Starting Out 2...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Turf-R-Us, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. Turf-R-Us

    Turf-R-Us LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 16

    OK...I gave up on the idea of purchasing a ZTR for my first mower. At the suggestion of several local shops, I decided to start out with a commercial WB mower. Not much (used) to choose from right now. Only (2) I found are a 2 year orld Exmark 36" Turf Tracker HP (hydro w/ECS) with 1,200 hrs for $2,500 and a 2001 Toro Pro-Line 44" (T-Bar) with unknown hours for $1,500. Both units are in clean condition, but the steeering controls on the belt-drive Toro seem to be messed up. Its hard to steer around turns and only turns right when you try to back up. Perhaps it just needs new belts or some adjustment. Anyway, the dealer selling the Toro isn't a Toro dealer, and they don't seem to know much about them. The dealer selling the TTHP is an Exmark dealer and can vouch for the condition of the one he's selling.

    Anyway, what do you guys suggest. Should I pounce on one of these deals or keep looking? Or perhaps, should I give up on the idea of a "used" mower and just fork over the $4K+ on a new one?

    Thanks for your suggestions!
  2. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

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    Hi Turf-R-Us,

    I know others may have different views, but when you are starting out, why not keep your expenses low as possible. By used, learn and grow. As you need more equipment, ramp up and get it.

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  3. Joey bag a' donuts

    Joey bag a' donuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    We use 60" turf tracers as our wb mowers. Great peice of equipment, couldnt get by without it.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    First off, get the 44" Toro, I've owned nothing but Toro's and have owned 4 of them in the last 4 years... If you need help you can get it here. The other thing is, how in the H3LL could the Exmark dealer know nothing about Toro when Toro OWNZ Exmark? Ok, it COULD be, but I don't like this note, it's just weird.
    To find out the year of the Toro, use this guide (opened a tech session):
    Model 30318 Mid-Size ProLine T-Bar Gear, 15 HP Kohler 44in Side Discharge
    If your product's serial number is between 250000001 and 250999999. Your product is a 2005 model.
    If your product's serial number is between 240000001 and 240999999. Your product is a 2004 model.
    If your product's serial number is between 230000001 and 230999999, Your product is a 2003 model.
    Now the tech session ended for me here thou I assume 22...1 - 22..999 is a 2002, 21...1 - 21...999 is 2001, etc... But I'm not sure.

    Second, NEVER buy anything smaller than a 44", the smallest mower I have is a 48" and *I* will never buy anything smaller than a 48" but it IS a fixed deck and I will tell you it is a LOT easier to learn with a float deck (the 44" Toro is a float deck). The bigger the deck, the more you cut per hour - With a 48" I cut 25 percent more grass than anyone with a 36", hell I just got a 25% raise for free! Once you get used to the 44" Toro, consider upgrading to the fixed deck 48" which costs 3,200 dollars (2,800 + tax = 3000 for the mower AND 200 for the proslide ride-on attachment). The fixed deck is faster, lighter, and better in the turns, it cuts more grass than the 52" just because it has a 5-speed transmission (the 44" and 52" have a 4-speed Tecumseh).
    To fix it, you'll need a manual - You can download AND print the manual at your convenience THEN run to Office Max or Staples and have them 'bind' and cover it for 5 bucks or so, download it in Pdf format from (make sure you get the right year first via the serial number). If you can't figure it out, post the serial here and someone should be able to tell you.
    For the drive problems, you want to fork out another 100 dollars and buy TWO belts for the omg wtf is it called... I dunno, 2 drivebelts, 50 bucks each - replace both of them THEN go to Napa and buy an Agricultural 40in belt for 12 dollars (I think part number is 4L-40w) so you have a spare for the transmission (the trans belt costs 20 dollars at the dealer, 12 at Napa but make SURE you get the AG belt and NOT the auto).

    There you go.
  5. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,397

    I am assuming that you are going to mow residential gated properties. If so, I would recommend the Quick 36. They have a link at the top of the page. You can get a new one for just over 2K. I don't have one myself but do a search here and you will find that a lot of people are happy with theirs.

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