View Full Version : Tips for buying used mower

03-25-2007, 04:00 PM
I was wondering what to look out for when buying a used mower. What do you guys look out for when buying a used mower, say a 48" scag hydro... Thanks

03-25-2007, 04:16 PM
Test it good, try to size the owner up to see what kind of care he has taken, if he has service records look at them. I think you can tell a lot by looking at the deck how it has been used. I don't trust hour meters they are too easy to manipulate. The pumps, wheel motors and engine are the expensive parts so check them out good. Remember you are taking a little gamble anytime you buy used so be prepared for a worse case scenario.

A compression tester is a cheap and easy way to judge the health of an engine especially but no one seems to use one. Given the choice I'd take an owner driven over and employee driven piece of equipment. I'm no expert and with the great financing I don't buy used but this may help.

03-25-2007, 04:31 PM
Grab the blades and see if the spindles wobble excessively. Also the bearings in the front casters. Tires have uneven wear, maybe something bent.
I always check the oil first, black, I'll probably walk away. Air filter all clogged?

03-25-2007, 04:36 PM
Yep forgot about the spindles, thanks RandyS.

03-25-2007, 04:41 PM
the oil turns black with a few hours of house anyway How is that being recommended.

J&R Landscaping
03-25-2007, 05:31 PM
On a hydro, open the hydro fluid resivoir and place the end of a paper towel or tissue into the fluid. Get it wet and pull it out. The oil should be perfectly clean. If its dirty or appears to have moisture in it, I would walk away from it.

Also, how do the hoses appear to be? Are either of the pumps or wheel motors wet at all? Does it track straight and turn evenly and positively?

03-25-2007, 05:34 PM
don't, buy new.

03-25-2007, 06:04 PM
I buy used all the time. Sometimes the equipment isn't even running when I buy it. Price is everything, I buy cheap and sell a little higher than reasonable. I really don't care what shape the piece is in there is a buyer for everything if the price is right. I likely have 50 pieces for sale right now. Delivered a trailer frame yesterday bought for $200 and sold for $850 but I did have to drive 400kms to deliver it. Nice day for a drive yesterday and I drove my diesel with almost 400,000 kms on it. Sale season is coming up quick. I get to buy the used equipment from the guys who bought all new. they don't seem to care how much they get for the old because they are so excited with the new..

03-25-2007, 07:31 PM
don't, buy new.

I don't agree on that point especially when it comes to Scag they are very very reliable and parts are easily available. And these machines are very easy to repair.

03-25-2007, 08:09 PM
The reason I said to check the oil is that it might be an indication of how the mower was maintained. When I sell something I try to make sure it's running and just been serviced. At least whoever buys it can go to work with it that day. The machine I'm selling might not be used anymore, that's the reason I'm selling it. Therefore the oil would be clean.