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View Full Version : Help...Need 21" Recommendations TONIGHT!!!


Turf-R-Us
09-13-2006, 08:01 PM
I'm trying to phase out my two Crapsman 21"ers in favor of a single commercial mower to use for the long haul. I already have a 36" WB and a 44" Z, but I need something for the occasional gated backyard (3-7 per week). The Crapsmans run OK, but they're just to SLOOOWWW to mow with. The options I'm considering are:

Gravely Pro 21SCH Com'l w/5.5hp Com'l Honda ($699 on sale)
Deere JX75 Com'l w/Kawi 6.75hp Kawi ($875 not on sale)
Toro Proline Com'l 6hp Kawi w/o BBC ($999 not on sale)
Snapper (Res. Model ELP21703BV) w/7hp B&S ($679 on sale)

I'm leaning towards the Gravely (partly because my Z is a Gravely, buy) primarily because of the build-quality for the price. However I've never seen a Gravely Pro 21 perform. I know the Toro is supposed to be the pinnacle of 21" mowerdom, and the Snapper may be a good almost-commercial choice, and the Gravely is missing a BBC, but its hard to resist the attraction of the heavy duty Gravely for $100 off its regular price....and the sale ends tomorrow).

Is my thought process all wet, or would grabbing the Gravely be a smart purchase, even if it ranked at the bottom of the most-wanted list? All opinions welcomed.

lawnboy dan
09-13-2006, 08:22 PM
the gravely is just an ariens with a different name. not really that well built . i have had every comm mower made and the best is the jd jx75 (too bad they stopped making the jx85) . honda is my second choice in hydro . the toro only has 3 speeds -2 are too fast and only 1st is really useable. the snapper is a unreliable mess. just look at the drive sys. same for the gravely . the jd is the winner and does everything well. no faults buy one and be happy

Turf-R-Us
09-13-2006, 08:49 PM
Thanks for the rec, Dan. My concern with the Deere stems from previous posts I've read about the product. Specifically, some users complained about reliability of certain parts (cables, transmissions, etc.), but most seemed to agree that service (labor) and parts would be significantly more expensive in the long run (wheels cost $25 each!) than with just about any other commercial brand out there. If I spend more for the mower, it requires more parts to run, and it costs me more to maintain over the next 10+ years, where is the extra value in buying the Deere?

LLandscaping
09-13-2006, 09:09 PM
I would recommend the Toro proline. We have one that is 7yrs old still used daily. The only things we have replaced have been tires and a few belts.

ed2hess
09-13-2006, 09:11 PM
We run the Snapper commericial units and haven't had any significant problems. It is a design that hasn't changed in many years. Don't have any significant problems with the drive since they changed the belt design several years ago. I like the variable speed and it does okay on mulching and okay on bagging. If you need a bagger go with the Honda, but I don't know if they have figured out mulching?

PowerEquipmentWarehouse
09-13-2006, 09:52 PM
The Toro is an excellent choice, however, consider the Honda engine as well. I know it is a bit more, but that engine is really bullet-proof. The Kaw is ok, but there have been a few issues with it. If you are really lucky, you might find a Toro with a Suzuki 2 cycle, but it will be tough since they quit selling them.....Mike

Cobra Jock
09-13-2006, 09:58 PM
Buy the commercial snapper with the kawi. Don't shortchange yourself with the residential. The snapper is a good mower and inexpensive to fix when you do it yourself! My .02

Greg

Howard Roark
09-13-2006, 10:07 PM
Toro Proline from the sponser above "power equipment warehouse" is a good price. I didn't look at shipping though.


