New Biz Advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Strawbridge Lawn, Dec 5, 2000.

  1. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Advice on some startup equipment Please: Plan to be doing 10-15K SQ FT mainly flat residential lawns with fenced back yards. Considering the following:
    Mowers Toro Z100-44" 17HP KAW, and a 21" Honda Hydro COMM as primary cutting equip. Could use advice on an alternate to the Z100. Walk-behind/Stand on that has excellent bagging/mulching flexibility, maneuverability and speed in the 32-44" deck range.
    Have been looking at Honda hrc713 36", Walkers, Dixie Choppers and Wright Standers.
    How are the Honda trimmers (UMK-422LTA) for comm use?
    This is a great forum and I thank each of you in advance for your thought and opinions.

    I deleted the 2 pages of dead space at the bottom of this post for you. This happened probably because of hitting enter several times trying to get to the bottom to the submit button. Just scroll down to do this next time. Eric

    [Edited by Eric ELM on 12-05-2000 at 03:38 PM]
     
  2. Mike Felices

    Mike Felices Banned
    from Georgia
    Posts: 91

    If you plan on bagging mainly go with the Walker. For only 10-15K sq ft. You can go with a 20hp Model T with a 42" GHS deck and the 9.5 bu catcher. If you want to mulch for the most part, and bag for spring and fall clean up my advise is to go with the eX-mark44" LazerZ HP with the 19hp. Kawasaki. Get the mulch kit. This will run about $6,400 or so + $110 for the mulch kit. The Honda puch mower is fine as long as you don't mind puttting donuts in your yards. My advise is get the 44" LazerZ HP with a mulcher and an eX-mark push mower. Thet have a 5.5hp Kawasaki. I wouldn't bother bag unless you charge an extra $10 or more depending on lot size. I don't bag anyone's yard and no one cares. I have a 36" Toro Hydro WB, 15hp Kohler, 5bu. cloth bagger, 2-wheel Pro-One Sulky, and only 180hrs. I MUST SELL before February. I am asking $3,200 obo over $2,500. This would actually work great because you can get into gated areas where as the Lazer won't fit and you get stuck push mowing. I mow about 20-25K sq ft. in about 7 hrs. Thats 15 yards per day.
     
  3. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Thanks, will have a further look at those models. As far as Walkers go, looks like The Walker C 16HP W/GHS 42" deck looks to be the right size. Anyone with a ball park price for this machine?
     
  4. Greenkeepers

    Greenkeepers LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 695

    Gary-

    The first thing that I would consider is how wide are those gates? And is every lawn that your going to cut have a large enough gate for a w/b mower. For smaller lawns like this I wouldn't worry about getting a rider you can just use the w/b with a sulky. It is cheaper and probably faster.
    Great Dane makes a batwing w/b mower that is made especially for gate applications and I think it unfolds into a 52"

    As far as trimmers , blowers we use Stihl and a few echo's. I demo'd the honda's and wasn't impressed at all with them. The 4 stroke is nice but I think that they are awkward and bulky. I'll stick to the 2 peppy 2 strokes.

    Good luck!!
     
  5. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Thanks Mike, Stihl factory is down the street so I will likely go that route for both my trimmer and blower units.
    Uncertain about what contracts lie ahead and which ones will have gates big enough. The Exmark LZHP44 with th mulch kit and/or the Toro Z100, or Walker C are my primary rider choices right now. Just need to figure which is the best for the price. Appreciate the help thus far. Any additional experience/input is appreciated.
     
  6. BUSHMASTER

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 519

    hey whats up.......those are definilty goods things to think about......fenced in yards ......here's what i have evolved to..... this set up works in my case it,s not to fastest but,one man show,resis's from 5000 to 20000 square feet, some with fences all largeer back yards than front, good many inclines ...depending on service area in town,more yards than not in town with some sort of turf.
    for bagging the way to go is walker ...super job in the winter for clean up's..to reduce the # of bags for a very leafy yard i'll blow out the beds run over the yard with the door open go back the drop the door it cut bags down from 4.5 to 1. grass i'll muclh for four weeks and bag one .....can get onto yards that the walker won't cuse of small gates with a toro 36" gear drive ,very easy to maintain and with a little "megiver" you can keep it running in the feild. it does good for hill sides steep yards the need to be bagged and those ocassoial
    clean ups that the grass is over 12".also fits into walk through gate that the 42" walker dosen't, sometimes you can lossen one nut on the gate lift the gate off and fit into a 28" gate with the proper spacing on the poles, and very little hand fitiuge. 21" thats up for grabs something fast
    well built 2 cyle and you have your "TRIM MOWER" the toro 21" very little maitaince and if your machnecly inclinded
    the last you would need to buy...as well as all your equiptment. in the case of the walker goo with a maintaned
    water cooled gas kubota easy to work on and affordable to keep just like an old truck ... like i said not the fastest the most efficient. hand held tools go with one brand name for all.. keeps down travel time when you need parts lowers the number of spare parts you invest in.straight shaft trimmer , hand held hegde trimmer first than extended,
    stick edger.and back pack blower i run stihl its easy to find parts if and when you need too. after that you work on areators, ladders , chain saws, ect etc etc ...oh there is a dc in storage that i got a steal on but just don't have the need at the moment... tough quailty built equiptment that you work on will last almost forever. the walker is about to be seven years old right at 1800 hrs i'll get another 2-3000 hours before the engine needs r&r the toro 36" 12.5 kaw has work for 11 years and won't die.....and keeps money in your pocket...but these are just my thoughts at the moment.
     
  7. The stark reality of the mowing biz is that you need at least two of every machine you use on a daily basis
    AT THE JOBSITE.

    For the price of one useless 44" ztr without a bagger you could buy:

    One 48" Toro/eXmark metro with 14 hp kaw w a jumbo metal bagger and mulch kit.
    One 32" Toro/eXmark Metro with a 10.5 Briggs w a Standard size metal bagger and mulch kit.
    Two 2 wheel stand on sulkys for above

    10-15k lawns are not ZTR friendly.
     
  8. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    lawrence: You make a bery good point especially given the size lawns I will be dealing with. Most lots are housed 8-15K SQ FT with 5-10K actually cuttable so the width and speed gained by a ZTR will prob be sacrificed to some degree. PLUS the 32" will likely eliminate the need for a a trim mower cuz what is left is "wackable". Will definitely
    need the bagging, mulching, and a sulky attachment(s) though to meet customer needs. Will concentrate now on the bigger brother. Thanks.
     
  9. The Honda trimmer is bulky and heavy. You will not like it if you are used to 2-stroke trimmers. I bought a Honda about 6 mos ago and enjoyed the quiet/smokeless 4-stroke but the weight takes it out of you fast. Just bought a new Shindaiwa T-270 and the Honda has been sitting since.
    Aloha, PYS



    BE KIND TO THE PEOPLE YOU MEET ON THE WAY UP BECAUSE THEY WILL BE THE SAME ONES YOU MEET ON THE WAY DOWN.
     
  10. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    The answer is it all depends. Do you have any experience using commercial equipment? I didn't 3 years ago and am glad that I started off with a 36" WB belt drive. Not only is it perfect for gated back yards its also not a bad backup. And since Stone brought it up a backup is nice to have but not necessary when you first start especially if your only mower is new. Another great thing about a 36 is you will likely rarely if ever need a 21". Work on getting the accounts and perfecting your skills with the 36. Then in several months if you are short on time and need a larger mower buy a 60". As for 2 stroke I would buy all Shindaiwa or Redmax. My 2 cents.
     

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