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View Full Version : Have you stuck to only one brand for your equipment?


hummingbird3d
03-15-2009, 12:13 PM
I 1st went into this business thinking that I'll stay with one brand of equipment. As I do my homework and talk to dealers on what to get for a lawn mower, trimmer, blower and edger I discover that they will point out one company is best for this task and another for another task. My list is looking like I'm going with different brands all around now.

kaferhaus
03-15-2009, 12:50 PM
We try to. It's more efficient from a parts standpoint. However we don't buy everything from one dealer.

We have plenty of dealers around here and I learned long ago that sticking with just one has some advantages, but also can put a strain on your relationship.

My favorite dealer got to where he thought he "had me in the bag" because we'd bought so much equipment from him..... basically he took me for granted. It was just a few small incidents but I felt like with the money I spend every year he wasn't going the extra mile to keep my business so I started buying about half of our stuff from the guy across town (same product lines).

Took several months but he eventually realized I wasn't spending near the moeny I had in years past and asked me if business was down.... I smiled and said "no, it's the best year we'ver ever had". A few weeks later I stopped by to pick something up and he noticed a new(ish) ZTR in the trailer... "where'd you get that?" Told him I bought it across town a few months back...

Anyway, we had a talk and I told him why I'd start splitting my business.... PRICE. The discounts he'd been giving me had slowly been decreasing, he'd become harder and harder to deal with on equipment and accessories purchases. The guy across town WANTED my business a bit more than he did.

He was not happy but admitted that perhaps he'd gotten complacent.

This all started over a grass catcher.... I spend 20-25 grand a year with this guy and he wouldn't come off the price of small grass catcher that I knew he had marked up over $100.00.

And I told him the other dealer didn't even sell that particular catcher, I'd ordered it online and had it shipped for less than it would have cost to buy it from him... still took half my business away.

It cost him over 12 grand in sales. He's "come around" but it will take time before I start returning more business to him.

Proc's Lawncare
03-15-2009, 12:56 PM
Think it comes down to choice personally... I've worked on a ton of different equipment in my life and prefer different pieces of equipment from one brand to the next. In all my years I have never had someone ask me why my mowers were red and my back pack blowers orange... (it needs to be clean and tidy though) So I would try different types of equipment and see what you like best and what dealers are in your area who want your business.

Green Machine Mowing
03-15-2009, 12:59 PM
if you have a whole fleet its nice to be able to have abunch of the same trimmer, ect. then you can go buy 5 sparkplugs, ect... and when one dies it turns into parts. i dont have any loyataly to a cernan brand, i just go with whatever product looks good and is priced right. not to say i dont have brand prefrences.....:dizzy:

topsites
03-15-2009, 01:05 PM
Yeah but it goes beyond brand loyalty, and in a slightly different direction.
Ease of use is one, every brand has its little quirks.

We try to. It's more efficient from a parts standpoint.

Yes...
I find it's also more efficient in the maintenance department overall,
such as the labor in terms of the actual repairs as well.

So more than brand loyalty I would say it's the similarity between them that does it for me,
last but not least when one totally craps out it's still always good for parts.

However we don't buy everything from one dealer.
Anyway, we had a talk and I told him why I'd start splitting my business....
PRICE.

Yup, I know all about this, too.
But I had to learn that lesson myself, sometimes greed gets the best of us, hard times can do it too, and we lean
too heavily on one or more of our best customers, most of us, I think we don't really mean it in a bad way.

It's a hard lesson to learn, it's all good thou, it needs to be that way.

Littleriver1
03-15-2009, 01:39 PM
I have been running scags/Kow but this year I bought another company out and all his stuff was exmark/Kohler. So, I guess, now I will have both. Unless some one wants to buy a exmark 66" Z with a 30HP kohler for $8600 with around 200 hrs.

STIHL GUY
03-15-2009, 01:54 PM
i have a good amount of STIHL products but they are from diffrent dealers

jeffex
03-15-2009, 03:19 PM
mowers -yes Toro/exmark...backback blowers -yes stihl ..trimmers NO shindiawa, kawasaki, husqvarna, echo...

