Residential Z turn

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by August LM, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. August LM

    August LM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I'm looking to start a lawn maintence business in the spring. Most of the lawns I would be servicing are between .33 and .5 acres and that is with the house. So my question is for the first season could I get away with using a heavy duty residentail Z turn for the first season. Planning on doing only 8-12 lawns first season.
  2. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    Yes, you could do that.

    Things to think about:
    - Are there any gates that might restrict access of the zturn?
    - Will the purchase of the zturn and only having 8-12 customers cause you to operate at a loss for the year, if so, do you have income to live on
    - Z-turn usually means you need a trailer

    Make sure to go to several dealers and demo the equipment and find which mower you like best.
  3. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    Now that I re-read your post, I wanted to make sure.. Are you asking if you could get away with buying a residential quality machine like at Home Depot?

    If so, I'll tell you, yes you can get away with it, but are you in this for the long haul? If so, you might tear up that little Z before you're ready to purchase a new one. I think most people will tell you to buy a used, commercial grade. You'll get more life out of it and you might be happier with the results.
  4. dslc

    dslc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    brand new scag freedom z 52 in new 5200 commerical warranty
  5. Miles Limited

    Miles Limited LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    There's no need to have mower with a 52'' deck if the property is just half an acre. You'd prob be better off buying a used walk behind no bigger than 48'' bc of the gate thing.
  6. StihlBR600

    StihlBR600 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    Ok i made the same mistake your about to make. A couple of years ago (when i was 16) i started my own lawn care business and i bought a residental zero turn. It was an exmark quest. I sold it within a year and upgraded to a commercial mower. My point is if you plan on mowing about 10 lawns you might as well get a commercial mower because in a year or two your going to want to play with the big dogs and your going loose your ass on the fist mower you bought. (i learned this the hard way) no residential mower will ever compare to the power, speed, and durability of a commercial unit.
  7. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Messages: 1,123

    A commercial walk behind will absolutely smoke a residential zero turn in terms of productivity.
  8. AOD

    AOD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    Some resi Z's will hold up to light commercial use, the Toro Titan series is one of them.

    Stay away from anything from a box store, especially the Cub RZT's and the box store Deeres. Cheap, low end crap.
  9. sdk1959

    sdk1959 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    As others have stated buying a used commercial Z-turn or walk-behind is overall the best way to go but it does have a major drawback.

    Since you have no control of what used mowers are for sale at any given time it could take weeks or even months for the right mower for you to come up for sale and someone else may buy it first. The mower may be too new, too old, wrong size, (wrong color- women only LOL) priced too high, etc.

    For the size yards you plan on doing it needs to be small. A 32" walk-behind or Z-turn. Husqvarna makes a 30" Z-turn that should fit through any gate. Link is below.

    If you do buy a new residential mower use it for at least 3 seasons or until it starts having problems & nickle and diming you causing downtime.

    Selling it in very good to excellent condition after just one season of use is not too bright as the biggest drop in depreciation just like cars, trucks, motorcycles is in the first year. By waiting till at least 3 seasons of use before selling it you will get your money's worth & most of the useful life out of it before selling. Future mechanical problems are then the next owner's headache, not yours.

    Good luck in business and your decision.:)
  10. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    That Husqvarna RZ3016 that you're linking is a homeowner unit also. I don't recommend it for commercial use.

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