There are definitely hills on my list but I use 21in to cut as wondering if Zero turn is better option and have heard of hill issues and you guys confirmed especially skidding on hill ...
What you didn’t say was:
Kind of too many things for me to rap my head around to make any recommendations.
- How many hours does it take you now?
- How many hours do you want it to take?
- Are there width restrictions?
- How steep are the slopes?
- How many of the 30 lawns have slopes?
- How big are the lawns? Max __ Min __
- Do you plan to do anything other than mowing?
- How long (hrs, years) do you expect to use it before replacing it?
- Do you do your own repair?
- Are you keeping all the equipment you currently have?
- What trailer restrictions do you have? Width? Length, Ramp?
Consider what your time is worth, and the time of your workers if you employ any, it has to be part of the calculation.
ZTs have taken over every lawn care business for good and economic reasons. They are simply the most efficient mowers available.
If a ZT will fit into your trailer, and considering gates etc., can access the larger of your mowing sites, from a business perspective, you will be much better off mowing with the ZT than a GT and deck.
Save the GT from the wear and tear of the bulk mowing, and use it for the other tasks you mentioned.
A little story:
In my old suburban neighborhood, the lawn guys would show up, park, and send the trimmers out on foot to do the 5 or 6 yards in the neighborhood (each an acre or so). Two ZT mower guys were unloading, checking and servicing the ZTs and back pack blowers. Then, after about 5 or 10 minutes, the 2 ZTs would go at each yard in turn, followed by the returning trimmer guys who took over the back pack blowers. They would have a short water break before the ZTs got back and had to be loaded up on the trailer. This guy and his brother ran the ZTs and had 2 or 3 helpers who rotated between a) trimmer duty, and b)blower clean up duty. It was quite an impressive show of effective job planning.
I am small Landscaping business started 4yrs ago with small accounts because couldn't find help now I have added semi commercial equipment with Cubs and have added several larger accounts...I can get the business but I am careful not to over extend and be able to cover and will not dirty my reputation or person hiring me...so I had friend join permanently this year and unfortunately he got diagnosed with C word so I looking for help...fortunately my customers understand and don't want any one else but me so I hope that gives you more info...
- 30% yards sloped... I’m assuming you meant a 30% slope which is a little over 15 degrees which is not steep, but is a concern on equipment without pressurized oil lubrication.
- Half yards slopes of some type…. Not a problem if using commercial type equipment.
- Yes plan on haul mulch and snow removal... That's why I will keep the Cub GT 3204... The Cub GT is low end GT. If you clear many driveways, you should look for something heavier duty.
- I want to use it for 3-4yrs and upgrade so resale value is strong... Depending on the number of hours you put on the machine in those 3-4 years will determine whether the resale value is strong. Lower end equipment will decrease in value faster than commercial grade equipment.
- Yes do most of my repair and have friends Master Mechanic to help
- Keep 33in and one Cub always need back up… I’m not sure, but think the Cub is the 3204 which would be okay for pulling around a small cart with wood chips.
- I have 8x5 trailer and have deal for 6x10… The 5’ trailer will limit you to a 48” deck or less. A 6’ trailer will limit you to a 54” or 60” deck. If you use the mower for picking up leaves, the power vac attachment will add about 12” to the width, reducing the allowable deck width.
- It's hard to estimate hours since I upgraded equipment but when I use new equipment avg time 20-30min saved... If you mean you only saved 20-30 minutes total for all 30 lawns, then I don’t know how much time you are spending. For me going from my 42” Scotts to my X738 54”, I reduced my time by at least 30 minutes mainly due to mowing the ditch bank.
Just for instance, with my JD X738 54”, I can mow a 1/2 acre lot in maybe 15-20 minutes (no trimming). On larger areas like a soccer field, I can mow about 1.5 acres per hour.
A lot depends on how far apart the lots are. You can save time if you can drive between lawns or driveways rather than having to load and unload. I have cleared snow from 9 driveways of 8-12” in about 2 hrs. I never have an issue with slopes. Please understand, the X738 is not a $5000 investment, even without a snowblower. You may not need AWD either, but can help with snow removal. An X730 is also a good option. Snowblowers are more expensive than a blade, but are much faster for snow removal in my area without having to worry about the space to deposit the snow and how much lawns get damaged by a plow (at least on a pickup truck).
Thank you very much RT...You are very detailed beautiful...
So ZT is my option...JD or Cub 2022 with new wheel options?
If you want new, to stay closest to your $5000 budget, I’d buy a John Deere X580 (48” or 54”) or X590 (48” or 54”).These are not commercial, but should hold up for what you intend. If you don’t mind a little work to start, I’d buy used and perhaps buy an X7xx series tractor. I personally like the EFI (Electronic Fuel Injected) because of their starting in cold weather. These are all gasoline, diesels cost more, but are more fuel efficient.
There are other manufacturers, but I like the Deere features.
To get commercial ZT’s, I’d buy Scag, Exmark, Ferris, Hustler, Cub Cadet (with the steering wheel), Kubota, or Deere. A high end Residential might be okay, but with some risk. Again, buying used will get you more for your $$$. I’d buy a machine with under 400 hrs. Diesel engines will last much longer, but decks will still wear out in the lower hour range. I’ve been very pleased with all the used tractors I’ve bought, but have stayed under 100 hrs for most (not on the Deere 757 ZT). Comparable ZTs today would be the Z930M. My brother found a Kubota ZD21 60” that had been used commercially with about 1400 hrs that served him very well and now is at his son-in-las’s. A nice feature they have is the built in lift that allows you to clean the deck or change blades without a separate lift.
Here’s an example of one I would consider with expecting to use it four 3-5 yrs.
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