards are you wanting to mow?Do they have gates?Do they have hills or a lot of uneven ground?There doesn't seem like much difference between 48"-and 52" but a 48" will fit in areas where the 52" won't.A walk behind will do hills better than a ZTR but not as fast on ground speed.
Brands depends on preference.One will say one is better than the other.Just stick to a good commercial brand as:Ferris,Toro/Exmark,Hustler,Dixon,Scag,Gravely.

01-20-2011, 12:49 AM
1/4 acre residential lots. Just trying to get started. $5000 is the MAX I can spend at this time. Whats my best bet? Used? For $5 g's I think I should be ble to get something reliable. Am I wrong?

01-20-2011, 12:49 AM
5 k will maybe buy a new COMMERCIAL walkbehind or a HOMEOWNER ztr. I would find a good used COMMERCIAL mower Or walkbehind to start with and see how things go.
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Puddle of Oil
01-20-2011, 12:56 AM
buy a great dane surfer 52'', their like 5,200 brand new. i put 500+ hours and 4+ years on mine and its running strong, no problems at all.

what are you gonna do for marketing?

01-20-2011, 12:58 AM
thats my next question...... I'm hearing flyers/postcards, newspaper ads, craigslist and good old door to door and word of mouth. Any suggestions?

01-20-2011, 01:00 AM
Direct mail campaign, door hangers, and word of mouth. Door to door is usually not well recieved here
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Puddle of Oil
01-20-2011, 01:04 AM
local paper, yard signs on nice lawns, put a decal on your truck..http://www.buildasign.com/.

01-20-2011, 01:50 AM
Just getting started.. I would buy a decent used machine for as little as possible.. You have no customers yet.. correct? What if things don't pan out the way you were hoping and you want to unload the equip? You will lose less money on the used... 1/4 acre lawns.. no need for a rider. Good luck.....

Puddle of Oil
01-20-2011, 02:49 AM
true, if you have no accounts dont stretch to far to buy a mower. a simple commercial walk behind will do, save the rest for marketing.

01-20-2011, 04:56 AM
I use a 48" John Deer walk behind on my residentials. I got the darn thing when I first stared out for $500 because a friend left it at his house and moved. He didn't know the first thing about it, but it ran great and I have never had a problem with it. Its not too big for resis and its not too small that your wasting time. I actually prefer it and use it more than my newer mower. I have it pulled apart this winter to paint it, but should be good for a few more seasons.

01-20-2011, 07:30 AM
I vote for this as most original thread of the decade!

01-20-2011, 09:00 AM
I vote for this as most original thread of the decade!

We will go over this again next week in case you forget.

01-20-2011, 09:05 AM
Is that $5000 total for the entire business start-up or just for a mower?

01-20-2011, 09:14 AM
I bought a 48" Giant MOW by Giant Vac,a walk behind when I bought my first house. The lawn consisted of rolling terrain and covers about 3 acres. After mowing it with a push mower,there had to be a better way.. It had a 15 hp Kawasaki v-twin electric start/pto and was belt drive. Great machine, paid around $1200.00 new.
That kind of set the stage for the mowing business. I had lots of people that suddenly wanted me to mow their yards, why not I already owned a trailer.
That was years ago, since gave it to my father who now mows about 10 small lawns a week in his retirement, the exercise does him good, and it gets him out of my hair too...The machine still runs great and cuts well too.
I guess my point is don't put the horse before the cart. aka. Don't spend all your money without any customers or at least a big lawn at home to mow.

01-20-2011, 10:19 AM
get a stander or walk behind first, 1/4 don't take zero turns very well. i have both and the stander type mower are the way to go if you can find one. don't buy new either. first timers should buy used, buy a stander with under 500 hours and it should last you a long time, long enough for you to figure out what is the best setup for your lawns.
great dane, everride, toro gravely john deere all make nice standers, scag and exmark also but they are new and are harder to find used ones right now.
check for dealers, i got a toro stander and love it and dealer support is everywhere.

01-20-2011, 10:35 AM
The only issue I have with any stander in a small yard is weight. At 800lbs. plus your body weight on them being new at it you can cause ruts in a soft yard.

01-20-2011, 03:11 PM

2008 HUSTLER FASTRAK 44 US $2,400 500 Hours; 18 hp; Stk #: 1054198; HUSTLER 18HP 44" DECK;

looks like a nice machine and Reynolds Farm Equipment is in your area and they have loads of used walk behinds too

01-20-2011, 08:41 PM
the 36'' stander rut, but i never had a problem with rutting with a 48'', 52'' everride or great dane, or my toro, the john deere on the other hand i did have problems, it weights 1200 without anybody on them, and in the spring if you didn't change directions every week you could tell and some yards are to small to change every week. it has the best cut but to heavy

01-20-2011, 09:10 PM
Starting out buy good commercial used equipment. You don't need a ZTR for those sized yards. Spend your money smart on good brands. Get a good used walk behind, a good trimmer, and a good blower. You can always add when you get more customers. You might want to have a cheap push mower for a backup since you would be buying used equipment. Worse thing you can do is have your equipment in the shop and miss cutting your customers lawns. Always have a backup.

01-20-2011, 09:25 PM
Just getting started.. I would buy a decent used machine for as little as possible.. You have no customers yet.. correct? What if things don't pan out the way you were hoping and you want to unload the equip? You will lose less money on the used... 1/4 acre lawns.. no need for a rider. Good luck.....

Good advice, overall !!

01-20-2011, 10:12 PM

Go here and read this,,, then come back and ask what you need,,,, most of it will be in this thread!!!

I started with a used Husqvarna 48"W/B

01-20-2011, 10:37 PM
Great Dane went out of business years ago.

Puddle of Oil
01-20-2011, 10:45 PM
Great Dane went out of business years ago.

oops, brain fart!

they've been bought by a couple companies the past few years but they went out last year.

01-24-2012, 11:53 AM
I got a snapper pro s50x last spring great mower at a low price. Got mine for around $5000. Would buy one again. Had no trouble with it what so ever. Going to get a vac for it this spring. It should do a great job with a vac.

01-24-2012, 01:16 PM
i have snapper and will NEVER buy one again... they shouldnt even be on the same yards as say scags.... scags is the only mower ill ever buy again... but it i was you and cutting that small of yards i would buy a used stand behind exmark and cut a year with it... that and a small trimmer and any blower and see how it goes... dont blow all your money on equipment because you are going to work for free for a few months maybe even the first years trying to get your business going