View Full Version : ZTR & WB Mfg suggestions for new Dealer

12-19-2002, 10:20 AM
I'm in the process of opening a new lawncare dealership in a town with the population of 75,000 and would value the opinions of commercial contractors on which line of mowers to sell.

The established dealers we would compete with already carry ExMark, Encore, Walker, Grasshopper and Gravely.

Due to a weak dealer and very strong customer base I'll more than likely pickup Grasshopper, mostly for the service work but want to carry another line as well.

I've spoke with the following manufacturers, which are not represented in our area:


Dixie Chopper


Great Dane



I'd like to hear your opinions on which line(s) you would recommend to compliment the Grasshopper line. I'll need both the ZTR's and Walk-Behinds, so may have to do two manufacturers to get both products.


12-19-2002, 10:22 AM
My local dealer here carries Hustler and Gravely along with Grasshopper
I am a hustler fan...I have had good luck with mine and next purchase I make will be another. Good luck!!

12-19-2002, 10:29 AM
Ferris, Ferris, Ferris...did I say Ferris?

We have been avid Ferris fans for 9 years now. Been using their WB's for that long and just picked up one of their Z's. Used their 3-wheelers in the past (both 61" and 72") as well.

They're a good company...check them out.

12-19-2002, 10:51 AM
I would strongly suggest Hustler!

12-19-2002, 10:57 AM

i noticed your just down the street (60-70 miles) from us.

Where do you buy your Hustler mowers? What other lines do they sell? I may contact them and discuss Hustler's service, etc.


12-19-2002, 11:07 AM

E-mail me @ hustler@twcny.rr.com

I can get you in contact with your regional Hustler representative.


bubble boy
12-19-2002, 11:17 AM
i'll second ferrris. i'm pretty sure you'd do well with hustler and scag too.

got something against toro????:D

12-19-2002, 12:13 PM
I will tell you about one you should look at real hard would be an BLADERUNNER. I had one and it was just awesome! Priced right or at least competitive and good support for me anyhow!

P&J Lawncare
12-19-2002, 12:21 PM

Doc Pete
12-19-2002, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by bruces
I would strongly suggest Hustler!

Besides the obvious success of their Riders, their WB’s are second to none. And, IMO, the walk behind market will increase as the average lawn gets smaller and smaller. Furthermore, the only reason Hustler WB’s aren’t used more is because of the tunnel vision of the “buyer”. Once the “buyer” becomes educated, watch out; the Hustler control system, ruggedness, quality of cut, and overall craftsmanship, are the best.
PS.. Rod, if you like your Ferris's, picture a Ferris with a great control system. Now you have a Hustler WB:p

bubble boy
12-19-2002, 12:26 PM
hey pete i'm in the market for a WB ...i want one that is easy to use...are you partial to any ?:D

Doc Pete
12-19-2002, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by bubble boy
hey pete i'm in the market for a WB ...i want one that is easy to use...are you partial to any ?:D

As we've talked, I've found my digital camera takes a great 30 second movie video. As soon as the holidays are over, I "WILL" have the video of the Hustler WB in action. Honestly, once you see the video, I believe no one will have a problem understanding why I feel nothing is as easy and productive to use as the Hustler WB. Add to that, how well they are built (just like their riders), the choice becomes a no brainer: Hustler WB.

12-19-2002, 12:33 PM
I'd like to see more dealers carrying Hustler and Bladerunner. As to your other thread, IMHO, Husqvarna's that I've seen and used were very good and definately sellable if you can get someone to look at one and demo it I think they'll be pleased with performance and price. I was but didn't have the money at the time and am now glad I didn't because I have better deals that came along one of them while I had that one out on demo. My dealer is going bad though :( But I liked it very well.
eXmark is also a very good very sellable probably best all around mower brand to have if there isn't one in your area. Hustler I'm sure is as good or better but eXmark is probably better known by the public. Dixie Chopper's also good, have a great reputation around here.
Good luck!

bubble boy
12-19-2002, 01:05 PM
prob for me is that hustler is now not in my area...perhaps by spring but i'm not holding my breath. a four hour drive is the closest dealer.

ease of use is why i bought an SD ferris. guys can learn and be comfortable on that mower in 5 min.

i would like to see that video though.

12-20-2002, 01:37 AM
Whatever you sell, read and learn and keep up to date on anything you can learn about the machines you are trying to sell. I've been realy disapointed in most of the dealers i've talked with lately. I can usualy tell them more about the machine I'm looking for than they can and all i've done is read the sales literature and read on here. Know you equipment, give demos, use the mowers at home or wherever, just don't give B.S. answeres. It would be great to have a big bluegrass area next door to try mowers and trimmers on. Be flexible, if someone asks for a 48" WB don't try to push them into a 44" ZTR just because you have three sitting in the back and no walkbehinds. jUst by reading on here you probably know alot of what commerial cutters are looking for. So your are already way ahead of most dealers.

12-20-2002, 08:48 AM

12-20-2002, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by lancetaylor

i noticed your just down the street (60-70 miles) from us.

Where do you buy your Hustler mowers? What other lines do they sell? I may contact them and discuss Hustler's service, etc.


I bought mine at Turf Technology in Lenexa. Alec is the owner.

Phone 913-338-0880. He's a great guy and I think would be glad to help get another dealer established in the area.

Landscaper's Choice in Raytown (where the BBQ's were held this summer) has also recently become a dealer. Jack is the owner, I don't have a phone #.

Good luck!

