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View Full Version : commerical mower vs residential


dabears8430
10-07-2010, 01:16 PM
I was wondering how long can a Home Depot toro ZTR last doing about 40 hours a week worth of mowing? They are cheaper that's why I ask and has anyone ever tried going that path

knox gsl
10-07-2010, 02:28 PM
A couple weeks before starting to give problems. If all you have is a few $K to spend then get a used Commercial of of CL.

mbrew
10-07-2010, 02:50 PM
I have an Ariens that I bought 10 years ago. It now has about 500 hours on it and although I wouldn't say its going strong, Its still productive and I'm still using it. This was one of the earliest home owners ZTR's and it isn't nearly as well built as those that are built today. The problems I've encountered were the cogged deck belts breaking and starters going out. I have hit a lot of stuff, but I don't count on more than a hundred hours out of that belt ($70!). The newer decks aren't timed so that's not a problem anymore and strangely. I've had no spindle trouble. I also had starter problems before I got smart and figured out that the valves were out of adjustment which caused hard starting, starter gear breakage and wore out one starter.

Now, the Briggs engine is using a good amount of oil although it still runs fine and I think it may be getting slower. Possibly the hydraulic pumps getting weak. I don't think this pump setup is being used anymore, but I'm not certain. All of my use before this year was as a homeowner, but I've used this thing commercially this year. I'd be surprised If I got through next year with it. I have been hard on it.

If I was a homeowner with under 2 acres, I'd buy the new Ariens real quick. I think for commercial work I'd look for a good used machine.

gasracer
10-07-2010, 04:33 PM
Most mowers that Lowes or Home Depot sales are made by MTD.(Even John Deer,Cub Cadet,Toro). They are not made to take the abuse like a commercial machine is.Even the blade are very thin and will bend if you touch anything other than grass. Also most of there machine have a blade kill switch if you go into reverse.Save your money and find a used commercial machine.

jiggz
10-07-2010, 04:42 PM
used commercial.. It's not even a question

i have stuff 18 years old and still going strong with a million hours.. try that with a homeowner Toro or likewise

gasracer
10-07-2010, 04:51 PM
I have bought 2 used machines from Craigslist.One was a Ferris "48"in.Walk behind with 76 hours.It now has 160 hours on it.The other was a Great Dane "36"in. walk behind with 15 yes I did say 15 hours. It now has over 200. Both only cost me about half of what they were new.

Puddle of Oil
10-07-2010, 05:02 PM
A residential mower may last you a year or so, but if you spend the extra bucks for a commercial it will end up being cheaper in the long run then buying a 2k mower.
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mowerdude777
10-07-2010, 05:11 PM
I would get a used commercial any day over a home cheapo ztr those things are CRAP made by ayp (who also makes crap brands like craftsman, troy built, mtd, etc) stay far away from those brands, or really any lawn equipment sold at lowes or home depot, trust me I learned that lesson the hard way

mowerbrad
10-07-2010, 06:37 PM
So if you will be putting 40 hours a week on that mower and working 25 weeks a year, that's 1000hrs a year. I think if you are putting that many hours on a mower each year, you shouldn't have any problem affording a full commercial machine. If you can make $50/hr mowing, that's $50,000/year you'd be grossing. I think you'd be able to pay off an $8500 commercial mower.

The engines that go on the residential mowers aren't rated for high hours. The hydros are of poorer quality than the commercial counterparts. The decks on the residential mowers are thin and can crack/bend far easier. The frames are also weaker. The power isn't there on the residental mowers and they will not give you the performance in thick growth or where extra power is needed.

QualityLawnCare4u
10-07-2010, 07:39 PM
I would get a used commercial any day over a home cheapo ztr those things are CRAP made by ayp (who also makes crap brands like craftsman, troy built, mtd, etc) stay far away from those brands, or really any lawn equipment sold at lowes or home depot, trust me I learned that lesson the hard way

Worded exactly as my experience has been. These machines are NOT made for commercial use and are barely made for residentual.

MR-G
10-07-2010, 09:51 PM
you see a mower at home depot/lowes or wherever...lets say it has a 5 yr residential warranty....now think, this machine is designed to be pretty good for 5 yrs right?...say the avg homowner cuts his lawn 36 cuts per yr.(lets just say) thats a total of 180 cuts....or lawns if youre working it..now say a 3 man crew can do 20 lawns a day (+/-) thats 100 per week.....well...that would make the warrantee only last 9 days....after that the mower would be out of warranty....so to speak......buy commercial...even if you had to rebuild an older one.....still a way better way to go.:usflag:

ShooterK2
10-07-2010, 10:04 PM
Homeowner mowers are not really something that's worth rebuilding when they wear out. Commercial equipment in this industry is very rebuildable, and can be kept in service an incredible amount of hours with a little maintenance and parts replacement now and then. Definitely buy used commercial. You won't regret it.

rain man
10-07-2010, 11:24 PM
I was wondering how long can a Home Depot toro ZTR last doing about 40 hours a week worth of mowing? They are cheaper that's why I ask and has anyone ever tried going that path

I have a Lowes John Deere Zero I still use every day. Will it hold up at 40 hours a week? No. But it is what we started out with and still use today for small gates, small lawns with lots of twists and turns, and a couple of other applications. On its second engine. Third deck. Is sitting on the trailer as I type. Don't plan to get rid of it. So, yes I have tried that path and made it work.

However, our commercial mower pulls most of the load now. The residential just isn't...well...commercial enough. The commercial unit is more productive and makes up time, and time is money.

So...I guess if I were just mowing a couple of yards part time I personally would pick the John Deere Zero but if I planned to really get into the business I would go with the advice already given, which is to go commercial.

chuacro
10-07-2010, 11:40 PM
My son was going to buy a Home Depot rtz. I told him I would match the price for him to buy a commercial mower. If he decides to sell it I have the right to buy it for my investment. 40 hours a week use on a mower would equate too about to about 70 lawns. Thant would be about $2500 a week and $70,000 a year for 38 weeks. I would have a fleet of premium mowers for that kind of business.

Sammy
10-08-2010, 03:49 AM
Not many mowers are run 40 hours a week, some are, but most are not.

gasracer
10-08-2010, 08:37 AM
Having a couple of different size machines for different applications helps.

watsmi57
10-08-2010, 10:41 PM
A residential mower may last you a year or so, but if you spend the extra bucks for a commercial it will end up being cheaper in the long run then buying a 2k mower.
Posted via Mobile Device



i second that...buy used commercial...get a used walk behind with sulky if you cant afford a used commercial ztr.

i have been down this road...i started with a push mower in the trunk lol...then got a MTD...then Crapsman...residential mowers are not made to crank and run all day every day...period...you will spend a lot more time down working on homeowner equipment too

you might get a year out of a high end residential mower at 40 hrs mowing a week.