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A ZTR I can afford

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by glenspot, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. glenspot

    glenspot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    This spring I will be buying my first ztr.

    MONEY is the primary concern. I don't do any "high profile" lawns that require fancy cutting or finely manicured landscape. The people I cut for wouldn't even notice if there were stripes in their lawn. They want it cut, and they want it cut cheap. I want to cut it, and because its so cheap I want to do it FAST.

    And thats why I want a ZTR...to speed up the process.

    I expect that I will have between 2,00 and 3,000 to spend. Here is what I have found in that price category. I KNOW that these are not PRO machines. But you gotta start somewhere right?

    The Ariens: http://www.ariens.com/lawn_products/zooms/zoom_1540/

    The Swisher: http://www.samsclub.com/eclub/main_shopping.jsp?coe=0&oidPath=0%3a-23542%3a-38373%3a-38412%3a-38443%3a-38474%3a782971&mt=a&n=0&BV_SessionID=_SC_0043808367.1104332103_CS_&BV_EngineID=cccjadddgkdfkkjcfkfcfkjdgoodflh.0

    The Husqvarna: The Northern tool website seems to be down, but they had a consumer model ZTR for around 3,000, i thought.

    Do you consider any of these good "starter" machines?
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I would probably tell you to start now looking for a comm'l USED mower instead of those units.
  3. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    all of those mowers are marginal at best for the commercial industry. You'd be better off with a walk behind if you only have 2-3k to spend
  4. glenspot

    glenspot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Keep in mind, too that I'm not mowing 6 days a week for 12 hours a day. I'm looking at MAYBE 10 lawns for the summer.

    I am going to look into some used commercial ztrs. I have to research a good place to find them online. Locally, there just aren't any dealers.


  5. glenspot

    glenspot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

  6. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    I almost made the mistake of going the cheapo route when I started up.Please,don't do it.You said you're looking at 10 lawns per week.If you cut 32 weeks per year,that's 320 cuts per year.Now,compare that to what these homeowner mowers are for,32 cuts per year.
    It's not so much the cut as it durability.A homeowner mower will cut almost or as well as a commercial model.It will in no way match it in durability though.
    If nothing else,get a nice commercial walk behind with a sulky.
  7. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    NickN gives good advice.

    Another thing to think about is how large are the lawns. If they are standard subdivision "lots" then a walkbehind will cut just as fast....believe me.

    ZTRs are best for larger lawns and open areas....especially when price is a factor.
  8. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Go with a walk behind. There is a link up at the the top for the Better Quick 36. You'd have a new mower and be going good for awhile. You could also invest in a used walkbehind with a bigger deck. Problem with used is it may have been abused and you may have to put more in right away. You really want a walk behind with hydros but you can save for that latter. One thing bothers me about your post, the word cheap. It's evil. This is why so many go out of business, they drop price and think they can make it on volume. Bad strategy. Do fewer lawns at higher prices, keeps your route tight which means less windshield time and more bucks in your pocket. ZTR's are great but still a little out of your leauge at this point it seems. Either way you go just set aside a good amount of money to replace the equipment at the end of the season. Hope for the best but plan for the wrost that way you're prepared.
  9. Gautreaux's LNG

    Gautreaux's LNG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 379

    Walk Behind, with a new WalkBehind you'll get a warranty. You can get in a Scag 48" Belt drive WB for around $3500.00 or a 36" for about $2800.00 you'll have a true commercial unit with warranty and when you grow into a full size commercial ZTR you'll always have your WB as a backup unit. (There are plenty WB's out there to look at I use Scag as a example because I sell them and I'm familiar with them) Buy whatever unit offers a quality dealer in your area!

    I'm a Husqvarna dealer and will NOT carry the mower you found on northern tool. This unit should be priced about $1500.00-1700.00, it's a pitiful excuse for a ZTR. You can get a Hustler MinifasTrak for $3495.00 and it's twice the mower.

    You may save some money upfront but you'll spend it down the road... 10 yards a week will wear these homeowner units out and you'll spend most of your time and money on repairs. Who's gonna cut the lawns when that mower goes down and you have to wait 2 weeks for a repair???

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