when to purchase a bigger mower?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by thesargent, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. thesargent

    thesargent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    when is the best time to decide to purchase a bigger mower? right now all i use is a 21 inch. do i wait until my schedule is totally full to justify buying a 36 inch, right now i have 20 yards, of which half are good size that a 36 would be real nice. do i wait until i can buy one out right? I'm having trouble deciding this. i WANT a 36 inch(and it would make my work a lot easier) but when can i justify it, when did you justify it.
  2. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    If I was sitting in the ghetto with a tin cup asking for handouts and decided I wanted a 36" mower, I'd figure out a way to get one. I can mow 2 lawns and make payments on a 60" ZTR. I don't know what your lots look like and I know they are larger here than many parts of the country but if I didn't have enough confidence that I could make enough to justify a 36" mower I'd just get out of the business. I'm not trying to be a smart you know what. I mean I borrowed $6500 for my first ZTR with no lawns and started knocking on doors. Believe in yourself, promote your business, and get out there and make some money. I'm sure you would be much more productive with a larger deck. I wouldn't blink and eye at buying what I needed to make the business more profitable. I mean were talking a 36" mower here not a turbo diesel Scag or something extravagant. Best of luck friend and think big... and go get em.
  3. thesargent

    thesargent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    yessir!! i agree 100% now if only i could convince my wife. thanks for the advice
  4. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    That's a tough one but the more efficient you are the more money you make and the more nice stuff she can get.
  5. JGroverCU

    JGroverCU LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    If we are talking straight business sense, I would say purchase one when you really need it. Of course it is nice to get things done in a lesser amount of time, but if time is not of the essence, wait.

    Another thought is to wait until you can buy the wb outright and not have to worry about the financial situation. I would work on getting more yards before I wnet all out unless money is of no issue.
  6. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,282

    NOW. How can you afford not to have it?

    When I first started, the first thing I bought was an eXmark 36 Metro, and I didn't have 1 customer. I figured if the lawn biz didnt work I would have one bad a$$ mower for my house. Turns out it was the best move I made. 6 months later I bought a Z, 2 years later I bought another Z, and now the 36 gets used maybe 15 minutes a week....

    Now go get the 36 ASAP!!!!
  7. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Time is money, how can you be more productive? Get more done in less time. It seems like some of you lawns you need the 21 but maybe your missing some larger more profitable jobs by not owning a larger piece of equipment. I mean you wouldn't want to bid on a big job with the 21" so the larger size deck opens up more possibilities for you.
  8. 2 clowns mowing

    2 clowns mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    are you kidding? buy a 48" ztr NOW!!!
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,941

    There is lots of advice here on what to buy. However, the initial post didn't include any information about the properties to be mowed. Without knowing much more about the situation, properties to be mowed, potential expansion of business, etc, the size and kind of mower suggestions may not be helpful.

    I too started with a 21" mower, and then upgraded when I saw how much quicker and what other properties could be mowed. However, in hindsight, I would have been better off to look in a different direction to mow small properties with the 21" mower. There would have been much more profit in those properties. Now, after buying a w/b and a ZTR, I am more convinced than ever that mowing small properties with a 21" mower would have been more profitable. Out of all the ones I now mow, the ones that produce the most $/hr are the ones I mow with a 21" mower. This statement is not unusual, and has been cited on LS before -- expenses are much lower and the gross $/hr isn't that much different than working with a large ZTR. Oh yes, it sure is fun to mow down an acre of grass quickly with a ZTR, but profit-wise, ... another story.

    How much "nice stuff your wife can buy" does not necessarily depend upon the kind of mower in your equipment list. There are too many variables to make a blanket statement.
  10. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    One way is to keep investing into your business with the money your making off your jobs. Find out what kind of mower you want and get the figures and then work your way to that goal. You should be able to buy a walk behind mower in a month or two if you invest back into your business. If you have smaller yards like an acre and under you should focus on a WB until you build up your customer base and land bigger jobs. Why spend excess money for a ZTR if you really don't need it!!!

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