TheLawnRangerLLC
03-15-2009, 03:47 PM
I tend to stick to Stihl equipment, I like the feel of the tools, and they always start and run hard for me...so that is one reason that I stick to one brand, however my girlfriends step dad also is a stihl dealer/repair guy, so family discounts never hurt...I am not apposed to other equipment, but like I said, I have always had great fortune with stihl, and it doesn't cost me an arm and a leg. just my $.02.

billslawn89
03-15-2009, 04:04 PM
same here, stihl equipment. like others said about getting parts, its alot easier to get the parts for one brand and stock on hand, plus sometimes if you buy quanity on parts, you get a better price. i just added the ht100 to my fleet of stihl equipment. just like the products.

aemoosh
03-15-2009, 07:51 PM
I do feel a sense of loyalty to manufacturers.

Echo makes the best handheld equipment out there, hands down. I think RedMax might have a better weedwacker, and stihl might have a better chainsaw and tanika (or whatever) might have a better hedgetrimmer. BUT, all my stuff matches, I know the warranty and I know the sales rep who my dealer deals with. Overall, if Echo's product isn't the best, it's the second best, and that's all around. Look at Stihl backpacks, they suck, but their chainsaws are great. Echo makes a great chainsaw and a great backpack.

The only comparable brand to Echo would be stihl- but they're pushing 4-mix so much... and on average the 4-mix motors have 16 more moving parts to break. Downtime with Stihl's is their biggest problem. Plus Stihl has some sort of production limits on certain engines, so some engines are horrible while they keep the good engines for their chainsaw.

I think Redmax stuff runs great when it runs, but if it doesn't run- good luck fixing it.

Echo's my favorite though.

supercuts
03-15-2009, 07:59 PM
i have 4 bobcats. i usually buy new but the last one i was trying to find a nice used one. not easy to do so i ended up with a scag. scag one, bobcat four. its nice having all the same brand. belts are the same, you dont get confused which goes to what and so on. the same to work on them all and so on. same dealer for work. i always go to the same dealer because they go above and beyond which is largely the reason for me sticking to one brand

Woody82986
03-15-2009, 08:00 PM
I stick with Echo hand tools because I like the ease of working on them when I need to and am comfortable with them. I'll be in the market for a new (or used) mower next year, but I'm not married to Hustler. I'll buy the mower that has what I want, for the price I want, and that I'm comfortable with. I think the key is comfort. If you are comfortable with price, service, and handling... then that's the equipment for you.

mowerbrad
03-15-2009, 08:02 PM
I try and keep my hand helds to one brand, Stihl. Mowers, I currently have a bob-cat but will be selling to switch to dixie chopper due to dealer issues. If I had to have several mowers, I would try to keep the different brands to a minimum, maybe 2 different ones.

kaferhaus
03-15-2009, 08:13 PM
I do feel a sense of loyalty to manufacturers.

Echo makes the best handheld equipment out there, hands down. I think RedMax might have a better weedwacker, and stihl might have a better chainsaw and tanika (or whatever) might have a better hedgetrimmer. BUT, all my stuff matches, I know the warranty and I know the sales rep who my dealer deals with. Overall, if Echo's product isn't the best, it's the second best, and that's all around. Look at Stihl backpacks, they suck, but their chainsaws are great. Echo makes a great chainsaw and a great backpack.

The only comparable brand to Echo would be stihl- but they're pushing 4-mix so much... and on average the 4-mix motors have 16 more moving parts to break. Downtime with Stihl's is their biggest problem. Plus Stihl has some sort of production limits on certain engines, so some engines are horrible while they keep the good engines for their chainsaw.

I think Redmax stuff runs great when it runs, but if it doesn't run- good luck fixing it.

Echo's my favorite though.


I agree Echo is good stuff, but the rest of your statements are well off base.

We have mostly Stihl equipment and have been moving that way from Echo for a couple of years. I find the Stihl equipment to be better performing with LESS downtime than any brand we've used. Including the backpack blowers (we use the BR600s). We still have several pieces of Echo equipment and it's good equipment no doubt, but the 4 mix engine is a better product and the fuel savings is considerable. And because the engines produce so much low end torque they don't have to be screaming to get the job done.

Within a few years, 2 cycle engines will be mostly history, those that haven't changed are making the change as the handwritting is on the wall.

