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Need mower advice please

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by DiscoNfrno, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. DiscoNfrno

    DiscoNfrno LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Ok, First off...I am not in the business. I hope this is okay.

    I recently purchased a home with a 5 acre lot. About 2 acres of mowable grass. I am at my whits end about what to do. I borrowed my Father in laws Husqavarna 42" rider and it took about 4 or 5 hours to cut my yard. This is obviously not acceptable. I thought about getting a 54" Crafstman to cut the time, but a few people I know in the business said I could cut that time way down with a smaller ZTR. So I've narrowed it down to like a residential type Toro, or Cub Cadet ZTR, or possibly even a 44" Exmark Phazer (although I'd REALLY rather not spend 5-6K on my own grass. Question is...How long would a residential type mower hold up on 2 acres of very hilly landscape mowing twice a month (I'm in Georgia and the grass doesn't grow fast here) Some guys say I'd have transmission problems with a residential type mower in this yard.

    Also the commercials cut anywhere from 8-10 mph, while the residentials max out about 5.5...does this matter?

    I've even thought about having someone cut my yard, a guy I know will do it for $75 and only 2x per month is 1200-1500 per season. So it takes me 5 years to pay for the phazer, and I'm cutting it myself instead of paying someone. And although I have $5000 I'm not rich by any stretch (I'm a fireman) and I got this house on a forclosure so I'm trying to keep things reasonable but without spending a whole day on cutting.

    HELP! :dizzy:
  2. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Messages: 0

    If you know someone willing to mow 2 acres for $75 and willing to cut it every other week then I would say that is going to be your best value.
  3. DiscoNfrno

    DiscoNfrno LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thank you I thought so too. I'm afraid he's going to mow it once or twice and up the price though. I may see how it goes for a couple months. People don't make near as much in lawn care as they do where I moved from in IL...The grass grass alot slower.

    Anything on whether a residential, or what type would last on a yard like this in case I decide to buy?
  4. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,612

    Your best bet is to hire the pro.

    If it were me, and I was only cutting one big lawn, I'd buy a commercial 48" or 52" walk-behind mower. You can buy one new for $2500, pop a sulky on it, and get it cut in an hour. Or buy one used for much less.

    It will last you 20 years.
  5. DiscoNfrno

    DiscoNfrno LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Well thanks for the help you two.
  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961


    A lot of things influence mow speed. How level is the lot and how many obstacles are in the way.

    It does take time to mow a few acres of grass.

    I would simply by the biggest and best mower that will do the job with as much money as I can afford.

    It is not un-heard of to buy a 8K mower in a business. If you spend a similar amount the mower will last 15 years instead of 3.

    TOOMBSTONE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    You could always buy a commercial mower and cut a few yards on the side to pay for it. This would be a great idea if you work 24 hr on and 48 hr off, like most firefighters. I am sure you could find the time.
  8. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    exactly. a coworker at my "day job" has six acres he mows. He has tried unsuccessfully over the past few years to get by with the cheapest thign he can and keeps getting the same results. Junked mowers every other year. I kept telling him that he could spend 8 or 9K on a good commercial grade ZTR, cut his time in half and the thing would last him forever. He's looked my Warrior over a couple of times and today my dealer told me when I dropped by that the guy had just left heading to the bank to get the money for a new Warrior. Hello referral fee!! :dancing: :waving:
  9. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    But the problem is that even he thinks the guy will raise the price, so he is guessing and isnt really "the pro". I would think a toro timecutter or any of the zero turns at lowes/home depot will due if its just for your own lawn.
  10. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I tell my customers all the time, I don't compete on labor rates, I compete with eq.

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