Help getting a decent mower!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by chris brauch, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. ddixon7

    ddixon7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 355

    $2500 for a new 42" z? I would just be fearful it would break down on you all the time also because it is homeowner grade. I would stick to a walk behind to start. They do a better job on residentials in most cases.
     
  2. nylesedwards

    nylesedwards LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    i used a craftsman 42'' zero turn last year and it met my needs. i had around 20 weekly accounts and i did not have one problem with the mower. this year i have a 60'' lazer z and plan on getting a 36'' walk behind. the jist of what im saying is that the zero turn looked 10x nicer than a lawn tractor and it got me through a whole season without any problems. now that i have grown i am upgrading everything but it will work for you for a year and then you can sell it and get better commercial equiptment.
     
  3. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    What square footage do you cut? smallest gate? Hills? At this point I would save as much as possible. Look for a used commercial mower on craigslist and go from there.
     
  4. chris brauch

    chris brauch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 130

    silodoc,
    I will be able to finance that mower for around 2599 at around 60/month minimum payment. i could try to make big payments and get it paid off in a short time or i could continue to use my lawn tractor until i can afford to buy a used commercial mower on craigslist. it just seems that the new mower with the three year warranty is hard to beat considering its a dual hydro and a kawasaki motor and your getting that warranty. BUT, if you guys honestly think a used commercial mower on craigslist is a better deal then i may end up going that route.

    Nylesedwards,
    The craftsman zero turn your talking about sounds like something i am looking at in the Toro brand. yes it is for residential use, and no it's not the biggest baddest commercial mower but it has a three year warranty and is brand new with SOME commercial features such as the dual hydro transmission and the 21.5 hp Kawasaki motor.
     
  5. chris brauch

    chris brauch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 130

    and some have hills, but aren't serious. if the hills are serious, i could always go up and down rather than side to side or use my push mower
     
  6. JPsDuramax

    JPsDuramax LawnSite Senior Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 346

    Chris, I can see your predictament. Having a lawn tractor is not the best image, and purchasing a new commercial unit is out of reach. I would recommend against buying the residential zturn. Many companies will void the warrenty if they realize you are using it for business use. The best thing would be to find a decent used walk behind. I purchased my first walk behind for less than $1000. It need a little TLC but it was a good machine. Not even a year later, I found a 44" hydro walk behind for $1600 from a guy going out of business. Just be patient and keep looking. You'll find what you need for your situation.
     
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    I am not an advocate for using homeowner equipment. It just does not last. Like JP said look for a reasonable used machine, I guarantee if it hasn't been abused it will last twice as long as a new homeowner machine will. I am thinking a 36" might be a better suit for you. It will do the larger lawns, albeit a little slower, but will improve efficiency on those smaller lawns.
     
  8. Ray_Lawns

    Ray_Lawns LawnSite Member
    from NE AL
    Posts: 125

    If there is any way you can get a commercial mower by all means do it. I started on my own with an Exmark Quest and man that thing about killed me in parts and downtime. If you are planning on grinding out yards a residential mower is only going to last so long. trust me $3-400 a month in mower parts really hurts.
     
  9. bwanderson79

    bwanderson79 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    I would check with all local dealers within 100 miles. Spring is right around the corner and there will be several larger LCOs buying new equipment and selling old. In houston, the only way to find these deals is through dealers and they sell fast so get your name out there now so they can call you if something comes up.

    Also, you can "settle" for a non zero turn walk behind brand new. I bought a 36" scag gear drive for 3300 and don't regret it. You could buy Wright velke for even less or an Encore for far less and they're good mowers. A lot of large crews run them 6 days a week in Houston without issue.
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  10. Leland Lawn

    Leland Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 235

    I agree with a lot of what everyone else is saying. Stay away from a homeowner mower for any commercial work. It will all be more trouble in the long run. Also commercials will always have fewer breakdowns and longer maintenance intervals.

    We started with just about 10 lawns and 2 21" snapper bagger mowers. One two stroke, the other 4-stroke. It was maybe 2 years before we got around to 25 clients and had just gotten a 12 home condominium association. At that time we finally decided to look into buying something "new". I wanted a 42" rider, but we really weren't that large yet and it was a big leap to make with only being a few years into the green industry. We found a used 10.5hp B&S 33" sutech stealth walk-behind for $1,100 with a steel grass catcher at our local small engines shop. (They were $1800 new in '04) It had been maybe used for 50 hours the previous year and was in great shape! I ran that mower for years, only replacing a few belts now and then as they wore out, changing the oil, greasing the few zurks, and sharpening through countless sets of blades before the engine blew out with a little over 1.4k hours on it and I finally retired it.

    Basically what I am trying to say is, you may not be able to afford exactly what you want right at this moment, but it's not hard to make smart choices and invest wisely in your future.
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