View Full Version : Well guys, went comapring mowers and power tools today.

10-12-2005, 08:16 PM
I start out by going to a dealer that sells Exmark, Dixon, Snapper and White for mowers and Echo Stihl and Shidiwas ( sp? ) for tools. I walk in and look at afew trimmers, I was mainly looking for an Echo SRM-260 and an FS110 to compare. Didn't have either in stock, but saw a prcie tag for an FS110 and it was $379.99+tax. then I looked for blowers, didn't find any echo blowers and only 2 Stihl hand held with one backpack.

So I move to the mowers, which I know what I want as far as Exmark is concerned, they only have 2 on the floor. A Lazer Z Hp 23/52 and a big one with some 72" cut. I want a Lazer Z Hp 19/44. Well this lady come up and asked what I was interested in and then she got her little book out and told me the list for a Lazer Z HP 19/44, then said that it was going up and the final price would be somewhere between $7,800 and $8,000. After that she starts trying to sell me on the Dixon which I don't want. She says they are better than Exmarks and cheaper too. Well I picked up afew brochures and left to my next and last place to visit.

Next stop, a Hustler/Cub Cadet dealer. Well the guy is real friendly, talks to me, but he has no Hustlers o nthe floor but says he has 6 coming at the end of this month/ first of next month. Told him I was interested in the Mini Z 19/44. He tells me the list is $7,499, but he will know $1,000 off and let me have it for $6,499 right off the bat. I was kinda shocked because I figured the Hustler would be higher than the Exmark. I want the Hustler more anyway, so I think that's what I am going with. He explained the warranty and it is a good one, told me how long it wouldtake to get and so on. Well I told him I was i nthe market for a trimmer and blower also. He only sells Robin and to be honest I have never heard of one. So he tells me they are in the same boat as Stihls and Echos but are alittle easier on the pocket book. He only has 1 straight shaft in the store because he said that in the last 2 weeks he has sold 24 of them. He told me that the Arkansas Highway Dept. bought afew and the rest went to commcerial LCO's. Even said one LCO traded in all 6 of his Stihls for 6 Robins. He tells me Robin has a good blower too, but he has sold all 8 of then i nthe last 2 weeks and is waiting on another shipment.

I am positive I have made up my mind on the Hustler. He told me he would give me a good deal if I decided to get a trimemr and blower to him, and said next week he could have a demo trimmer and blower for me to try. He also offered me a demo on the Hustlers when he gets them.

This is my first time shopping for a mower and it is a pretty massive purchase for me at 17. So I was wanting to get some opinions from the pros on this. I was also wanting to ask about the Robin equipment, and whether or not Hustler is the right decision. I just wasn't too impressed with experience #1 about the Exmark deal.

AL Inc
10-12-2005, 08:34 PM
I'll start by saying I'm not the type to bash any equipment someone else uses. If it gets the job done for you, that's great. I've learned it is most important to have a good dealer who can keep your machines up and running. It sounds like the second dealer would work for you. Go with the Robin tools and Hustler and establish a good relationship with the guy. He will more than likely help you quickly if a machine goes down. I have a guy here who will do repairs for me while I wait, and if he can't fix it right away, I get a loaner. He has even repaired my snowplow at 3 am in the middle of a blizzard. Needless to say, I don't shop around.

10-12-2005, 10:07 PM
Thx. for the words AL. I think I am going to go with him. He told me he that is his specialty is keeping his customers machines up and going. He has loaners most of the time but he said this is just an odd time he is out of almost everything. I don't know if he would do 3:00 in the morning stuff, but his house is right next to his dealership.

On another note, this may need to be in a separate thread to get noticed but, how do you guys go about buying a blower? what specs do you look at, mph or cfm? The robin blowers seem weak compared to others. The bigest handheld, a 4 stroke, model FLH2500 has a rating of 358 cfm and 145 mph. While their only backpack, the FL500, has a rating of 530 cfm and 260 mph. Still debating wether or not to go backpack. As of right now, I only use my blower on 3 out of my 7 residential accounts. But my plan for next year is to get around 3 to 5 more accounts. The way I am thinking, with a time saved by the ZTR, I can get 3 to 5 more yards to do and work the same amt. of time next year as I do this year and make more money.

