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Old 03-30-2011, 07:07 PM
fastlane68 fastlane68 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SW Ohio
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What to buy?

I am fairly new to the lawn care business but after going from under employed to unemployed I had to become self employed and so far so good. With that said, I need to upgrade to better equipment on a budget. I have been looking around at used equipment and I have found a 61" Bob Cat zt225 with 18XXX in great shape, new belts and pulleys, 1 season on the tires, new blades, extra set of belts, dealer serviced once a year and owner maintained the rest of the season. No leaks anywhere and the pumps and motors look new but they are original. I can get it for $3100. I am also looking at a Lesco 54" for similar money and hours. Lastly I have an opportunity for a Kubota ZG 20 with a 54" deck for $2000 with 1800 hours.

My alternative is to go new and take advantage of mfg 0% financing with a budget of about $5000 so I looked at a couple including the Cub Cadet Z Force 60S and the Z Force 54 or the Husqvarna MZ6128ZT. I know the Cubs are hopped up MTD mowers but I am not sure on the Husqvarna. I can't afford down time and I was wondering if anyone on here could help me make the right decision.

If I go new I know I get the advantage of warranty but that doesn't help with down time if they need service. I also know that the new ones are not considered commercial units. That is not a huge deal to me if they are good quality though because I only have around 30 yards to mow and none are larger than 1 acre, most are city lots. I live in Ohio and my season starts this week and runs through October normally. Last year I put about 100 hours on the unit I had but part of that was due to it being in the shop (lesson learned - stay away from the big box stores when it comes to equipment)

So anyway, can you experts with real worl experience help steer me in the right direction?

Thanks.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:25 PM
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MOturkey MOturkey is online now
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bolivar, MO
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I suspect more than one person will recommend you buy a walk-behind, rather than a Z at this time. I've never run one, because I was in the position to purchase a new Z for cash when I started my business, but if your budget is a problem, you can get a lot more bang for your buck with a walk-behind. You could buy one new unit, with a warranty, or even consider picking up a couple of used units, so you would always have a backup.

If the WB route doesn't appeal to you, I'd consider spending more money, if you are financing anyway, and going with a full commercial unit. If there is a Gravely dealer near you, the 100 series of their Pro-Turn model might fill your needs nicely, and would not be all that much over budget. Also, check and see if your Gravely dealer has signed up for their new program whereby if your mower breaks down, they will give you a brand-new demo unit to use until yours is repaired.

If no Gravely dealer nearby, there are many other makes that would meet your needs as well. Good luck.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:49 PM
fastlane68 fastlane68 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SW Ohio
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I have considered that route as I could use the excercise. I am a big guy with a bad back. But I failed to mention that my yard is about 3 1/2 acreswith lots of obstacles. I am however planning on buying 1 walk behind unit for the smaller yards and those with narrow gates so sugestions there are appreciated. Right now we only do foreclosures for one company but we plan on adding a couple more accounts soon so hopefully soon I will be to the point where I can afford all new equipment and adding 2 full time employees but that is probably not until next season. As for the Gravely I have not seen any or researched the dealers. Most dealers here in Se Ohio sell Exmark Bob Cat Cub Husqvarna Dixie Chopper and Dixon. I have seen some Gravelys on craigslistso there must be a dealer somewhere near.
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