Toro Timecutter Z for LIGHT Commercial use?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by travski, May 3, 2010.

  1. travski

    travski LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    OK, before everyone crucifies me for bringing this topic up I dont care that Walkers, ExMarks, and Grasshoppers are the best. I know that.

    I am Solo and do not have a ton of capital. I own a 32" WB but still need a larger machine for the bigger properties that people want me to do...

    I have roughly $3K to spend and do not want another WB or anything off of craigslist or ebay.

    Would the Toro Z get me by for 2-3 years until I have more clients and more money?


    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    it will cost you more in the 3 years than it would be worth. i know a few guys around here that bought them and told me i was nuts for paying 10K when they got one for 3K. over the course of 2 years theirs was completly worn out where as mine the only thing i had to replace was blades.
    Grassholes likes this.
  3. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Messages: 1,123

    I started out with a Timecutter Z 42" my first year. I paid 2,400 for it, used it the whole first year, then sold it for 1,750. I made some pretty good cash with that sucker. I was part time, so I saved all my mowing money for the season and paid cash for a comm. walk behind, blower, trimmer, edger, and new trailer. At the start of the next season I had all paid for commercial equipment. I wouldn't want to rely on one for full time mowing though.
    Big Mark likes this.
  4. travski

    travski LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    What I have in mind for use is about 10 properties a week. (all my other properties need to be done with the 32" and 21")

    So it would be used roughly 5-10 hours per week... I am not sure what else to do. I want to grow my business but do not want to go into debt. I paid cash for all of my equipment and do not want to start now.

    Does anyone see any other options? Maybe buy used from a local dealer if they have anything that is.
  5. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Messages: 1,123

    A timecutter could get you by for a while, have you thought about getting a bigger walk behind with a sulky? You can get a Bradley 48" walk behind for about the same price as a timecutter, and that's a hydro drive not a belt drive. You can get a Bradley 48" hydro, with a 18 hp honda, steel bag, two wheel sulky, and mulch kit with extra blades for 2,500 or so. Havener Enterprises as them.
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    The toro timecutters are obviously designed for the homeowner, so its not made to have too many hours on it before breaking down (thats relative to the hours a commercial mower can get). At 10 hours per week for 25 weeks, thats 250 hours per season. While that many hours isn't much for a commercial mower, it is quite a bit more than what most homeowners would put on each year. I really wouldn't expect any more than 500 hours out of the mower (but thats being generous).

    If you keep on top of ALL the maintenance (ie, greasing, oil changes, cleaning, etc) you could be able to see that 500 hour mark. But in that 500 hours be prepared to spend money on repairs for the mower, it won't take abuse near as well as commercial mowers so be careful with it.

    It will get you by, but for how long, I can't say. If I were you, I'd expect to get 1-2 seasons out of it depending on the amount of use.
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,267

    trav - you are on the right track, not wanting to take on debt.
    If you only use that Timecutter 5 hrs per week you should be good for at least a season with good maint.
    However, you may want to look at the marketplace on here. For example, I got my Toro Z400 with very low hours for only $4K last year.
  8. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    no way in hell it would last 3 years at 10 hours a week. Expect to get 500-800 hours out of one and thats with replacing some parts. The machine won't last cutting any large properties. Also, they're super slow and will not cut heavy grass at anything faster than a snail. Your better off keeping your money and using what you have now. They use a oil burning engine with plastic oil pump gears. If you plan on keeping the same amount of accounts for three years well you should think about going to work for someone IMHO.
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  9. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    Yes, there are some good deals on used equipment commercial equipment ... even on eBay and Craig's List !!
  10. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    I would take a used commercial mower any day over a new residential machine. I wont reiterate what has been said above, but just to add....a used commercial mower will always be worth something. If you buy that Time Cutter and use it for 2 years, lets face it, its going to be beat, worn out, and be running on borrowed time (IF its still running). Its basically going to be worth scrap. A used commercial machine, which is designed to take the abuse, even if its a little rougher than when you bought it, will still be worth something and hold some kind of reasonable resale value. Why? because its built to hold up longer. as long as the frame and the deck are good, the commercial machine will always be worth throwing parts at, but on a residential one the frame and the deck (especially) are going to take a hell of a beating and eventually you'll get to a point that there nothing left to put parts on.

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