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View Full Version : 34" Ariens, 33" Cub cadet or 33" Billy Goat


I_am_a_beginner
04-19-2011, 04:10 PM
Which one would you pick? and Why?

34" Ariens

33" Cub cadet

33" Billy Goat

How long can I expect before having problems with this kind of mower, knowing that I mow 20 hours a week, 19 weeks per year?

elitelawnteam1
04-19-2011, 04:36 PM
buy a used commercial mower, i bought my Ferris 36" Hydro for about $1000, which is what a new WAW Residential would cost you.

Don't buy Cub Cadet, I've heard from many reviews that they go thru belts like crazy. i'm pretty sure we've had this discussion before too, Residential equipment is NOT the way to go.

Patriot Services
04-19-2011, 04:40 PM
None. If you are mowing 20 hours a week. Step up to full commercial. You can find a slightly used toro or exmark belt drive with sulky for a lot less. It will last longer with fewer breakdowns. A warranty from HD or Lowes isn't worth the paper its printed on. First thing you will hear is "2-4 weeks before we even look at it".
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I_am_a_beginner
04-19-2011, 04:44 PM
There is nothing to sell on craigslist near or even close to where I live (Quebec, Canada). So I can't get any used commercial mowers. Thats why I was looking for these 3 models.

BINKY1902
04-19-2011, 04:44 PM
To be honest I don't know if you could even put a sulky behind any of those. They are homeowner as far as I know. I would look for used commercial as well.

I_am_a_beginner
04-19-2011, 04:48 PM
There is nothing to sell on craigslist near or even close to where I live (Quebec, Canada). So I can't get any used commercial mowers. Thats why I was looking for these 3 models.

BINKY1902
04-19-2011, 04:50 PM
I would get a commercial 21" before I bought one of those.

I_am_a_beginner
04-19-2011, 04:56 PM
Why?
My thinking was that I do work 20 hours on it maximum per week 19 weeks this year.
Next year about 20-25 hours, Is it going to be over run that much?

I mean, If I do buy a commercial mower like a 32" ferris, It is going to cost me 3500$ and a 34"Ariens, 33" Billy Goat or a 33" Cub Cadet are only 1500$.

I_am_a_beginner
04-19-2011, 05:45 PM
bump, :)

I_am_a_beginner
04-19-2011, 05:48 PM
Why? Are those mowers very bad? I mean, I am going to be purchasing a new mower, even if its consider "homeowner" i just mow 20 hours a week, 19 weeks per year. How long can it last? (2-3-4-5 years?) I am going to ride this mower so I am going to take care of it. Does it change something? lol

Patriot Services
04-19-2011, 06:03 PM
Homeowner mowers are designed under the premise of being used 2 hours a week. Not repeated loading and unloading on a trailer. Nor are they designed to be ridden around as a transport vehicle.
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larrylaverne
04-19-2011, 06:29 PM
Which one would you pick? and Why?

34" Ariens

33" Cub cadet

33" Billy Goat

How long can I expect before having problems with this kind of mower, knowing that I mow 20 hours a week, 19 weeks per year?

mowing 20 hrs.a week,what did you mow with last year? if you cannot find a GOOD CONDITION used commercial mower then shop at the dealerships (of the 3 you mentioned)that has a good service dept. and good sales dept.tell them your goals and see what they say for a suggested mower. i myself have been cutting for several years with homeowner equipment and have been doing just fine. toro,john deere, craftsman, troy-bilt. my cutting times were what your doing.just be carefull when traveling large distances with a lightweight trailer,keep your jobs close by.the troy-bilt 33" and the craftsman 33" that i used worked well.keep good maintenance,and dont pound into the curbs and run into trees and you should be fine untill you save up for a commercial duty if you then wish to.

gob71
04-19-2011, 06:49 PM
I have used both the Cub Cadet/Craftsman and the Gravely WAW1034/Ariens. I am not a pro so take it for what it is worth. The Gravely is better built, has INSTANT reverse and does not have timed blades like the cub cadet. I bought one and used it last year on my yard. It cut great and for me worked out great. If it was not for the fact that I got what I think was an incredible deal on a Toro TurbroForce 48 from the dealer that I had bought the Gravely from, I would still be using it this year. I sold the gravely a few weeks ago to a commercial guy in town that he uses for back yards. Last I spoke with him it was working out fine for him. Its not a commercial mower, but I have seen several around town using those and the Cub Cadets.

BINKY1902
04-19-2011, 06:58 PM
Homeowner mowers are not covered by the warranty once they are used on a property other than your own. So basically once you start using it you don't have a warranty, and you're running a machine that's not designed to do what you're doing.

larrylaverne
04-19-2011, 07:11 PM
Homeowner mowers are not covered by the warranty once they are used on a property other than your own. So basically once you start using it you don't have a warranty, and you're running a machine that's not designed to do what you're doing.

i've had several cases of warrenty work done on above mentioned mowers and not once did they ask about its usage,your right though on the intended design of usage but if your carefull and don't abuse it.it should be fine :)

RGM
04-19-2011, 07:16 PM
The Ariens is the better mower and ships free from Home depot down here in Maryland USA

lawnkingforever
04-19-2011, 08:04 PM
The Cub Cadet/Craftsman 33" will hold up if owner operated. I don't use mine much anymore but it has held up fine. I only had to replace a drive cable in the 4 years I have owned it. But it was only my primary mower for a year. Since then it has been used as a back up and for a few fenced in yards.

