riding mower vs zero mowers.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kebrowns, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. kebrowns

    kebrowns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    I have about 3500 to spend. would it be best to buy a riding mower or a a zero turn
  2. ozarklawns

    ozarklawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    Don't buy a big box retail riding mower. Period.
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I'd say no to the riding mower but not sure $3500 is enough to get a good zero turn, even a used one. I see you have a 36 inch walk behind with sulky. Honestly that's probably as efficient or more efficient as most riding mowers.

    What's the situation? Are you having a hard time getting everything done with the 36? Too many accounts? Accounts too big. A little more information about why you're considering adding a mower would be helpful.

    My first instinct is to suggest you get a used 52 inch hydro commercial walk behind. That's usually the next step up and along with a 36 is a nice combination. The Exmark Turf Tracer HPs are a nice or you could stick with Bobcat and try to find one of them. They will take the same blades as your 36, just 3 instead of 2.
  4. StrokerTurbo7.3

    StrokerTurbo7.3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    You could put that down on a new ztr and finance the rest for a very reasonable monthly payment. I'm assuming you have the accounts to warrant the purchase... That's my opinion on what I would do.
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  5. kebrowns

    kebrowns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    i was thinking off getting a high end riding mower if that even exists, but you guys are making a convincing argument about something else. I have 3 accounts that are between .5 acres and 1.3 acres. I was trying to do things quicker. these accounts has trees. along these trees I have to make several passes because around the trees. Its taking me a while to cut these properties. My bobcat 36inch is not zero turn. However, some one offered to sell me a used 48inch walk behind for $600 that is similar to my bobcat and it has hydro on it. I really dont want to finance anything right now. I have about another 8 more accounts. I could look into a 50 inch one out there not sure. But have limited space on trailer the bobcat stretche out very long.
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    My main mower is my hydro 48. I go whole days without taking my Lazer off the trailer. My Lazer is for when I'm bagging and on my large properties. For something like a half acre property I can usually knock it out faster with the walk behind.
  7. superdog1

    superdog1 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Lebanon, PA
    Messages: 218

    DO NOT buy a rider period. A zero turn is your best option if you can afford it. A zero turn cuts down on the amount of time it takes to cut a lawn because of the ability to make short, quick turns. IMHO, I would look at getting a hydro walk behind if you are only using 1 mower. They are more stable on hills, even more maneuverable than a zero turn and weigh less. While you can't sit on them, you can get a sulky.

    We have zero turns, standers and walk behinds. I prefer to use the walk behind at almost all of the locations unless it is a huge property with a few acres to cut.
  8. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    $3,000 is not top of the line rider. John Deere has 300 and 500 series riders that are double that. They have 4 wheel steering and 4wd models and a whole mess of configurations and options.

    I think you are putting the cart in front of the horse. It appears that you have more free hours then hours spent mowing. There is no reason to justify spending money to increase production capacity when you are far from being maxed out now.

    I favor a rider because one hand operation.
    And the 500 (maybe the 300 also) looks to have rear wheels large enough to back up over curbs to mow islands in parking lots. People say ZTR's can do this with no problems.

    ZTR's and riders come with decks up to 60"

    Thing is a ZTR has this one advantage. The have much faster speed/mph.

    12 mph may not sound fast but it's alot faster then 6-8 mph.

    I have a JD 180 LT 42" rider. It was bought for personal home in 2003. So as with most people starting out they use what they have till they can afford to move up. It cuts great, but slow when compared to a ZTR.

    Though I have more hours then I have work to fill them. So getting a new mower is low priority.

    For me replacing my 4x8 trailer is more important. What good is it for me to get a bigger mower when my 42" is the largest mower I can get on now.

  9. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Could not edit to add: When the time comes a 48" may be best or a 60" may be best depending on the work I have then.

    It's usually best to buy the biggest and best you can afford. Usually best to wait until you need it.

    Remember the difference between a need and a want.
  10. macgyver_GA

    macgyver_GA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 826

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