Would it be a horrible idea to use a residential zero turn for a small one man operation?

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
@scratch123

What are the sizes of you typical yard? I don’t quite have sq footage like the back of my hand but like an acre, 1/8 acre, 100 acres lol? What I’m getting at is maybe, just a thought, would a Ferris fw15 be something that would allow you to have a full commercial machine that is small, lightish, versatile and moderately inexpensive?
I’m still on the bandwagon as I just bought one for soft rain soaked yards but so far it’s a good mower. Has reverse and decent power, it’s about 10 minutes slower than my 36” stander, I’m thinking because I have to trim less. I would have died to have it last year instead of my 21 Honda and I kinda wish I just bought it outright instead of getting a used Turfmaster and restoring it, even though it was fun working on it.
Just a thought.
 

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
99E1096E-9EBA-41CE-BE73-8041C30AE3C0.jpeg

Snapper sw15 is the same thing
 

Shayne Anderson

LawnSite Member
Hi everyone, new here and loving all of the great info! I'm a professional musician in my other life and when the pandemic started I began mowing lawns to make some extra money. I have enjoyed it and am thinking of taking on more clients as the music work still isn't back to what it was. I have a snapper rear engine rider that has gotten me by, but its pretty slow. So, if I do decide to expand (I'm only doing about 7 properties a week at them moment, I'd like to be doing about 15 a week) would it be a horrible idea to get an upper level residential zero turn, or would it be a much better idea to go ahead and invest in a lower level commercial mower? I've seen quite a few small operators around town using what look to be residential models, but I wonder if they last them more than a couple of seasons? I don't really want to spend 10K on a mower as it would take me some time to make that back, however financing it may make that sort of purchase feel doable... Any advice anyone may have would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time!
It's all up to one's goals in business.. I've been at this game for 6 yrs, and am in no way a source for all your answers. As you can see in my title pic, my color of choice was initially determined by what the previous owner of my business owned- JD.
No matter the reason, one of the major factors in buying new, buying larger, updating machinery is parts and service. My friend has a small lawn care business with a top name brand zt but it's a residential level,(with 350 hrs) and his belts are yearly breaking, the lift arms for the deck have bent and needed replacing, the muffler manifold system broke apart. And his dealership is 2-3 miles from home, his dealer has been of little help to service him quickly, and they don't even carry deck belts for his machine. For me, if I break down I need to get fixed that day, if not I need a loaner,...if I need parts,I need them that day. If my machine is down longer than 24 hrs they send me home with a new loaner till mine is fixed. I find it very important to have good parts and service, and residential machines just don't have the longevity of even used commercial machines. And like previous posters have started, with 0-1% financing why not get machine the fits your application.
Myself, I'd rather see a commercial cutter buy a used commercial unit than a new residential one. And your back will thank you for the gain in ride comfort
 

K c m

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Hi everyone, new here and loving all of the great info! I'm a professional musician in my other life and when the pandemic started I began mowing lawns to make some extra money. I have enjoyed it and am thinking of taking on more clients as the music work still isn't back to what it was. I have a snapper rear engine rider that has gotten me by, but its pretty slow. So, if I do decide to expand (I'm only doing about 7 properties a week at them moment, I'd like to be doing about 15 a week) would it be a horrible idea to get an upper level residential zero turn, or would it be a much better idea to go ahead and invest in a lower level commercial mower? I've seen quite a few small operators around town using what look to be residential models, but I wonder if they last them more than a couple of seasons? I don't really want to spend 10K on a mower as it would take me some time to make that back, however financing it may make that sort of purchase feel doable... Any advice anyone may have would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time!
Hey scratch! In the early 2000’s mowing was beer money for me. Unfortunately i got laid off in 2011 and got thrust into it and here i am. Started back up with a exmark metro 36-48 with sulkys. 20 yr old machines still run great. Let neighbor hold onto the 36 and my 48 is used every Friday for a gentlemen who only wants his yard walked. No riders.
Gave you the back story because walk behinds last forever. Not sure how big your yards are but in the 6-15k sq/ft range a 48 will be just fine. Second is that just say it takes off, belt drive walk behinds are very simple machines to work on maintenance wise. And a new one is very affordable. Lastly if your goal is 15 total lawns which is just about a mortgage payment a month and it does keep growing, you will learn how to to get faster without mowing faster. By that i mean trim route, bundling lawns into your trim route abd not getting any grass in hard surfaces. Which will seriously improve your speed when you do upgrade to a full hydro floating deck.
in closing my opinion is that residential z’s are just that, meant for one cut a week.
good luck to you sir!
Ps. Since you’re a musician check out “sweet Jane” live 10/31/98 Thomas and Mack center. It won’t disappoint!
 

cmdrdick

LawnSite Member
Location
Florida
Bought a John Deere Z920M (heavy but solid) and put 975 hours on it. The Kawasaki FX730V-AS20R engine just cratered. So, buying a heavy duty machine isn't the whole answer. The engine choice is critical. Read the forums before deciding upon the engine and find good dealer support for it. Kawasaki had a great reputation but that has been smeared heavily by the large number of failures and lack of warranty support for the FX line. That motor breaks valves which wipe out engines every time. A $2500 engine replacement every 1000 hours is totally unacceptable. So, I'll replace it with a Vanguard 810 and hope to get better life from that one.
 

Top Forums



Top