Green Machine Mowing
03-15-2009, 08:26 PM
I agree Echo is good stuff, but the rest of your statements are well off base.

We have mostly Stihl equipment and have been moving that way from Echo for a couple of years. I find the Stihl equipment to be better performing with LESS downtime than any brand we've used. Including the backpack blowers (we use the BR600s). We still have several pieces of Echo equipment and it's good equipment no doubt, but the 4 mix engine is a better product and the fuel savings is considerable. And because the engines produce so much low end torque they don't have to be screaming to get the job done.

Within a few years, 2 cycle engines will be mostly history, those that haven't changed are making the change as the handwritting is on the wall.

im a very small operation and i was sure that my next trimmer would be a 4-stroke. next thing i know, im spending $330 or so on a 2 stroke echo. the weight savings is nice,however if im going 2 go with the extra weight and parts of a 4-stroke, i would prefer to burn regular gas and do away with mixed gas.

however i certanly see that 4-stroke is the future. by the time this echo dies on me (i figure(hope) it should last 20 years+ with the use and maintnince it gets) then 4 stroke is going to be the only practical option, nice to know that its gunna be my last 2-stroke. same with jet-ski's the 4 strokes are just so much quiter and dont scream when you get the intake out of the water.

kaferhaus
03-15-2009, 08:58 PM
the weight savings is nice,however if im going 2 go with the extra weight and parts of a 4-stroke, i would prefer to burn regular gas and do away with mixed gas.


The Honda's do burn just straight gas. Somehow they've solved the being able to run at any angle issue that common with 4 strokes. Which is why Stihl, Shindaiwa and the rest are still using pre-mix so you can use the equipment upside down if you need too and not starve the engine of oil.

I'm starting to see a good number of Honda's on the other big guys racks around town. They've been around for years but until recently I haven't seen but a few.

ExtExc
03-15-2009, 09:07 PM
i have a mix of equipment, i would like to get a little more uniform for that professional image, but i wont sacrifice performance/reliability over looks. as for trimmers/blowers i have been using stihl, i grew up with it, as my dad had a stihl chainsaw and weed whip, and i love them. with proper winterizing and maintenance the stihl always fires up first pull and takes all the abuse i can throw at it.

DLAWNS
03-15-2009, 09:11 PM
As you can see from my sig, I stick to certain brands. I love Toro and Exmark for my mowers and buy all Redmax for my handhelds. I'm not saying that they are the best equipment for everyone but they have been great for me.

tlc23
03-15-2009, 09:46 PM
All stihl hand helds here but my mowers are all different brands. Walker 42", Exmark 60" Grasshopper 41" and Snapper 21". They all have their place and I'm setup to do any lawn I have been called to do.

mowcrazy
03-15-2009, 10:02 PM
When it comes to the mowers I have had about every commercial grade you could think of and now all we have is exmark. Hands down the most comfortable and for sure the best in dewy grass in the mornings. As for trimmers blowers and everything else I have owned echo and stihl products, then I tried redmaxx. Man was I missin out!!! we have all redmax stuff now and in my opinion there is nothing like redmax equipment and that is coming from someone who was a pretty big fan of stihl and echo products. Theres just no comparison in my mind. As for the mowers, I bought a brand new scag with the advantage deck.:hammerhead:. Im surprised that deck didnt put them out of business. You don't dare think about leaving the house on a dewy morning with that deck. Anyway, gottahold of a mower with an ultracut deck and can leave as early as I want now. :walking:

Pistol
03-15-2009, 10:39 PM
Anybody familiar with Tanaka? Not a lot of dealers, but I heard one guy talking about them. Just curious???

kaferhaus
03-15-2009, 10:46 PM
Anybody familiar with Tanaka? Not a lot of dealers, but I heard one guy talking about them. Just curious???
Today 09:02 PM



both guys that were carrying them here dropped them. But I heard that they were fine just too many guys here that are used to the Stihl and Echo's.... both good equipment so why change?

Redmax dealer is in the same boat... good stuff but if you already like what you're using there's really no need to change brands.

The only company I've seen make any headway is Honda and that's taken several years of horrible sales. But starting to see some out with LCOs now.