The quality of cut is decent in side discharge mode. It does not mulch very well in high grass. But to switch between the two takes seconds, just have to install/remove the shute blocker. Don't bother getting the bagger, I seen the set up and it is not very user friendly. The Craftsman version is a little cheaper than the CC, but it does not have electric start or an hour meter.

larrylaverne
04-19-2011, 08:13 PM
The Cub Cadet/Craftsman 33" will hold up if owner operated. I don't use mine much anymore but it has held up fine. I only had to replace a drive cable in the 4 years I have owned it. But it was only my primary mower for a year. Since then it has been used as a back up and for a few fenced in yards.

The quality of cut is decent in side discharge mode. It does not mulch very well in high grass. But to switch between the two takes seconds, just have to install/remove the shute blocker. Don't bother getting the bagger, I seen the set up and it is not very user friendly. The Craftsman version is a little cheaper than the CC, but it does not have electric start or an hour meter.

good stuff, the craftsman does offer an hour meter and electric start as well as a larger engine (craftsman has 2 versions 33" cut):)

lawnkingforever
04-19-2011, 09:41 PM
good stuff, the craftsman does offer an hour meter and electric start as well as a larger engine (craftsman has 2 versions 33" cut):)
Thanks for the correction. Back when I bought mine there was only one version. With it being on sale and a 10% discount it set me back a thousand. I remember the CC being a little more. A commercial mower it is not, but it serves its purpose for a gated yard or two. Also if I just need to go out and mow a couple yards, I can ramp it on the back of my truck and leave my trailer at home.

turf and snow
04-19-2011, 09:58 PM
Run away from the 34 WAW. I bought one and regret it constantly. Broke 2 axles last year not crashing or curb hopping. The axle was crystalized on the inside it wasnt even solid. My WAW spent 45 days last summer in the shop. When it did cut it did an ok job on side discharge mulching performance was mediocre. I am gonna by a toro 36 gear drive with T bar controls. Oh ya the WAW 34 has pistol grip controls that absolutly suck. I have 2 ariens snowblowers that I use alot and would reccomend a pro 21 which I love and 2 LM21 mowers that have lasted me 5 years (with 5 rebuilt transmissions) so Im not an ariens hater but I thought I would give it a try. I mow 96 residential and 13 commercial properties weekly in Winnipeg. Look around for a dealer who will get you a quality product. Homeowner is cheeper because it IS CHEAPER. Spend your cash on used commercial or save for new commercial as long as you can get it serviced quickly when it does break. If you find a good dealer treat them like royalty.

I_am_a_beginner
04-19-2011, 10:04 PM
I would be very willing to buy used commercial mower but I can't, there is no mower to sell in my town or near it :(. My only option is to spend more money on a 32" Ferris hydrocut single hydro or 32" Toro belt drive.

turf and snow
04-19-2011, 10:09 PM
im guessing that either of those would be a better choice. You can pay for quality and reliability or pay less for repairs and headaches. You will have to give up a few poutines and not bet on the habs to win the stanley cup and you will have the cash to get a better mower lol

I_am_a_beginner
04-19-2011, 10:21 PM
hehe :) Your right ahaaha go habs go!

KINGMADE
04-20-2011, 02:39 AM
Basically, just get what you can afford. The money will come in to buy the more expensive mowers. Just save some money for advertising. A few hundred dollars can go a long ways in that department.

Shasta Lake Landscaping
04-20-2011, 02:45 AM
http://www.snapperpro.com/models/features/13:sw5 $2399

joed
04-20-2011, 05:41 AM
If you were looking for a wider area mower than a 21", have you checked out the 25" mower from Ybravo mowers. Apparently, this machine has been getting very good reviews. Here is the link:
http://www.ybravo.com/store/pc/Bravo-25-Commercial-Mower-BBC-2p560.htm

I_am_a_beginner
04-20-2011, 08:14 AM
There is no Ydealer near, thats why I was looking for a 32" Toro belt drive or a 32" Ferris hydrocut MAYBE in either 36" Toro belt drive or 36" Ferris hydrocut.

