I started with a Scag Tiger Cat 52'' and mainly if my business failed I would have it for the 8 acres of mowing I have to do. Didn't go bigger so I could fit on most properties. I have no problem with rural yards and wide open. Plus, the leave removal and such is faster at 10mph
. When I started doing smaller yards and city ones the 52'' did roughly 75%. The backyards is what gets you if you decide on the bigger ztr. You have to go where the market is. Sadly very few rural yards want mowing because they do it themselves or lack the extra to pay you. The city, business and professional middle class can afford the lawn service, but generally have a 1/2 acre or less depending on area. I used a crappy 21'' fro backyard gates. I picked up this older Exmark Metro 36'' for DIRT cheap on craigslist thank the Lord. He has blessed me with a machine I have limited time to give an opinion on, but I paid $50 for it (guy had no clue if anything was wrong) nor did I and $80 (two drive belts, fuel line, fuel filter, and fuel shutoff valve)=$130 no lie. Needs paint and decals. This has surprised me with QOC being the age and so on never using a walkbehind. I use it on my city yards now leaving the 52'' on the trailer. Here are the results if you need an idea: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.p...=1#post4903539
. Best of luck. If you have any questions I will try my best to answer them, but these guys on here are far more experienced having 15+ years and may have better advice.