AL Inc
10-12-2005, 10:23 PM
Gizmo, as far as blowers, I pretty much buy along the lines that my dealer carries. I ran Echo backpacks for years, and started over to Red Max in 2001. I don't think I have looked at a brochure in the last 5 years, sorry don't get too excited about the specs. See if it is possible to demo the blower and see if you like it. You just dropped (or are about to) 6-7K on a rider, I think he will work with you. Also, my dealer really doesn't carry a large inventory either. He usually has all of the two cycle equipment, but only a few walk behinds and push mowers. If I need something, he will order it for me. Good luck in building your business. Mike

Envy Lawn Service
10-13-2005, 12:32 AM
Sounds like you have found your dealers and brands.

I think Hustler's reputation preceeds them.
Visit their forum here and bear in mind "who else is here or still here?"
Nuff said.

As for the Robin brand... they make great stuff. They would be my next choice after only Stihl. I really like their trimmers, especially that little featherweight NB020. The blowers are OK too and have some nice features as well. They are just not in the same league as the 'big-boy' leaf blowers is all...

10-13-2005, 12:34 AM
I would go to place #3 if that exists. I cant beleive these dealers dont evan have stock to buy. That is absolutly amazing. Ever go to a car dealer that doesnt have cars? Nuts.......

Envy Lawn Service
10-13-2005, 01:09 AM
I would go to place #3 if that exists. I cant beleive these dealers dont evan have stock to buy. That is absolutly amazing. Ever go to a car dealer that doesnt have cars? Nuts.......

In a lot of areas this is nothing out of the ordinary.

10-13-2005, 01:12 AM
In a lot of areas this is nothing out of the ordinary.I cant beleive that. I mean I beleive you, but dont get it. I can see the big $$$ mowers, but trimmers and blowers?

True Cut Lawn Maintenance
10-13-2005, 01:16 AM
i frequent about 3 dealers between Ft Wayne and Indy and everyone of them is always stocked

Muttons in Ft Wayne Sells simplicity stihl exmark john deere

East Allen in Woodburn john deere scag echo

Reynolds in Indianapolis john deere, dont remember the others

Hendrens in Franklin john deere lawn boy (atleast they used to) stihl and ferris

they are all great dealers and i will drive the 2 hours if they have what i need

10-13-2005, 09:00 AM
I use Robin trimmers and are well pleased with them. I have a NB2050 that is 3 seasons old and still going strong. A great trimmer that weighs only 8.5 pounds and has a steel shaft that you can put a blade on if you need to. It has a 20cc engine and its not the greatest for brush clearing, but for weekly trimming, it is very good. I have a stihl fs85 I use for heavy trimming and for using a blade on but the stihl weighs 3 pounds more. Im a solo operator and use a trimmer alot and beleive me 3 pounds is alot on a trimmer. I dont own a 4 cycle Robin yet but I have a friend that does and he is well pleased with it.
As far as blowers goes, I cant comment on Robin blowers, my dealer doesnt stock them because he is a Robin/Stihl dealer and says that the stihl blowers are much better.Maybe he just makes more off the Stihl and doesnt want to stock the Robin, I dont know. Anyway I thought I would pitch in my 2 cents worth on Robin trimmers ..........I LOVE THEM

10-13-2005, 10:34 AM

There is a Bad Boy dealer in El Dorado, AR. named Glenns Marina and Cycle. Bad Boy Mowers are built in Batesville. They are super quality and tough built with great components and a great company behind them. They are alot of value for the money. You will get more mower for less money from Bad Boy.

As pointed out earlier the dealer is very important, so you would want to check them out, but I can vouch for the machine itself and the company that builds it. BTW, I don't work for Bad Boy, but I do have one of their great machines and am a happy camper.

Good luck,

10-13-2005, 10:55 AM
As to specs for leaf blowers, look at CFM. Get the highest cfm you can. If at all possible, get a backpack blower. Handheld blowers don't come close. We have one handheld blower, and essentially we never use it (I don't even know if it will start it has been so long). We hardly use the rolling blowers anymore, because the big backpacks are almost as strong.

