Most Economic Zero Turn for my Needs?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Fiddler, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. Fiddler

    Fiddler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    TL;DR at the bottom.
    I got incredibly lucky, and I'm still in shock. I just started my lawn care/snow removal business, and through a family friend got connected with someone that provides student housing for local college students. They own 20+ buildings that vary in size, and are growing. They currently have a guy that takes care of the properties but they're very unhappy with him.

    I still have to work out the details but it sounds like this will be some good money. Like I said, I'm in shock, I didn't see this coming and I'm not prepared.

    Obviously this REALLY helps me starting off, but it also puts a lot of pressure on me to get equipment earlier than I was planning.

    Some of their locations I would consider commercial, and require something like a zero turn. I haven't even considered buying a zero turn as the properties I currently do are small and only take me 20-40 minutes with a push mower. Technically I could manage these new properties with what I have, but some would take well over an hour (Sorry I don't have the exact sq. ft. yet).

    I currently only own a 21" manual push mower, I had been planning on upgrading to a Honda HRX217 (By recommendation), and using my original as a spare. I also already own a pickup and a decently sized trailer.

    TL;DR: I'm wondering what is a good entry level zero turn for small commercial properties? I estimate that within the next 2 years, as I get my contracts, I'll only use the zero turn for maybe 20-30% of my jobs, but for this deal to go through I think I need to buy one. Plus buying one gives me more options in the future, I've avoided advertising to larger properties so far.

    Money isn't a HUGE issue, I have a line of credit I've barely touched, but if I buy a zero turn, I don't think I need the best of the best. Just something economical, for low end commercial properties.

  2. Greencuts518

    Greencuts518 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,968

    Bradley stand on mowers get good reviews at a great price
  3. OP

    Fiddler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I'm not against stand on mowers, but I've been managing a farm for 5 years and we have a sit zero turn, stand on, and tow-behind tractor mower and honestly I really prefer the sit zero turn. I get that the stand ons are good for your back long term but I wouldn't mind sitting down sometimes as all my jobs so far are push mowed.

    Edit: I also am pretty ignorant of the pros/cons of zero turns vs stand on mowers.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
  4. Centex Aeration

    Centex Aeration LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    I would look at the Bradley 36 hydro walk behind.
    wjjones likes this.
  5. hal

    hal LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 1,542

    Go to your local mower shops and look for a lightly used/demo unit. Almost any commercial grade z will be fine. Try a stand on for a while to see if you would like it, or at least do it for a year and buy a z if you need/want it. I have had z's for years (and years) and we are moving to stand ons.
    dieselss and wjjones like this.
  6. wjjones

    wjjones LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    A walk behind could get it done, and theres usually alot for sale on Craigslist. It would be a good starter mower, or permanent.
  7. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,229

    Buy two used 36 walk behinds of the same engine. Doesn't need to be exact brand. I like Kawasaki but Kohler are good too. Get one sulky new or in good shape. Shouldn't pay more than 800 maybe 1200 with a velky. Get hydro walk behinds. They have hoses going to the wheels on each side. You should get really good deals on FB or CL Offer up etc.
  8. LawnCareBowling2019

    LawnCareBowling2019 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    Im getting my first zero turn to, and the one from Home Depot for 2000$ made by yard machine should go 2500+ hours.
  9. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,229

    You're lucky to get 25hrs. Maybe 250 realistically. You don't get 2500 out of 15k any brand mowers without major component failure.
  10. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 11,777

    You better get something dependable. Bad Boy has the lesser expensive Z s

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