Dstosh
03-15-2009, 11:08 PM
I tried to stick to one brand. I am fairly brand loyal, but it doesnt always work. Started with shindaiwa have three or four pieces. Then ended up getting a few kawasaki pieces, then got sick of toy blowers and then bought a few redmax pieces.

That being said, I do have 4 of the same brand of mowers and several other pieces of equipment that are the same brand(lesco). I do like being able to go to the same place for parts.

I think the more expensive equipment gets it is better to have the same brand. Think of big trucking fleets or excavation companys do they have a buch of different brands or just 1 or 2 brands?

mowcrazy
03-16-2009, 09:20 AM
too many guys here that are used to the Stihl and Echo's.... both good equipment so why change?

Redmax dealer is in the same boat... good stuff but if you already like what you're using there's really no need to change brands.

I know everyone on here has there own opinion, I just have to recommend the redmax tr2300 trimmer atleast. thing weighs 9lbs and is the smoothest running most balanced trimmer Ive EVER used. This is coming from someone who has a ton of more trimming than most folks. We mow cemeterys so we have been around the block with a lot of different trimmers. tr2300 trimmer blows everything else out of the water when it comes to reliability and the head holds a ton of string. It doesnt have quite the power that a lot of folks like but doggone how much do you need when your trimmin stuff every week. We do burn down ditches with them to but it does take a little more time than the higher hp trimmers. at the end of the day im still frisky as a fishy. I wasnt with the echos and stihls! Just tryin to throw this out there for yall, its hands down the best trimmer ive ever ran in 10 years of business. not to say there isnt one out t here i just havent tried yet but echo and stihl definetley dont have a model. They have advertisement and you hear the names everywhere so everyone just assumes they have the best equipment. Take it from a man whos use them all.

aemoosh
03-16-2009, 02:05 PM
The best part of RedMax's is that their trigger is indestructible. When will the other manufacturers friggin' build a rubberized trigger?!??

The Echo backpacks my dad had twelve years ago, still run. When the man who bought his business needed more blowers, he went stihl. Four years later, he replaced the Stihls which were slowly dying out, with RedMax. Three years later, about half of those have died and he replaced with more redmax. Those three Echo's he bought still run.

I've seen more Stihl handhelds lay around than any other brand. People just stop using them after four, five years. Echo's are used for 15 years until they die.

Their chainsaws are great and all, but I've got a Jonsered (the only piece of handheld equipment that I have that's not echo). And if you argue that a Jonesered isn't the best... you're an idiot. And don't mention Husqvarna, because they're the same things, just different colors and the Jonsered has one more tiny feature and a $100 more price tag.

jlawnman
03-16-2009, 02:15 PM
I like Echo trimmers, stick edgers, and hand held blowers... They all use the same engine with the same air filters and carbs, etc. The 210 trimmers w/ the 21.2 cc engine just won't quit.. I've got one that going on 4 years... that's saying a LOT because I run the SNOTT out of 'em

Mike's LawnCare Landscape
03-16-2009, 02:31 PM
I know everyone on here has there own opinion, I just have to recommend the redmax tr2300 trimmer atleast. thing weighs 9lbs and is the smoothest running most balanced trimmer Ive EVER used. This is coming from someone who has a ton of more trimming than most folks. We mow cemeterys so we have been around the block with a lot of different trimmers. tr2300 trimmer blows everything else out of the water when it comes to reliability and the head holds a ton of string. It doesnt have quite the power that a lot of folks like but doggone how much do you need when your trimmin stuff every week. We do burn down ditches with them to but it does take a little more time than the higher hp trimmers. at the end of the day im still frisky as a fishy. I wasnt with the echos and stihls! Just tryin to throw this out there for yall, its hands down the best trimmer ive ever ran in 10 years of business. not to say there isnt one out t here i just havent tried yet but echo and stihl definetley dont have a model. They have advertisement and you hear the names everywhere so everyone just assumes they have the best equipment. Take it from a man whos use them all.
Hands down I think that is the best trimmer yet and the price is very good too. I also have echo ,stihls,Honda, Husqvarna, and The old Ryobi that has the shindoie moter(that I have had over 8 years and still kicking)
But hands down the red max lite weight is the winner in my book.

jlawnman
03-16-2009, 03:00 PM
It kinda depends on what is sold in the area... Around the larger cities there tends to be a larger selection of equipment... Unless you decide to order online. If this the case, forget about Stihl, unless it's a used one on ebay. The only thing sold around here is echo and stihl... unless you want to buy a cheapo from Lowe's..

