Residential equipment

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MJD75, May 14, 2004.

  1. MJD75

    MJD75 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I hear quite a bit about everybodys top of the line commercial equipment, any thoughts on using top of the line residential for commercial? I am slowly trying to upgrade my equipment, but have had good results and pleased customers with my residential equipment so far for a quarter of the cost. Such as my Ariens Zoom which seems to compete well with the big boys. I started on a shoestring budget and seem to have been successful so far with my "cheap" equipment. Any thoughts? Did anyone else start "cheap"?
  2. stumpking

    stumpking LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    As with any tool, the 'cost' of the cheap stuff will get much higher as you use it more. I've always been a believer in buying something 'once'...err well at least as few times as possible ;-).

    With regard to lawn service, I'm just a homeowner, but I still bought on the lgiht side of commercial for gear. The added power alone cuts the effort in half for doing my lawn, and the design of the equipment ensures that every time I whack into something I'm not running off to find parts.

    Case in point, the Shindaiwa T230 trimmer I just bought. It weighs probably 2/3 of what the homeowner trimmers weigh that I've used and the power on it is almost scary. I literally don't need to buy an edger as this thing will eat anything I point it to. Yeah, it doesn't look as nice as a bladed edger job, but with a cheap trimmer, they just don't have the grunt to do this work.
  3. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    MJ, you have to keep your budget and there's nothing wrong with growing a business slowly. In years to come, though, you'll laugh about what you went through in the early years.
  4. Luscious Lawns

    Luscious Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    Too many people think a quality cut comes from an expensive mower. (I have a truck full--LOL) but the fact is I've seen Murrys make very clean cuts. Their drawback is not the quality of cut it is longevitity of equipment. When we started we used a murry and a craftsman but after we started getting more accounts I found the "Cheaper" mowers that had to be replaced annualy ended up costing more than the commercial mowers that lasted............I don't know how long. I've had a Lazer 52 for 6 years and it still runs strong. IMO............If you are killing the equipment in under 3 years switch to heaver equipment.
  5. BCSteel

    BCSteel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Before I got my walker, Id burn out at least one JD JX 75 21" mower per year. But I guess thats what happens when you put over 2000 hours per year on them.

    I think that most people started cheap and as the business grew they could afford better, longer lasting equipment. I'd say use your "cheap" stuff until it dies then get stronger stuff as the older equipment give out.
  6. EZTarget

    EZTarget LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    i agree. i am seeing the effects on my Toro Personal Pace. In my opinion it is a good mower (for 400) and gives a great cut but it is starting to feel the effects. For example, yesterday my linkage started binding causing issues with the self propel handle. Not a major deal but I can see where over time it isnt going to hold up like a commercial grade.
  7. Burger

    Burger LawnSite Member
    from Montana
    Messages: 192

    Home owner myself, and Cutting a nice hill side acre of grass with the Sears 18 pony 38" was an all day ordeal. Now, with the Kubota 60" on a hydrostatic tractor takes a little over an hour.
  8. MJD75

    MJD75 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I've been using the Personal Pace also for the second year, holding up like a champ so far...fingers crossed. Just bought my Ariens ZTR This year for $2500. Its a great machine so far, with a smaller deck at 40'' which is a perfect size for my accounts, which includes a 42 building condo unit with some tight areas and many flower beds.
  9. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    Whether or not you can use residential equipment depends simply on how much and how hard they are used, IMO. My thoughts on the subject are that you waste so much time and effort using residential equipment that yer better off to spend the money and be more productive. At least that way you don't have to work quite as hard. The money you save is lost in man hours anyhow. And I don't know about you, but since it balances the same either way, I'd rather work smarter than harder and still have a pulse at the end of the day.
  10. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,732

    if you take care of the equipment it should last a reasonable amount of time, but with the narrower deck, slower tips speeds, the hours are going to add up faster.

    whatever you don't, do finance anything. then you are just working to pay for it.

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