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View Full Version : ZTR recommendations? Lots of constraints...


Rdelahunr
08-16-2012, 10:29 AM
Starting a lawn care business next summer and looking at a new ZTR. The dealer I will go through sells John Deere and Toro, but I'm definitely leaning towards the Toro. I like the Titan MX4880 but want to know if the MX is worth it over the ZX. My load will be around 6 (may do more) hours a day, four days a week with Friday for spillovers. I need to go with a 48" because my trailer is only 54" wide, and this mower takes up 52.5" in total (w/o chute) I believe. Looking for owners to throw their two cents in. Also, how many properties can I do in a day with those hours, how well does the mower stripe on its own, and should I mulch or side discharge everything?

Thanks

stevef1201
08-16-2012, 12:11 PM
Figure out wha the narrowest thing you have to get through ie a walk gate. Buy the biggest you can afford, that will fit into the smallest area. DONT include two trees just 2 feet apart (trim them). I just got a new 50 inch ztr, and have a 36 inch ztr to get through gates. If I could afford a 72 inch wam and had a trailer to haul it then I wold have gotten it.

Caskey Lawns & Landscapes
08-16-2012, 03:33 PM
Everyone here is going to tell you to buy what they have, Get an Exmark !!:D seriously though you need to use the biggest deck that you can to save time and make money, If money is not an issue then buy new but don't get in over your head and spend the next several years trying to get back out...There is no shame in starting with a good used mower and equipment..Good Luck...:)

xandrew245x
08-16-2012, 04:52 PM
I would say buy a used commercial mower to start. I wish I would have. I would say go with exmark, or toro. There are a lot of used exmarks around here for sale.

mark123
08-16-2012, 05:07 PM
Just don't get a 40" Turboforce.

LawnBoy0311
08-16-2012, 06:11 PM
I suggest not getting a ZTR at all. If I could do it all over again, 10 mexicans armed each with push mowers will get the job done faster.


But the choice is yours.

JLM
08-16-2012, 06:45 PM
48" Exmark Vantage you cant go wrong the best purchase ive ever made.

dpld
08-16-2012, 07:20 PM
there are a lot of good choices for mowers out there but the bottom line is you need the best bang for the buck, especially when starting out.
parts are a big thing so it is usually good practice to stick with manufacturers that have dealers nearby.

i am convinced that for the most part outside of frame designs and deck designs they all use the same parts from motors, pumps and such that as long as you stick with a true commercial line you can't go wrong.
i am not saying they are all the same like a walker hydro system vs say exmark because they are two totally different animals but with the exception of walker every brand has a line of mowers that are similar and compete with the other brands line of mowers.

i always needed various sized mowers due to hills gates and wet area's and i never needed a push mower but i have had to own a couple 36 inch walk behinds for back yards.

i think it would be wise to get a couple used mowers instead of a new rider because even with a new one if it breaks and that is all you got then you are out of business until it is fixed so it is nice to have a back up.

i like the hydro walk behinds and with a sulke it is as good as a rider but yet nimble enough to use anywhere and they are also lighter then the riders.

if you are starting out you can find some great deals on used mowers that still have plenty of life left in them and you will get a better value being the first owner took the hit on depreciation.

in this business whether you are big or small you need as much equipment as you can muster and you would be better off if you had 3 walk behinds then one high end rider and with prices today you could just about buy three walk behinds for the cost of a rider.
i just don't like the thought of going to battle with one peice of equipment you always got to have back up.
if you got one string trimmer and it takes a dump on you midway through a job what do you do?
stuff always breaks on the job and it never breaks on the trailer and it is nice to be able to have the resources of when you go down on a peice of equipment you can still get the job and even the day done and it takes that pressure off.
starting out, i would rather have that option even if it meant i had to buy used equipment to achieve that result.
it is all baby steps and used equipment usually does not have a payment book to go with it and in the months we don't make money that is always a beautifull thing.

Rdelahunr
08-16-2012, 08:00 PM
No mexicans in Minnesota, but my grandparents from AZ would definately agree with you. My current trailer is only big enough to hold one mower, so I will have to get one quality one. Due to size constraints, most commercial ZTRs are out of my reach (48" max). I can afford new (an MX4880, $6100 normal but because my dad is an important local figure and sells ads on his 9 radio stations to the dealer, I would pay $5500) because my only expenses are gas and equipment. No bills to pay, family to support, etc., because I'm still in high school.

