PDA

View Full Version : 21" Commercial Mowers


exploring
05-25-2008, 11:10 AM
As Toro owns Exmark and Lawnboy, is there really much difference anymore in the commercial mowers of these three brands? The old Honda HRC hydrostatics were legendary but are the newer ones any better than the Toro/Exmark/Lawnboy offerings? Any personal favorites for bagging or mulching or combined bagging and mulching performance? Thanks!

lawnprosteveo
05-25-2008, 01:38 PM
Ive used Toro Prolines for my 21's for 6 yrs now. Mostly mulch with them...not the best baggers though. They have been very reliable, cut great, and have lasted well.

exploring
05-25-2008, 05:29 PM
Does anyone have any experience with the Toro Hi-Vac Bagger as opposed to their 21" Heavy Duty mower? http://www.toro.com/professional/lce/wpm/index.html Also, any comments on the more preferable of the two Heavy Duty engine choices, the 5.5 hp Honda or the 6.0 hp Kawasaki? http://www.toro.com/professional/lce/wpm/proline21/index.html

BCSteel
05-25-2008, 05:38 PM
I'm not sure about the mowers that you are asking about but I usually get about 2000hrs out of the 6hp kawis.

kmitt
05-25-2008, 07:23 PM
The Toro Proline Recyclers are great mulchers but do not bag very well, especially in wet conditions.
I've used Hondas in the past and they excel in bagging but can't mulch well at all. I also found that everything but the engine will break on a Honda. My experience with them was about 12 years ago, I'm not sure how they perform now.

LawnBrother
05-25-2008, 07:32 PM
I love my proline. I am thinking about a commercial
Lawnboy, though, anybody run these?

exploring
05-25-2008, 08:16 PM
I've read here that the Exmark Metro 26 don't hunt/is underpowered with the 6 hp Kawasaki. I presume this 6 hp performs admirably in the smaller Exmark Metro 21. So which is the better pick between a Metro 21 and a Toro 21" Heavy Duty when both are equipped with the 6 hp Kawasaki? Any votes for the smaller 5.5 hp Honda engine on these models?

wiselawns
05-25-2008, 08:37 PM
For the past few years ive been using cheapo craftsman pushmowers for the areas my scag cant get. They got me by, but just dont hold up and they dont mulch or bag well at all in thick spring growth. Just bought a Honda HRR with the double blades and it mulches pretty well and bags great. The smart drive system is pretty cool. Really couldnt spend big bucks for a commercial mower. The craftsmans lasted 2 or three years. Hopefully this one will last longer. I dont use it everyday, but when i do its much faster and a much better cut than what i was using. Still using the old craftsmans to mow ditches and such though.

Roger
05-25-2008, 10:10 PM
I love my proline. I am thinking about a commercial
Lawnboy, though, anybody run these?

I have a Toro Proline but it is only a secondary machine. I also have a staggered wheeled LawnBoy. The paradox between the two machines:

Toro:
Great piece of equipment, well built, reliable
Not a very good cut, not a very good bagging machine

LawnBoy:
Great cut, great with the side bagger
Terrible piece of equipment, bad detailed parts (e.g. cables, wheels), and terrible with the DuraForce engine.

We use them side-by-side, so can compare the cuts and bagging functions. 95% of our use is with the bagger. The staggered wheel models, with the DuraForce engine is no longer manufactured (three years?), and the models with the B&S engines stopped being shipped as of January 1, 2008 (I think?).

Now, for the new LawnBoy commercial mowers, they have been under consideration by me as well. I looked closely during the Winter, but didn't buy. I started the season with the LB DuraForce, but it continues to give me fits. When I made a decision to buy a new LB model 22271, I called, just to be sure they had one in stock. Five dealers later, I found that nobody has any in stock, haven't had any for a long time (sold out the early inventory stock), and are being quoted "sometime in June for next delivery," if given any information at all. The dealers were not happy because "we could have sold a bunch of them."

I learned that LB does not have the Honda GSV engines in order to complete the manufacturing of more machines. I asked LB directly, and was told they plan to start production June 3.

In other words, if you decide you want to buy one, you cannot -- nobody has any stock. And, dates for next deliveries to dealers are vague, at best. If LB will begin production on June 3, first deliveries are bound to be sparse. And, clearly the demand is pent up. Dealers will be asking full price, IF they have any machines to sell for several weeks.

Clearly, this is a fiasco by LB. They just rolled out a new product, was gaining some strength of market with early deliveries, then their flow of new machines stopped. Apparently the flow stoppage will be in the order of two months, right at the prime time of the season for buying new machines. Ouch!!!

I know some folks on LS have the new machine, but they are not writing reviews. I have seen one machine in the neighborhoods that I work. I have not been able to speak with the contractor who is using the mower, but intend to do so soon.

freshprince94
05-25-2008, 10:41 PM
Metro 21. It has the eXmark deck.

exploring
05-26-2008, 12:22 AM
So the Lawn-Boy commercial model #22271 at a $945 MSRP (if one could be found) might give the commercial Toro a run for its money but the 6 hp Kawasaki equipped Exmark Metro 21 likely still reigns supreme?

LawnBrother
05-26-2008, 12:41 AM
Thanks Roger, I think that sews it up for me. It will be another Toro or Exmark 21" for me. I know those will always be in stock and parts will always be available. Plus the Prolines are just Tanks. Mine has been thru hell and it is still reliable. They are also as heavy as tanks, which is why I was thinking about the lighter Lawnboys. Also I did not see a BBC option for the Lawnboy, which I always thought was a nice feature. I'll just pay the extra cash for the Toro or Exmark. The Exmark did have an operator height handle adj. and I really liked that since I am tall. Anyway thanks for the side by side on those!

saw man
05-26-2008, 01:08 AM
The new Hondas mulch MUCH better than the old bagging style deck but still give better bagging than the Toro.

The Toro bagging geck is much like the Honda HR Masters series. Good bagging mower but wont mulch well at high speed or long grass.

