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what would you do?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by no1knosme12203, May 14, 2006.

  1. no1knosme12203

    no1knosme12203 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Im 16, have a truck, about to get a trailer. . . but i need to upgrade my lawn mower. Right now I have a new Stihl backpack blower, Stihl trimmer and a 21" craftsman. I have 20 lawns that I am cutting by myself after school, and on the weekend. They are all around 1/8 of an acre or so and a 21" is perfect for most. I would love to get a 32" but now is not the time, maybe later on. Would it be worth the money to buy a 21" Toro Proline ( commercial) compared to a $400 Honda(residental)? Im trying to decide if spending almost $1200 on a 21" is worth it or not. what do you all think? is 20 lawns enough to justify it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. ajlandscaping

    ajlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    get the trailer first before you buy anything because you can't mow lawns if you can't move your equipment around if you are tight on money and don't want to get a large mower get a used mower im sure in any area you can find a used walkbehind for a decent price and you may be able to find the size you want as for a 21'' mower if the one you are using cuts nicely and works just fine i would say save the money so you can get the 32 you were talking about sooner
  3. stroker51

    stroker51 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 819

    I wouldn't pay $1200 for a 21" mower, i only paid $1400 for my 48" and 36" deere walkbehinds combined. They are both used, but get the job done. You can find a good used walk behind in that price range, which is what I would try to do, and keep the 21 you have for small spots you can't get to with the w/b.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    My advice to you is as follows:

    A 21" proline runs right around a thousand dollars, new.

    You will have to look long and hard, but for that same money you can find yourself a decent used Wb around the 44" to 48", maybe 52" deck size... And I would further recommend to stick to Toro even on a used one, because of the T-bar makes life a dream.

    The big commercial machine will cut your mowing time by 3-4 times, the yard that used to take you an hour to cut will take you 15-20 minutes with a used Wb.

    And with 20 yards, if the Wb is in half-decent shape, you can go at least a year with it. My oldest (a 1998 model) I bought in 2003 for a thousand and it is still running today. A POS in looks and she's slower and a bit clankier than the new ones, but she'll still give any homeowner's mower a serious run for the money, and still turns out beautiful turf while she can cut an acre lot in 50 minutes all out.

    This ole' gal cuts a swath 4 feet wide with every pass, and sports a 5-speed transmission.
    Here's a pic of my oldest, 1,000-dollar machine:
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,279

    Get the honda it will be just fine for 20 yards. I ran a business much larger than that when I started with lawnboys that weren't much different in quality level than the Honda.
  6. All_Clear

    All_Clear LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Just my 2 cents...

    See if you can find a used walk behind, even if it needs a few things... $1,000 - $1,200 for a 21" in my opinion is a waste (yes i understand its commercial quality)... Think about it... How many "throw away 21"ers" could you buy with that same cash...and how long would they go... I'm not recommending buying a cheap 21" but for no more then you do, look for a good used walk behind.

    All Clear
  7. cuttinggrassiscool

    cuttinggrassiscool LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    i would try to get a used wb as well. and as someone said the t bar is a dream, so try to stick with toro.(even though i havnt ran a different w/b, i have never had any of the prolems people say belt drives have). i paid 600 for mine and did a similar amount of lawns, mine is 16 years old and still running well, just starting to have problems, take care of it and it will take care of you.
  8. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    You are doing terrific. You mentioned a 32. I wouldn't sell you mine for 500 more than I paid for it. Has gone through every narrow gate except for one that was 28". Much faster than a 21 and much easier. The 32 won't hold a slope like a bigger w/b, that is the only shortcoming I've found.

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