Is now the right time to buy a new mower?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Johnnyb4894, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Johnnyb4894

    Johnnyb4894 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Ok first of all I want to say how much I like and have learned from the forums,site ,etc.You guys can be pretty funny at times.
    Ok guys how about some insight here.I am cutting about 10 lawns a week,all of them residential.I hope to grow when the season hits to about 30,and hopefully pick up a couple of commercial accounts.This started out as a side gig and a damn good one at that.Right now I am cutting with an MTD lawn tractor-OK guys stop laughing now-I bought it used and already replaced a pulley,and the spindle bearings plus a couple of belts.Should I consider up-grading this late in the season or wait till just before season starts next year? I don't want to buy a new mower and look at it during the off season.
    I also am riding the fence on what mower I should get I was looking at the Ariens Zoom at my Gravelly dealer with a Kholer engine.I have read on this site a couple of guys use them and are happy with them.The dealer says" it is an entry level commercial mower " hmmmm?I was also looking at a Ferris hydro wb for about the same money.I have also been looking at used mowers on Craigs List but am leary about buying someone Else's problem.I would like to continue to cut as long as I can but only on a part-time basis,how bout some in-sight fellas.

    The Rock-n-Roll CowBoy Johnny B!!.jpg
  2. IHusky

    IHusky LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    Don't be afraid of buying a used commercial grade walkbehind with low hours, 100 - 200 hours is nothing on a commercial mower. If you wait till next season, the price will go up on mowers because there is more demand. Keep your eyes open on Craigs list, you can find some walkbehinds that homeowners are looking to sell. Just remember that if you have gates, then you want to buy a deck size that will fit through the majority of your gates. Almost any commercial grade mower is going to put your lawn tractor to shame. When you switch to a commercial mower you will kick your self in the azz for not getting one sooner....good luck.
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    nothing wrong with a Kohler, it's all we run, simply because of cost..... a replacement Kohler is around 1000.00 where a KAw is 2,000.00, king of a no brainner..

    I useually purchase durring the winter months, I now have 3 exmarks 52" 60" and 60"
    have always purchased brand new. I personaly have not had any luck with used machines, it seems I will locate one about 1 year old and go look at it only to find it has been beaten to death... I dont understand how people can be so rough on a machine in only 1 year, again this is personal experance.

    MAke sure you have a need for a larger machine before purchaseing it....
    I have seen several people jump out there and get in trouble real fast.

    Good luck
  4. subs1000w

    subs1000w LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

    the best deals come in the off months even now is alittle early the best are right before christmas because people find out they need money just have you cash ready to go and you will save ALOT if you buy a used mower with low hours over brand new as it has alreadty dapreciated 30-40% but has only been used maybe maybe 10% of it life span
  5. ZTR_Diesel

    ZTR_Diesel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 371

    I don't even have my side business started yet, but here's a couple simple rules of thumb that I've picked up from much wiser folks along the way.

    One - don't get too hung up on equipment itself. It's good to have good equipement that does a great job - and even better to have equipment that's paid-for and is at a slow point in it's depreciaton curve, verses a rapid point. Growing up on a family farm, our combine was really about the only piece of equipment that was regurally replaced. We would look to purchase a machine from about 6 -8 years of age, with 1000 - 1500 hours on it, and run it seven years, about another 1200 - 1500 hours. Then trade it off before it started costing too much in repairs & maintance. So a machine that originally sold for $150k cost only about $60k, and it would be sold for around $30 - 40k. Even if you allowed $10k or more in maintance over the seven years, it still came out many $$$'s and cents ahead.

    Good luck with your decisions, reasearch thouroughly, don't be afraid of good used equipemnt, and consider that finding a reputable dealer is probably more important than brand, features, etc.
  6. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Ok, your first step is to find a different dealer than that one, since he is trying to feed you a line of crap. We are an Ariens dealer, and the Ariens badged mowers at NOT warranted for commercial use. The residential entry level Zoom is certainly nothing close to "entry level commercial". Now, if you were to move to the Zoom XL or the Zoom HD series, while they still do not carry a commercial warranty, they are built a little heavier than the Zoom.

    And if your Gravely dealer has an Ariens Zoom with a Kohler engine, it is at least a 2007 model, because ALL 2008 model year Ariens ZTRs were built with the Briggs engines. 2009 model year Ariens will be switching back to the Kohler engines, except for one lower priced Zoom mower which will carry a Briggs engine to try to keep the selling price of that mower down.

    The Gravely badged line has many of the same basic models as the Ariens badged line, but the Gravely units also move higher up the line into a commercial warranted unit. You have to know what you are looking at, and from the sound of it, the dealer you were at does not know his product or is trying to fleace you.
  7. Kennedy Landscaping

    Kennedy Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,597

    Gravely is the way to go. Bought mine about four weeks ago today, the guy wanted to get rid of it fast for a down payment on a hustler. It had 145hrs when I bought it. Now up to like 154. Has the 13hp Kawi and I love every minute of mowing now. Good strong machine. I would suggest looking at those. But that MTD won't last you long. I ran one for a year one time and the tranny was out before the season ended.

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