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G_Burleson
12-29-2012, 02:24 PM
Hey everybody. I'm at the point where I need to invest in a big mower. Up to today I've been using two small push mowers for all my properties.

Many of my properties have hills, and most are smaller so I'm thinking that I would benefit most from a commercial walk-behind mower, around a 32".

I will need the mower for about three years, to get me through graduate school. At that point I'll start up a small software company, and keep mowing a few properties. I'll most likely sell the big mower and use a small one for the properties I keep. So I need it to go strong for those three years. I'll be busy, and don't want another headache of a broken mower.

I have $2,000 to $3,000 to spend on the mower.

I'll be mowing 40-60 properties on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, and the mowing season is long here in Waco, TX (March-December this year). I need this mower to be my work horse. Dependable, efficient, and with an exceptionally smoothe cut.

I don't know how to maintain these bigger mowers, so dealership support is important. I think Waco has good support for the main brands. SCAG has great dealership support here.

Do you guys have any suggestions on Brands of mower?
Is there anything else I need to factor in?
Should I go for a mower that I can get a three year warranty on to ensure that it lasts through the three years that I need it?

Any advice on these brands:
SCAG
TORO
ExMark
Bob-Cat
Lesco
Gravely

I'd really appreciate any advice. Thanks!

-Garrett

Spring Valley Lawn Service
12-29-2012, 05:02 PM
Toro has a 32 in walkbehind and 30 in walkbehind mower. Check ebay seen some deals there

lawn systems
12-29-2012, 05:45 PM
We run both scag and exmark love both brands .i have a 36 scag walk behind its great for small places

pseudosun
12-29-2012, 05:56 PM
Don't rule out fixing some things on your mower. It wasn't as hard as i thought; i surprised myself. Get a manual, and read it, and just get familiar with how everything operates. For 60 properties, i'd get a 32 with a sulky. When your legs start to give out, it will be nice to ride behind it. Looking for a slightly used 32" scag would be a good option. If you aren't even worried about your legs getting sore, try that 30" as suggested above. It's really a big difference over the 21, if you don't overlap too much. I know this isn't recommended here, but there was a period when i'd just get used residential riding mowers, and just use them up. You don't go into debt, and you can ride:)

CowboysLawnCareDelaware
12-29-2012, 06:34 PM
I hear a lot of guys rave about how great Scag's are in wet conditions and I know they stripe well. I started out with a 36" Exmark Metro fixed deck, I liked up but them I got a Toro 36" Proline with a floating super flow system deck. Under Ideal conditions I feel that their is no better mower on the market, in wet/thick conditions it doesn't disperse grass well for me with gator blades on it.

-Michael

Brucelawns
12-29-2012, 07:40 PM
Why not buy a stander? The velke or sulky attachment would be great if you buy a walk behind. I've never owned a walk behind. We only have standers and push mowers. I was scared when I bought my first stander
(36" wright stander). Thought the price was too high and didn't think we needed it (not enough big properties). It was the best decision I ever made in this business. No doubt! Get an attachment or a stander. You will not regret it. Toro walk behind or wright stander IMO. Speed and quality of cut is unmatched with a reak commercial mower. And not having to walk all the properties all day keeps you or employee(s) energized and happy.

Florida Gardener
12-29-2012, 08:45 PM
Why not buy a stander? The velke or sulky attachment would be great if you buy a walk behind. I've never owned a walk behind. We only have standers and push mowers. I was scared when I bought my first stander
(36" wright stander). Thought the price was too high and didn't think we needed it (not enough big properties). It was the best decision I ever made in this business. No doubt! Get an attachment or a stander. You will not regret it. Toro walk behind or wright stander IMO. Speed and quality of cut is unmatched with a reak commercial mower. And not having to walk all the properties all day keeps you or employee(s) energized and happy.

I was going to say the same thing. For 60 properties, stander or WB with sulky.
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CowboysLawnCareDelaware
12-29-2012, 11:34 PM
I didn't even read the 40-60 lawns part.

DO YOU ALREADY HAVE THE LAWNS? or do you think you can get those lawns?

Because anyone who is mowing more than 15 lawns is going to have upgraded to a mower larger than 21/22" so that they are making more money and saving themselves time.

-Michael

G_Burleson
12-30-2012, 03:44 PM
Good stuff so far guys.