Pietro
03-16-2009, 05:12 PM
I try to keep the same names so we can use em for parts when they crap out.

4.3mudder
03-16-2009, 05:17 PM
Stihl handhelds all the way for me. More familiar with their brand of equipment.

lifetree
03-16-2009, 08:47 PM
My approach is to get the equipment that will do the best job for me ... if that means more than one brand, so be it !!

Equipguy
03-17-2009, 03:31 PM
Yea, I've stayed with Hustler Z's, and Toro walk behinds because of quality and dealer support. I've used Echo but prefer Stihl hand held and blowers.:)

pullinfor17
03-17-2009, 10:10 PM
I think when it comes to hand held equipment it doesnt really matter if you have different brands cause you dont need to stock a lot of parts for those type of machines. When you get into walkbehinds, standers, or riders its nice to stay with one or two brands due to stocking parts and knowing what parts will wear out or break. I like to stay with local dealers as much as possible because they know you and usually go out of their way to help you.

RTR Landscaping
03-17-2009, 11:14 PM
All Scags for me. Stihl and RedMax on handhelds. I only have to deal with one dealer. I also own a Toro Dingo but have never used their mowers.

Chilehead
03-17-2009, 11:44 PM
For my small equipment, I stick with Shindaiwa. I usually replace a trimmer or edger every 3 years, so I'll get 3-5 peices at a time, and the dealer knocks 5% off the price. Larger things like a mower will probably be a different brand next time around. I have an Exmark Viking, but need a 32" unit and will most likely get a Samurai from BOP. If I should need a larger machine, it would have to be a Walker MT. My next trailer will be a name-brand one, too.

mowzilla
03-18-2009, 12:42 AM
at day job we have husky,stihl,shindaiwa. huskys were so worn out couldn't form an opinion, but what ran was ok but getting parts--dang it! stihl.. a lot of it has died, i never was impressed with thier blowers, four mix torquey but heavy. shinny stuff- eb501 blowers are a freakin nightmare..after about 100 hrs cant keep them running..trimmers and etc though are very good.. and pretty darn reliable. i personally, for my thing , prefer redmax blowers ( very dependable and no probs..performance is great..i took my eb4300 to day job and it whupped up on all the stihls, shinnys, and huskies) , shindaiwa or redmax handhelds, toro mowers ( but going to gravely due to dealer locale and support) , but if could afford it ..i do like exmark as well ( but ecs makes me hands a bit sore after all day :( )

scagdude
03-18-2009, 01:29 AM
[QUOTE=aemoosh;2854913]Look at Stihl backpacks, they suck, but their chainsaws are great.
QUOTE]


Are you insane? Stihl makes one of the best backpacks around if not the best and therefore is the #1 brand in the nation (not just my opinion, it's a proven fact). Stihl makes the most quality products all around and so therefore i own all stihl products and have never had a single problem with any of them. I just care about the best deal around on mowers but it's either Scag, Lesco, or Toro for me and then handhelds is all stihl.

mowzilla
03-18-2009, 10:41 PM
i have personally owned a few stihls over the years, have one running in arsenal right now that i like, i just haven't been 100 percent sold on stihl's four mix yet.. even though i have spent 100's of hours running them. when i am on a ladder shearing something, i like the lighter weight of the shindaiwa. if i am prunning, say, lillie agnes or something knarly, i like the stihl's torque, but i sure do seem to feel the stihl's weight in my wrists quicker :)

RLS24
03-19-2009, 01:15 PM
I agree with the person that said different brands do different tasks well. For me, I use all Echo handhelds. Reason being when I was starting out, price was a factor in what I bought, and Echo seemed to be quality equipment at a decent price. Since then it has proven itself more than worthy, I've had great luck with it, great performance, and a great dealer. I feel that Honda makes a great 21" mower (which I have one of) and I think Toro makes a hell of a 21" as well but the dealer support around here isn't that great (only 1 in town). I have a Lesco WB but I got that used as a "starter mower" but I would probably upgrade to a Wright seen as a lot of people around here have them and the dealer support is really good.