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bombard16
05-02-2011, 08:51 PM
Hi, I'm new to the forum and new to commercial mowing. I've been awarded a contract to mow for a local school and hope to also add a few residential yards. I am shopping around for mowers and would like input from people that use the mowers regularly and are not trying to sell one to me. I have narrowed my search down to two mowers: Scag Turf Tiger 61" and an Exmark 60" Lazer Z.

Both the Exmark and Scag dealers I have spoken with have 2010 models at a reduced price.

Exmark Lazer Z:
2010 Demo with 50 hours.
Air Cooled
27 Kohler
Dealer Local and offers demo when repairs are done to mine.
Asking $9,700

Scag Turf Tiger:
2010 Never Used
Fuel Injection (can't remember if it's the 29 Kawasaki or 31 Kohler)
Liquid Cooled
Asking $11,500

Are these fair asking prices? Which would be a better purchase?

Thanks for your help! It's been fun reading posts since finding forum.

Kreios
05-02-2011, 09:03 PM
Have you looked at the new hustler super z? They made the 2011 model alot more heavy duty and the warranty is damn near unbeatable. I bought a 66 inch with a 37 hp Kawasaki for $10,600. I also got the dealer to throw in the flex forks and a hitch at no charge. It also comes with a suspension seat. I have a 2009 exmark lazer z and the hustler's ride and controls are so much smoother and more responsive. I have never ran a scag so I can't comment on them but what ever your choice good luck.
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Hell on Blades
05-03-2011, 12:59 AM
Not sure where you're at, but if you don;t even have a mower yet you'd better look at a tractor and a bushhog.

So, I have another business scraping barnacles off boats without pulling them out. I have a fleet that's signed on a month ago. Does anyone know where I can get some SCUBA gear and a scraper???

topsites
05-03-2011, 06:50 AM
See, the thing is you're going to need a lot more than a Z and a weed eater to tackle that school.
When you got soccer and track and other athletic fields among the common grounds, not only is that
a LOT of grass but some of it requires special care, you do know that athletic fields require a special regimen
that will run you into not only thousands of dollars but also tons of labor.

Do you even have the money?

You were not planning on taking out a loan, were you?

BestImpressions99
05-03-2011, 11:54 AM
Firstly bombard you should demo the units you are thinking about. Do you have the money on hand right now to buy the mowers? If not then the guys are right, you've put the cart before the horse.

Big Jake
05-03-2011, 12:40 PM
He has a way to make the mower pay for itself instead of spending 10k and then hoping to land work. Smart IMO.

I run a dixie chopper, its fine, I have no basis to compare it to anything else though. Does a nice job and runs great. The mistake I realized I made after I bought it was buying one too big (60"). Its great on properties that have no fences or gates but It sucks when they do.

specialtylc
05-03-2011, 08:13 PM
See, the thing is you're going to need a lot more than a Z and a weed eater to tackle that school.
When you got soccer and track and other athletic fields among the common grounds, not only is that
a LOT of grass but some of it requires special care, you do know that athletic fields require a special regimen
that will run you into not only thousands of dollars but also tons of labor.

Do you even have the money?

You were not planning on taking out a loan, were you?

What do you know about it? He didnt give any details about how large of a school it is or anything. A single school is no different than doing a small commercial property. Easy to do with A trimmer,push mower and a rider.

RTR Landscaping
05-03-2011, 08:17 PM
Get the Scag,you won't regret it!

chuacro
05-04-2011, 12:41 AM
Tackle that job with your 21 mower untill you can buy a bigger mower. I would have to invest in a larger mower to make it profitable.

rain man
05-04-2011, 01:15 AM
Hi, I'm new to the forum and new to commercial mowing. I've been awarded a contract to mow for a local school and hope to also add a few residential yards. I am shopping around for mowers and would like input from people that use the mowers regularly and are not trying to sell one to me. I have narrowed my search down to two mowers: Scag Turf Tiger 61" and an Exmark 60" Lazer Z.

Both the Exmark and Scag dealers I have spoken with have 2010 models at a reduced price.

Exmark Lazer Z:
2010 Demo with 50 hours.
Air Cooled
27 Kohler
Dealer Local and offers demo when repairs are done to mine.
Asking $9,700

Scag Turf Tiger:
2010 Never Used
Fuel Injection (can't remember if it's the 29 Kawasaki or 31 Kohler)
Liquid Cooled
Asking $11,500

Are these fair asking prices? Which would be a better purchase?

Thanks for your help! It's been fun reading posts since finding forum.

Since I don't have a mower for sale and do use a mower regularly I am qualified to throw in on this one. Upon that premise I venture the following...

Don't go into any more debt than necessary at first. Others will disagree...but this particular post is my personal opinion. Others may post their alternative positions. The glamour wears off a new machine pretty soon but the payment lingers. Good luck.

Hell on Blades
05-04-2011, 03:14 AM
I'll apologize for my earlier sarcasm...

I'm just amazed that a contractor in MAY doesn't have a mower. I'm also wondering how that contractor was able to get insurance, since my GL and Comm. Auto policy both asked specifically what kind of equipment I was running. (Not sure there would be a difference in liabilities, but they asked."

All that said,

Spend as little as you can to get the job done in a reasonable (not the fastest) amount of time. There is a balance. At the end of the day, you should be looking to operate at at least a 70% (solo) profit margin (or 50% with a crew). This leaves you cash to reinvest into the business. Buying the fastest or newest machine only increases your payments, not necessarily the quality of the work.

The only exception to this rule is borrowing at 0% interest. I have very little problem using money for free.

bombard16
05-04-2011, 10:03 AM
Thank you all for you opinions.

In response to your comments about my school contract. I am adding a mower, not purhcasing my first and only mower. As the contracted mower I am not responsible for the sports fields, that is handled by the athletic department. My insurance provider has not requested any information on my equipment. If it is requested I will be able to provide it. My contract begins July 1, that date is based off the state's fiscal year, not a mowing season.