I have been running two push mowers, with me and one worker, and taking care of around 20 properties. I am confident that I will get at least another 20 between now and April. I got the first 20 from June to August this year.

I'm thinking walk-behind over stander, because I have several properties with hills. I'm looking at all three that were mentioned, TORO, SCAG, and ExMark. Can standing mowers handle hills like a walk-behind?

Thanks for the advice on the Sulky. I never mind walking all day but I hadn't even considered the other guy. That would keep a worker much happier. Also, on the maintenance, I'll take that into consideration. I'll be busy but would probably save a ton doing my own maintenance.

So what I'm hearing is TORO, SCAG, and ExMark. Cut width from 30"-36". I believe with my price range of 2-3K I'll be getting a belt-drive, rather than a hydrostatic. If I do happen to find a hydro in that range, I'll go for it. A mower sold with a sulky is a huge bonus. Anything else I'm missing here?

Thanks

CowboysLawnCareDelaware
12-30-2012, 04:15 PM
I don't mean to sound ignorant but you've obviously not looked into standers. Your gonna spend $5000-$6000 on a 36" stander, you might be able to get a used stander for $3000 in good condition. Stay away from Toro Grandstand's that are 2009 models, it was there first year and had MANY issues.

Yes you should buy a brand new 36" walk behind. Belt drive is in your price range. I can mow 12 1/4 acre lawns a day with my 36" Toro walk behind which is belt driven. I do not use a sulky.

I bought out another company this season which has large 1/2-3/4 acre homes and several large 5-6 acre areas. I will be upgrading to a used JD 797 with a 72" deck as well as a 52" stander, I haven't chosen my stander that I want yet. I really like Scag but I would like to match my equipment so I would prefer a Toro or JD. It will come down to me re-demoing equipment this March.

-Michael

LandFakers
12-30-2012, 04:36 PM
Standers are not that bad on hills, especially wrights

redmax fan
12-31-2012, 01:39 AM
dont get a stander and put more stress on engine trans . and ive been doing this 13 years and entire time weve ran exmarks with kaws and LOVE them . to me a 32" exmark with 15 hp kaw is a masterpeice . but ive not ran other mowers so maybe theres better . but we swear by exmark / kawasaki engines / redmax hand helds

jiggz
01-02-2013, 01:59 PM
Bobcat all the way man you can get a 32 for right around 3 grand.. Parts are dirt cheep its a tride and true design..so easy a moron can work on them..with 40 lawns a week if you take care of the maint it will go at least 5 years with not a problem. Unless you get a lemon or a messed up machine off the gate..i love mine had alot threw my time mowing..dont listen to people when they talk about decks and manufactures.. Almost all decks that small are the same good luck
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CowboysLawnCareDelaware
01-02-2013, 04:41 PM
Demo machines from the most reliable dealer's in your area, which ever machine you like the best, BUY IT. Every shop has a Spring sale in one way or another, my local shop has a full day Expo that all LCO's are welcomed to.

-Michael

Lawn Care Etc.
02-06-2013, 04:05 PM
Do you use the mowers you have now to catch clippings with, or let it blow or mulch it?

Lawn Care Etc.
02-06-2013, 04:08 PM
To me it's not about the brand it"s the dealer. You can have the best brand in the world but if you don't have good dealer then it's worthless, In my opinion any really good brand with a great dealer is the only way to go.

LandscaperPro
02-06-2013, 04:18 PM
A great starter for the money. Ready to run straight off the truck (needs gas and oil). You can have it serviced under waranty at your local mechanic. This has a Kawi but if interested in one with a Honda, I can make a much better deal for around $2,300.00
Sulky is on website as well.
Give me a call for exact pricing. It may be worth the time.
http://www.landscaperpro.com/36hydromowerw16hpkawasakienginelp36h16ka.aspx

Blake
Landscaper Pro
1-800-222-4303 ext. 124

dig419
02-27-2013, 02:16 PM
with limited funds, take look at the toro turfmaster and the exmark 30" // looks like most of your lawns are small and this could be a life saver to the larger walk behinds.

LandFakers
02-27-2013, 03:23 PM
Exmark 36" turf tracer usually run forever, have pretty nice controls, and can be found used for less than 2k with limited hours

B-I-L
02-28-2013, 02:04 PM
If you can, save up another 2k and get a stander. I have purchased a bunch of used walk behinds with a lot of success, just make sure you don't skimp on the routine maintenance.