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A little help for a new guy

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Dougs Lawn Maintenace, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Dougs Lawn Maintenace

    Dougs Lawn Maintenace LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Well i started my business this year with a white 21" push mower a poulan trimmer and a little weedeater blower, ive been able to work my way up to about 9 accounts of which around 6 get mowed everyweek.

    Now right now i can mow 6 accounts in 6 to 7 hours with the 21", but since i would like to expand next year and with also going to college next year i am thinking that maybe it is time to invest in a ztr.

    Does this sound like it could be a good idea, or should i just go with a walk behind mower? Im hoping to have around 20 accounts mowed per week next year, so any advice would be great
  2. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,612

    Maybe a 36" or 48" walk behind would be a good next step. Or maybe a 36" stander. To spend $7500 on a rider may be overkill.
  3. freshprince94

    freshprince94 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    I started just like you, with a residential 21" and moved up to a 36" belt drive Gravely walk behind with a sulky. It is perfect for my operation.
  4. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,199

    Ya start off with a walk behind.
  5. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Messages: 1,346

    If any doubts about getting a mower that is too slow, get a ZTR if you can pay cash. Much faster on big properties so also consider your target properties. You may only need a walk behind
  6. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    I'm in roughly the same situation. I work fulltime in the summer, and I am also a fulltime student. However, I do operate a small landscape operation. All the money I make from my business stays in my business. I do not write myself a check. All the money I make from my fulltime job goes toward my truck, gas, school, etc. I use a 21" on my 6 accounts, and it's a pain. But I'm in a rut. I can't afford a larger WB this year because I'm only doing 6 lawns. But I can't do anymore lawns because I only use a 21". Now, I did save up and bought an older 16' landscape trailer from my boss for cash. Over winter, I will advertise and invest in a 48" WB.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is always buy the best you can. All my equipment is commercial. If I were in your situation, I would invest in a 36-40 WB and commercial handhelds. If you are content with your handhelds, then get a 48" WB. I like 48" WB's on hills more than a 36" because they are wider and hug the hill better. If you don't mow any hills, then that shouldn't be an issue. I'm a fan of WB's because they are more versatile than ZTR's, however once you get yourself to a certain point, a ZTR can be a worthy investment.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No, I think you're hearing it wrong...

    A 21" is a push mower, and I don't care if it's self-propelled.
    That's what we call 21's, they are all push mowers so we know how to tell these things apart.

    A Walk behind is a far bigger unit, has a LOT of power and will get the job done, it's also cheaper
    than a Ztr and as they said, the best next step coming up from a push mower.
    Yes, I realize some Wb's have attachments for riding, but they're still Walk Behinds.

    A Ztr is a Zero turn RIDER, and by that it means someone's sitting on their tail the entire time,
    without attachments, it's the biggest, most expensive lawn mower money can buy.

    This is an example of a Walk behind:
    (and no that's not me, nice mower thou)

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  8. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,199

    How bout showing us a pic of you topsites?
    Posted via Mobile Device

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