Bit the bullet today. Tell me how i did

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Landscape Maint.Services, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. Landscape Maint.Services

    Landscape Maint.Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Well today we were out cutting and we were going along great with out 1990's era 36'' ransome walkbehind. Gradually it started slowing down and came to a halt, engine was screaming, bladdes were whirring, but the damn tranny locked up from an lack of oil. Well what did i expect from an 300 dollar walkbehind.

    Well as some of you may know this is a mother/son owned/operated business, she has been in business for 18 + years using a 21'' push mower, god bless her. Last year i came to her with an idea to expand and get real with it. She also worked part time so we started out this season together with a new 6x12 trailer two walkbehinds and a brand new redmax weedwacker. We got the used older walkbehinds first to make sure everything went well and that we took off like we thought we would. Now since she worked part time till 1pm everyday , we only worked for 5 hours a day tops.

    Well as of tuesday she quit her part time job and we are so backed up with work its not even funny. Mulch jobs, cutting trees, mowing, commercial, residential, cleanups, ect ect, Tons of work ,literally. We even have to turn down work, it seems like we get a new customer every week. Well back to the story, after todays mishap, which happened around 2pm, i said look, we cant use this old crap anymore lets go buy a brand new Z mower.

    So then we headed to the nursery and they had a brand new toro timesaver 5000 for 2800 otd with a bagger, not quite what we had in mind but it was decent. Then we went to Home depot, they had a brand new gorgeous cub cadet for 2999. i thought we were leaving with it until the depot man came over and said if we did commercial to not even waste our time with it. His works were go get an exmark. So we went to lowes, they had a deere and a toro mustang, not quite what we wanted either.

    Finally we went to a lawn equiptment exmark dealer. They had a brand new exmark Lazer Z Hp, we got finance for 79 a month and plan to pay it off before it starts charging interest. We got it for 6700 OTD. What do you guys think. We have a new commercial account thats 200. a week , so we gonna use that 200 a week/600 a month to pay for the mower.:weightlifter:
  2. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,472

    glad you went with a commercial mower. Save as much money as you can.
  3. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    How old are you? If this is a partnership between you and her, I wish you well and when it fails, make sure you have everything in writing....I mean everything. She sounds older so you may be able to bully her and push her around a bit.

    What worries me though is that 18 plus yrs in the biz and you guys were out looking at resi equipment? Glad you went with commercial........its the only way to go.

    BTW, it was a joke about what I said at the top. You don't really need EVERYTHING in writing. :usflag:
  4. Landscape Maint.Services

    Landscape Maint.Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    She is 50, im 22. I was in the restaurant industry all from highschool and then the restaurant i worked at went out of business, That was a while ago, i got in to general construction and worked for a sunroom company but bounced paychecks and just general all around bull sh1t made me leave. Seeing my mom make decent money working for herself all these years and being happy, which is what i like.It feels good to get up in the morning and not hate your job. But like i said, its not that she or I doesnt know what we need in the commercial equiptment sense, it was just the money part.I mean after all this is the woman who did it all these years with a 21 push mower. lol After thinking about it and talking with the dealers, we know now that we made the perfect choice. 7000 is alot of money for a lawn mower, but hey when work is overflowing and customers are counting on us to be there and we need to finish cutting lawns so we can do 10 mulch jobs, thats when that 7000 seems miniscule(sp). We dont have time to deal with broken down equipment and not being able to finish jobs.
  5. LawnVet

    LawnVet LawnSite Member
    from SE MI
    Messages: 220

    You made a great choice and that price is a good price for a Lazer Z HP. I recently purchased the same for a bit more...though I won't complain, I'm happy. And the fact that I have sunk almost $500 into my 36" walk-behind in the last few days and still don't have a fix to the problem reminds me that new isn't a bad way to go.
    Having the ZTR will increase your productivity as well, so getting jobs done quicker will allow you to take more of those on that you had to pass up. I think you're on the right track and you mom will definitely appreciate using that over a 21" push. Good luck!
  6. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    Congrats sounds like a good deal.

    By the way those old ransome 36" walkbehinds were super machines werent they? We had 2 of them and absolutely loved them. We still wish we had them. They were so easy to manuver and cut so nice. How much would you want for yours?
  7. Landscape Maint.Services

    Landscape Maint.Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    I know thats what im saying:weightlifter: i think im gonna try o find a tranny and keep her.
  8. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    didnt know the tranny used oil?
  9. Landscape Maint.Services

    Landscape Maint.Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    nope, i had bought the walkbehind cheap, right away i took it to the nursery/equipment shop, I told them to do a full exam/ freshen everything up. They had the thing for a month or so, and charged me 200 bucks to do nothing. They kept giving me the run around and then they tried to tell me the engine was shot and needed to be replaced:rolleyes:

    They must have thought i was an idiot.I partly blame then and i blame myself. I could have gone through the whole thing and did it all myself, but i just didnt have the time. I trusted that a mower shop/nursery would do a good job and i guess they let me down. I specifically asked them to go through the whole machine, change fluids, clean carb, sharpen blades, new belts ect ect.
  10. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    Dude, you are new here and a lot of people may bust your chops.........especially if you repsond to everyone.

    I was in a similar situation. I made some changes this year. I lost a few key accounts and had a 72 inch mower on order. I pondered ordering the 72 incher but felt it would still be a good purchase should the need arise soon.

    Recently I spent 16,900 for another crew. I remember one night 3 weeks ago I was tossing and turning, kicking the sheets, stressed to the max wondering if I was making the worst decision of my life. Today, in less than a few hours, I will be inking a deal that will have me spending another 10,200 on top of the figure mentioned above!

    I would rather have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. <---Not original but feel free to use it whenever you can.

    You did the right thing. NOw go mow some damn grass before my employees (the most recent ones) end up smoking it on ya!

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