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Cheapest commercial ztr, not worth buying the cheaper ones?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by privatelawn, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. privatelawn

    privatelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    Trying to compare ztr prices on ebay as manufacturer websites dont have prices, was looking for decent sized deck size, So far for the cheapest ive found cub cadet 48" enforcer 21 hp kawasaki engine for $4399, I think the 44" is just a bit cheaper but the extra 4" are probably worth it.

    My business plan, a crew of 2 has 1 ztr and its ran about 1000 hrs a year, warranty is 2 years so I figure if I buy cheaper priced ztr after warranty is over I can pretty much just give them away.

    Whats the downside to the cheaper machines? I mean there under warranty so fixing them shouldent be a concern? I see speed is 1 downside but 95% of my customers are 1/8 acre lots so I probably dont need speed yet id take it if price isnt that much more.

    I rarely ever see a cub cadet being used.
  2. Juan_Deere

    Juan_Deere LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    Do you really think 1/8 acre even warrants a ZT? If I was you, I would pay more for equipment that didn't need to be in the shop so much in the first place. And I think you are failing to consider that warranties don't cover everything that breaks on your mower. Warranties cover defects from the factory, so just because it needs to go back to the shop for something you broke, doesn't mean it is going to be fixed for free. And what if it takes two weeks for the part you need to come in? What are you going to mow with in the mean time?

    If you really want a ZT, just shop around for a new one. Right now is the best time to buy left over mowers, and most manufacturers are offering really cheap interest rates for financing.
  3. privatelawn

    privatelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    I have a 52" toro ztr I use now to mow 30 homes per day which are 1/8 of an acre, if I used anything else id be dead half way through the day

  4. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,855

    I agree with JUAN DEERE. Don't go cheap. Sounds as if your spending extra already for that extra 4" of deck surface. Look around, dealer are wanting to move stuff out for the fall/winter and you mayfind yourself a good deal on a higher priced & better machine!
  5. Juan_Deere

    Juan_Deere LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    If you already have a 52" and a TORO at that, why are you looking for a cheap mower?
  6. privatelawn

    privatelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    I am asking for additional crews, why should I pull my trailer with an escalade when a ford will do... Im looking for the lowest overhead for adding additional crews, if a cheap mower will cost me time then I dont need it, as far as time in the shop well that depends as thats what backups are for but not to the extent where its at the shop so often.

    Like echo handhelds, its so low priced that using it for a year or 2 then throwing it away and replacing it is not a big deal. I dont need 3 ztrs on a trailer costing me more overhead, just 1 ztr and that cheapest functional at that, if 2 years down the road a $9k toro will have 2000 hrs and is garbage anyways then id rather throw away $4400 instead.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Hey man, why not splurge 3.5g's and get yourself a fixed deck 48" Toro w/ a velke. It will take you about a month of getting used to, but in my arsenal that's the most versatile machine I've ever found, I have two of them and rode this model exclusively from my 2nd year all the way to October of my 5th, at which point I bought a 60" Ztr and I still use the 48" more than the Z.

    Because I started with two used 52's and the 48" fixed is faster, it's very quick and nimble, light, highly maneuverable, doesn't hardly ever get stuck and if it does it only weighs 300 lbs... Bit of a pita to learn because of the fixed deck but once you get used to it that is one b-b-b-bad mower. It's a stupid simple machine, easy to fix, very little in the way of expensive parts (manual engage vs. electric clutch) and it also fits through most single 4" gates.

    And it's a Toro, you still have a grand left over so you can start saving for a real Z, buy one of those about your 4th-6th year.
    You might can even find one in real nice shape used for around 2g, they tend to last 10-15 years from new.

    What I'm saying.
  8. 4curbappeal

    4curbappeal LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    First of all,as Juan Deere said it best: 1/8 acre props are not warranting a ZTR. A 48" wb will be as productive. Second, the mowers you are talking about (entry level commercial and home-owner models) may not make it 1000 hrs. without major problems that will not just cost you a day in the shop, but maybe a week or more. Keep asking questions! I think you are on the right path, but go commercial quality! If you haven't guessed, I am not a very big Cub Cadet fan!
  9. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    employees will beat the equipment to death. you need the toughest you can possibly buy. the downtime alone on less expensive machines will cost you thousands per year. the difference in payment between a 4500 dollar machine and a 8000 dollar machine over three years is about a 100 bucks a month. the 4500 dollar machine won't last three years run by a crew unless it is a walkbehind.
  10. privatelawn

    privatelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    Ok I dont need walk behinds, reason #1 im in florida , its very hot, a 2 man crew alternates from house to house on who gets on the z so that they dont kill themselves. #2 the less tired they are the better job they will do. #3 We try do the most houses per day possible (40 per day is what im looking for). average time it takes to mow a house is 8 minutes and nothing else will make that time.

    As far as beating the machines up, well its 1 of the reasons im looking for in a way disposal ztr's, I know nothing about warranty so please help me out here, I was expecting warranty to cover say spindles, engine, hydros for the full 2 years? If thats the case then my point of view is I want to own them for 2 years only as it will have about 2000 hrs by then, I mean what good is a $9000 toro with 2000 hrs in 2 years from now.

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