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Using lawn tractors instead of ztr's

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Buckman599, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. Buckman599

    Buckman599 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    :help: I own a John Deere 345 lawn and garden tractor. I bought it new 7 years ago and it is paid for. It has a 48" inch cut deck and a 18hp, liquid cooled Kawasaki engine and is hydrostat. I am thinking about getting a few lawns to mow on my days off to start out. Everyone at work that mows lawns on the side all have ztr's. They paid for them their first season of mowing. I know I can not compete with the ztr's with a riding mower like I have, but it is paid for and I would not have to go into debt. I have looked at several ztr mowers and have narrowed my choices down to either a Grasshopper or a Bad Boy. If you have any advice on this please let me know. Thanks
  2. Kubotaman

    Kubotaman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Look at the Kubota zd18 or zd21 they only have one belt
    that turns the blades, and a pto to run the deck.
    I have a zd21 60inch pro deck and love it. I demo alot
    of ztr that people try to get me to buy but the kubota
    still gets my vote. it also has a deisel eng for long life.
    kubota has a good finance program. Go to kubota.com
    or kubota finance to look at there programs and equipment.
  3. PLM-1

    PLM-1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,640

    I like my GH wouldn't trade it for anything.
  4. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    choose equipment based on who is the closest dealer to you. parts availability are also a concern. good luck!
  5. fearthedeere

    fearthedeere LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    I used to mow primarily with Deere garden tractors. They did the job, and were tough machines. The X485 does better than my dixie on hills and of soft ground, but both are slower and don't cut or disperse as well as some commercial mowers like my exmark and dixie. We actually have the same model 345 as you do. Bought it in 97. It has about 1200 hrs--it still serves us well when we need it.
  6. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    Why does so many people at your day job cut grass on the side? Sounds like competition would be harsh in your area. I would use the tractor until you can't handle the extra work and then upgrade. I hope all these part timers are claiming this side job.
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    You are close enough to the bad boy factory to get help, I would really consider them.
  8. finmower

    finmower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    Grasshopper is the best one made like rollsroyse.
    Do you renenber bearl harboour ?
    That is what I thin about Japanise mowers
  9. MJhnson Lawn

    MJhnson Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    I cut for my school system with the 345 JD, Kawasaki Eng, 48" Deck
    2002. Thats all they buy for us guys in the school system who cut
    everyday during the cutting season. Its a great Garden Tractor haven't
    had any downtime with it yet. It can't make the Z turn but its in my
    opinion not far behind the ZTR. However since I just started on my own
    LCO, I would buy the ZTR if I could afford it, I use a Scag 36" Belt Drive
    right now since I don't have any commercial accounts.
  10. J.Gordon

    J.Gordon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    Are you referring to the Kawasaki engine in the John Deere or the Kubota Diesel in the Grass Hopper?

    I have to agree with Hoss about the Bad Boy mowers, you get a lot of mower for the money with those. They just don’t have a dealer anywhere near my neck of the woods.

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