The new Lawnboy mowers have a totally different deck than the Toro or Exmark. Have not had any feedback on these but it seems like a good machine and worth taking a look at.

huskres
05-26-2008, 01:15 AM
What is so terrible about the duraforce? I have a 6.5hp duraforce homeowner model and it is waaaay stronger than my proline with the suzuki.

I have a Toro Proline but it is only a secondary machine. I also have a staggered wheeled LawnBoy. The paradox between the two machines:

Toro:
Great piece of equipment, well built, reliable
Not a very good cut, not a very good bagging machine

LawnBoy:
Great cut, great with the side bagger
Terrible piece of equipment, bad detailed parts (e.g. cables, wheels), and terrible with the DuraForce engine.

We use them side-by-side, so can compare the cuts and bagging functions. 95% of our use is with the bagger. The staggered wheel models, with the DuraForce engine is no longer manufactured (three years?), and the models with the B&S engines stopped being shipped as of January 1, 2008 (I think?).

Now, for the new LawnBoy commercial mowers, they have been under consideration by me as well. I looked closely during the Winter, but didn't buy. I started the season with the LB DuraForce, but it continues to give me fits. When I made a decision to buy a new LB model 22271, I called, just to be sure they had one in stock. Five dealers later, I found that nobody has any in stock, haven't had any for a long time (sold out the early inventory stock), and are being quoted "sometime in June for next delivery," if given any information at all. The dealers were not happy because "we could have sold a bunch of them."

I learned that LB does not have the Honda GSV engines in order to complete the manufacturing of more machines. I asked LB directly, and was told they plan to start production June 3.

In other words, if you decide you want to buy one, you cannot -- nobody has any stock. And, dates for next deliveries to dealers are vague, at best. If LB will begin production on June 3, first deliveries are bound to be sparse. And, clearly the demand is pent up. Dealers will be asking full price, IF they have any machines to sell for several weeks.

Clearly, this is a fiasco by LB. They just rolled out a new product, was gaining some strength of market with early deliveries, then their flow of new machines stopped. Apparently the flow stoppage will be in the order of two months, right at the prime time of the season for buying new machines. Ouch!!!

I know some folks on LS have the new machine, but they are not writing reviews. I have seen one machine in the neighborhoods that I work. I have not been able to speak with the contractor who is using the mower, but intend to do so soon.

Roger
05-26-2008, 06:40 AM
T... Plus the Prolines are just Tanks. Mine has been thru hell and it is still reliable. They are also as heavy as tanks, which is why I was thinking about the lighter Lawnboys. ...

For me, weight of the mower is VERY important. Since I have both a LawnBoy (about 85#), and a Toro ProLine (about 120#), and can run them back-to-back, I know the importance of the weight. The terrain here is often difficult. I am 66 years old, and handling the heavier machine is more of a chore. If I was 40 years younger, the weight issue probably would not be as important.

Since the new models aren't available, I'm considering the high-end consumer model, LB Platinum models. They are about 85#, but with the GCV Honda engine, not the GSV. However, my intent now is to keep working with my staggered wheeled model, until my patience runs out, or the new models come into the showrooms.

Roger
05-26-2008, 06:50 AM
What is so terrible about the duraforce? I have a 6.5hp duraforce homeowner model and it is waaaay stronger than my proline with the suzuki.

My history with the DuraForce is very checkered. You can do a search with my name and keyword LawnBoy and read about some of the troubles. Here is the last major issue, a new shortblock.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=197356

This season it continues to give me fits. Some days it runs well, smooth, and starts fine. The next day, it is a bear to get started -- sometimes only one time per day, sometimes two times. Other days, it starts well, but surges and does not run smoothly. Every day is a new adventure!

The machine runs about 30-40 hours per week, sometimes non-stop for three or four hours at a time. I don't think the quality of the engine is designed for heavy duty commercial use. In talking with others with high service hours, I hear the same tale of woe about their DuraForce engine. For light duty use, the DuraForce appears to be an adequate engine, but not for heavy duty use.

By contrast, the same kind of use for the 5.5hp Sizuki on my Toro has never provided one minute of trouble. I would agree about power differences, but will take the reliable engine any day.

exploring
05-26-2008, 08:50 AM
LawnBrother, good catch I do not see a BBC offering in Lawn-Boy's top-of-the-line commercial #22271 and they are still asking a $945 MSRP! Talk about a segmented marketplace, I guess those MBAs at Toro corporate know what they are doing to create subtle differences in their Exmark, Toro and Lawn-Boy product lines.

LawnBrother
05-26-2008, 10:07 AM
Yeah, it's a really hard decision. I really like the toros and the thing has never failed to cut a lawn. But, the weight difference is huge. That Toro is a bear to push up steep slopes sometimes, it's heavy so if you let it pull itself up it can rut badly if you are not careful. Considering that I will only be using mine less than 10 hours a week on small stuff and slopes, picking up a used 2 cycle lawnboy in gc still looks like a good idea. I worry about the 4-cycles starving for oil on slopes. With 2 cycles this is never a concern.

exploring
05-26-2008, 10:08 AM
The Toro Heavy Duty doesn't seem to get good reviews for bagging and the Toro Hi-Vac Bagger is a good dedicated bagger but has no mulching capabilities. For someone that needs to both bag and mulch and wants BBC perhaps the best choice is between the Exmark 21" at $1180 MSRP and the commercial Honda HRC216K3HXA at $1169 MSRP. Thoughts?

BillWil
05-26-2008, 11:05 AM
If you are willing to deal with the weight, 120 pounds or so, the Exmark 21" at $1180 MSRP and the commercial Honda HRC216K3HXA at $1169 MSRP, are very good mowers, at least in my experience.

The Hondas I've had were and, 2 still are, good mavchines. They can be difficult to get parts for, at least that has been my experience. You have to pay extra for a shop manual, there is limited info on the Honda web site, and not all of the dealers in my area are willing to sell me parts in a timely way. Sometimes I've had a three week wait on an engine part or cable or pulley. Usually it is a week or two.

