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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TheMowMan, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. TheMowMan

    TheMowMan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    It seemes and opportunity has been handed to me. I was tinkering with how to start a mowing business. The apartment comples I live in seems to be very interested in giving me a $4000/month contract. Only one problem... I do not own a mower. I was thinking about getting a push mower and working my way up. Now I am looking a three apartment complexes complete with mowing and bush/tree trimming.... HELP!!!! The terrain is level. What do I buy..... oops one other problem, I have a Chevy Venture Van with a towing capacity of 1800 lbs... rig must be light for transport Maybe next year I can buy a truck.... :) I have been looking at SKAG, John Deer and Walker, even considered Wright Sentar but it looked uncomfortable seating and leaf collector clumsy... Any ideas on all equipment needed to startup
  2. Master Po

    Master Po LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    Most of those machines alone are hovering around that 1800 pound mark. To get a better idea of what will fit you best I will need to know the square footage of these contracts. Sounds to me like the best you could do is a 36 inch WB.
  3. TheMowMan

    TheMowMan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thanks for the idea. I have been looking around and found the eXmark Navigator and it weighs in at about 1200. Anyone have input on this piece of equipment? Of course dealer made it sound like it was good but even he carries Kabota, SKAG, and Toro and thought this was the best.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Don't forget to include the weight of the trailer itself when looking at towing capacity. Are the complexes fairly wide-open mowing, or are there lots of obstacles? Any islands in the parking lots, probably want a 21" for those.
  5. Master Po

    Master Po LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    I don't know how serious you are, but the Navigator may be a little overboard for a beginner. Honestly, I would just buy a tthp.
  6. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    A tthp would be nice but if you really want to save some money, and since the mowing is level, go with a Metro 36 to start. Go with the 15hp kohler on it and get a sulky! $2699 new where i am. Around 500 lbs. too. My 2 cents, hope it is useful!
  7. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,510

    I had planned to buy a new ZTR in the spring, but maybe that is not such a good idea.

    My wb is about 560 lbs. The rain here has been unbelievable, day in - day out. The ZTR drivers are rutting some of their lawns, not making mud, but just a bad looking cut with shadows in the tracks. The wb is not rutting on lawns next door to lawns rutted by ZTR's. No shadows. I do have to stow the sulky because it will definitely make ruts.

    Plus, I would have to buy a bigger truck to pull the additional weight of a ZTR. And buy more fuel.

    I'm tired of walking and sulky standing, but on the other hand, I'm in better shape than twenty-five years ago. The 21 has seen a lot of use lately because of the extreme wet conditions and there ain't much fat left on me.
  8. Master Po

    Master Po LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    Yeah, I missed the part about the level ground. Getting a fixed deck will save lots of money.
  9. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    walkers are only around 800 lbs. trailer and push mower - youre still under weight limit. quite versitle too.
  10. TheMowMan

    TheMowMan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    You guys are great. I always think I have got to go to the top. You are right. I should and could use the exercise and the versatility. I was thinking of the ztr because it seemes to be the end all beat all but after trying one out I am especially concerned about skinning and rutting. They are not all that easy to pilot. Back in my private ownership days I has a Husqvarna with a steering wheel and loved it. Even that could put down some nice skid marks. I think all of you have given me a new perspective that I am wise enough to follow. Thanks again....

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