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Should I invest is a new mower???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by R&GSweeping, Jan 31, 2001.

  1. R&GSweeping

    R&GSweeping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Here's my situation: I own a parking lot sweeping company. I also offer landscaping/maintenance services. I've picked up a few commercial accounts (lawn maintenance) totalling around 5 hours per week during cutting season. I've got a chance to pick up 2 more commercial accounts that will increase my hours to around 15 a week. My question is this: I am currently using a Snapper Hydro riding mower 38" cut. I'm looking at upgrading to an Exmark HP 52". Do you think it would be worth the bucks to do so? And if I do, would that open up more commercial opportunities for me? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I would absolutely upgrade to <b><i>any</b></i> commercial mower over a homeowner riding tractor. The Exmark Lazer HP 52" will at least cut your mowing time in half. That is money in your pocket. If you want to really be able to service commercial accounts spend $1100 more and get the Lazer Z 60" with 25 hp engine.
  3. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    It depends on your properties. A 52" mower is alot bigger than a 38" as well as the actual stance and size of the ZTR unit versus a Snapper rider. If you have a few spots that you end up needing a small walkbehind or you must string trim a bit more, than you might not save that much time unless big open areas are your main account types.

    Your current properties and those future properties that you wish to market towards, are what should dictate your mower options. I personally feel that a midsize walk behind in the 44" to 52" size is a much better choice for a all round versitile setup in the lawncare industry, especially if it is your only mower.

    Best thing is to try out a few on those properties. I made the mistake of buying a ZTR with the plans of cutting my time and I did not cut my time at all! It was due to the type of properties I had. Now, I went out and got properties where the ZTR is three times as productive as my walk behind, but the properties fit the mower.

    It just all depends soooo much on your accounts!
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    I really like my LT but my exmark is so
    much faster.Assuming your sites are so that
    you can mow fast on them.The z is more maneuverable
    also.Another factor is are you doing the mowing
    yourself.Also to justify a lazer etc,do you
    plan on taking more lawn work.If it were me
    and the answer was yes to all this,I WOULD
    HAVE ONE.Keep the walkbehind though.good luck
  5. Greenkeepers

    Greenkeepers LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 695

    Humm what sounds better commercial property & homeowner tractor or commercial property & commercial mower???? :D

    Kidding aside, I would definately go with the commercial mower. It will give you a better cut as well as do the job quicker. Getting the job done quicker will allow you to pick up more accounts and which ultimately increases cash flow...
    Good luck.
  6. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183


    Do you ever contract with commercial cutters do sweep their parking lots? I have thought about asking for prices sometimes for certain parking lots I have. I don't know what kind of prices sweepers charge but I know it would save me time in the longrun. I would just add it to my bid and let the customer know they were getting the "works"! I actually own a little sweeper and bought it with the intentions of offering this. I found out the hard way that it wasn't practical to haul this thing around, it's a small factory type, not a truck mount.
  7. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    I believe Skookum hit it right on the head. I personaly prefer my 48" hydro w/b on my comm. properties because of the slopes and hills on it. It also works great on res. accounts also. Don't get me wrong. a ztr is a great way to go but for now I prefer to walk. As I get older I may lean in that direction.

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