PS Tell Jay Archer hi for me when you see him. Maybe you can get him in to some quality equipment. JK

12-20-2002, 05:39 PM
I thought Landscapers Choice also sold Bladerunner and Dixie Chopper!

12-20-2002, 06:45 PM
I like the Scag line and I think you would be productive with any of those you listed. If it were my pick, I would choose Scag, Hustler, and Ferris. Are you thinking of selling handheld power equipment and what kind? I am just curious. Good Luck with thyat dealer and tell us what you end up getting. Peace

12-20-2002, 07:34 PM
I personally have used almost every make there is. I have used for years Dixie Chopper and been very happy with them I am switching my machines to the Bladerunner mower. They give you more machine than the other guys. There is however one distinct disadvantage of a Dixie or a Bladerunner, and that is they only produce ztr riders no walks. I think Bladerunner is developing a walk but currently do not offer one. If you are taking on several lines I would get in with bladerunner because of a superior machine in my own opinion! Besides I would think they would go out of there way to help you build there reputation were you are, around here they are getting a good following quickly!

I quess from a dealer standpoint you might make more money on some of the other machines in the warranty department, but I think you would have some real loyale cutters with the bladerunner or even the Dixie. Hustler I think would be good to except no diesel on a super z, and it is underpowered with the 25hp engine on a 72" especially. Ferris I think makes a good walk but there riders will have to prove themselves to me after my experinces with them. Scag no one here has one in the field I have demoed the tiger and it is ok except for the length and rough ride, it could use more speed but it was ok. The dealer down here just got screwed by encore so I would run from them. Been the exmark route as well and again decent machine and a good walk mower. Grasshopper is Ok no one uses them around here but I have again demoed one.

12-20-2002, 09:33 PM
I agree with the Bladerunner that would be a very good choice. I also think that you could do well with the hustler, however the scag and ferris I think you could sell a lot of parts on those machines. I have never seen a husqvarna mower except in magazines.

12-20-2002, 11:44 PM
My vote is Dixie Chopper - ;) http://Dixie

bubble boy
12-20-2002, 11:47 PM
i vote you get a pic of the flex deck without lgf busting the wifebeater styles:D :D :D

12-21-2002, 01:39 PM
I would also suggest looking at Bladeruner, also dixie chopper. Another machine at least there walk-behind seems good would be a country clipper. Hustler should also be good.

BladeRunner Rep
12-21-2002, 04:00 PM

I enjoyed talking with you and I will have the info sent to you shortly!

12-21-2002, 07:31 PM
Strickly from a business viewpoint, it is in your best interest to carry brands that have the largest customer base ! Exmark/Toro combined produces and sells more commercial "Z" mowers than anyone else. These are essentialy the same machine except for some minor design differences in the mower deck.
The other company that produces and sells more mowers than anyone else is Scag. They are the number one seller nationwide - more than Exmark , and more than Toro - but not as much as Toro/Exmark combined !
Since you say that Exmark is already well established in your area , you can't have that brand. You didn't mention Toro, but if it is available, you might consider it. Toro certainly has a wide range of models and types of mowers. In fact as a Toro dealer you would have access to much more equipment than the Exmark dealer has access to ! Not only commercial "Z" riders and walk behinds, but also a line of less expensive "home owner grade" Z riders and even lawn tractors , if you want to go that way.

The other choice is Scag. Their machines are usually a little higher priced [not always] than many other brands - but there has got to be a reason that this is the largest selling brand of commercial mowers !

Scag has a large number of models and types of mowers. You wouln't need to look for another [secondary] brand in order to have enough equipment to satisfy your commercial customers needs. Their equipment has engineering features about it [especially strength and reliability] that tend to make easy sales and resales.

Notice that I'm not Knocking any other brand of mower, and you may find it to your advantage to eventually carry a second brand like Hustler, Ferris, Dixie Chopper , whatever. But to start your new business, you need to start out with one of the top dogs in this industry. A company that has a wide range of types, and models of equipment. After all if you have to split up your ordering , how will you ever get up to top volume discounts from any supplier ? If you don't get to these volume discount levels , your competition is going to eat you alive !

So as I see it you have very little choice - but a huge opportunity. Go with one of the BIG,stable, [and complete] equipment producers and you'll not be sorry !
Or as they say "either run with the big dogs - or stay on the porch !!!

12-21-2002, 07:45 PM
Hey Brad, why don't we ever get to see a close=up of your flex-deck? I am curious how it's connected. I would think that once it flexes while in operation the belt would come off. I would like to see some close=ups please.


12-21-2002, 08:02 PM
Walker-Talker - I will try - Every engineer in the world that has come to see it has the same question--- "How in the heck to you keep the belt on when it flexes?" Actually, with moving the idler pulleys that are involved slightly I could mow at 90 degrees flexed, but that is overkill and would compromise other things. This may take a couple of pics - here is pic one in the mowing position. I will have to try to explain it on pic two if I can find it.http://36X

12-21-2002, 08:06 PM
Walker Talker - note the pivot point below and in front of the belt line - It is located exactly between the two tripods of pulleys, therefore when the flex-deck flexes, the belt just does a twist between the outfeed and infeed idlers. Pretty simple HUH :blob3:

12-22-2002, 09:31 PM
I cannot see how scag could be that popular, I live in a pretty populated area and they are just really nowere to be seen except in the dealerships showrooms. As far as toro/exmark there are a few exmarks but not hardly any toro machines. If I were to build a buisness I would want a brand or brands that I would have the exclusive on wether it be a ztr a walk or hand held machinery.