Golfpro21
04-20-2011, 08:25 AM
homeowner stuff is meant to be used 26 hours a year...not per week...it is made to withstand being used for say an 1 once per week...and then they still break down

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

ralph02813
04-20-2011, 01:53 PM
ariens and gravely are basically the same mower at the same price, if you are looking to go budget go with a Simplicity (Ferris makes it) I just bought a ferris 36. Prices here are
1400 arens/gravely, 2300 simplicity, 33 Ferris 36

XLS
04-20-2011, 02:18 PM
we had a 33'' craftsman with a sulky and it cut great on weekly mulched ok and mthe bagger is like a vaccume and sucked . the reason we droped it was the revirse was aggrivating in tight ares where the turn was not possible. we got the gravely and its fine on the yards we use it on...... keep in mind the sulkey is for flat open lawns only look at another mower if you want a sulkey all the time and the hours we run was more then yours per year and they held up good

Mr. Force™, Billy Goat Industries
04-20-2011, 05:03 PM
There is no Billy Goat 33" any more. The FM33 series was killed off 2 years ago. We have just introduced the Billy Goat HP3400 though. There were 3 main improvements above the FM series. First it cuts MUCH better in even poor conditions, 2nd when you engage the drive it doesn't lurch (the FM and others do) and 3rd it can truly handle multiple cut heights as the rear of the deck is adjustable. We bench marked against the WAW34 and the Cub Cadet/Craftsman.

All of the units are consumer oriented. At less than 50 hours the WAW34 blew the transmission and bearings in the front wheels. You can't adjust the rear of the deck. It's actually welded to the engine base so if your deck needs replacement for any reason, you're hosed and it adversely affects cut quality in high positions. The Cub Cadet/Craftsman held up better though the timed belts went south at just over 125 hours. The drive engagement handle consistently pinches your hand and you can't feather the drive as it's a push down. It's stamped deck had trouble in taller grasses though it was much better than the WAW34. The large gas tank on the Cub Cadet/Craftsman was a nice feature. The fabricated deck of the Billy Goat HP3400 is deep and mows and moves the grass with ease.

If you're looking at the three be sure to demo them and let them speak for themselves.

Patriot Services
04-20-2011, 05:05 PM
we had a 33'' craftsman with a sulky and it cut great on weekly mulched ok and mthe bagger is like a vaccume and sucked . the reason we droped it was the revirse was aggrivating in tight ares where the turn was not possible. we got the gravely and its fine on the yards we use it on...... keep in mind the sulkey is for flat open lawns only look at another mower if you want a sulkey all the time and the hours we run was more then yours per year and they held up good

XLS- please clarify something for us. You say you run a company that services 90% of the state of TN on the "Beast" thread. Here you a saying you use craftsman products. I'm sorry but I don't understand why a HUGE operation would even entertain the idea of using homeowner grade equipment in a clearly commercial line of duty.
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XLS
04-20-2011, 05:31 PM
i do not mind to explain at all. If you consider with a entire commercial outfit you will spend upwards of 7000.00 to 10,000.00 for a nice rig and then you consider we have opened as many as 3 locations per year thats a large investment for a STARTUP LOCATION . we may go into a town of x and in a few weeks of advertising get 2 high dollar accounts (that can sustain a 1 man outfit ) and then say 8 more regular residentials ......... As most reading this would agree 10 accounts does not need the high investment so after a season of growth and reaching say 5 seasonal accounts and another 25 residentials they would transfer the cheaper rig for more capable equipment .


We ,I do it because i thought it through and if we opened a location and it went south we wouldnt want a debt of 10,000 to carry untill other locations recovered the differances. i am not placing a 10,000.00 rig in an area making 2500.00 a week cutting 20 residnetial places and 3 food chain stores, just isnt good business sense.

we have alot of crews running nothing but husquvarna 30'' ztrs and 20'' standard push mowers the crew only gets what they need to make me the most in return in investment. if the second year the push mow crews have a need for a larger production number we would use the (craftsman type units or as what we are moving toward since last season the 36 and 50 type BEAST or BRADLEY.
on our start up year of opperation most of our locations will have less then 5000.00 invested in the field at one time .
I will say this since you brought up the beast .....it is comming down to it or the bradley stander and if Mr havenar gets the 61'' bradley stander in the field before we hear back from goronJackson then we will be using the 61''s

XLS
04-20-2011, 05:39 PM
Patriot it is homeowner yes but I will tell you we purchased a 48''Belt drive Husqvarna with i forget the name ( its the same design on the controls as al lof the standers)
it was a 6500.00 unit and I had it in the field in Knoxville for 7 hours after I drove it out their 400+miles I had to go back to get it repaired it spent 2 days being worked on and i took it back out there .....and 4 hours later it did it again the unit just would NOT pull on a hill after 1 week 38 hours logged the location nearly went under becasue they had grewn to 5 people, 3 pushmowing and 2 trimming and working in beds and when we got this commercial mower they let 3 go ......then after the week of not cutting they simply went back to push mowing and saved themselves I took the unit back with 40 hours of use and only owning it for 2 weeks and i took a 4000 loss becasue it wouldnt pull on a flat lawn for over 30 minutes before it needed adjustment.

Now this is why we use other then the sells pitch of a commercial mower

Patriot Services
04-20-2011, 07:44 PM
You have found a way to make a homeowner labeled machine last in a commercial environment and not in your hands either. That is the answer to one of the great enigmas of this business.
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XLS
04-21-2011, 02:07 PM
with preventive maintance on the machines and placing employees in a position to feel as if they are part of a company and treat them as if they are in a way part owner and responsible for their equipment and actions it gets easier ....... we learned if you treat them just as employees and theire work is from 8am to 8 pm they tend to not care and things get neglected . its managment and maintenance more then top dollar equipment