How much longer will and owner driven ZTR last?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tacoma200, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Well one thing that I've noticed is that when I watch the lawn care crews. If you see the owner running a ZTR they seem to be extremely careful, make smooth movements, turns etc. When I see one of their employees, especially out away from the boss they drive them like a bat out of, well you know.. They pop the front wheels, jerk them around, slow down for nothing, and will run over anything thats in their way (rocks, etc.). Even run them into a pond trying to keep from doing a little extra trimming. So how much longer would an owners ZTR last compared to one that is driven exclusively by employees. This has to be a problem getting a good employee that will take care of equipment.
  2. robbo521

    robbo521 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    i was raised if you use another mans tools you treat them like you payed for them.i have used others and something brakes,i fix it or get them a new one.i have seen what you are saying and around here it is unreal.
  3. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    I saw Lesco 54" Z2 shot in one season after crew running them for 8 months, like you said, "no mercy" on machine especially when owners are only living in AC office or home doing billing and paper works, of course answering phone and estimate.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,592

    Owner driven last a LOT curb jumping,, no stump and rock grinding. No running at 10mph forward and reversing immediately.
  5. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,085

    I have heard alot of the Dixie Chopper that are by employee's that beat on equipment at around 2500hrs, and Dixie Choppers taken care of by owner operated LCO's are more in the 3500hr+ range..
  6. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    1 of my competitors runs Exmarks, Dixie Choppers, and Encore. He has 3 crews going like crazy. The Dixie Choppers died first. 1 he has used for fertilizing only since the 3rd season. Exmarks are his main mowers and last the longest , he has a few just like mine. He always asked me how many hrs are on my mowers, then just shakes his head. I have an Exmark with close to 3500 hrs which I am putting all new wheel motors in this winter. It didn't break down I just want to see if I can speed it up again. Only has a 22 HP Kawi L/C but it uses no oil and has a ton of torque. I would never buy one with more than 27 HP if L/C. I would bet that most of us owner operators will get at least a couple of more seasons out of a ZTR than an employee. We all mulch up here to not side discharge so that puts even more of a strain on them in my opinion.
  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    owner driven would most likely last 30-200% longer depending on the owner.

    But the thing to do with employees is implement a bonus program that rewards them for equipment not getting broken.

    remove $.50 per hour out of the pay and apply that towards a bonus pool. Obviously do this prior to hiring them or out of the next raise.

    So now you have $20 per person per week in bonus. or $80 per month per person. Then you tie the crew together and pay out the bonus at month end.
    Then when something gets lost/stolen, damaged, or whatever, the bonus money is drained first to pay for the damage.

    3 man crew $240 for the month.
    some genius runs over the edger and it needs a new outer shaft. $80. Well now the crew has $160 to split 3 ways. $53 instead of $80 each. You are out nothing, but the genius is gonna get it from the rest of the crew.

    The next month the same genius leaves a blower on site and it gets stolen.
    crew bonus pool $240. New blower $399. You are out $159, but the crew is each out the entire bonus. (and you would have been out $399). That genius will quit or be forced to quit and you don't have to say anything other than, due to the blower being lost, Crew 2 gets no bonus this month.

    do not carry over loss amounts higher the bonus pool. It must start fresh every month or it has no value. Really big things. like wrecking the truck or intentional acts or conspicuous carelessness need to also be accompanied with termination of the moron who did it, so the crew can have a chance to get a guy who understands the program.

    Remember, to them this is found money, but it will be spent prior to earning it, so it will seriously hurt the beer fund or whatever. The crew will tighten up and beat it into the new guys, that the equipment and maintenance are important.

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