10-14-2005, 03:14 AM
I definitely would avoid the first dealer. LOL Trying to unload their Dixons. I have no problems bashing those 90% plastic bathtub looking things... The new one's have CLOTH seats!!! You know how those would smell after a few days of work??? Can't believe they would claim they are "better" than exmark. ROFL

I wouldn't be concerned about the lack of stock... Most dealers around here are out of everything too. They are clearing out to get ready for the new models next season... Probably why he offered $1000 off the Hustler is that he's getting a good deal to help them get the '05s cleared out. All the better for you.

A good dealer is VITAL... He is your best friend or your worst enemy. When I bought my ZTR it was the first model Snapper made after Simplicity bought them, so not too many dealers had even heard of it then. What got me was the dealer I bought it from... Went back for a tire 6 months after buying, and he looks in his book and tells me that mower doesn't exist!!! I told the dope that I bought it from HIM, and even pointed out one he had on the sales floor... Did he feel like an idiot that he doesn't even know what's on his floor. LOL I found another dealer that's 15 miles away, so it's a longer hike, but he takes care of me and knows my mower exists. :D

10-14-2005, 01:56 PM
Thx for the replies/advise guys. I am positive I will probably go with a Robin trimmer now after searching the fourm and reading what you guys have put. Only thing that has me not sold on backpack blowers is that I switch hands alot with my handheld, like if I am blowing to the right I hold it in my left and and if I amd blowing to the left I hold it in my right hand. It doesnn't seem like a big deal but I have been doing that for 4 years. I will just have to demo them when he gets more in stock. But he also told me he is picking up the Echo line of stuff in the next month, decisions decisions.

MBDiagMan, I have looked at Bad Boys on the internet, but Eldo is just alittle too far for me. It is only about 60 miles but the roads are not the best getting there and it takes around an hour to get there.

This dealer is only about 25 mins away and 2 of my best friends live within walking distance from it so I know I will be going by there alot anyway.

10-16-2005, 01:19 AM
whoa....11 accounts? Unless they're big ones, which I doubt based on what your current lineup of equipment appears to be, are you sure you want to go with a $7,000 purchase? I assume also at 17 that this is a part time job or at least not your full time plan. Maybe I'm wrong. But you'll take a big hit if the biz doesn't work out for you, or if you only put minimal hours on it now. There's a minimum amount of work you have to do to earn back the costs involved. ZTR's are great, I use one, and they're often faster on many lawns, but the improvement is incremental. It won't double your results vs. a good walk behind. Only when you're doing lots of jobs will the difference in productivity start to really pay off.

Wouldn't a good hydro wb be a more versatile choice? It would cost less and handle a wider selection of accounts. Hustler has a great one. At 17 I would think you could handle a sulky or walking w/o problem. If you are not expanding a whole lot, I would probably say a Toro T bar or Gravely pro-steer belt drive walk behind would even do fine. They're not as bad as pistol grip belt drives, and I mowed for years full time with them before ZTRs came around.

The Exmark price you got was ridiculously high. And I think the Hustler one is a little high for this time of year, also. I think they may be trying to take advantage of your youth and inexperience. Some are like car dealers that way. Both are top brands, however.

I'd also look at slightly used and demo mowers on Ebay and at dealerships. There are some bargains out there, but it'd be best to have an experienced friend help you check them out before buying. You can check any quotes you get here and see if they're a good deal. Don't be afraid to counter-offer.

lawnboy dan
10-16-2005, 10:03 PM
i recommend robin trimmers too. but would get a stihl backpac. none better

10-16-2005, 10:43 PM
Bruce32 - I mow 2 cemeteries, one being about 5 acres and one closer to 4 acres. They both probably have 400 stones in them, just one is alittle more compact. Right now, they are taking me forever. I mow 1 church, and 8 houses also. I am planning to get 3 to 5 more houses next year.

I am mowing all the time when I am not in school as it is, I don't like to mow yards after dark, but I will mow by the headlights in the cemeteries. It may seem like I am going alittle overboard, and I proabaly am because I am known for that. If I work my tush off I could probably pay it off in one mowing season, and if I get 5 more yards at $30 each or better I am positive I could. I'm just tired of residential crap and I want something that will last for a long time. It is not my long term plan to mow yards, but atleast part time for the next 4 years.

On the quotes, the Hustler guy told me that Hustlers were going up Nov. 1st, so I don't know if that is the quote if I wait until after then or not. I will do some more talkin and jew alittle when I go in next time.