Don't laugh at me, but I....

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by adaptivehomeservices, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. adaptivehomeservices

    adaptivehomeservices LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 59

    Had a chance to demo a Gravely ZTR today. I am opening myself up for abuse here but I am posting this in the newbie section so be nice. lol

    Ok...just to be honest. I have been getting everything lined up for my grand business launch and checked out a local dealer today. In talking I mentioned I had never even been on a ztr and had my reservations. He laughed and took me outside, started one and said, "heres your chance". Not many cars around so I jumped on and.........couldn't believe how easy to operate it was. Ok...I know it will take practice and experience to master but I was very impressed with the controls and its ability to turn and maneuver. This post is screaming new guy!

    Did anyone else have reservations or felt a little timid when they first jumped on? I am 34, former contractor and police officer so its not like I have been selling baskets at the mall. I just built them up to be a little harder to handle. Put me on a steep hill and that might shut me up. Cool day and sales person was very nice and helpful.

    I went in and said I am just starting my business and I am going to take over the market next year and make a million dollars...he says he loves the new guys! lol

    I was kidding of course.
  2. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    lol, no, i wasn't nervous or anything, but....

    make sure you practice on your turf first...driving on turf is totally different than pavement. Practice three point turns on turf first, then eventualy you will master Zero turns without tearing turf
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    wait till you try it on soft, or damp soil........

    make a 3 point turn not a zero turn, or you will tear up the yard.... they are pretty cool arent they..:)
  4. djsp24

    djsp24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    not for nothing....but i had the exact same reservations! Your not the only one, didnt wanna lose control of a 8k machine and run into a parking lot full of caddies and f250's! I got over it in about 7 seconds, but what a initial rush.... I am using a smaller exmark Phazer for my own property to see what I think, bought it late in the season at a steal! brand new for 3900.00 bucks! Lovin it, tear up the grass every now and then, but usually only when its wet, so I think i am getting the hang of it! Have fun with yours if you get one or already have one!
  5. adaptivehomeservices

    adaptivehomeservices LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 59

    Oh I didn't buy it. I will be on a major shopping spree this spring. Checked out a few of the dealers today. 7 seconds was about all it took me too to say that this could be fun. I have heard a lot about these tearing up the turf but most can be avoided by not maximizing the zero turn.

    I am also really liking the idea of a wright 36" stander. I am marketing to 100% residential and can really see the benefits of one of these...but with my fat @ss and the weight of the machine...worried about tearing up the turf.
  6. MattsMowing3535

    MattsMowing3535 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 385

    First time I drove one was my unles older toro I wasnt nervouse at all I just jumped out and left some big tire marks on his driveway lol. Never push one lever and pull the other at the same time :nono: I was a little affraid the first time I took a hustler mini Z in a tight yard though. . I would suggest haveing that shoping spree now. So you have to store them over winter . . . you may be able to get 1000 off a NEW machine or a ligthly used one for half the price if you look around in the next month!
  7. adaptivehomeservices

    adaptivehomeservices LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 59

    I am looking used over the winter. I would have to find something pretty new with low hours. Its fun looking at the new stuff though!

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Yeah I remember my maiden voyage...the dealer and some Toro rep brought a Z out to my bosses house. The Toro guy wanted to impress us with the capabilities of the machine so he proceeded to attempt to drive it straight across the drainage ditch in his front yard and got it stuck pretty good :laugh: so my first time touching a Z was spent helping push it out of the ditch. Then my boss rode it. Then me...I promptly shredded the bosses wallet which had unknowingly fallen out of his pocket on his demo ride :laugh:

    That was a cool day :laugh:
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I was phased into it rather slowly, so it was a nice easy transition. hen I first started working for an actual commercial operation, I had already had several years as a kid, operating a decent sized lawn and garden tractor. Of course, I had had some years of string trimming and pushmowing experience, as well. Then, when I first worked for this commercial outfit, I pushed a Snapper for 10 to 12 hours a day,....6 days a week. It got old, fast. I then graduated mySELF to string trimming by taking the initiative and helping out when they were a bit behind. BIG mistake.....Then, I was doing THAT for 10 to 12 hours a day. Shortly after that, the owner put me on a Ransome (we were using the big 4 cylinder front deck-rear steers at the time). I rode that pretty much from there on out, used a small (48") walkbehind, occasionally, and then trained on an 11 ft. reel fairways mower (Ransome). When I left the company to start on my own, I started from scratch. I pushed, then got a tractor (JD 212). After that, I bought my first walk behind (JD 52") and ran that for a few years before purchasing my second (just like it). I ran these for about 9 years. So, by this time, I pretty much knew what you can do with a deck, and what you couldn't. Then I bought my first (commercial) rider. It was the Gravely Promaster 300 Hydro 60" front deck (steers under the seat). The machine was (and still is) a tank. I ran that for 6 - 7 years before needing another machine for cutting power. I then bough the Lazer (in 2000). Been running them both ever since.
    So, as you can see, it was a rather slow build. You ill definitely get the hang of the Z, though. It IS so much easier if you can have a real experienced operator show you first hand some techniques on it up close. It certainly shortens the learning curve
  10. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 554

    I've only used walk behinds for first 10 years and then they come out with ZTR. I wouldn't buy one for years I findly broke down after moving and starting all over. I will always have two or three now but I will always have my walk behinds too.

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