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newbie with bobcat question

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by burns, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. burns

    burns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Im 25 and starting my own business with only a few accounts i don't plan on going over 10 or 11 tops. I do have another job that i plan on keeping due to my pay and insurance i'm just looking to maybe grow it into something down the road that can be a real business but i plan on doing it right so i don't care how long it takes. Anyways I've been shopping for a mower and got a few quotes and found a bobcat fastcat rz which is the homeowner grade for pretty cheap with a 26 hp briggs. The sales guy told me that if i stayed under 10 lawns a week it would last plenty long and i could definately get my money's worth but then reading on here a lot of guys say if your in a business get commercial equipment. Anybody out there have this mower or have a home depot or lowes special that can give me some advice on how it's holding up? I've been going back in fourth between this and a belt drive scag walk behind for the same exact price and it's just hard to pass up a ztr for a belt drive wb. But most of you guys know better so give it to me! Thanks
  2. jiggz

    jiggz LawnSite Senior Member
    from jerz
    Messages: 646

    stay away from home depot or Loews!! The only way to buy a mower, EVEN FOR YOUR PERSONAL HOUSE is to find a dealer in your area that are good people and buy from them..price does not matter here well to a degree it dosnt.. i dont know how mechanically inclined you are, but the first time it breaks and you go back to home depot for warranty work, their gonna tell you that their sending your mower out and youll get it back in 3 to 4 weeks..meanwhile its your only mower, So you cant cut so you loose 4 grand in sales during that time.. and since you just blew 2500 on their cheepy Ztr you dont have enough to get another one.. they sure as **** wont let you borrow one..All your customers tell you to take a hike, and you look like an *******.. THANKS HOME DEPOT!!

    that's what will happen.. and you will hate life

    A dealer will take it in fix it within the next day or 2.. probally give you a lender and your back in business.. this service is priceless!!! you will not get this
    at any big box store.. soo eff em plus the sales people at homedepot are ******* helmets..

    anyhoo i would get a bobcat walk-behind before i would ever fork over another grand or more for a comparable Scag..

    Ztr vs walk-behind.. you shouldn't even be comparing the two as to what you should get.. there two totally different machines meant to do two totally different things..if your yards are that big that warrant a ztr then that's what you have to get.. if your not mowing 1/2 acre patches of grass at a time id say go with the walkbehind..

    when most of the people on here say get a commercial quality machine.. there there normally talking about staying away from the real shitty machines..i wouldn't lump the RZ in with homeowner quality persay.. Ive never used one but they look like really rugged machines, rather have a kawi for a engine though but thats just me ..

    if the yards arnt HUGE i would say get the WB until you can really grow into the ztr.. you dont need to spend anymore money then you have to..plus once you upgrade
    to a rider your still going to need the w/b anyway.. Another brand you should look for in your area is Encore..people talk smack on them cause there not one of the "big names"
    but i was at a dealer today checking out there 32 wb's and was very impressed.. solid machines.. had a double drive belt unlike most 32's except the scag which i liked
    but it was almost a grans cheaper then the Bobcat came in at 2300 as opposed to 3100 for the bobcat so i might be going that way..they make ztr's too
  3. burns

    burns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Well jiggz thanks for the help I decided to go with a Bobcat 48" wb belt drive. I thought about the ztr and I was just afraid it wouldn't hold up being a residential model even though the salesman kept saying it would be fine. I have a few guys i kn0w which use the belt drives and love them plus i got it with the kawi motor which i also trust much more over that briggs. Thanks for your input.
  4. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    I started my business with a lowes bought troy built 50 inch ztr mower. That was 4 years ago. Although we do not use it anymore for commercial use it still runs and mows great. A matter of fact I have a friend who started a business last year and he used my troy built on a regular basis all summer and plans on using it a little this year. This mower defiantly did what I needed it to do and then some.

    Now with that being said, I take extremely good care of my equipment and that is probably why it lasted so long. Under no circumstances do I recommend a home owners mower if you can afford a commercial mower.

    The simple fact is, sometimes you have to do what you have to do to better yourself. If a home owner’s mower is all you can afford then do it. Just keep in mind, home owner mowers are not meant to be used at a commercial level. There is no guarantee it will last.
  5. clean_cut

    clean_cut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,327

    Good choice on a wb, try to buy used if you're just starting out to keep you overhead low.

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