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Would this mower work for me for just a while?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by nherweck, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. nherweck

    nherweck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    As I'm restarting this year, I'm needing to get all new equipment. I have about $600 right now, and still have to get a mower, trimmer, and blower. I'll have another $500 in two weeks, but by then, the mower will definitely be gone.

    The mower I'm looking at is a Craftsman 33" 8hp walk behind. Now, before everyone starts burning me, this will only be used for half a season or less to hold me over before I can pay off a few of my debts so I can get a 48" commercial mower. I'm only going to be paying $300 for the Craftsman, which is less than what I would be paying for a 21" mower. I am on a very tight budget for right now, but by June I will have about $400 extra each month from my current job to keep me flowing.
  2. sikagrass

    sikagrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    I dont know how long it will last you. I know when I started all I had was desire and a pickup.Take a day and check out all the lawnmower shops you can find looking for deals, dont forget Ebay and Craigslist.Starting with cheap equipment is an uphill battle but it can be done but after doing it I have to say put all profit back into the biz and it will pay off. I started with 2 new cheapos.Good luck.
  3. nherweck

    nherweck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    Actually, I ended up getting it. At $250.00. I have to pick it up (about 1.5 hrs away), but besides that, I talked the seller down quite a bit.
  4. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,522

    Chances are, you still paid $300 for it. 3 hours of driving is at least $50 worth of gas, wear and tear on your truck.
  5. D & J Lawn Care

    D & J Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    I used the troybuilt version when i first started exact as yours MTD makes them both the spindle pulleys are made of plastic and i had to keep changing them so go way out the way of not hitting anything mine lasted a year but did go through 3 spindles but will do you fine while getting back in the business for what it cost you .Good Luck Man
  6. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,186

    Totally, understand your situation, if thats all you have money for go for it ..
    I'd be nice to vist dealer saying I'll take this ZTR that WB and walk out, not realistic...
    Saving up is the hardest thing to do, especially when money doesn't flow like river...
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Looking back at my own early day memories I can definitely say it was worth the experience, I also didn't have a lot of money.
    And I learned a lot with my original 42" Craftsman, which after much hunting I found one that only cost me 125 thou.

    it didn't last very long at all
  8. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578

    It should last you at least for the season. Maybe longer, maybe shorter. What kind of engine does it have on it? Briggs? Tecumseh? When I first started I had a push Murray 5hp Briggs and later a craftsman 6.75 hp tecumseh. Engine wise, they did fine. I never had a problem. But.... other things were its own weakness. The Craftsman's self propelled went out the first season, still under warranty from sears, but I was without a mower, and had to go back to pushing for a while. Something to think about on the craftsman mowers is their achilles heal is the self propelled system. Have a 2nd wb on standby for when the Craftsman is on the shelf, or be prepared to buy a cheap one if you have to get your craftsman fixed to keep the business moving.
  9. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    Should be fine, if it lasts it could be used as a backup mower after you buy better euipment. Like previous poster said, be careful not hit anything or you will be in trouble. My dealer said these things will run forever, but if you hit something they get thrown out of whack. He has a Troybuilt 33'' that he took in on trade for sale, 300$. So your price is about right.
  10. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    i'll let you in a something i belive to be true

    someone who starts off with old ugly stuff is not always going to make it
    but all things being the same, he stands a better chance to the guy in the same situation that owes 15 grand

    I remember those old craftsman self propeled.. you dropped the arm with the spinning plastic gear onto the plastic front wheels....classic

    i don't miss them but logged a bunch of miles behind them.... the old briggs and stratton Agway machines were the king.. mine would probably still be running if it haddn't fallen out of the back of a pickup...

    good luck and don't jump out the window with expenses untill you have some income coming back in


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