Which Mower should I buy?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by sniggly, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. sniggly

    sniggly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    Okay.....I have a decision to make and I need input to measure just how reasonable I am. Some of you may already know that I am starting fresh and new so here's the question. I am buying an Exmark mower..........should it be the 44 inch ZTR or the 36 WB with a sulky?
  2. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 726

    What kind of properties do you have?
  3. sniggly

    sniggly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    ........are currently none. I am fresh off the turnip truck. Here is what I know. I know that I can't be as productive with my time (whether it's commercial or residential) with a 36WB as I can with a 44ZTR. Time is everything in this business and I WILL grow my business to something between 40 and 50 accounts. How fast I can do that is something that remains to be seen. Hope that helps...:)
  4. MIKEJ

    MIKEJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    If you are a solo op. I would buy the w/b and use the money left over to buy other equipment you may need. What is your spending budget ?
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Overall, I would say buy the walk behind and a good sulky. If you want more comfort and productivity out of it buy the Turf Tracer HP hydro version. It's a compromise between the rider and a belt drive. Why the walk behind?

    1. Most people need a walk behind from time to time anyway as they take on accounts that require them. You're not in a position early on to be turning down accounts because you don't have a mower that will fit on them or that the customer will let you put on them. You may also have to turn down a few huge properties, but you can mow most residential properties with a 36".

    2. It costs less initially.

    3. You will have plenty of spare time your first year unless you are really good at marketing your assumedly inexperienced self as the best thing since sliced bread. So if you're less productive on larger properties you can deal with it for now.

    4. Once you've put in a season or even two and are sure you're sticking with the business, you can buy a ZTR then for larger properties and use the 36" wb for gated areas, small lawns, and as a backup.

    5. Not sure if you have experience, but a wb is less likely to damage a lawn with an inexperienced operator.
  6. sniggly

    sniggly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    I have no experience whatsoever (unless you count my yard). I am business analyst for a dot com that's re-locating. I am solo and yes the gate issue is on my mind......my problem is that I am NUMBERICALLY aware of the added productivity of the ZTR. Couple that with my intention to work 40 - 45 residentials per week where the average lot size is 10k minus the house and........

    I have already budgeted for the accessories and such....It's down to the mower.

    Thanks for the help guys!
  7. cajuncutter

    cajuncutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 626

    Sniggly when I started out at age 15 I started with murray 22's and believe it or not 200 foot of electrical cord and 1 electric weed wacker and 1 electric blower. As I worked my way up I came across a killer deal some years later on a pair of walk behinds, one was a 36 and the other a 48. Even though these old antiques did not have the beans to pull even the litest of us on here I did find that the 36 over all was the most productive. Simply the 48 would not make it into back yards. If I were in your situation and of average weight I would go with a belt drive 36. Back in the day we did not use velkies we were Flintstone'ing it:D
    So I imagine a new 36 with one of those gizmoes would work out fine. Starting with the belt drive you will not go over budget and you will have some money left over. Build up your client base and when you see that it would be profitable to have a ZTR take your left over money and put it down on the mower of your choice and pay a low monthly note on the balance. At that time you will have all you need for a solo operation. Hope this helps.
  8. johnhenry

    johnhenry LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    Sounds like you have things well planned out.Exmark is a great mower.So much depends on what type of accounts you are going after.If it is business maybe the ztr.But if you target homes maybe a wb.I always prefer to sit than walk but I also realize there are some places you have to use a wb.Best of luck and have a great year
  9. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 587

    Why waste the money on a 44ztr. In a few years youll just upgrade to a bigger deck.Now you have two ZTRs and no WB.
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Buy the 36", it'll cost less now and will probably be more productive in this point in your business. Simply put, a 44" ZTR isn't going to be much more productive than a 36" because it will not be able to do the smaller backyards as easy, it will cost more, and it just isn't that much bigger, deck size I mean. Go for the W/B.

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