Equipment questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by conepile, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. conepile

    conepile LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I'm looking to expand my business and have some equipment questions considerations that I'd like some opinions on.

    I have a 36" Exmark Metro and wish to purchase something bigger. I'm trying to decide between a Turf Tracer or a Lazer HP, either one being 48" or 52". There are obvious cost differences, and I'm looking for some advice.

    Most current customers are smaller residences (1/2 acre or less), no significant obstacles, some fence gates. I'm looking to expand the business (residential).

    My questions:

    Is the extra $ on the Lazer Z HP going to pay off for me, or am I better off with a Turf Tracer with a Powerslide? Which size might be better?

    I use a mulch kit now, as most clients have mulch beds and spraying clippings on the beds is unsightly. Is there an alternative with a new mower (the mulch kit for the TT is $150, not sure with the Lazer)?

    How big a trailer (enclosed, for storage and security) should I use? I don't want/cant afford a 16' trailer, but can a Lazer Z HP or Turf Tracer be turned sideways in a 6' wide trailer?

    I'm considering a Powerslide. Will the belt-drive Metro handle it? Can I actually cut in 5th gear (quality of cut)?

    Is blade commonality (36" and 52" use the same blades) worth factoring in?
  2. cclllc

    cclllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    It's up to you .If you stay on small properties like you have now then a wb would be fine.Personally I hate to stand all day and to me thet are slow.If on the other hand you are going to expand to bigger properties to acre or bigger then you need a rider with atleast 52 in.cut.You will get done quicker and won't be as tired at the end od the day.In the long run you'll make more money too.I think that is the whole idea of better equipment anyway.Believe me if you get the rider you'll have more free time so you can take on more work.:)
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,698

    If you have the money go for the Lazer HP 52". You will not regret the purchase. The Lazer HP 52" has a 3.5 mph advantage over the TT. Also as has been pointed out you get to sit instead of stand. Also I think Yorktown Sheet Metal makes a operator controlled discharge cover to fit the Lazer eliminating the grass blowing up into landscaping beds.
  4. cclllc

    cclllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    You could just go all out and buy a dixie chopper .They have the operator controlled discharge chute installed.
  5. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    Hey Conepile,

    Are you happy with your 36" Exmark? I am in the market for a WB of that size. Does it mulch nice?
  6. conepile

    conepile LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    The 36" Exmark has served well. The mulch kit works fine, although wet grass (sometimes unavoidable) can lead to clumping if you neglect to clean the deck in a timely manner.
  7. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    I think the TT HP 52/17Kaw would be my choice.

    (I actually prefer the TT 60/23 Koh, but you didn't give that option.)

    I don't care for the pro-slides myself, but would use a bull-rider instead.

    The reason why is because the WB is more versitle:
    Better on hills & in ditches.
    Quicker on working around landscapes.
    Better on parkways and tight areas.
    You can pick the deck up easily around tree trunks and the like.
    The tear turf less when turning: especially important in shady areas.
    Old ladies like them better. :)

    An ideal crew seems to be 1 WB and 1-2 Z's. You can build accordingly.
  8. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    Try a Stander. Probably priced in the middle, Available in 48", 52", 61" and others too. Takes up very little room on a trailer too (lss room than comparable sized WB)!
  9. I agree chopper all the way
  10. beck

    beck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 455

    As kent lawns pointed out riders do not handle the hills as well as a walk behind.

    A rider will give you the chance to bid competively on larger properties. As we speak I have a 36" exmark and a Dixie. The dixie goes on just about all but five front yards the exmark gets used for the backs. I am now looking for a 52", depending on how my bid comes back for an apartment complex and a church.
    They sound promising though, when I dropped of my bid for next year the apartments asked for a leaf clean-up for the first week of december.

    Riders will not fit sideways on a 6' trailer.
    I have a 7X16 trailer the 36" and dixie fit nicely with a few feet to spare in the rear. Once you get into the base price of a trailer an extra 2-4 ft is not much more and is well worth it. I would go with an 8.5 X 20 for my next one.

    I have the 12.5 on my exmark and it handle the velke + 175 lbs.
    5th gear it cuts OK but cuts better in a lower gear

    As for all of your purchases think past the short term(the following year) and look into the long term where do you want to be/expect to be in 3-5 years. Buying the larger trailer now will save $ down the road in upgrading.

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