Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sgoalie23, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    Right now I am 17 and a senior in High School. I am going to be going to Fairfield University next year. I am looking to expand my business from 30 to 50 or so lawn care acounts. Right now I have a 60" Lazer and a 48" Metro Hp. I have limited time; the earliest I can start is 3:30 on the weekdays and all day on the weekends. My brother and I both do this. My question to you is should I purchase another ZTR? If so, do you think It would increase profits, minimize time, and create less stress? Does it make Finacial sense? I already have an 18' trailer so that is not a problem.
  2. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    What kind of properties are you servicing? If they are "typical" residential I would say no. The set up you have is a good combination. If you do alot of big properties then it would be something to consider.

    I have found that a 48" wb is just as fast if not faster on the "average" subdivision lawn as a 60" Z.

    It is when you get to the larger lawns and the wide open spaces that the Z just really pays for itself.

    But, judging by your set up you probably already know this and I am just stating the obvious.
  3. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    About 90% are about 1-2 acres.
  4. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    I don't think you should get another mower, your set up is better than most on this site.
  5. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    Ok, here is a basic formula for you to look at.

    Since you have both mowers and only you know your properties then I would take the Z and mow your "typical" lawn. Time yourself. Then do the same with the 48" wb. Take the time difference and mulitiply by the number of lawns you would definitely use your Z on.

    Example. If you can mow 15 minutes faster a lawn with your Z and you have 50 lawns then that is a total of 12.5 hours a week. That is worth running two Zs in my opinion.

    However, if you only average saving 5 minutes a lawn for 50 lawns then you only save 4 hours a week. While that is substantial I don't think it would be worth another $8000 at your age.

    Also, if you go with the dollar a minute rule:

    5 minutes a lawn = 4 hrs a week = $8500 (34 cuts) at the end of the year. Mower barely pays for itself.

    15 minutes a lawn = 12.5 hrs a week = $25,500 at the end of the year. My opinion worth it.

    This is not even counting your labor costs to run the mower. You will have to plug your own numbers in for that.

    Hope this helps.
  6. mastercare

    mastercare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    I've read many posts on this site, and the one piece of advice I see over and over the seasoned vets is:

    Don't get too big too fast!! This has sunk many a lawn-companies. Evaluate the time savings vs. the cost. You may go faster and even have time for more work, but profits are what matter.....not how much equipment you have. Pay off everything you have first, save up some $$ and get that new equipment when you can be SURE you have enough work to pay for it.
  7. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    Heres the thing. I have been doing lawn care for five years now, Spring will be the start of the sixth year. My Dad and I carefully investigate all pros and cons of a substantial purchase. It has come to the point where I know a lot more than he does about the lawn care aspect of the industry. I obviously don't know as much as you other "seasoned" pros, and greatly appreciate the advise.

    Tn Lawn Man: I took your advise in mid September of 04. I was cutting the time by half. With the walk it took me about 45 minutes to cut an acre in 4th gear(5th gear was a sloppy cut). Then i did that same lawn, same conditions, and it took me just under 25 minutes. What do you propose with this information in mind.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    What about trading the 48 on a new TTHP. The addition of the hydro will also get you a faster time and yet still be able to do smaller lots. Also cheaper for now while you are in school.
  9. WoodBrothersLC

    WoodBrothersLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    Consider trading your 48" in for a 48" or 52" Wright Stander. Keep into account that you can't do huge slopes, but it will tackle a lot. We cut our walk behind time in half with the purchase of our Stander in the first week and kept improving. With the superior bagging to a walk behind (in our opinion) and fast speed, you would be able to save yourself a lot of time, and you'll be patting yourself on the back later. With a Stander and a ZTR though, both of the mowers might finish near the same time, so you might have to trim and blow together. Just keep this testimony in mind. Don't hesitate to PM if you have any questions.
  10. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    I am looking for a 72 inch cut. I don't want a diesel, too expensive. Possibly a good used one.

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