PDA

View Full Version : Commercial vs residential mowers for commercial business?


dkh
02-25-2010, 07:30 PM
Hello all,
I am curious what you think about using residential mowers for commercial use? I'm adding a crew this year and wonder about it. I am just looking back at the cost of running two of my mowers, a Scag zero turn and a Deere walk behind, both great commercial mowers but they nickel and dimed me to death least year. I do all my own repairs but the parts are pretty spendy. It seems to me that buying new residential mowers would be cheaper even if they only lasted a couple years then the big outlay for quality commercial mowers that are four times the cost. Just a thought running through my mind as I gear up for for this season. I'm not opposed to used commercial mowers but thats what the Scag and Deere were. What do you think? Thanks

Triplex
02-25-2010, 08:03 PM
I worked on a golf course that used cheapo big-box store Bolens/MTD and Murray 21-inchers. They lasted a couple of years under severe usage conditions, but we had an in-house mechanic to keep things patched together. They definitely aren't as durable as commercial machines, but you don't have to worry as much about them getting damaged or stolen, which can be helpful if you're getting them for employees to run and not yourself.

pkra12
02-25-2010, 08:09 PM
dkh, I don't want to discourage you if that's your choice but i don't think they will hold up, the wear and tear from the trailer ride alone will rip 'em up....Just don't wanna see you waste your $

jgc8fan
02-25-2010, 09:16 PM
I'm not opposed to used commercial mowers but thats what the Scag and Deere were.

I think you nailed your problem right there. A new mower shouldn't need that many repairs, and you have no idea how hard it was run before you got it. I bought my mowers new (Snapper ZTR and an Exmark WB), and neither have needed any significant repairs. The Snapper is on it's 7th year now, and I think it's just about ready to finally go. The Exmark has been running 2 and 1/2 years with no repairs. Just regular maintenance is all they needed, and a few minor things (belts, tires, a throttle, and a $5 circuit breaker is all I've done to the Z, and the only thing the Exmark has needed was new wheels for the sulky).

You gotta think about it in terms of how much money they make you. People freak out when I tell them I paid $5,000 for the Z (and it was damn near the cheapest model they had at the time), but I made the money that I spent on it back within just a few months, and since then it's made me several hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the investment suddenly looks like a good deal. I'm probably gonna replace it this year or next, and I don't feel a bit bad about it.

In comparison... Anytime I've tried to use a piece of homeowner equipment I've never had it last more than a few months... This probably explains why most homeowner gear usually only has a 90 day commercial use warranty.

If money is the concern get WBs with sulkies instead of riders. Personally I've decided when I replace my Z I am getting a hydro wb (mostly because I want to get the extra weight off my trailer, and I think the Z has been a bit of overkill for the types of yards I do).

topsites
02-25-2010, 09:34 PM
I think you should be asking your dealer this question.

Landscraper1
02-25-2010, 11:33 PM
I agree 100% with jgc8fan.

sdk1959
02-26-2010, 12:10 AM
American made, commercial grade but less than 250Lbs so it's light enough to do hills without needing hydro drive ,comes in 30" or 26" sizes.

Saw one of these on Craigs list last year, emailed the guy, said was sold in two days, said he used it commercially, was a excellent mower & cut well.



http://www.sarlomower.com/commerce.htm

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...0737_200330737

pitrack
02-26-2010, 01:08 AM
I think you nailed your problem right there. A new mower shouldn't need that many repairs, and you have no idea how hard it was run before you got it. I bought my mowers new (Snapper ZTR and an Exmark WB), and neither have needed any significant repairs. The Snapper is on it's 7th year now, and I think it's just about ready to finally go. The Exmark has been running 2 and 1/2 years with no repairs. Just regular maintenance is all they needed, and a few minor things (belts, tires, a throttle, and a $5 circuit breaker is all I've done to the Z, and the only thing the Exmark has needed was new wheels for the sulky).

You gotta think about it in terms of how much money they make you. People freak out when I tell them I paid $5,000 for the Z (and it was damn near the cheapest model they had at the time), but I made the money that I spent on it back within just a few months, and since then it's made me several hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the investment suddenly looks like a good deal. I'm probably gonna replace it this year or next, and I don't feel a bit bad about it.

In comparison... Anytime I've tried to use a piece of homeowner equipment I've never had it last more than a few months... This probably explains why most homeowner gear usually only has a 90 day commercial use warranty.

If money is the concern get WBs with sulkies instead of riders. Personally I've decided when I replace my Z I am getting a hydro wb (mostly because I want to get the extra weight off my trailer, and I think the Z has been a bit of overkill for the types of yards I do).

;)am I reading that right?

Hawg City Lawns
02-26-2010, 03:33 AM
i always buy the residential 21" mowers some will last 3 years if you take care of them plus you can buy about 3 of those compared to 1 commercial 21"

KrayzKajun
02-26-2010, 03:39 AM
i always buy the residential 21" mowers some will last 3 years if you take care of them plus you can buy about 3 of those compared to 1 commercial 21"

i have a troybilt 21" wit a briggs motor . paid $199.00 5years ago. still starts on first pull used it for two years on 25yds

Hawg City Lawns
02-26-2010, 03:49 AM
i have a troybilt 21" wit a briggs motor . paid $199.00 5years ago. still starts on first pull used it for two years on 25yds

i had the old murray push mowers with about a 3.5 hp briggs engine bought 2 of them at walmart for $99 a piece ran the crap out of those things for a few years prolly the most profitable equipment i have ever owned

ive now upgraded to self propelled

topsites
02-26-2010, 05:31 AM
I'm guessing with 21"s you can get away with it,
but I wouldn't buy a larger mower "residential" style.

EastCoast
02-26-2010, 07:26 AM
Quality of cut is not that with the residentials, not enough RPM's to spin those blades, especially when mulching.
Posted via Mobile Device

sdk1959
02-26-2010, 09:47 AM
Quality of cut is not that with the residential, not enough RPM's to spin those blades, especially when mulching.
Posted via Mobile Device

It's not so much the normal running blade speed with a residential mower as it is the "bog down" factor when mulching, cutting tall grass or grass with a lot of moisture in it. That's a real time killer on the yard along with more grass clumping, although all mowers will clump grass in poor conditions, just some will more than others.

A 32" 12Hp commercial walk-behind mower is not going to bog down in the grass like a 21" 6Hp residential mower.

dishboy
02-26-2010, 10:02 AM
Quality of cut is not that with the residentials, not enough RPM's to spin those blades, especially when mulching.
Posted via Mobile Device

That is a easy fix.

dishboy
02-26-2010, 10:06 AM
I think you should be asking your dealer this question.

Most dealers are misinformed or biased to their pocketbook. The dealer may or may not be helpful.

dkh
02-26-2010, 11:33 AM
Thanks for all the input. It really helps to put things into perspective. Don't know what i will do yet but i'll try to keep you updated and how things work out. Have a good day

WHIPPLE5.7
02-26-2010, 11:55 AM
What part of Montana you in? I've got a almost brand new Husqnarna commercial 21" I'd sell for $400. They cost $1,200 new. We could meet halfway for gas money.

zimmerwerks
02-27-2010, 08:06 PM
guys not kidding about wear and tear busting up the machines. If you've got to go cheap check the nuts and bolts constantly...still doesnt mean the handles wont snap off eventually. Montana roads are bumpity bump mang