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Start up mower

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MnGreen, May 25, 2008.

  1. MnGreen

    MnGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    Jumping in to the lawn care business and I'm stuck on what direction to take with the main mower choice.
    Really have a good weeks headache going here on what to do. (lol)

    My initial thoughts were a NEW 36" w/b and have Exmark, Gravely, Ferris, and Toro on my mind. (open to any referred brand) Just not sure if these type selections are correct for my application initially. I will obviously need one @ some point and thought it would serve all my needs at start up now.
    I'm real big on ease of operation, and quality equipment and maint free as possible outside of good daily care, along with resale value.

    After looking @ a Exmark today I'm wondering if I should just use my $3,000 and dedicate it towards a ZT rider of some make and get dealer financed towards something in the 48" - 52"range and be done with it.

    The rider and size would not probably be an immediate need this year just starting up. My target accounts initially are that of the 1/4 acre type size or normal to smaller city lot residential/commercial.
    Fine line it seems from being over or under sized at the same time.

    Great forum here, have browsed through it for weeks before registering yesterday. Information is abundant and educating myself to the industry is as easy as checking in.

    Thanks in advance to any and all opinions.
  2. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    if you don't have any accounts yet that need the mower i would invest in a good commercial powered 21 inch.you can buy a larger mower as soon as you get an account for it.you can usually get them the same day you need it.at least here you can.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    How much cash you got on hand should help you determine what mower you can buy.
  4. MnGreen

    MnGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I have (2) 21" Toros as I decided against a 26" Exmark and the $$$$
    I also have Stihl and Echo trimmers,edger, blower equipment all commercial.
    6 X 10 mesh trailer with 4' walls and rear ramp
    Tahoe for the truck.

    The larger mower is in need as I have three accounts that would take me for ever with a 21". Figured if I was walking that much I better be knocking down some grass and saving steps.
    I'm sure the 36" w/b "need" is there I'm just wavering on the $$$$ compared to a small ZT rider.
  5. MnGreen

    MnGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I have $3,000 towards the decision.
    Get a 36" for that $$$$$ or use as a down payment and dealer finance something bigger if it's a logical thing to do at this point.
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,229

    MNGreen - what part of MN are you from?

    At any rate, for 1/4 acre lots like you are describing, a 36" WB might be a good choice. Definitely big enough to do these lawns, plus large enough if you edge toward some 1/2 - 3/4 acre stuff. Check out Better Outdoor Product's Quick 36. I have the Ninja model, 1st year, and I am really pleased with it so far. You will find its price is much more digestible than, say, a Toro WB at more than double the price.

    Don't rule out just using 21"ers this year either. Can roll your earnings over for next season into a nicer machine or two.
  7. MnGreen

    MnGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I'm in the south burb area off 35W a bit out of Lakeville.
    Work in Burnsville 4/10's so I'm looking for weekday lawn care adventures. (lol)
    My son (21) will be with me when available but like mentioned earlier I have a few accounts closer to the 1/2 acre size so I'd prefer to go bigger I think with a 32" or 36" now. Alone I need to knock these out without chaseing around like a fool.
    Used might be a thought (option) but I'm not educated mechanicly in mowers of such design so I don't want to get took on a piece of s*** !! Feel better warrantied up and able to throw it back @ the dealer.

    I actually looked on-line @ the QUICK 36 Ninja and Samurai in the $2,700 range.
    I've been quoted $2,600 on a Exmark 32" and a Ferris hydro 36" @ $2,899 so I'm full of thoughts.
  8. metro36

    metro36 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,417

    I would try to find a used 36" hydro in good condition or buy a quick 36. If you have slopes or small spaces a hydro is for you. The instant reverse allows you to turn in tighter areas, drive in and back out of small spaces, and in some cases allows you to trim closer to the edges of beds and things.
  9. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    If I had that money to spend, I would go with the Quick 36. My personal opinion.

    Whatever you do, don't finance. This is a business where you can start with nothing and upgrade as the money comes. It doesn't take long and there's no reason to put yourself into and debt over it. Plus you're spending more in the long run with interest.

    Good luck.
  10. MnGreen

    MnGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    Metro 36 and BGLC:
    You would both buy a Quick 36 over the Ferris Hydro 36 I was quoted at $2,900 or a 32" Exmark Metro @ $2,600. The Samauri 36 is within a couple hundred dollars of the Ferris.
    I like the Quick 36 set up but what about the "factory direct" buying and then the SERVICE issues ?

    *** I would only finance a unit on a very low interest no payments for six months and or a year plan. Then pay it off come payment time.

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