1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Residential Z Turn

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TheTurfTender, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. TheTurfTender

    TheTurfTender LawnSite Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 130

    Since it's my first year. What is the problem with using a Residential Z turn for the first year. I am thinking buying a 50" cub cadet for around 2k and using it this year.
    Let me know what to expect. The mower has never been used.
  2. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,186

    Overall durability what be there, deck is thin steel, have you ever operated commercial mowers...?
    If so you wouldn't be asking this question!
  3. TheTurfTender

    TheTurfTender LawnSite Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 130

    No, I have not operated a commerical mower. What I am asking is if this will get me through a year? If I max out around 40 accounts with an acre apeice for 28 weeks and clean ups will I run into problems?
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    This mower will not take 28 weeks of 40 accounts, and I have been there and done that. As I have said before, you would be much better off buying a used well maintained commercial ztr than anything residentual. I wished I had taken the money I wasted on this junk my first few years in biz and just made a monthy payment on a new or paid cash for a used commercial unit. I AM speaking from experience here and I did not have anywhere near 40 accounts. BTW, I tried one residentual unit like you are looking at cutting 5 yards a day for 30 days and it was falling apart. Was lucky enough to get a full refund for it. Don't waste your money on it, I promise you will be on here in the near future saying the same thing I am saying to someone else asking what you are asking.
  5. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,186

    First, I'm somewhat new to this site, nowhere as educated as many guys of the GREEN are.
    You can use a residential zero turn, but sooner or later parts will go bad before summer hits like pulleys, idlers pulleys, belts, tires, starter....etc
    If you don't mind paying for repair parts/labor be my guest....
  6. TheTurfTender

    TheTurfTender LawnSite Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 130

    I looked back and that seems to be a pretty consistent message. OK FINE. I think I will still scour craigslist every day to find a decent ztr or walk behind. I have about $2k to spend on the deal so I hope in the next month I can find something.
  7. SomervilleLawncare

    SomervilleLawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163


    I agree with the rest of the guys, don't waste the money on a residential mower. My dad bought a residential toro zero turn (against my advise) to just do his 3 acre lawn and in the first year he was having major problems. Plain and simple they are just made much cheaper.

    My advise to you:

    Buy a 48" walk behind (exmark, toro, scag are what I recommend)
    -keep checking craigslist and lawnsite classifieds, your should be able to find a decent one for $1200-$1500

    Take your extra money and buy a nice commercial grade 21" mower to do smaller lawns.

    This way you have a commercial quality walk behind that you would be able to do lawns up to 2 acres or so without a problem and you have a nice 21" to get into gated smaller yards with. This is also equipment that you would want to buy later on anyways. Use this equipment for now and save up for a better quality ztr.
  8. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    there's this kid on my area " he has some kind of beef with me"

    he purchased a toro "homeowner" mower ZTR at home depot.

    he got it last year about mid summer. I seen him with a 21" yesterday mowing a rather LARGE area.....leading me to belive his ZTR is dead...

  9. kps2389

    kps2389 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    I'm going to agree with just about everyone else so far. Find a good used 48" belt drive for around $1500 bucks. It will last a lot longer than than homeowner ZTR.
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    If you have 40 accounts, at an acre each, and expect to mow 28 times per season, you can easily justify a good w/b mower. Let's do a bit of math here,

    For the sake of argument, presume each one acre property produces a gross sale of $45/cut. So, the gross sales:

    40X28X45 = $50,400

    Let's presume the cost of a good 48" w/b commercial mower: $4,500

    The raw cost of equipment per cut: $4.01

    Let's take another case, buying a consumer model, e.g. Cub rider tractor: $2,500

    The raw cost of equipment per cut: $2.23

    Obviously, this is a very simple way of looking at the matter. Undoubtedly, the commercial machine would have far more than one season. The tractor, ... maybe not more than one years, maybe even significant expenses to get through the first year. The difference of less than $2 make the choice pretty clear -- at least to me. Remember, this is a machine you intend to use to gross over $50K in sales for the season. Skimping a bit on initial expenses doesn't make sense to me.

Share This Page