The Exmark 21" is a good machine, I've had a number of them and still have three. Parts are available and manuals are available on line as is info re: trouble shooting. I think the Exmark bagging isn't quite as good as the Honda, but some of my customers can't tell the difference, so maybe it is just me. The Kaw engine on the Exmark has an oil filter that dumps oil all over the decks every time I change one, just one of those little pia things. Little if any wait for parts and more choices for blades.

I have one commercial Snapper 21" with the Honda commercial engine and like the lighter weight of the machine, about 90 pounds. It has a "disc drive" system that has been really dependable. The differential in the rear wheel drive can be a pia when running sideways on hills. It took me a while to figure it out and made the adjustments in my mowing style. Parts are easy, and inexpensive, except for the engine. It took me a while to find sealed bearings for the axles and until then I did replace them about every winter. It bags better than it mulches, and I didn't like the Ninja blade -seemed to take a lot of power. I am using a gator blade for mulching now and it seems to allow me to run faster and mulch better.

I looked at the new Lawn Boy, none left in my area now either, so maybe I should have bought back in March. I was a bit concerned about the way it controlled the speed, "belt slippage" design, so I decided to wait. I liked the weight factor, and the price, and what looked to me to be straight forward design. However, the constant belt slippage speed control system caused me to want to wait for others to try it.

If I had to buy right now and I wasn't concerned about leaving tracks in the lawn when mowing on soft ground I would but the Honda. If the weight is a factor I would buy the Snapper.

LawnBrother
05-26-2008, 12:19 PM
Thanks for your input, Bill.

sildoc
05-26-2008, 12:33 PM
I've read here that the Exmark Metro 26 don't hunt/is underpowered with the 6 hp Kawasaki.

The Exmark 26 has more than enough power with the 6hp Kawi. We cut thick wet lawns in spring and fall and still power through it with no problem. It has mechanical advantage over a 21 which the blade is attached to the crank.

As for that the 26 has some problems. first is the bagging. It bags well with the stock blade but leaves a little grass on the turf, not ok with me. We modify the blade and give it a super high lift and it crams the grass in and leaves no trail of cut grass.

second the front wheels seem to loosen up and need to be tightened a couple times a year.

third the steel wear plates that prevent the wear of the under side of the deck are always breaking off. We now run them with out them. We put well over a thousand hours on the machines a year and they still perform well.

fourth the little plastic chute seems to break easily, pine cones hitting it just right. We now carry an extra and takes only 3 minutes to replace and costs 13 bucks.

I do admit it was a training process with the little intricacies that the 26 has but now we incorporate it into our maintenance schedule and think nothing of it.

The pros of the 26. Cuts small lawns in half the time. Before using the 21's we were cutting average of 18 per day. we now cut 36 per day and get extras done. We average 10-12 hr days 4 days a week on our mowing schedule. Summer we can complete our day in 8.

The extra time the 26 saves me is more than worth the problems the mower has.

As for the 21 We used the honda hrc mowers and they held up very well. 5 + years and no problems. Since we bag they were the best choice for us.

lawnboy dan
05-26-2008, 12:50 PM
the desicion to make the new lawn boy 1 speed instead of 3 will be its undoing. these idiots who desighn these never actually have to use them!

LawnBrother
05-26-2008, 01:11 PM
How does the 26" do on hills, Sildoc? Will it pull itself up the hill, or sideways, with no problems? I was Under the impression that it would be too heavy for hills and would rut. Can it be made to side discharge?

sildoc
05-26-2008, 03:36 PM
How does the 26" do on hills, Sildoc? Will it pull itself up the hill, or sideways, with no problems? I was Under the impression that it would be too heavy for hills and would rut. Can it be made to side discharge?

Not sure on the side discharge. They might make an adapter like they make a mulcher adapter.
It does hills fine and side hills just as good as a 21. As for rutting they rut in the same places the 21's do. The rear wheels are a lot wider than a normal 21. As for rutting the 36" is the best mower at not rutting.

I am in no way meaning to sell people on the 26 just letting people know on the time savings and better profit it has made us.

LawnBrother
05-26-2008, 08:54 PM
Looks like you got a good one. I think that I will stick with a 21" just due to weight. The 26 is 151 lbs. I don't want to wrestle with it on steep hills. I am sure that the extra 4 inches of grass getting cut adds up fast, though.

Roger
05-26-2008, 09:04 PM
... Talk about a segmented marketplace, I guess those MBAs at Toro corporate know what they are doing to create subtle differences in their Exmark, Toro and Lawn-Boy product lines.

The design of the new LB model is much different than the Toro/Exmark design. I would consider the differences far from subtle. In my mind, it is a completely different mower.

Roger
05-26-2008, 09:13 PM
I...

I looked at the new Lawn Boy, none left in my area now either, so maybe I should have bought back in March. I was a bit concerned about the way it controlled the speed, "belt slippage" design, so I decided to wait. I liked the weight factor, and the price, and what looked to me to be straight forward design. However, the constant belt slippage speed control system caused me to want to wait for others to try it.

...

I echo all of your comments, ... should have bought in March, ... concerned about the "belt slippage" design ...." If it wasn't the so-called variable speed design, I'm sure I would have bought it. After really looking closely, and talking extensively with the dealer, he finally called it a "one-speed" mower. I have the feeling that it could operate like our present three-speed designs, but always having the speed selector in gear #3, and allowing belt slippage to control any speed less that maximum speed.

I have asked many people, some on LS who have done maintenance work on other LB designs with the same setup (consumer models). They all say the same thing, "... the belt does not wear out, the design works fine." The control on the Commercial model is different than the consumer models with "sens-a-speed," or whatever it is called. The intent is that the spring-loaded push-bar on the handles move forward as the operator walks faster, demanding a faster speed from the mower. On the Commercial model, the control is not a push-bar design, rather an "under-the-handle" bail. I would think keeping the bail at the right position would be difficult to do. A trial of an hour in the field would answer the question for certain.

Surely somebody on LS has enough experience with this new Commercial machine to answer that question.

BTW, the retail selling price on this mower was $749 last Winter/early March. The artificial shortage created by LB because of no supply of Honda engines will inflate the price (sounds like the video game market!).

sildoc
05-26-2008, 10:30 PM
Looks like you got a good one. I think that I will stick with a 21" just due to weight. The 26 is 151 lbs. I don't want to wrestle with it on steep hills. I am sure that the extra 4 inches of grass getting cut adds up fast, though.

