Should I get a consumer grade mower?

Consumer grade or commercial grade? What is the best mower option for you? The answer relies on how much mowing you are doing per week. How important a warranty is for you and how much you have to spend on the mower. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from some entrepreneurs about the different mowers choices they made.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I finally got my truck and have been getting some mowing accounts pretty quickly. I currently have a self propelled mower walk behind mower but it is so slow.

I want to purchase a ztr but don’t want to spend $5,000+ if I don’t have to. I like new because of the warranty. I looked at a 21hp 42″ model consumer grade tractor style mower but I’m only going to be cutting around 20-25 lawns a week each approx quarter acre in size, since this is currently only a part time job for me. I do have concerns if such a mower will hold up since I am not going to be running it 5 days a week 8 hours a day.

Next I looked at a ZTR with a 44″ mowing deck and impulsively I jumped on the offer. Using that push mower has been brutal. It was a new one with 0% financing. Luckily at the moment I don’t need to rely on this for all my income and can reinvest all the profits. new-ztr-lawnmower

I wanted the Kawasaki engine upgrade but I couldn’t justify spending an extra thousand dollars. Since I’m not running it 8 hours a day 5 days a week I think the Briggs engine will do fine. Same goes for the hydro pumps.

With only a little bit of time to test my new ZTR today, all I can say is that it rides awesome! I can’t wait to get to work on it this weekend!”

A second lawn care business owner replied “if you get a commercial mower, you will get a better, longer warranty, and they will probably have a 36 or 48 month interest free financing deal. If you are serious about this and think you will have a growing customer base, and their is room in your budget, I would go with a commercial mower.

From what I have seen, a residential mowers warranty is 150 hours. You can do that in less then a season. The warranty isn’t worth a dime from most companies. You’ll get the ‘we’ll take care of it just bring it to our nearest service center ,’ ie across the country. This is another reason commercial is the way to go. You can bring it to any dealer.

Another option is buying a used commercial mower. I put 1,600 hours on one used mower and 200 on another without problems. My friend went through two consumer grade lawn tractors in the same time.

I really don’t see what peoples problem with buying used is. You can buy a $10,000 mower for $2500. If the engine fails, you can buy a new one for $1500. If the hydros fail, it’s about $800 per side. In my experience, you’ll still spend less and have a longer lasting machine.”

A third shared “a consumer grade mower typically has no warranty or 90 days for commercial use. I would read the details before I buy. My personal advice is look for a decent used commercial unit before buying a consumer grade. They are that much better in quality. Another thing is I wouldn’t recommend buying any consumer 2 cycle trimmers or blowers, when for just a little more you can buy something that will last and have more power.

With all that said, keep in mind, debt is the killer of a business.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

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