This mower will last you many years.

flam41
09-13-2006, 10:52 PM
We run 3 toro 1 kawi, 2 honda. The kawi is better to us. hope this helps

Turf-R-Us
09-14-2006, 12:00 AM
Thanks to all for your feedback and opinions. Most have told me why they prefer the brand they use. However, since I'm obviously biased towards Gravely (as I'm sure everyone else is towards their respective brands) do any of you have experience running Gravely's. There are obvoiusly unique advantages inherent in each brand, Gravely's advantage in this case is price. Theirs is the only "commercial" grade mower in the lineup in the $700 price range. A comparable Toro, Honda, Snapper commercial mower will cost me at least $1,000 (I know the Deere is only $850, but I'm assuming that their price will be comparable to the others in the long term once you add in upkeep costs). For 3-7 lawns a week worth of use, I cannot ignore a 30% price advantage.

What I guess I'm looking for is information on why I should ignore that $300 savings and not buy a Gravely...factors like bad cut quality, inferior mulching (i.e. Snapper) and/or bagging, inferior construction or reliability will be better indicators of what I can expect from this product. I understand why everyone likes their favorite brand, but what makes Gravely so undesireable despite the 30% cost advantage?

Phoenix
09-14-2006, 12:40 AM
Snapper commercial 21in. is a hard unit to beat!

They are light, fast and cheap to repair. I still have one that has its original 2 cycle Wisconsin Robin motor. I bought it in or around 1998 to use on slops and other than a $62.00 dif. that I just now replaced last month, the only other items were the inexpensive drive tire and disks.

newtex
09-14-2006, 12:55 AM
I wouldn't bother with a Snapper. I bought one in April and it is marginal at best. I had three problems in the first two months. The cut is poor, you have to overlap quite a bit, and you have to mow slowly. The poor cut is what bothers me the most. My Snapper also has a high pitched squeak from the disk drive that gives me a headache after several hours.

Phoenix
09-14-2006, 01:24 AM
I wouldn't bother with a Snapper. I bought one in April and it is marginal at best. I had three problems in the first two months. The cut is poor, you have to overlap quite a bit, and you have to mow slowly. The poor cut is what bothers me the most. My Snapper also has a high pitched squeak from the disk drive that gives me a headache after several hours.

newtex, Sounds like you got one that was may on a Friday, get your dealer to fix or replace your unit. If your mowing one property for several hours with a 21 in WB, you may want to look into getting a 36 or 48 in. WB :)

I almost always had at least 3, 21in mowers at all times, one on each trailer. No one ever compained about the quality of the cut.

In the begaining I had all Kubota 21's that my guys really liked, but after the warranty was up, replacment part costs made owning them less attractive. I sold them and bought snappers and was very happy with the money that stayed in my pocket, rather than the dealers for parts.

P.S, Now keep in mind we only used 21in mowers in tight areas or around pools that needed bagging. Small to Mid. sized back yards with small gates were done with 36in scag WBs. All front yards and fields were either done with 48 52 60 or 72in ZTRs or WBs.

Turf-R-Us
09-14-2006, 01:32 AM
[QUOTE=In the begaining I had all Kubota 21's that my guys really liked, but after the warranty was up, replacment part costs made owning them less attractive. I sold them and bought snappers and was very happy with the money that stayed in my pocket, rather than the dealers for parts.[/QUOTE]

Phoenix, which Snapper model(s) do you run?

Phoenix
09-14-2006, 02:10 AM
The key word here is "DID"!

I was in the LC&LS biz for almost 10 years. The illegal aliens from Mexico that where/are iving here in Texas and mowing grass for 1/2 of what I could do it for drove me out of business. That was close to seven years ago now. I praise God I was able to find some one to buy my company before my balance sheet looked to bad.

As for what Model Commercial 21in. Snappers I bought, I don’t have a clue anymore. I simply don’t remember. All my equipment was washed at least once evey two days if not every day. I.D. stickers have been removed (blown off) long ago :)

If the pics gets posted, here is the last one I bought in or around 1998. It was the newest one at the time, so I keep it and a few other pieces of equipment for myself.

http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/8873/mvc005edc1.jpg

http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/8803/mvc006erl3.jpg