I thought the weight would be a big factor also. they designed the leverage well and doesn't feel like it weighs as much as it does.

exploring
05-27-2008, 09:37 AM
So in summary, for mulching the Exmark Metro 21 is best followed by comparable Honda HRC and Toro Heavy Duty. For bagging the Toro Hi-Vac Bagger is best (but no mulching) followed by Honda HRC, then the comparable Exmark Metro 21 and Toro Heavy Duty. For combined mulching and bagging the Honda HRC is best followed by the Exmark Metro 21 and the Toro Heavy Duty. These units are all heavy, how about any observations on ergonomic/feel differences of the various mowers? Finally, surely someone out there is using the new Lawn-Boy commercial.

k911lowe
05-27-2008, 09:46 AM
we bought a brand new Honda HRC21 and the drive shaft lasted 4 months b4 it broke.

lawnboy dan
05-27-2008, 04:20 PM
no one is using the new lawnboy cause you cant find one ! talk about poor marketing

johnnywill08
05-27-2008, 09:18 PM
Metro 21. It has the eXmark deck.

same here- 6th yr runnin it, gives very good cut, mulches well. well built

TPnTX
05-28-2008, 06:20 AM
we just landed several commercial properties that have a lot of trim mowing. Islands, small strips and parkways with shrubs and trees. The prolines are great mowers its just that they are beasts. The 3 speed tranny works great on a lawn but stop start back and fourth, it's best to use neutral

So I'm considering a a P21 personal pace commercial. I'm have a hard time finding the difference in it and a residential super recycler. It has a kawa motor instead of brigs, and steel wheels instead of the gray HD plastic.

and I no one hardly knows anything about them. Two big dealers didn't even know they made them.

I got to but one today. Anyone know about them?

LawnBrother
05-28-2008, 06:40 AM
This is great! http://www.toro.com/professional/lce/wpm/pt21/feature_3in1.html I have never heard of those but my personal pace was full-time for like 4 years until it died, I thought about another one, but I like the sound of the PP Commercial model. One area I thought the personal pace was weak was the actual handle assembly. Really funny, I must be psychic because I was just thinking this morning about how easy it would be to turn a PP into a commercial model. I didn't see this on the toro website but here it is! Thanks, this may just be my new mower! They upgraded all the stuff I thought should be more durable and then some. Thanks for the info TPnTX! I'm TOTALLY gonna buy that if the price is reasonable. I already have a parts machine, hahaha.

TPnTX
05-28-2008, 06:47 AM
I don't know if you saw it or not but is says the handle base is "Toro-exclusive Personal Pace two-piece handle with commercial base"

that being said the differences I see are wheels and engine between that and the high end recycler resi.

it's about 800.00 btw

I was looking at the honda but that thumb things looks way to girly

LawnBrother
05-28-2008, 06:48 AM
And it weighs in at only 89 lbs. Toro is right on the money with this one.

LawnBrother
05-28-2008, 06:49 AM
I would pay 800 no prob for that, thx for the price check!

LawnBrother
05-28-2008, 06:53 AM
Yeah, the only real drawbacks for the residential pp was the handle & wheels. Looks like they fixed that. I also like the 3 in 1 deck. They also off a "Traction Assist" kit for slopes, wonder what that's all about.

lawnboy dan
05-28-2008, 07:49 AM
thats because the thing wont pull its self up hills or go across slopes because of the stupid pp sp system! personal pace is NOT suited for comm work

TPnTX
05-28-2008, 09:14 AM
trim mowing dan, pay attention and try and stay up please :)

lawnboy dan
05-28-2008, 12:46 PM
i wouldnt even use pp for trimming-who wants to push a sp mower?and as for staying up-i am way ahead of you! i use sp mowers that actually propel themselves

TPnTX
05-28-2008, 01:00 PM
dan, again try and stay in context. Your all over the place. SP that actually propel. Overgeneralization and self indulging humor.

I just kidding you man, you should really lighten my gosh we're talking about mowers here. It's not like you read a book on anything.

I have proline toro's thank you. I'm looking for a more productive trim mower. If you've ever used a PP you will know that on a good day they are very productive. They are light and very easy to make go back and forth.

So now that we're on track. As far as proline, it's better to put them in neutral than to fight the thing. It causes fatigue and in many other ways is counter productive as a trim mower despite the fact that it is hands down the best mower on the market in terms of commercial quality. That'l piss honda fans off but it's true. Just look in a LCO trailer, proline. Probably why they are making a trim mower.

So anyway that is the context of the matter. Dan, do you have something substantive to add? Or shall we lead you around by the mouth some more. There I go again ha just kidding.

exploring
05-28-2008, 05:13 PM
Sildoc, I can see a 25% efficiency on the Metro 26 over a 21" mower as advertised by Exmark but not a 50% efficiency gain. "Cuts small lawns in half the time". A 25% time savings is nonetheless a nice gain.

lawnboy dan
05-28-2008, 07:42 PM
ever try using a toro pp on a high spongy st aug lawn-you have to help it along or continously push harder on the control to make it move. they also have a very jerky start which makes them a poor choice for trimming-try to keep up! tpntx-you arnt nearly as clever as you seem to think you are . i have 35 yrs experience mowing so try to keep up! the john deere jx-87/75 is the best 21 ever made for comm mowing. go buy one and thank me later

sildoc
05-28-2008, 09:30 PM
Sildoc, I can see a 25% efficiency on the Metro 26 over a 21" mower as advertised by Exmark but not a 50% efficiency gain. "Cuts small lawns in half the time". A 25% time savings is nonetheless a nice gain.

I was reviewing our times a couple of years ago on the same properties.

21" 26"
Property 1 14 min 9min
property 2 10 min 4min
property 3 17min 9min
property 4 25min 14 min

most average from 30%-45% in time reduction. Now if it weren't for drive time then we would be banking in a small fortune.

