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Help going in the right direction please

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Howie's Lawn Care, May 8, 2006.

  1. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    Hey guys,
    As you may know, I got a 52" 23HP Hustler Mini Z this year. I heard alot of good things about Hustler and have a dealer who sells Shindaiwa and Hustler. Anyways, I mow alot of condos and have never been into the idea of bagging. I can't really discharge in the small areas. I have a large yard in the country and its hard to mulch it. I have the mulch kit and have been using the gator mulching blades. I tried the regular mulching blades, but messed one of the blades up on a rock and haven't replaced it yet so I didn't get to test the regulars too much. At any rate, the Hustler isn't mulching the spring stuff very well. Does any brand mulch the srping stuff great? I have a few questions/scenarios.

    1. How much do you think my ZTR would be worth at the end of the season with about 125 HRS on it?

    2. I think the bagging system that Hustler makes looks to small and doesn't actually have a blower. I want a ZTR with a three bag system. Would it be worth selling mine and getting a new ZTR again next year?

    3. Is it worth bagging since you don't have to double cut all the time?

    4. I only have a 6.5ft bed and it has a toolbox, so I don't have much room for clippings, so how does this sound? I could sell my truck and buy an older regular cab ford ranger or chevy s10 for everyday driving. Then I could buy a dump truck and use it for doing mulch jobs/bagged grass. I see this young guy around town about 23 years old. He has one employee and seems to be doing well. He has two exmark ZTRs, shindaiwa handhelds, ford f-150, dodge dump truck, beamer, and a porsche. Anyways he is bagging everything this time of year and I assume he knows what he's doing.

    5. I would like something with a three bag system. I want to look into the John Deere (we have a koenig dealer) with mulch on demand, hustler xr-7s, and the exmarks.

    6. I think I could pay for the old truck and ZTR, then get a loan on a dump truck. If I got the old truck under my moms name or just had liability insurance myself, It would probably be pretty cheap. I had a 1989 Ford Ranger in my mom's name and insurance for her was only $20.00 more per month with the multi-car discount.

    7. I plan on getting a helper next year if I make moves like these. I have a friend who works at the egg farm I work at on the weekends and he works construction during the summer. He could work with me during the four months of mowing during the school year, and I could handle it in the summer.

    8. I feel like I need to get into the mulching business soon, so I can get my name out and just make more money in general. I definetley want to get license for fertilizing next year. I don't plan on packing eggs next mowing season.

    I know this is a long and odd way of structuring a post, but what do you guys think? Is this a stupid idea. I've got a decent looking truck now, but it doesn't have the things I need for work and it can't tow on the highway worth a crap. I would want a decent dump, like a 1999 ford or a dodge. I would really like a diesel. Isn't it worth getting a diesel since the gas engines do so horrible on gas.

    Well, thanks for any advice and ideas you may have. I would really aprreciate it.

    Nick Howard
  2. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,378

    Buy a ocdc and then you can discharge in the smaller areas by directing the clippings where you want them. If that doesn't work find some accounts that your equipment can handle. I would not go to the extremes of buying a new ztr, dump truck, truck, and everything else you mentioned just to be able to bag grass. You will never make enough extra money bagging to justify the new purchases.
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    until you turned into a suburban gangster, you where smarted then this... your trying to get too complicated..... solve your problems as easily and inexpensivly as possible....get the ocdc....:)
  4. ed2150

    ed2150 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 174

    The Hustler bagging system you mentioned is a 6-bushel 2 bag system, and it does have a blower.

    There is also a Hustler Bac-Vac collector for the Mini-Z that holds 9 bushels and dumps from the seat, but you're talking the difference from about $800 for the 2 bag system to over $2000 for the Bac-Vac.
  5. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    Hey Dave,
    I have to agree with you on the OCDC. I finally side discharged today, first time this year. I've used the mulch kit practically the whole time I've owned the ZTR. I used side discharge one time, but it was tall grass, I had gator mulching blades on, and the discharge shute limited the even distribution of the clipping.

    When I mowed today, I didn't even use the discharge chute and I used the blades it came with. It worked out well. I got alot of grass in beds and had to blow them out. This would be greatly reduced with the OCDC. Some stuff needed recut, but we did have 5 days straight of rain and this is the second dry day although it rained for about 30 minutes, just enough for me to get soaked and throw out a bunch of clumps with my push mower.

    Wouldn't a dump truck still be ideal for doing mulch jobs and hauling of various limbs and other things of that type, just yard debris in general. Bagging would still be nice for small lawns where grass can't really be thrown all over. I think I can wait for a bagging ZTR. What fo you think about getting a dump truck?

    My truck has no power on the highway as I have said before. On Sunday, I was driving back from work with my empty trailer and the truck really shook when shifting into fourth gear on two occasion. It was very shaky and noticable. It also happened on Monday with my loaded trailer. This is the first time I have noticed this. The tranny fluid looks good. Do you think it would help to get the fluid and filter changed?

    Thanks for any advice and answers Dave.

    -Nick Howard

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