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Old 03-18-18, 08:26 PM   #1
Claudio Miller
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Default Buy mower or outsource the service?

I plan to buy zero turn lawn mower and it is costing me $3000+. To be honest, I am not lawn cleaning fanatics and i prefer to sleep for extra hours during weekend. But i wont mind doing it if it saves my $

Alternatively I have an option to outsource the work.
Which one would turn cost effective looking into the maintenance & other cost of running the mower on my own? Its about little less than a acre

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Old 03-18-18, 09:24 PM   #2
oil pan 4
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Why could you possibly need a 3000 mower for 1 acre?
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Old 03-19-18, 08:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Why could you possibly need a 3000 mower for 1 acre?
That's because I might use it occasionally in my farm house also which is close to 5 acres. It would be rare but it will serve dual purpose
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Old 03-19-18, 09:31 AM   #4
oil pan 4
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That makes more sense.

You may be able to pick up a used craftsman mower with a Kohler engine (the more desirable combination) for around $1200 or less.
You can get a $3,000 mower but it'sjust over kill.
Then get a good weed Wacker like a 29cc red max to eliminate anything the mower misses, I use my 29cc red max to take down tumble weeds. I bought mine new was $350, a used one should be under $250. But 29 to 30cc class weed Wacker is way overkill.
I use my Kohler powered craftsman around house and I take it out in the back field to finish mow my walking and driving path on the back 20. Otherwise I use my diesel kubota and brush hog to beat the weeds and grass into submission.
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Old 03-19-18, 09:50 AM   #5
natethebrown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudio Miller View Post
That's because I might use it occasionally in my farm house also which is close to 5 acres. It would be rare but it will serve dual purpose
I was going to suggest a robot mower which is roughly $3k, but it sounds like you need more versatility. I would definitely go with a good Zero-Turn mower for roughly an acre. Here is my rationale:

1) I have about 0.4 acre of mow-able area. I have a John Deer Hydrostatic Riding lawn mower. It takes me about 35-40 minutes to mow everything with another 20 minutes to trim with a string trimmer. When the grass is growing the fastest, I mow once a week. Assuming my mowing season goes from Mid-April to Mid-September, that gives me about 24 weeks of mowing.
- Burn maybe 1 gallon of gasoline per mow = $2.5 per week or $60 per year.
- Change the oil once a season = $10 per year.
- Sharpen blades once a season = free.
- Replace blades once every 3 years or so = $60 per 3 years or $20 per year.
- Replace belts once every 5 years = $80 per 5 years or $16 per year.
- Replace flat tires once every 8 years - $160 per 8 years or $20 per year.

This totals between $126 and $96 per year. I don't have to mow every week (like I assumed) and one could get lucky and have tires or belts last much longer than I assumed.

2) The mowing services around her charge between $40 - $100 per visit. Since my yard is pretty large in comparison to the average, I am guessing the total cost would be about $60 per visit.
- Assuming 24 weeks of mowing = $1440 per year
- Assuming bi-weekly mowing = $720 per year

If I had a good zero-turn mower I could mow my lawn in 25-30 minutes, instead of 35-40 minutes. For your yard, it could save you upwards of 20 minutes per mow!

Here is the breakdown of total savings:
- Weekly mowing and maybe 10 hours annually for maintenance = $1314/yr or $38/hr savings.
- Bi-Weekly mowing and maybe 10 hours annually for maintenance = $624/yr or $28/hr savings.

So is sleeping in worth between $38/hr and $28/hr (possibly a little more in your case due to the large yard)?
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Old 03-19-18, 10:26 AM   #6
CrankyDoug
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Get quotes from a few mowing services. Prices and quality of workmanship vary wildly so don't sign a contract until you trust the contractor.

Most areas of the country are flooded with mowing services due to the low cost of getting started. Even with heavy competition the price to mow an acre here in GA is around $100, more if you have trees, shrubs, or other obstructions. More still if you want it finished with a string trimmer.

Also consider that you don't get much zero turn mower for $3000. At that price you will get residential mower components in a zero turn frame for $1K more than a conventional lawn tractor. My wife and I look at ZT mowers every spring. Each time we conclude that our old Craftsman will survive another year. I bought it used, 12 years ago for $500.

If you still want a ZT then look at the Ariens for $2999 at Home Depot. It's the only one that impressed me in that price point.
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Old 03-19-18, 12:12 PM   #7
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I had a kubota mower that lasted 30 yrs. it started to become a maintainance queen. I had given it a good rebuild a number of years ago sand blasted deck new pulleys welded patches in the deck new battery and rubber

Now it requires more service. Bearings in the deck and some wiring gremlins

Replace or not to replace. It has been an awesome machine. Still runs like a top

For a couple years tried a service. The first glimps of the wheel falling off the services mower I was so pleased it wasn’t me having to repair the mower.

It was expensive to have the service

We purchased a Husqavarna Robotic mower. It’s a bit pricey but what a machine. My lawn has never looked so good. No fuel completely automatic rain or shine quiet

I would recommend this tech highly

It’s interactive with my iPhone. It has GPS I know where it is and if he is cutting or charging
Fantastic.
Spares me a lot of time. 4-6 hrs on the mower. Not to mention the weather has to cooperate when I have the time to cut

Robotic mower. Get one

Randen!!!
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Old 03-23-18, 08:17 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone. Every response looks rock solid. This should surely help me to take a decision this weekend
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Old 03-23-18, 08:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natethebrown View Post
I was going to suggest a robot mower which is roughly $3k, but it sounds like you need more versatility. I would definitely go with a good Zero-Turn mower for roughly an acre.

Here is the breakdown of total savings:
- Weekly mowing and maybe 10 hours annually for maintenance = $1314/yr or $38/hr savings.
- Bi-Weekly mowing and maybe 10 hours annually for maintenance = $624/yr or $28/hr savings.

So is sleeping in worth between $38/hr and $28/hr (possibly a little more in your case due to the large yard)?
This looks so justified, i don't see any reason why i should not do in this case. Making $40 an hour in free time do make sense and that too when its going to take just an hour, i am definitely not going to be sleep deprived .

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