LawnBrother
05-28-2008, 09:34 PM
I didn't think JD was making commercial 21" mowers anymore.

LawnBrother
05-28-2008, 09:51 PM
And if you buy a PT21 NOW you get a free Personal Pace Transformer! (for a limited time only)

exploring
05-29-2008, 12:36 AM
So, if considering a commercial grade push mower, the Toro PT-21 (#22163 - under $800? MSRP), the Exmark Metro 21 (#MPKA21 - ? MSRP), the Lawn-Boy Commercial 21" (#22270 - $830 MSRP) or the Honda Commercial 21" (HRC216PDA - $749 MSRP), are you really going to bag that often as none of these push mowers even offer BBC? And if you're not going to bag, do you really need the self-propelled option available in the Toro PT-21 (#22164 - $800 MSRP) or the Lawn-Boy (#22271 - $945 MSRP) but not the Exmark or Honda without going to the full blown models (Exmark $1180 MSRP and up) and (Honda HRC216K3HXA - $1169 MSRP)? Maybe in this day and age of $4.00 per gallon gasoline, we should return to these push mowers in droves since we are mulching over 90% of the time anyway. Why even buy the more expensive, heavier, thirstier and less maneuverable Toro Pro-Lines, Exmark Metro 21s and Hondas UNLESS these more affordable, lighter, less thirsty and more maneuverable models simply cannot handle our seasonal or year round daily wear and tear?

BLKSS
05-29-2008, 12:55 AM
i have the new toro 21" comm. and it cuts awsome, not to sure how good it bags though because i do not bag too much. i would highly recomend it.

XterraJohn
05-29-2008, 02:53 AM
So, if considering a commercial grade push mower, the Toro PT-21 (#22163 - under $800? MSRP), the Exmark Metro 21 (#MPKA21 - ? MSRP), the Lawn-Boy Commercial 21" (#22270 - $830 MSRP) or the Honda Commercial 21" (HRC216PDA - $749 MSRP), are you really going to bag that often as none of these push mowers even offer BBC? And if you're not going to bag, do you really need the self-propelled option available in the Toro PT-21 (#22164 - $800 MSRP) or the Lawn-Boy (#22271 - $945 MSRP) but not the Exmark or Honda without going to the full blown models (Exmark $1180 MSRP and up) and (Honda HRC216K3HXA - $1169 MSRP)? Maybe in this day and age of $4.00 per gallon gasoline, we should return to these push mowers in droves since we are mulching over 90% of the time anyway. Why even buy the more expensive, heavier, thirstier and less maneuverable Toro Pro-Lines, Exmark Metro 21s and Hondas UNLESS these more affordable, lighter, less thirsty and more maneuverable models simply cannot handle our seasonal or year round daily wear and tear?

I think that I would be sad if I had to mow lawns in the Texas heat without the mower being self-propelled.

TPnTX
05-29-2008, 08:02 AM
Lawnbrother, I rather get the camero!

Dan you make good points. Except the clever part. I am like "MacGyver" clever but I still respect your experience. 35 years? man thats a lot sun. Anyway, again, we're talking commercial properties, small areas like islands and parkways. We're in Texas so not many boggy st autgustine properties. Mostly fast bermuda.

I considered the 26" metro.

BLKSS are you talking about the p21? Did you compare is sidebyside to the SR2?

TPnTX
05-29-2008, 09:51 PM
I still haven't made up my mind. It turns out hardley anyone (dealers) carry the PT21 and I dont want to spend the money on one until I see it next to the SR4. 3 fairly big dealers I talked to had never even heard of it. I had to show my local guy the mower on the website.

Anyway I called the toro rep. He didn't really know a whole lot about them either and I hate to accuse someone of something without proof but I think he told me a load of crap. He said the gears are "bigger" in the semi-commercial PP. I even called him on it. I said the literature says "commercial engine" KA. Commercial steel wheels and commercial handle. No where does it say commmercial tranny or gears. I could tell by his voice he was BS'ing me. If I'm wrong then so be it but it kind of pisses me off that I call a manu-rep to get the skinny on a piece of equipment and he tells me what he think I want to hear. It the same f'n tranny as the SR4.

So anyway he looked in the system and found a dealer in North Dallas that has several of them in stock. I called this place and spoke to this guy for a while. He knows everything about them and sells a bunch of them to landscapers. This guy was straight up. I think. Regardless I believe what he told me and that is, its a badass mower. A few years ago a company called Crestview began using SR4's alot for trim work. They liked them so much they began using them for more that trim. Seems that for 500 bucks things started working out better for them using these where they could. When the PT21 came out they started buy them as well.

So this guy knows what an SR4 is good for and how it compares to a PT21. He also knows I ain't buying anything from him.

Another cost factor, the PT21 for 800.00 does not come with a bag, whats that another 100.00?

I'm may go with an SR4. Again it's trim work. Not a muscle machine. No hills, tall grass, st augustine bogs or long pass mowing. Trim.

I thought I'd share what I dug up.

LawnBrother
05-30-2008, 06:46 AM
Thanks for the detective work, TPnTX.

wildboar
05-31-2008, 02:28 AM
Another cost factor, the PT21 for 800.00 does not come with a bag, whats that another 100.00?

I just got one of these the other week from a local dealer for $799 -- including the bag and extra blade that comes with the bag kit ($50 retail). The price seems to vary wildly depending on what the dealer wants to sell them for, the first place I called wanted $899 for just the mower.

They are basically what it would be if you took a 20057 from a few years ago, stuck the $200 worth of pro wheels on it, Kawasaki engine and ditched the folding handle for the tougher pro setup. No wash-out port like the newer SR4 decks. The Kawasaki looks monstrous on the SR4 deck. The PP setup feels way better than my brother's regular recycler he got last year. The power of the FJ180V + pro wheels would have no problem chowing through a st. aug lawn walking along behind it with one hand.

LawnBrother
05-31-2008, 09:26 AM
Thanks for the review wildboar. Welcome to the forum.

S man
06-01-2008, 12:51 AM
Toro commercial with the legendary honda gxv is a great combo. Have one and love it. Cut is pretty good but could be better.

