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Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs, Buy or Sell Outdoor power equipment discussions. Questions on commercial lawn mowers, lawn mower, mower parts, lawn tractors, engines, edgers, trimmers, pole saws, aerators, hydro seeders, snow plows, chain saws, stump grinders, trucks and trailers?

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Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs, Buy or Sell

Outdoor power equipment discussions. Questions on commercial lawn mowers, lawn mower, mower parts, lawn tractors, engines, edgers, trimmers, pole saws, aerators, hydro seeders, snow plows, chain saws, stump grinders, trucks and trailers?
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2009, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by picframer View Post
I agree my ZTR is probably 15 to 20% faster than the garden tractor however keep in mind some of these guys are considering other services rather than just mowing, attachments for a tractor are a fraction of the cost of stand alone and one doesn't have to worry about maintenance on numerous machines.

For attachments we use lawn sweepers, sprayers, dethatchers, aerator (although we use a spray that is better, some people simply want core aeration) we use a dump cart on clean up jobs as it's easier and faster than a wheel barrow on large properties, a spreader for grass seed, 48 & 60" lawn roller, Rotary broom to sweep large driveways or we use it for cleanup after excavation, some will add a plow or snow blower.

In short, other than mowing we make $45 to $60 an hour just for the tractor plus operator time and the product being used. just my opinion, it is a very wise investment as you can now add a host of services that are not a labor intensive and you will get more hours out of the staff as they will not be so tired from doing these task manually in the heat.

I have a few, not many, clients that will not let us on the property (yet) with the ZTR however they will allow one of the tractors.
I agree Tractors have their place for sure. I have a John Deere that I use for a lot of the services that you mention. But if your primary services are mow, blow and go you can't make good time with a tractor.

If your just pulling around attachments like sprayers, spreaders, lawn sweepers etc. you don't need a $4000.00 tractor unless your working with large acreage. You can pick up a lot of tractors for under $1000.00 to do that.
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2009, 06:30 PM
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One can maintain the heck out of a piece of gear and still have issues, keep in mind even the best we can buy is not made the way things used to be.

I have a 1947 International Super H tractor in the front yard, I bought it when I was 15 from the original owner, in the 32 years I have owned it, total expenses would be less than $500.00, I can't tell you how many thousands it has made me plowing snow.

I run Volkswagon vehicles, I have a 1993 Diesel Jetta, 315,000 on it, mint condition and works like brand new, I will keep her until she dies, my son drives it mainly, I have a diesel Passat and my daughter drives a diesel Golf I bought her two months ago, we will run these into the ground which takes a very long time, they are very, very well made vehicles.

I can take a top of the line piece of John Deere or any other manufacturer and at the rate we go, maintain the heck out of it, every machine gets a check up on Sundays and come year 2+ little things will start to happen but then again things start to happen long before that also.

One of our tractors by year two will have 2,000++ hours on it.

About a month ago I bought another new excavator, it has been down four times, has around 200 hours and it's not due to abuse, the factory put the wrong cogs on the drive wheels, had to fly a new set in from the states, down three days, then it started running very rough, took it in, factory had not put an air breather on....down four days, due to dust they had to take it apart, injectors had to be replaced, two Sundays ago I was digging some rocks in my front yard, blew a hydro fitting, this is a new model, no one had one, had to fly one in from the states down three days no one can tell me why it cracked as it is in a hidden spot, yesterday the rad started leaking, faulty welding, it will be down three days.

It's not just Deere, I bought a $17,000 Bearcat diesel wood chipper around 6 weeks ago, made in the USA considered one of the best going.....five sensors have gone so far and the fuel pump went Friday, it went back this morning and am waiting for a replacement.

The only piece of gear I have that has never caused me an issue is a 2305 John Deere, had it around a year and a half and my stihl chainsaws.

Even my new Billy Goat let me down last week, it might have 60 hours on it, the cogs that enguage the pull cord cracked or broke, it will be down a week as the dealer doesn't have the parts.

Anyhow it's just a business expense for me and I will continue to trade after two years, sooner if something starts to act up.
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