zero turn vs. 1500 $ lawn tractor?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by emt144, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. emt144

    emt144 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    In relation to my last thread about the cub cadet.

    Would starting a buis. with a normal residential tractor be feasable in realation to a nice zero turn mower?. In my experience with my own lawn that is about 1/2 acre with multiple trees and obstacles, my cub sure does take a LONG time to make those turns. It makes me think that it would be very hard to do multiple residential lawns with this machine. But with an EMT's budget, it sure does take a long time to save up a couple of grand for a nice zero turn. What do you all think?
  2. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Try 5 to 6 grand for a good used Ztr.

  3. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    Greetings. I've spent a lot of time on this forum researching equipment by reading posts and, although I'm not in the business, I kow a little something about turning a profit. I've read enough posts here to know that not everyone started with expensive ZTRs, and many appear to have started with tractors or a very basic commercial walk behind with whatever trimmer and blower they could afford. This sounds like it would be a second job for you and it would be a chance to see if you really like the business by doing just a few yards to get that extra income, and then you can apply that toward the purchase of something bigger if you decide you want to make that commitment.

    I currently drive a John Deere LX tractor (that I will be replacing shortly -- smile -- with a ZTR); its not the fastest, but its reliable, cuts decent when the blades are sharp, and always gets the job done. And (like your Cub cadet) it could easily do some 1/2 acre lawns. Remember that you need to look at this first as a business; your equipment should support your business needs as your business grows, not the opposite. Also, I suggest your search around in the commercial lawn care forum a bit for other newbie postings; there is a ton of good practical advice that can save you from making a lot of mistakes.

    Hope this helps a little, and good luck.
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    The difference in a Z and a tractor are night and day. The difference in a good w/b and a tractor are night and day.

    Look into a used comm'l w/b and it will be faster than the tractor and a better cut. Why spend a small fortune starting out on a Z when a w/b will get you making money.
  5. ed's lawn service

    ed's lawn service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I started out with a 20" Murray push mower. i then got a used commercial walk-behind. I sold that and now have a nice ZTR. Even with only ten or twelve lawns, you should be able to pay for a good w/b in a year. the year that i was using the w/b, i made just over $4000 and i was only doing it part time. hope this helps :D
  6. Black95gt

    Black95gt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    when you say a w/b, im assuming thats walk behind. But how big of a walk behind? I have a lawn tractor with a 52 or 54" deck and it seems like it takes for ever. How big of a w/b deck do you need to be fast. 36" deck? Also how much will one cost. Im just getting started and can have the lawn tractor and the w/b w/21" deck but know that its going to take too long to do it with this.
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    A 48" w/b will be faster and better than the 52-54" tractor deck. I have a 48" hydro w/b for a backup mower. It was a front line mower a few years ago. In a bad situation I could get everything done with it the Lazer does, just takes longer. But at least it can be done. But it is much faster than a tractor mower. With a sulky behind the 48" w/b I could cut a 2 acre church in 1 hour 15 minutes not pushing it very hard.
  8. BladesAway

    BladesAway LawnSite Member
    from Ok
    Posts: 74

    Smith Farm and Garden has a used ferris w/b for under 1500 right now. It is a single pump model but it would be a good place to start.

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