TheChiefsLawnCare
06-01-2008, 01:35 AM
You wont go wrong with the Toro Heavy Duty with the kawi engine. They bag good and mulch good. It will take out a chunk in ur wallet tho.

Roger
06-01-2008, 06:44 AM
Just FYI, ... I was at a large local dealer yesterday for parts on other equipment. They also sell LawnBoy, so I asked some questions. The manager said their first shipment of new LB Commercial 21" hand mowers is not expected until sometime in July. This is consistent with information I have received from LB that production will commence on June 3 (4?). He also confirmed what I had heard elsewhere regarding the reason for production drought, lack of Honda engines.

I seems LB really shot themselves in the foot with this fiasco. It would be interesting to know the true story on what happened. Perhaps the first production releases were intended as "test market" machines, LB wanting to know for certain about the demand. In this area, the demand is very high, leaving potential customers frustrated (or turning to alternatives), and dealers angry at not having product to sell.

NORTHMAN
06-01-2008, 07:15 AM
Have you or would you consider a Gravely/Ariens commercial 21" mower?I'm considering the Gravely,my dealer dosen't stock it but can order,much less expensive than the Toro/Exmark or Honda.The poor production planning of LB would concern me somewhat.

Roger
06-01-2008, 07:35 AM
Have you or would you consider a Gravely/Ariens commercial 21" mower?I...

The spec sheet says it is 129 pounds. It may be a well-built mower, doing a fine job of mowing, but the weight makes it impractical. The weight of the 90 pound LB makes it appealing.

NORTHMAN
06-01-2008, 07:43 AM
I'm sorry,I missed the weight part.I hope you get it and I am enjoying the thread,thank you.

TheChiefsLawnCare
06-01-2008, 10:46 PM
When I was looking at getting a new 21 commerical mower I looked at Snapper Toro, Exmark, Airens/Gravely, and Honda. Gravely/Airens, well, it didnt appeal to me that much. I think Toro is the best built 21 on the market. Its so solid, however, a Snapper will last you double digit years but if you want it to bag too, then Snapper your really messing up because Snapper will clog very easily when it comes to bagging grass.

S man
06-02-2008, 12:09 AM
When I was looking at getting a new 21 commerical mower I looked at Snapper Toro, Exmark, Airens/Gravely, and Honda. Gravely/Airens, well, it didnt appeal to me that much. I think Toro is the best built 21 on the market. Its so solid, however, a Snapper will last you double digit years but if you want it to bag too, then Snapper your really messing up because Snapper will clog very easily when it comes to bagging grass.

I had the commercial snapper but sold it. It was heavy didn't cut as good, and I bent the shaft on the kawi engine.:cry:

TheChiefsLawnCare
06-02-2008, 12:34 AM
How did you bend the shaft?

S man
06-02-2008, 02:02 AM
How did you bend the shaft?

Did a overgrown yard and the stupid kids leave all kinds of crap in the grass. I ran over a scooter handle. POP! Had to get the flywheel key replaced and after my dealer said the shaft is bent slightly. Once in awhile you can feel it vibrating so I cut my loses with it. I only use the cheap snappers for now on.

TheChiefsLawnCare
06-02-2008, 03:17 AM
OOO ok, hope that dosent happen to me, im not sure what the shaft is tho, i dont know anything about motors, thats what my dad is for.

sildoc
06-02-2008, 10:51 AM
OOO ok, hope that dosent happen to me, im not sure what the shaft is tho, i dont know anything about motors, thats what my dad is for.

Better learn. It will save you a lot of money in the long run if you stay in the business.

hurley'sland22
06-02-2008, 12:24 PM
Honda is the way to go

OldLawnMowerMan81
06-02-2008, 03:07 PM
Do not buy any MTD or Cub Cadet with the China-made engines on them. I am for boycotting MTD and other mower makers who choose to go this route...

TheChiefsLawnCare
06-02-2008, 05:16 PM
Better learn. It will save you a lot of money in the long run if you stay in the business.

Yeah, well staying in the business is up in the air right now, but if I stay in the business, im sure I will learn things as things break.

S man
06-03-2008, 12:55 PM
Do not buy any MTD or Cub Cadet with the China-made engines on them. I am for boycotting MTD and other mower makers who choose to go this route...

Yeah what's up with these mtd mowers with the chinese throw away honda gxv look a likes? Everytime someone buys one it gives me the heebie jeebies.

LawnBrother
06-12-2008, 11:20 PM
I was going to go with a new commercial Toro, but I found an older S.P. commercial Lawnboy #680546 w/ battery start and a Lawnboy push #10201, both in excellent condition. Couldn't pass em up for $300 for the pair. Both have 2-cycle engines for my hill yards. Initial impression is that they are sooo much lighter than the proline. I do hills so the offset wheel might help as well. I wasn't going to buy the push but it was so light I wouldn't mind pushing some of my smaller lawns at all. I have some tricky hills that look great if you can keep from rutting them. I think the light Lawnboys might fit the bill perfectly for me.

shepoutside
08-17-2008, 08:56 AM
Ok, time to see if anyone here has got, or tried the Lawnboy 22270/22271 yet, as they are now out at dealers. I need to replace 9-12 mowers for next year, and am thinking of going with these. If anyone has any reports on them yet, I would love to hear your opinion. I run with a mostly female crew, and we are in a hilly area. The weight of 80/85 Lbs is very interesting to me. We only mulch too, so need not worry about bagging. Hope to hear from someone. Thanks in Advance!!! :)

shepoutside
08-17-2008, 09:24 AM
Here is the pic, of the 22271 for anyone that has not seen the new model.

lawnboy dan
08-17-2008, 09:36 AM
trans is only one speed! inexcusable for a comm mower!

W.L.M.
08-17-2008, 10:17 AM
I've read here that the Exmark Metro 26 don't hunt/is underpowered with the 6 hp Kawasaki. I presume this 6 hp performs admirably in the smaller Exmark Metro 21. So which is the better pick between a Metro 21 and a Toro 21" Heavy Duty when both are equipped with the 6 hp Kawasaki? Any votes for the smaller 5.5 hp Honda engine on these models?

