Commercial lawn mowers run in rigorous conditions for long hours during the growing season—and that’s year-round in many areas of the country. The machines are often operating 10 to 12 hours each day, providing quality cuts for landscape contractors that depend on their zero-turn lawn mowers to fuel the revenue stream.
Commercial mowers are a key expense for landscapers. How should they finance it?
Ultimately, landscapers are looking to prevent downtime and maintain a professional, high-quality fleet of zero-turn mowers that can stand up to the job. Lawn mower dealers provide options: lease or purchase. Financing programs for both arrangements can give landscape professionals flexibility depending on their goals.
“The classic dilemma for landscape contractors is, if they buy equipment and put it on a longer [financing] term, and they use that equipment heavily, the machine is built for a certain lifecycle and it can wear out and require parts and service,” says Fred Kuhnen, general manager at Advanced Acceptance, a division of First Western Bank & Trust.
Still, some landscape professionals prefer to purchase their commercial lawn mowers so they will eventually own the equipment in their fleets. They budget for parts and service expenses, and an in-house service technician might handle most mower repairs.
Others prefer to lease for shorter terms—2 years, for example—and then replace mowers that age out of the lease with new equipment, constantly refreshing their fleets.
When financing lawn mowers for a professional landscape business, owners must consider: 1) the size of the fleet, and how often they want to refresh that fleet with new commercial lawn mowers; 2) the budget for purchasing/leasing equipment; 3) the cost of parts and service for machines no longer on warranty (in a purchase situation).