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HELP WITH DELIMMA!! Starting New Business..We Can Only Buy 1 Mower What Should I Buy

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by elamey, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. elamey

    elamey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    I'm starting up a mowing business this spring with a partner. I can only purchase one mower to start out. I've got all the hardware, string trimmers, blowers etc... so we have only to purchase our main mower..

    My partner wants to buy a 48" Scag ZTR and I want to buy the new 36" Scag ZTR to get through gates. My goal is 20 lawns or so per week, working 3pm to dark weekdays, all day sat and sunday for catch up if needed. I'll be doing all the labor for 2 years by myself until my partner retires and starts mowing with me.

    My thinking - If I can only get 1 mower, I have to get through gates to get any residential business. Sure, with the 36", it will take me more time to do bigger lawns BUT if i'm doing lawns by myself I have to be able to do gated areas efficiently, I can't push mow them and make anything. Plus i'm not going for 100's of lawns for the first two years 20 or so max. So i'm only going to do the amount of lawns that time and sanity allows with the 36" After two years when my partner starts working, I say we can trade the 36" ZTR in on a walk behind and get a 52" or 60" or keep the 36" for the back areas. I'm going to keep my job in the mean time and I expect to have the 36" paid off within the first year.

    His thinking - The 05' Scag 36" costs the same as the 05 48 so we should get the 48. We'll get a used snapper 30" to do areas inside a gate, used snappers around here cost $1000 or so for a good one with mulching deck. If we get the 36", it's too limiting, the 48 inch cut's almost a foot more. We've got to think BIG. He's thinking we won't get too many smaller lawns anyway, that most people with smaller lawns cut them thierselves (I think you make more money on smaller residential lawns because you can do them so much quicker).

    I'm not slamming his point of view. I just don't know the right answer and i'm looking for some advice to take to him for discussion. I need some pro advice to this delimma, we are going to purchase a mower Saturday January 22.

    Thank you!!
  2. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Work for McDonalds.
  3. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    Why not get a 36" walk behind, and save a few $$$$$$. A 36" Exmark Metro is around $2500. When your business grows larger, then buy a ZTR. Then you will have 2 mowers, one for each of you.

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    try a 36 or 48 wb if we have a wet season this year you will thank me.
  5. Billpa

    Billpa LawnSite Member
    from pa
    Posts: 103

    what kind of reply is that?
  6. cutnedge

    cutnedge LawnSite Member
    Posts: 194

    Is the only difference between the Scag 36" and 48" mowers the width of the deck? If so--and especially since you're going to have the Snapper 30"--I would only consider the 48".
  7. LLandscaping

    LLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,016

    I dont think that you need either if you will be mainly doing small residentials with gates. I would suggest a Scag 36in hydro walkbehind SWZU, this mower will allow you to cut small back yard and yards that are hilly and will cost less than the 36in Scag ZTR. With a sulky you will be just as fast on the smaller yards with a walkbehind as you would be with a 36 ztr. We currently have 1 Toro 37in walkbehind and two Scag Tiger Cub 48/19 that we use. We started with the Toro and as we grew we got the Scags. Also, make sure you will have good dealer support from the dealer that you choose. That is one reason why we have Toro's and Scags, no matter which mower you choose something will break and you need a dealer that carries parts and has a good service department to get you back in the field.
  8. elamey

    elamey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    The sheer magnitude of your genius brought a tear to my eye. "Work for McDonalds." WOW when I read that I thought Steven Hawking wrote me.

    I'm surprised that a mind such as yours, with such depth and clarity is in lawncare.

    Please don't withold your genius from the world and when you accept your Nobel prize i'll be able to say, with a tear in my eye...." I got an e-mail from the guy who cured cancer." :laugh: :laugh: <<< BTW: These guys are NOT laughing with you they ARE laughing at you.

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    the diff between a 36 and 48 is the deck and engine and a little weight
  10. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    "Work for McDonalds"

    This guy has been putting these same type of responses in other posts, too. I guess he thinks he is being funny..... man is he wrong.

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