please advise

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dave in Buffalo, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. Dave in Buffalo

    Dave in Buffalo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Hello,
    I am a new user to this site. I have been a user of the plowsite for a few years and it has proved to me to be a wealth of knowledge! i am sure I will get the same satisfaction from this sister site also. I work at a local factory. 5 years ago I started to plow the facility and am still doing such. They are very happy with my service and I plan on doing it for many years to come. I AM SAVING THEM A LOT OF $$ ALSO. Well I have been approached by the mgt to take over their lawn maintenance. The last few years, the same crew would show up and cut the lawn, string trim a little, blow a little and off they went. They were there 3 hours per week. 3 men X 3hrs= 9hrs.
    The property is approxamately 6 acres.
    They used 3 LESCO 36" walk behinds...(they had the rolling decks they rode on behind the mowers)...ECHO string trimmers, and a backpack blower of brand ??. He was a regular landscaper with 3 commercial jobs, and 100+ residentials.

    Well, I feel that I can do this my self in a couple of evenings a week or on weekends or both. I will not be taking on any more work since his just supplements my income. I have two 20 year old sons that are willing to make some $$ this summer.(They also help me plow) I have a few questions..

    I want to have good reliable equipment that will do the job for me. I'm thinking about a riding mower. It is a large open area to be mowed. A 22" home mower will be fine to do a couple of small areas with trees(parking lot islands) I could get away with 1 mower but I'm leaning towards 2...

    I'd appreciate any feedback on this....

    What kind of equip do you recommed? What inch cut? Horsepower?

    Thank you in advance for all this It is appreciated!! Have a great day....

    Dave
     
  2. Eho

    Eho LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    I m still relatively small in the biz, but heres what I think:
    If you are just planning on a few lawns or only needed the push mower for a little mowing, a regular mower is fine. If you re looking to use a small mower very often, I d advise you to get a commercial grade mower. also, for your riding mower, strongly advise you to get a commercial grade mower. Whether you get a 36, 48, or 50+ inch cutting deck, be sure you go commercial grade. Also, echo edgers, weedeaters, and blowers are a must. hope this helps, let me know how it goes
    EHO
     
  3. Mico Landscaping design

    Mico Landscaping design LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    all depends on what you money you wanna spend... i wont use anything but exmark ... i would get 1 60 iztr (zero turn rider) .... and couple walk behind's but like isaid it all depends on what u wanna spend.. send me a message back for more imput!
     
  4. Dave in Buffalo

    Dave in Buffalo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Thanks for the input.....i understand about the small push mower....It doesn't matter if it is a commercial grade or not.....if it doiesn't do the job, I can pick another one up immediately....my wife can go to the local garden dealer and for 5-7 hundred, have one back to the job in a matter of a couple of hours..

    I WILL ONLY BE MOWING 1 PLACE

    the other mowers is my main inquiry... $ is an object of course, but I'm planning on 10,000 or so in equipment...this means:

    1 lg commercial mower.
    1 small push mower
    1 trimmer....I already have a commercial echo for my house that I'll use if need be
    a back back blower

    please advise further...sorry if I was too vague

    should I be looking at BOBCAT, SCAG, LESCO, CHARIOT.......

    BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE, WHAT DO U RECOMMEND.
     
  5. Mowerboy04

    Mowerboy04 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,445

    i have a bob-cat 52" and it works great and it was afordable. i have redmax 7001 blower, and a redmax stick edger, and a shindiawa week wip, i know u said that u allredy have a small mower but if u ever are looking for a 36" or 32" mower i use toro. hope this helps
     
  6. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Posts: 2,207

    I recommend a Ferris or a Hustler Super Z 60" ztr. The Ferris has 4 wheel independent suspension for a smooth ride over rough ground and take it from someone who has used one that suspension makes a big difference. Not only does it give you a smoother ride but it lets you go faster because you don't have to slow down for the bumps. Around here they cost around $9000-$9500 depending on which engine you get.

    The Super Z Hustler is also a very good mower that I have used that costs quite a bit less. It will run 15 mph and has a wide tire to tire width so it will hold hills better and give a little smoother ride but a long way from being as smooth as the Ferris. The Hustlers cut good and overall are very good machines. Around here a 61" with a 27 Kohler is about $8000. I don't know if you have any Hustler or Ferris dealers close to you but if you do then check them out.
     
  7. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    Mowing and trimming 6 acres even once per week will require a large deck mower of commercial quality. If you're willing to spend a total of $10K I would look at a good ZTR or Hydro walk-behind with a sulky. You can get some good deals on ZTR demos if you don't mind a mower with a few hours on the clock. Hustler, Exmark and Toro are the big dogs in the ZTR arena, but by no means the only choices. They also make excellent walk-behinds...so look into those as well.
    I would visit a few dealers and see if they have some commercial ZTR's that were used as demos and start talking price with them. You should be able to buy a Hustler Z with a 52 inch deck that has been a demo for $6k or less depending on hours. Same with a comparable Toro or Exmark. Also look at Gravely and Ferris mowers. They make excellent machines. Just make sure you get a good size deck or you'll be mowing for a longer time than you expected. Get at least a 48" deck and better yet a 52. Don't buy anything that is homeowner grade. It will not last.
    Good backpack blowers are available from Stihl, Redmax, Shindaiwa and Echo. Plan on spending at least $400 for a backpack. Some of the big boys are $500+ so shop around and compare.

    One last thing...you could look into a used mower from a dealer that was a trade in. The only problem with used is they don't come with a warranty. Some dealers will give a "30 day parts only guarantee" on used equipment. But as with buying anything used...buyer beware. Good luck.
     
  8. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    That seems like a problem to me. I read that it takes 9 hours to do the property. If you charge $40 per hour and do this 26 times per year, it works out to just under 10,000. In the Buffalo economy, I would guess that this # is high.

    If you are spending $10,000 on equipment, then you will be working for the first 1.5 - 2 years for nothing. Only after that will you turn a profit. Do you really want to work for your equipment?

    Maybe there are other things that I don't know about but from what I see, I would advise you to pass on this one.
     
  9. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,384

    PTP has a good point. If i it were me i would do this prop plus you have 2 20 year old sons that might be able to do lawns or help more. As far as mowers try talking to JOE or JEFF at Lesco in Orchard Park. Its on Taylor rd. Try the Lesco mowers. There Z2 is like 6 grand and they have good B/P blowers and trimmers. B/P is going to be around 3 hundred and around 250 for a straight shaft trimmer. Dont get a homeowner bent shaft. PM me if you need any questions about Joe or Jeffs place.
     
  10. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,384

    Also not to be a a$$hole but how are you saving the company alot of money?Are you not charging the going rate? If not that just brings the market down for all of us.
     

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