Caskey Lawns & Landscapes
08-16-2012, 08:15 PM
No mexicans in Minnesota, but my grandparents from AZ would definately agree with you. My current trailer is only big enough to hold one mower, so I will have to get one quality one. Due to size constraints, most commercial ZTRs are out of my reach (48" max). I can afford new (an MX4880, $6100 normal but because my dad is an important local figure and sells ads on his 9 radio stations to the dealer, I would pay $5500) because my only expenses are gas and equipment. No bills to pay, family to support, etc., because I'm still in high school.

I would NOT limit the size of a new mower because my trailer is too small....Trailers are much cheaper than mowers are....Look around and get a trailer that doesn't limit you.....

SECTLANDSCAPING
08-16-2012, 08:52 PM
You received good advice already. Get something that can be serviced local. Something affordable.

If you find a cheap hydro walkbehind get it. Down the road when you buy a ztr, you can still use the walkbehind for hills and a back up. If you find a smoking deal on a ztr get that and maybe one day pick up a smaller one for gates.

willshome
08-16-2012, 09:20 PM
what size yards are you doing. small lawns are the easy ones to get no one wants them.
I do a lot of city lawns so a 48" is a waste of time. I use a 33" home owner that works well for me. The smallest commercial z-turn I have seen is 36" and still to big for 1/2 my lawns.

Shark1611
08-16-2012, 10:23 PM
Starting a lawn care business next summer and looking at a new ZTR. The dealer I will go through sells John Deere and Toro, but I'm definitely leaning towards the Toro. I like the Titan MX4880 but want to know if the MX is worth it over the ZX. My load will be around 6 (may do more) hours a day, four days a week with Friday for spillovers. I need to go with a 48" because my trailer is only 54" wide, and this mower takes up 52.5" in total (w/o chute) I believe. Looking for owners to throw their two cents in. Also, how many properties can I do in a day with those hours, how well does the mower stripe on its own, and should I mulch or side discharge everything?

Thanks

I have two 60" mowers. One is a Skaggs Cheetah and the other is a Dixon. Have an Exmark 36" stand and a 44" ztr Dixon.

xandrew245x
08-17-2012, 10:00 AM
I would NOT limit the size of a new mower because my trailer is too small....Trailers are much cheaper than mowers are....Look around and get a trailer that doesn't limit you.....

I agree with this. I had to limit what I bought because I don't have a vehicle big enough to pull a larger trailer. I am happy with my 5x10 and can still fit a 52" mower on it.

Rdelahunr
08-17-2012, 01:43 PM
Well my parents thought I was going to buy a 5500 dollar new mower, so maybe now that I found a couple deals I could still probably work down a bit on a z master I could probably get a good used trailer too. With the trailer I could also take along an older John Deere 38" that we own that my brother or a buddy of mine can help me now with, or if my main mower needs repairs.

stevef1201
08-17-2012, 01:50 PM
Look around. There is s dealer/repair shop local to me that will sell things for the repair bill. A good friend just last week pick up a 72 toro for 300 bucks.
ASK around, ASK repair shops if they have anything to sell for the repair bill, and dont forget to ASK friends and others in the area who are in business. Everybody knows some body who has 'an old' mower that they are willing to get rid of. Private deals would be best for you, -just a kid trying to make some college tuition money- etc. Play on your age, old guys who have good stuff that they dont really want anymore will let you have it for a song, but put the screws to me.

Caskey Lawns & Landscapes
08-17-2012, 07:23 PM
I'll have an Exmark 60 " Lazer Z for sale in about another month or sooo...1800 hrs and a beast of a machine.....

wat5150
08-17-2012, 07:39 PM
I'll have an Exmark 60 " Lazer Z for sale in about another month or sooo...1800 hrs and a beast of a machine.....

How many hours do you think that machine is good for?

Rdelahunr
08-18-2012, 06:07 PM
Does anyone have any experience with a scag freedom z? I live about 45 minutes from the dealer. Is that too far to go for major repairs you think? It would be nice because of the price and I hear alot of people swear by scag. I was quoted $6100 for an MX4880 and saw like $5200 for a 52in Freedom Z.

wandfsmall
08-20-2012, 01:32 PM
Does anyone have any experience with a scag freedom z? I live about 45 minutes from the dealer. Is that too far to go for major repairs you think? It would be nice because of the price and I hear alot of people swear by scag. I was quoted $6100 for an MX4880 and saw like $5200 for a 52in Freedom Z.

A freedom Z is a homeowner unit I would not expect to see that mower trouble free for commercial use. Scag is a good mower line but just like every other brand they make a homeowner unit. Now is it better then the mowers you will find at a box store YES IT IS.

Do you have any dealers close to you with other lines? Scag is not the only good mower on the market.

wandfsmall
08-20-2012, 01:33 PM
How many hours do you think that machine is good for?

a decent starting estimate on that mower would be 3000 hours before it starts to go downhill if taken care of.