Help...2nd thoughts about lawnmower?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JeffW0011, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    I have been planning on concentrating on residential this year. With this in mind I had decided to start my fleet with the Exmark Phazer 34". I thought this would be perfect for gates and such and would have less potential to damage a customers yard because of it's light weight. I have yet to put out a single piece of advertising and am already getting word of mouth calls. I know I have 6 properties already lined up (only 1 of which has a gate) and I am suddenly in the running (strongly) for a large but simple job that pays well. So things are already going better than I expected. If I land this bigger job, I will be at close to 40% of my first year customer(revenue) goal without even putting out a flyer. My dilemna is this: let me preface it by saying that in my situation money is not a huge issue. I have adequate working capital and credit to reasonably do what I need to do. Should I buy a bigger mower?? I am worried in 2 months I will be kicking myself in the butt that I got the 34" inch. I may then have to buy a bigger one, which I could do, thus having the Phazer and a 52" or 60" Exmark ZTR. Even though I have the money, I can't afford to waste any. I was thinking about going up to like a 52" out of the gate, which will probably set me back $1200-$1500 more depending on my negotiations with the dealer, and then buying the Metro 26" walk behind for my gate yards. Those run about $1400. So I would be looking at about $7500 in mowers going this way. Or am I better off to buy the $4500 Phazer, knowing that I may well have to buy a $6000ish mower in a few months...or maybe not... But if I did, now I would have between 10 and 11k in mowers. I already have a brand new Yard Machines trimming mower....Saying things go decent, which option will I be happier with a few years from now? So the question boils down to this.....Would you rather start with a 52"ZTR and 26"WB or with the 34"ZTR and wait to see, but fairly certain you will need another larger one soon? Would the 34" ZTR end up being a good utility mower or will it just gather dust on my trailer?
    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  2. 4curbappeal

    4curbappeal LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 761

    I was in the same boat as you this time last year. I opted for a 36 inch wb for the same reasons. As it turned out, I only had two gated props (out of 26) including my own. I pretty much wore myself out on that 36, doing lawns up to about an acre. This year I purchased another(larger) wb and feel that I have a pretty good setup! To make a long story short - get a good idea of what type of lawns you know you will be cutting before you purchase a mower. Good luck!
     
  3. 4curbappeal

    4curbappeal LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 761

    Jeff,

    I probably wouldn't go with a riding ZTR under 52 or 60 inches. A wb is much more versatile in my opinion! Any one else have an opion!
     
  4. pclawncare

    pclawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    Personaly i would go the 52 and 26 route if you are set on the 26. you will get mixed reviews on here about the 26 but i demoed on and for me its just not right weights too much i am 20 and in pretty good shape and after doing 5 back yards my arms were telling me about it. I run john deere the old commercial ones but if i were you id opt for a honda commercial a hair cheeper not much but suit me much better then the 26 manuverablity in my market made up for every inch of that 5 extra inches gained. I will say the 26 are stout built machines. On the the 52 if you start gettin some bigger properties this will suit your needs alot better. Just an example when i was buying my trailer 2 yr ago i had a walker and a 21" w/b i was looking at a 12' trailer but fopr couple hundred dollars more i went with a 7x16' trailer. the next year i got 2 huge properties bought a 61" grasshopper which by its self ould have filled the 12' now i have another walker and can carry both walkers on one trailer which im not sure i could have done wiht the 12' many times since then i have though what would i have done if i would have bought the 12'. I would have out grown it in the next year. Now this trailer will last me for a while and suits my needs perfectly. So to answer your question if you are looking to stay in the business for a few years and are looking to expand and grow your business i would go for the 52" Also i have not driven an exmark looked at them seriously but never demoed one so cant say on performance of the phazer but from what i see exmark build some heavy duty stuff
     
  5. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    Thanks guys....The deal is done!! Just got back from Exmark dealer. I went with the 52" Lazer CT, and the 26" Metro WB. I am in for the long haul and maybe this will give me a little room to grow. Plus, after looking at that Phazer again the 52" became fairly obvious. I am a big boy....6'4 and about 235. I would look a little silly on that little Phazer ZTR. As far as the 26" goes, I need a little exercise anyway.

    Hey...I can start my equip list like the rest of you guys now....that's so exciting!!!
     
  6. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    Was that not like one of the greatest nights of your life??

    Where are you located at. I am on the far southside and am going to be concentrating my efforts in the Center Grove, Bargersville, Greenwood markets.....what about you??
     
  7. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    good job! good luck to ya!
     
  8. Willofalltrades

    Willofalltrades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,000

    Just curious, what made you get a CT? I mean I know your starting out and stuff but why not a Lazer Z AS? Whats the commercial warranty on that unit, can't find it anywhere? I was under the impression the CT was a homeowner model.
     
  9. pclawncare

    pclawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    congrats on the purchase
     
  10. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    I think the CT stands for compact. It is a more compact version of the AS. It doesn't have as many bells and whistles but it's 100% commercial. It also is a few grand less. The dealer thought it would be perfect for me at this point. He could have tried to push the more expensive one on me.....I don't think Exmark even makes anything that's not commercial, do they?? I think they are owned by Toro and Toro does the consumer line and Exmark strictly sells commmercial quality equipment.

    www.exmark.com/lazerzct.htm
     

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