View Full Version : Need advice/opinions on used equipment

01-23-2013, 11:11 AM
I need to get myself a 36" walk behind. I do not have much money to spend and that is why I am looking into used equipment. Here's what I have found so far tell me what you think as I dont know much about either.

36" Dixon Commercial walk behind w/ 15HP Kohler and is going for $800 on craigslist (the guy said in spring he will sell it for 1200)

36" Commercial Exmark Viking w/ 12.5HP Kawasaki FB460v and is going for $1000 at a Pawn shop. Looks older has model # v36-12.5k-5 it has a manual and atleast part of a mulch kit (i didnt have much time to look it over too good plan to do that soon)

What do you think? I worry about craigslist and pawn shops but I cant afford to buy new. Thanks for any and all advice.

01-23-2013, 04:57 PM
Anyone? forgot to mention that the Exmark has a velke.

01-23-2013, 08:52 PM
Either would be decent imo. Make sure to check both over. Spindles, feel starter rope for compression, etc....also if you point out that the exmark is older and only has a partial mulch kit you may be able to talk them down especially if you have cash in hand.

Fyi them velkies go for around $200 on craigslist so if anything sell it if you dont want to use it.
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01-24-2013, 09:51 AM
Thanks smallstripes. If I go with the Exmark I get a week to return it so would be able to check it out really well and the velke is an added bonus so I may go that route. I will have to take a look at the Dixon before I decide. Sure wish they had hour meters so that I knew what kinda use they got.

01-24-2013, 10:02 AM
I will agree never understood why they don't put hour meters on them smaller walk behinds just use your judgement and check it over real good I think I would go with the exmark if its in decent shape being it comes with a velke and its a better known name and I'm sure parts will be easier to find
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01-24-2013, 02:01 PM
Price a new spindle so you can negotiate the selling price in your favor if needed.
To best check the spindles you'll want to pop-off the deck drive belt to remove tension at the pulley. Then check underneath by trying to move a blade tip up&down.

01-24-2013, 06:12 PM
Thanks Valk, I will definately do that. So if there is any play at all would that mean the spindle is junk? And one more question when I go check it out next I was going to ask how long it has been there. Is there an amt of time that you would say a machine/mower sits that would make you be more likely to walk away or would you just check any other things to give you more confidence that you are getting something that would operate properly?

01-24-2013, 06:42 PM
If the spindle is loose doesn't mean its junk it will just need new bearings but as long as you can put the blades in gear and not hear a roar you should be ok... as fas as it sitting its should be fine unless its had gas in it for awhile that would stop up the carb and it wouldn't run ... but I wouldn't buy it unless you can run it and operate it first
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01-24-2013, 07:21 PM
First off, like arl250 stated, a little play is OK...a lot of play is not.

With the drive belt off and after you've checked for play...simply spin the blade by hand and listen.

With the engine running and the blades engaged you'll hear a roar alright...but lots of metallic/grinding sounds are a bad sign. Hard to describe in words...you get my drift.

Again, like arl250 said, if it isn't running...you'll never know if the engine is sound or if the tranny/hydros operate correctly.
Good luck!

01-24-2013, 10:19 PM
I have had almost zero problems with my 42" Dixon. Good, reliable mower.

01-24-2013, 10:33 PM
Ask them to let you take the Exmark outside and play with it in the grass out back. If it runs and cuts well, I'd say that's a real nice little set up with the velke.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, the Viking is a fixed deck hydro. Pretty sweet.

01-28-2013, 01:04 PM
thanks again guys for all the advice. The grass out back is covered in a foot or so of snow so I won't be able to see how well it cuts but I will definately run it and see how it sounds with the blades engaged and listen for that roar. I am sure there is bad gas in there but if it hasnt sat too long hopefully isnt to gummed up. I won't be able to buy it for a little while as something came up financially (minivan repairs) that kinda threw me for one here so hopefully it is still there when I get the cash together.