The exmark metro 21 and toro 21 heavy duty are the same mower. Personally I dont like Lawnboy and Honda 21's. Toro with personal pace would be my choice.

sildoc
08-17-2008, 11:00 AM
trans is only one speed! inexcusable for a comm mower!

I wouldn't say that. If they had one speed that went 5 mph I would be all for it. when we had the hydrostatic honda and all the other mowers we have had they don't go fast enough. That means all the lower speeds are useless to me.

lawnboy dan
08-18-2008, 09:11 AM
try mowing 5 in tall thick st aug grass at 5mph!

exploring
04-24-2009, 05:56 PM
Well, here we go again in the Northeast. Anything new in 21" commercial mowers for 2009? Any comments on the durability of the commercial Lawnboy models introduced last year?

W.L.M.
04-24-2009, 06:42 PM
The exmark metro 21 and toro 21 heavy duty are the same mower. Personally I dont like Lawnboy and Honda 21's. Toro with personal pace would be my choice.

I should withdraw this statement as I just picked up a new style lawnboy commercial like the one pictured above and I ran the snot out of it for an entire day on steep hills and it held up great. Cuts nicely too and you can mulch with the bagger still attached so it looks like your bagging :dancing:

I got it because of the great deal I got on it but had bad expectations from having run old style lawnboys. They quickly went away after the first time I cut with it.

bare spot
04-25-2009, 10:44 PM
I should withdraw this statement as I just picked up a new style lawnboy commercial like the one pictured above and I ran the snot out of it for an entire day on steep hills and it held up great. Cuts nicely too and you can mulch with the bagger still attached so it looks like your bagging :dancing:

I got it because of the great deal I got on it but had bad expectations from having run old style lawnboys. They quickly went away after the first time I cut with it.

if it's the 22271, got one (got good deal on it), been a good mower for me, like the weight of it. bags great but heard they don't make these anymore. had to adjust the valves recently, think the manual was pretty much on the mark with that.

Roger
04-26-2009, 06:43 AM
.... but heard they don't make these anymore. ....

LawnBoy does not offer this model any longer (as you state), but it is rebadged as a Toro 22156(?). I understand it to be exactly the same machine, but with Toro labels and painted red.

bare spot
04-26-2009, 09:59 PM
LawnBoy does not offer this model any longer (as you state), but it is rebadged as a Toro 22156(?). I understand it to be exactly the same machine, but with Toro labels and painted red.

tried to find that on their site, didn't see it, is it in the works or something?

Roger
04-27-2009, 06:54 AM
Here is a link to the high-end homeowner version:

http://www.toro.com/home/mowers/superbagger/index.html

I don't find the commercial model on their website either. In Toro's list of models for parts, the entry is there, but it is blank.

I made extensive inquiries in early January. The regional LB folks explained what is being done (e.g. these LB models being folded over into the Toro line). I really wanted one last season, and kept at the inquiries. But, when LB could not keep production running because of lack of Honda engines, and by season-end, very few had been put into circulation, I reconsidered my choice. There are many good ideas represented in this mower (e.g. weight, engine choice, bagger), but also some not so good ideas (e.g. ground drive control, lack of Honda engines). In the end, I abandoned my intent on buying one (fear of the model being an orphan), and rather bought a Honda HRX. I've posted a review thread, and will be posting an update soon. In hindsight, I would really like to have the LB/Toro machine for a week or two demo time. I might reconsider my choice again.

bare spot
04-29-2009, 11:25 PM
Here is a link to the high-end homeowner version:

http://www.toro.com/home/mowers/superbagger/index.html

I don't find the commercial model on their website either. In Toro's list of models for parts, the entry is there, but it is blank.

I made extensive inquiries in early January. The regional LB folks explained what is being done (e.g. these LB models being folded over into the Toro line). I really wanted one last season, and kept at the inquiries. But, when LB could not keep production running because of lack of Honda engines, and by season-end, very few had been put into circulation, I reconsidered my choice. There are many good ideas represented in this mower (e.g. weight, engine choice, bagger), but also some not so good ideas (e.g. ground drive control, lack of Honda engines). In the end, I abandoned my intent on buying one (fear of the model being an orphan), and rather bought a Honda HRX. I've posted a review thread, and will be posting an update soon. In hindsight, I would really like to have the LB/Toro machine for a week or two demo time. I might reconsider my choice again.
not sure whats up with that hi-end homeowner mower but think it would be to bad if they discontinued this model, the more i cut with it the more i like it.

Manorscape
05-07-2011, 08:14 AM
You guys saying your Prolines dont bag very well are confusing me. Mine bags insanely well. But of course I put the bagging blade on, have you?

The stock configuration is a Jack of all Trades setup. It will bag OK, it will much decently. Toss a bagging blade on it and it will suck in debris and leaves from several inches away.

if you want to only mulch, I suggest one of the "wavy" blades like off of a MTD. You may have to increase the hole diameter for it to fit, but it is worth it. Those combines with the Recycler design yield unparalleled mulching. Period.

Put the right blade on for the job. The stock blade will do all things just OK.

Oh and of course run at the correct RPM's. Most guuys i see have their machines set to scream on the RPM scale. At these RPM's youre usually moving too much air, from my experience. Find the RPM setting that provides you with the most efficient flow from base of the deck, through the blades of grass (pulling them in and up with it), and into the bag. with the bagging blades for the Proline, I run mine at about 2/3 to 3/4 throttle and its perfect. Saves fuel too. When mulching, ultra high RPM's produce worse results for me. Even at 3/4 throttle, the blades are spinning quite fast enough to reduce clipping size. Thhink about it, a blade of grass only needs to be hit by the blade 2 or 3 times to be "mulched" size. If you "Cuisinart" it, it will look like a glob of spinach, stick to that blade and deck, splash out the sides, and make a typical mess.

Just my $.02

Roger
05-07-2011, 08:20 AM
Please post the part number of the bagging blade you speak about.

dishboy
05-07-2011, 09:07 AM
Please post the part number of the bagging blade you speak about.

