What to buy

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KD'sLawns, Apr 6, 2001.

  1. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    I have had my own lawn business for about a year now.
    I am looking to get a new riding mower. I live in a small community and do not have much demand for a big mower, like 50" or bigger. Most of my customer's lawns that I can use a riding mower on like it to be bagged. I started out with an old MTD 38" cut. It was starting to wear out and I wanted to upgrade to something better. I have looked at the Snapper ZTR's, Dixon ZTR's, Craftsman ZTR's, and the Ariens ZTR's. I want to pay cash for the mower, but I only have about $3500.00 that I can spend. Can't afford any more payments! For that kind of money, which is the best mower that bags in the least amount of time. I know that the Craftsman is made by Ariens. But, I like that I could get the extended service.
    Thanks for any help.
  2. Mowman

    Mowman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Have you ever checked out a Walker? They have a very good bagging system. New one's are quite costly, but maybe you could find a good used one for the $3500.00 that you have saved. Or they also have a 42" Mulching deck. I bought a used Walker last year off the net from a broker in MO. It's just a Sidedischarge model. Around my area I can't take clipping to the landfill and don't have any place for them. I went from mulching to a SD and love it. Even if I have to double cut it doesn't take that much more time and the lawn looks bagged. If you would like the name of the broker I worked with let me know. Tell him what your looking for and how much you have to spend and I'm sure he can find you a good used mower. Hope this helps.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I would not buy <i>any</i> of those mowers! If you have $3500.00 to spend you should look into one of the gear drive walk-behinds. A Scag, Exmark or Bobcat 48" with a sulky and a Grass Gobbler bagger can be had for that kind of money and still leave you with change. You won't have to walk because you can stand on the sulky and ride. Any of the mowers I mentioned will last considerably longer than a homeowner ZTR and they will cut grass better and faster. If you cannot even stand there are sit/stand sulky's available.

    If this option is unpleasing to you you can always pick up a used Wright Stander for the money you have.
  4. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943


    I agree with Richard. You can buy a real nice brand new 48" belt drive walkbehind that will outperform the homeowner junk thats out there. Then get a stand on sulkie for the bigger lots. Check out some local dealers to see what they have to offer.

    Good Luck

  5. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    I tried using a brand new home owner rider when I started mowing my first year. It was in the shop for repair way to much to make a living. This was long before Lawnsite.com was around to advise me what to do.

    Take the word of the above posts, get a used commercial mower, it will hold up much better. For example, last spring my oldest Chopper had about 2,650 hours on it and by the end of the season it had 3,237 hours on it, so it put in a full season and it was a main mower. I spent a total of around $200 on repairs on it last year including belts, one spindle bearing, and engine work. It never missed a days work even though I had this work done. When I had to have engine work done on it, I drove it into the shop and stopped back in an hour to pick it up after I had finished my week of work, so I had 0 downtime with it all season.

    As I said, with the Homeowner model I used to start with, it was in the shop many times and for days at a time. What I'm getting at, new isn't always the best and for sure, a home owner model isn't the best way to go.
    I hope this helps.
  6. Green Finger

    Green Finger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 839

    BUT........ if you do want a rider. The ones you mention are not great. arien,dixon,and craftsman.

    Check out the used equipment forum. They have a Walker, a Sufer by Dane and some more. But work with them on the price. (Don't show them your hand) negotiate.
  7. edward hedrick

    edward hedrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    Try a Lesco a 48 hydro with a lesco sulky should be
    about $3500. another would be a used scag Three wheel
  8. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    yeah, your best bet would be to go with a new belt drive walk behind (48") get a sulky and a grass gobler, use that for a while, that should do well for you. i have used walkers, best machines around i think. they start at 10,000 for a commmercial model. maybe you can get one for 8,000 new. there is some guy by me selling a used one for 5,000. gonna need a new engine soon. so for your price i dont know what you could buy other than a new walk behind.
  9. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    I know you want a rider, but I vote go with a walk behind and all the accessories already listed by everyone else. You will get a great quality mower for less money than a rider. With $3500 to spend you will probably have money left over to buy something else you need later down the road (like $2.00/gallon gasoline!)

    Good Luck and keep us posted.
  10. leaflawnandlimb

    leaflawnandlimb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 198

    I agree with these guys, get a new walk behind or a used COMMERCIAL rider.

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