Thinking of selling my 52" and mowing only with my 36"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BadRancher, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. BadRancher

    BadRancher LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,889

    Hey guys. A few weeks ago I posted about dumping clients with small backyard gates and selling my 36" mower. I got to thinking today and since I owe money on my 52" and I can sell it and get pay off, I was thinking of selling it and going at it with my 36". A few Pro's are: I can still pick up clients with small back gates and business will be ran with 0 debt. A few Con's will be: It will take longer to finish up a yard and double cuts will take a good bit longer and I will not have a mower for back up.

    Also from your experiences how much extra time does it take that you've notice when cutting with a smaller mower on a 1/4, 1/3 acre lot???

    Not to get too personal, but the reason I'm asking all this is because my wife and I are working on dumping all the debt we can. We want to move to a better area. I also think I would have better "business karma" operating on 0 debt for the business except the truck which is half business and half personal sort of I guess.


    If you have a smart ass comment to make please post it on another thread.

    Your thoughts please, and Thanks in advance,

    Chris
     
  2. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,321

    I think I would keep the 52. You can't have too much to pay on it and its good to have a backup. Also you could use money you save elsewhere and pay off the 52. IMO I would rather have my 54 on larger yards it seems like it would take forever to do them with the 36.
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  3. cvcook

    cvcook LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    Do you work solo? how long would it take you to pay it off with the number of lawns you have? plus you ALWAYS need a backup mower
     
  4. BadRancher

    BadRancher LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,889

    I run solo and part time. With me being part time it would take a while possibly. When I purchased mower, I purchased a pole saw and chainsaw also.
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  5. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,919

    As much as I like to be out of debt you'll never sell it for enough to recover what you'll loose in money, convenience and time of having 2 machines. I would look at pushing to get 3 more accounts and paying it off sooner and saving for more downpayment on the new place, good luck on the house selling.
     
  6. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Posts: 1,123

    If I had all 1/4 - 1/3 acre lots I would probably just run a 36" myself. A 36" with a sulky can knock out some yards that size. Are you pretty dedicated to sticking with the smaller lots? If you are I don't see a problem with just running a 36". However, if you start seeing some larger yards coming your way you'll wish you still had the 52". By the time you mow a small lot front with the 52", go park it, get your 36" out and get in the back gate, cut it, you really aren't gaining that much time over cutting it all with the 36". The time your putting up the 52" and getting the 36 out, you would still be cutting. Just depends on what size lots you have really, and what size yards you market for. Being out of debt is nice as well.
     
  7. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 816

    I totally agree with Binky. I had a 48" ztr last year, and could barely tell any time difference between it and my 36" walk-behind on yards the size you are talking about (common size for my area). Plus, there's less trimming to do with the 36", as it will fit in smaller areas where you may not fit the bigger mower. And it seems almost all gates around here are just BARELY wide enough for a 36" and nothing more. Yes, I've heard the "replace all your gates for your customers for free" argument, but I'm convinced that my 36" is as big a mower as a person needs for 1/4 - 1/3 acre properties.

    As far as a backup, you could always just have a couple of 21" mowers stashed somewhere just in case the 36" breaks down. They aren't as fast, but they are cheap and they will cut the grass, and anyone can operate one with minimal training, meaning you can recruit some help.

    Oh, and I can tell you from experience: operating debt free ROCKS!
     
  8. BadRancher

    BadRancher LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,889

    I really think so too, but I still don't know yet. My only thing would be breakdowns. I could also downsize my trailor and put a lil more money in the pocket as far as gas too. I LOVE my 52" though.
     
  9. a clear difference lawn

    a clear difference lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 421

    I use a gravely commercial 34" ztr exclusively. I have a new one and an older one as backup. I pick up a lot of business that other guys skip on. I only have three large properties and over 70 smaller ones - it just does not make sense to me to buy, maintain, and carry around a bigger mower. The gravely cuts at 10mph and finishes the larger properties suprisingly fast. It easily fits through all my gates. Because I only use one compact z I can get away with a smaller trailer which leads to lower fuel costs.
     
  10. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    greenstarlawns makes a good point. It's really hard to sell a peice of equipment and come out ahead. unless it's paid off and has paid for itself (basically done it's duty and is nearly worn out) you really don't come out well selling it. How much do you owe on it? how much could you realistically sell it for, especially if you are looking for a pretty quick sale in the off season? plan on taking at least a few thousand dollars off the original price, possibly more for a fast sale... Unless there's a strong market in your area for those mowers.
     

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