62-7700 Blade Vac-U-Deck

Roger
05-07-2011, 09:12 AM
Thanks for the part number.

MJB
05-07-2011, 11:22 AM
ybravo.com 25 inch commercial walk behind.

sildoc
05-07-2011, 11:40 AM
ybravo.com 25 inch commercial walk behind.

I was waiting for someone to throw this out. Of course the thread is 3 years old but it is amazing what the industry brings us each and every year. I would agree the bravo 25 is the best mower for cool season grass ever. I would say warm season but haven't experienced it.

Merkava_4
05-07-2011, 04:26 PM
Is this what a Toro Proline looks like?

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n284/MACDRIVE/SCREEN%20SHOTS/ToroHeavyDuty.png

mdlwn1
05-07-2011, 04:35 PM
You guys saying your Prolines dont bag very well are confusing me. Mine bags insanely well. But of course I put the bagging blade on, have you?

The stock configuration is a Jack of all Trades setup. It will bag OK, it will much decently. Toss a bagging blade on it and it will suck in debris and leaves from several inches away.

if you want to only mulch, I suggest one of the "wavy" blades like off of a MTD. You may have to increase the hole diameter for it to fit, but it is worth it. Those combines with the Recycler design yield unparalleled mulching. Period.

Put the right blade on for the job. The stock blade will do all things just OK.

Oh and of course run at the correct RPM's. Most guuys i see have their machines set to scream on the RPM scale. At these RPM's youre usually moving too much air, from my experience. Find the RPM setting that provides you with the most efficient flow from base of the deck, through the blades of grass (pulling them in and up with it), and into the bag. with the bagging blades for the Proline, I run mine at about 2/3 to 3/4 throttle and its perfect. Saves fuel too. When mulching, ultra high RPM's produce worse results for me. Even at 3/4 throttle, the blades are spinning quite fast enough to reduce clipping size. Thhink about it, a blade of grass only needs to be hit by the blade 2 or 3 times to be "mulched" size. If you "Cuisinart" it, it will look like a glob of spinach, stick to that blade and deck, splash out the sides, and make a typical mess.

Just my $.02

Shhhhhhhhh!....lol people should pay for that info.

Service Solutions Inc
04-12-2012, 03:21 PM
I have an exmark metro 21" with the kawasaki motor. Not too happy with the mower, bought it april of last year and am replacing it asap with the honda hrc series. It requires priming everytime to start it...always since day one. I run premium non-ethanol gas in all of my equipment so I ruled out moisture. I have had to repair the drive-belt twice already and now have to have the deck welded after one of my guys ran over a 1" stick. It put a whole the size of my fist in it. It bags well, it is a heavier machine, and it has a righteous amount of power for a wb, I am just not willing to put up with the rest of the issues this mower is presenting me. I use it approx. 13 hrs a week. Just wanted you to have more info on one before buying.

XYZLawnPros
04-12-2012, 04:15 PM
I have an exmark metro 21" with the kawasaki motor. Not too happy with the mower, bought it april of last year and am replacing it asap with the honda hrc series. It requires priming everytime to start it...always since day one. I run premium non-ethanol gas in all of my equipment so I ruled out moisture. I have had to repair the drive-belt twice already and now have to have the deck welded after one of my guys ran over a 1" stick. It put a whole the size of my fist in it. It bags well, it is a heavier machine, and it has a righteous amount of power for a wb, I am just not willing to put up with the rest of the issues this mower is presenting me. I use it approx. 13 hrs a week. Just wanted you to have more info on one before buying.

Hello Service Solutions INC,

If you use the search function you can pull up quite a few threads
on the Honda HRC commercial models.
I myself use them exclusively for my business. The newer revisions
of the HRC216 series are definitely not without their faults just as
any other brand is not without their faults. In my opinion, and I
have tried other commercial 21 inchers, the Honda commercial unit
works extremely well for our needs. We cut northern style cool
season grasses.

The HRC's I would give a B+++ for bagging, an A- for mulching, a
B- for fuel consumption, a B- for ease of maintenance. Honda is
definitely slipping in the fit and finish category (like the paint is
easily not up to par, it flakes easily and just rubs away).

The engines I would still give the Bomb/Bullet proof A++++ rating.

Cutting northern grasses is a touchy subject it seems. Even corporate
Honda will tell you on the phone they have never had a finished cut
complaint from southern grass cutters. It can be hit or miss with the
finished cut up here in Minnesota. Manicured lush lawns to your run
of the mill standard turf grass lots, can have stragglers(uncut strands
of grass) after you are done with the property. Sharp blades, front of
deck one notch lower than rear of deck will help tremendously with
pitch issues. You can run just the bottom blade for better bagging with
the purchase of a 5 dollar adapter/spacer that goes where the top
blade sits. Apparently running one blade gives better suction/lift for
the machine. I am currently trying to get support from this website
from guys that use the HRC models to see if we can get Oregon to
manufacture us a high lift gator style blade for it. There is not currently
any aftermarket blades for this machine. BUT the quadra cut system
does still do its job.

The HRC mowers are not intended to eat up overgrown lawns. They are
most definitely a FINISH MOWER. If you are going to be always cutting
more than 3 inches off the top or more during each visit to your
properties, I would suggest a bigger mower with a bigger deck. The
HRC works just grand for weekly mowing or mulching. It also does very
well for bagging and mulching leaves in the fall as long as you keep up
with it. It will still go through tall, wet high grass or leaves, it just takes
a LOT more effort. Don't let the weight of the machine throw you off
either. The weight can be a personal preference to many, but I have no
issues with it and I am not a huge guy.

I do quite like the drive system with the HRC. The shaft drive and hybrid
whatever they want to call it propulsion system works amazingly well.
There are a great amount of speed settings that work well in every
situation.

In the end just do the regular maintenance these machines need (oil
changes, spark plug changes, cleaning the air filter and screen often,
using good gas like ethanol free/non oxygenated) and a big must, keep
the cables lubed and a coat of fluid film on every other metal part of
the machine and it should last as long as my 1986 Honda commercial
machine.