Hitting the wall

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MIKEJ, May 21, 2003.

  1. MIKEJ

    MIKEJ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I would like an opinion from you guys. I am a part timer (3 days a week) with about 22 weekly mowing customers plus clean ups, mulching and other maintenance and small construction jobs. I have a helper 1 day a week to get caught up if needed. I have been feeling maxed out on what I can get done with the time that I have and have been losing some work due to this. Next year I will be looking to go full time but really want to keep it a solo op as much as possible. Right now I have a 48 lesco belt and my question is would a zero turn make me much more productive as a solo op or should I have my helper work more days with me amd buy another w/b mower. I was thinking cost vs. cost the ztr would be less money when you take into account ztr payment vs. w/b payment , labor, comp, taxes ,etc. Any thoughts would helpful. thanks:dizzy:
  2. STAN1366

    STAN1366 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 334

    I've been solo "mostly" for a while since I've found it hard to consistently get a good helper who can run a w/b mower. The few I've had were: my son who's now in college and only 1 Ecuadorian out of many. This guy wanted a full time job, but I only work part time right now. I sold 1 48" w/b, an old Wheel Horse 724-Z rider and bought a new Exmark 52" Lazer HP w/ an Ultra-Vac. It was a big hit for a part timer, but I saved untold aggravation by no longer having to tell a guy on every lawn what to do and what not to do or correcting mistakes & equipment damage from someone who really dos't know what he's doing. You have to remember the cost of paying a helper just adds to what you will save by buying a w/b instead of a ZTR. Around here, I've been paying $100 a day for a helper. Over the entire season that's $3,000 or so for you if in your case you only use a guy 1 day a week. In a 3 yr. period you'll pay for a new ZTR and you'll still have plenty of life left in it. If you primarily work alone, get the equipment that makes your job easier for YOU! Every now and then when you need someone to do some "hump" work, hire 'em. Good luck.
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    if you are a solo op right now, I wouldn't go out and buy a new mower. Hold off on that until you really, really need it.
  4. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    Buy the ztr! I have done 22 accounts alone in one (long) day.
  5. mowpronj

    mowpronj LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    Although you may be by yourself and you are not sure what to buy, it would help me to know what type of lawns you have. You stated you cut 22 lawns a week, are they 1/4 acre lots or do you have 2 acre lots? In my opinion, look at what you are cutting, I would never take a ztr on a small lot, but on anything big yes.If most of your lawns are small i would stay away from the ztr.
  6. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 749

    Where In MA? If you're in my area, I think you should stay small. haha... anywho.. the ZTR thing is a great debate.. it WILL increase productivity, but will also increase costs.. the points already said are very valid, and hold all the info that should be considered. Are you staying solo? If so, the Z might be even better as described already... if someone else is going to be beating on it, let them beat on themselves behind the w/b too...
  7. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    Dont' buy the ztr,,, rent one first it will be worth the money for the peace of mind knowing you are making the right decision. Lots of places rent ztr's for a week use it on your accounts and you will know exactly how much time you will save. Or we can guess and tell you how much time you will save.
  8. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,405

    I would say dont buy the ztr unless you really can afford it. IMO, it sounds to me like you could almost go full time. I dont know if your full service or not. Work the biz full time, and maybe work part time at your other job, that is unless, you have the bennies. Then again I dont know how big your average account is, but if you need the Z, then they must be decent.

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