New guy needs some help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Orrdc, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Orrdc

    Orrdc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    LookIng for some expert opinions.

    I have a small operation, as it sits right now 20 accounts, none being more than 1/3rd of an acre. Currently I am using a commercial 21 push Honda that does a great job. I am thinking of adding a wb to increase production and maybe add a few more accounts or if nothing else get jobs done faster. This is only a part time gig as I also have a full time job.


    1. Would getting a 36 in wb be worth it period or will it not make a huge difference and save that money?

    2. If I were to get one, would a belt be fine because of the small nature of my accounts ( I have read all about belt vs hydro on here)

    3. If I do make the purchase I want something that is good, not pistol grip and most Important last with good maintenance, I have thought maybe a 36 in toro

    4. I have the opportunity to buy an almost brand new exmark 36 metro belt for 1500, too much for what I have going or a good deal?

    5. Let me also add that a few of my accounts have some decent hills

    Let me also had I have done this to supplement my full time job and plan on doing this for years to come, albeit staying small, I like to have free time to spend with my family

    Any thoughts and or help would be appreciated.

  2. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    I believe you will not be able to have it both ways. If you make this investment you could get done faster but since you also want to take on additional accounts you will be working the same amount of hours for the same pay or usually less after your expenses.
    The law of diminishing returns will soon kick in and than the real decision has to be made. Stay small and content or go larger and jeopardize your full time job. IMHO stay small and spend the time with your family.
    easy-lift guy
  3. Orrdc

    Orrdc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Easy lift, I gotta say I agree. I have no desire to go big, I do this because I enjoy it and enjoy the extra cash to use with the family.

    That being said, if I kept my current jobs and just did them faster with a wb with less physical exertion it might be a good thing. I am not looking to add a big lazer and pick up 50 accounts. I am thinking small but more effective.
  4. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Easier is always better.
  5. Orrdc

    Orrdc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Can't argue that, would it make a big enough difference is the question and what kind of deal should I be looking for?
  6. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    Understood. Do any of your accounts have any gates?, important to know when selecting deck size. For the $$ I would go with a belt driven WBM. Hydro is great, however to justify the additional expense for so few accounts to be added is not cost effective.
    I can not recommend a make or model for you to choose from, guess that will be your home work assignment.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Orrdc

    Orrdc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    they do have gates which is why I was leaning towards the 36, not to mention I also agree that belt is the way to go as I just can't justify the expense of a hydro. I like that ecs controls el toros t bar.

    I am thinking the smart thing to do is not rush and wait for a deal to smack me in the face. I don't think I can justify 1500 if that is 2 or 3 weeks profit
    Posted via Mobile Device

    TJSTONE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    36WB will cut the number of turns to less than half. I have 32 Toro T bar and a JD 48 pistol both are belt drive. I don't care for the Toro's handling as compared to to JD. The JD, for me, is easier to use. T bar or pistol? I don't care, both have their place. The belt drive is easy to maintain and that helps to control cost. As for $1500 for a mower:
    1. How many years are you going to do this?
    2. The mower becomes cheaper the more years you use it.
    3. I look at it as paying forward, any capital investment has to be paid for, is the time saving worth it?
    4. Do you think the machine will do a number of years with just PM?

    IMHO I'd do it if I had the cash and the pro's out weighed the con's.
  9. BestImpressions99

    BestImpressions99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 491

    You have a small mower. Keep it and buy a hydro WB from Exmark. You're being pretty particular with what you want. Not wanting Pistol Grips you're stuck with ither Exmark or Toro with their new setup for floating deck hydro WB's. Don't go with belt. You'll kick yourself later down the road. You won't regret getting Hydro as well as 48".
  10. Set Apart Lawn Care

    Set Apart Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    my 2 cents on buying vs not buying would be to definately get a good 36" walk behind. Even if you never grow, you will cut hours off your day and thus increase time at home, and you have the ability to take on more if you need to. Our first commercial mower was a john deere 36" belt drive and that has been the easiest to handle. I like the T-bar from toro as well. I hated scags controls, always felt like I was wrestling the machine.

    I also agree if you are part time with lawn maintenance a 5-6k hydro is a tall order. If you ever get over 40 yards I think they're worth every penny.

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