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Old 08-26-2013, 06:29 AM
UNIQUElawncare UNIQUElawncare is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Columbia, Kentucky
Posts: 33
zero turn or riding tractor?

anyone ever start out with a riding tractor in there new business or is that not a good idea? I'm trying to do this debt free. I have almost everything I need except the zero turn mower.
current equipment:
husq/ trimmer
polan chainsaw
2000 chevy siverado 2wd
12' lift gate style trailer ( getting my trimmer racks fabed up now)
various rakes, shovels, etc.
purchasing a new back pack blower
and two 48" riding tractors that I would like to use until I can pay cash for a new zero turn, I also do cabinetry and wood working and was going to use that avenue as well to help fund the zero turn!
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:35 AM
Vecchio Lawn Care's Avatar
Vecchio Lawn Care Vecchio Lawn Care is offline
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Location: Bel Air, MD
Posts: 906
zero turn or riding tractor?

Why not sell the two 48" and buy a used ztr
19 Years Old

John Deere
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:39 AM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: St. Joseph, MI
Posts: 1,750
ZTR and you should probably have some kind of push mower - a 21", perhaps, used is fine.

With the two 48" tractors are you planning to have a helper or did you just end up with two lawn tractors? I do not know your personal finances but if I were in your position I would try to find a ZTR with 0% interest, then sell the two tractors and either pay down the loan or keep it on hand to help with cash flow in year one. Others may have better ideas.
Michigan PABL
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:58 AM
round about round about is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: port republic, md
Posts: 17
The first answer is keep with the two riding mowers. One as a back up. Two question is how good are they and what brands. How much grass are you planning to cut? I was cutting up to thirty acres a week with my John Deere 285 with a 50 in mower. I had my orginal Troy Bilt Lawn and Garden Tractor as a back up. I ran both for years before buying my first John Deere Walk Behind mower and John Deere 455 HD tractor and add a Toro Titan Zero Turn. I have a different mower for each type of mowing contract I have. Each mower has its own propose. The John Deere 455 is my everything tractor from plowing to loader work to heavy grass mowing. My two zero turns are my two other mowers. I would look at buying a nice used Zero Turn Rider or a cheaper lower end ZTR.
Most not a home owner ZTR. If you go to a home owner unit go to the top end if possible. The Toro Titan with the 54 in mower has fill most of my middle size lawns and some of my larger small lawns 1.5 acres. But still my John Deere 455 fills my 2.5 acre plus size lots.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:06 PM
UNIQUElawncare UNIQUElawncare is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Columbia, Kentucky
Posts: 33
I just happen to have the two tractors on hand one is a cub cadet and the other is a huskee brand from tractor supply. Both are about 4 to 5 yrs old. My goal is to end up with a ztr but I want to do it without borrowing money so I was hoping to try and get through the better part of a season with the two tractors, one for back up and save my revenue from mowing to purchase the ztr, but if clients pour in and I have to get one to keep up I will.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:28 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 3,856
I started with a 20" Sears push and a JD 180 42" rider.

Cuts great. Not as fast as a ZTR but I have no problem keeping up with the work that I have.

I would say the best thing to do is use what you have for now and save your money so you can pay cash and stay debt free.

You get more work then you can handle you can get a PT helper and run both of your riders if you still need to build up cash.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:05 PM
round about round about is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: port republic, md
Posts: 17
You have a very good starting point at this time. Do not load your business with the extra debt. I did that at the start of my business and almost lost everything the third season when the first housing market fell out back in the early 1990. Save up the cash and find a very nice used low hour ZTR or a very nice entry level unit. I look almost three years and talking to may other lawn services on there ZTR and most of all the local dealers with full service shops. When I replace my John Deere 455 tractor with another ZTR mower its going to be a Ferris IS3100Z or a Larger Toro ZTR. I the last five years I have replaced most of my equipment with newer or new equipment and all cash purchases. 32 vid is on spot on his advice.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:32 PM
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smokenjoe_10 smokenjoe_10 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Black Earth wi
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best of both worlds yes not as fast as a zero turn but darn close and I swear by them get a all wheel steer tractor. I can go head to head with my grandstand and my JD is faster speed wise but the Toro can turn around that half second faster.
1997 Ram 1500
2005 Ram 2500 HO Cummins
2014 K&K 20ft landscape trailer
2013 x739 4x4 with 54in HC deck / 60in HD Broom
2015 John deere z930R 54in deck
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:09 AM
UNIQUElawncare UNIQUElawncare is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Columbia, Kentucky
Posts: 33
thanks for all the advice guys! I am picking up potential customers already and I think I'm going to go the route of starting with my current equipment. I love the idea of "debt free"!
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