Need help/opinions


LawnSite Senior Member
South, FL
Starting biz in 2 weeks.(I know I'm late, but you do what you can), I am on the fence regarding equipment. Here's the dilemma: I can pick up a good used Dixie chopper for $3900 from a reputable local dealer who took it in on a new trade. I don't know the deck size, hours or model yet..will find out tommorow. I have budgeted app. $5000 for my main mower and Shindaiwa T230 trimmer, Shin blower and stick edger. I've heard to get the best you can afford to start out and you won't be sorry later. If I find a lesser quality used ztr or hydro W/B for app. $2500 or so, I would have xtra $1400 for advertising, misc, etc. I have set aside money for living expenses for 2 months and insurances, licenses and initial advertising. I will be starting with residential accts of 1/4 and 1/2 acre initially. Time is money and I want to move fast...but extra dough set aside is nice to have. Most every established lawn service in my area has a ZTR machine, (wonder why)LOL. Good, fast reliable chopper or a lesser quality machine and extra $ for a rainy day? Another factor is I plan on using this dealer for future service/upgrades. If I buy used from John Doe thru the classified's, it's more risky. Anyone agree? Replies appreciated. <br><p><font size="1">Edited by: Bassman

little green guy

LawnSite Senior Member
check out the dixie and make sure it's a good machine and it will suit your needs. I wouldn't worry about the extra money you should make it up in no time. Just a couple things: 1)why was it traded in? 2)do you have a trailer ?<p>One other thing you might want to consider is a new hydro walkbehind with a velke. You might be better of bying new.


LawnSite Gold Member
If the Choppers in good shape buy it. Your going to spend enough time hoofin' it with all the trimming you'll have to do.<p>Homer


LawnSite Senior Member
guess it depends on which way you want to head with your biz.<br>Is most of the bigger stuff taken by reputable companies, or do you want fast cash with smaller accts. With the price of real estate in fla., not many people have sizable yards, unless you get in nicer communities. I wouldn't use a ZTR on anything smaller than 2/3 acre, cuz all the turning on small areas & not enuf room to &quot;open it up & let 'er go&quot;.<br>Seems hard to beat a good dixie for that price; I couldn't afford a ZTR until I went full time. Once you have one, that will open the door to PURSUE bigger accts. So I guess I'm saying think about what size of accts you want, then buy accordingly. Groundkeepers uses lawnboys on all his accts. & can whip out $25-30 lawns in a flash, adding up to good $ at the end of the day. I prefer bigger accts myself, & I made my purchases accordingly.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Chicago, IL USA
Bassman: I have use 60&quot; Choppers on small lawns til I got all big ones. 1 big lawn we do, we also do 4 rental's for them which are smaller and we still use a 60&quot; Chopper on them. Some tips on checking out this Chopper. Look at the serial number and the first 2 numbers is the year. Reverse the first 2 numbers to get the year. If it says 69, it's a 1996 79 is a 1997, you get the idea!! Reach under the deck and lift up and down on the end of the blades to check for spindle bearing slop. If the model number ends in 00, it will be a stainless steel model, which is worth more. If it ends in 01, 02, 03, it is a painted model and won't have an hour meter, unless it was added. The 00 models have engine and hydro coolers which also adds to the value. A Command engine is much better than the older Magnum engines. If the model number starts with an LX, it's a 42&quot;, X is a 50&quot;, XW is a 60&quot; and XXW is a 72&quot;. You can tell a lot about a machine just by the model number and serial number. I hope this information helps you. Let me know this info and how many hours it has on it and we could give you a better idea of it's value. Feel free to email me if you want.<br><p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>The Grass is always Greener on the other side of my competitors fence

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