View Full Version : which mower to buy

10-01-2000, 12:51 AM
I have a small business (fulltime college student also) for which i handle an expanding account load of 35 weekly customers. I am debating on buying a 36 or a 48 encore next year, big upgrade on my 2, 33 inch troybilt mowers. What are my pros and cons, what would u guys do?


Turf Kutter
10-01-2000, 12:55 AM
That is a lot of lawns you should move to ztr or maybe 52 inch w/b a sulky.It really depends on the gates.If there are not any gates get maybe a 61inch DC.

10-01-2000, 01:34 AM
Look at the Great Dane "Scamper" model. Great mower, gets into tight spots, narrow body allows you to get right up to the edge of objects. I can mow faster with my 48" scamper than I can with my 52" Chariot due to the time I save not trimming as much.

My local dealer has 2 demos, both duel hydros that were demo units with full warranty, selling them for $3500.00 here in NC.


Five Star Lawn Care LLC
10-01-2000, 01:36 AM
Sorry to break it to ya KUTTER but Dixie doesnt make a 61"

Grasscape Inc
10-01-2000, 01:37 AM
Go with a 44" ZTR w/ 17 hp kawasaki. Your best overall et. Buy now while they are cheap.

10-01-2000, 02:03 AM
I have a 48" Encore w/b hydro with sulky. I will only be using it as a back up or for those very tall junk yards. The hydro unit is all that makes this unit productive. I can't seem to find anything to make the spindle bearings last longer than about 5 mths. NO, its not because I don't grease them. The safety switches break easily because of poor design from the factory. It does cut nicely on a well maintained lawn at decent speed, but the slow blade tip speed allows it to skip alot on tall grass or weeds. I personally would not by another encore. I have an Exmark 36" and a new Exmark Lazar HP and love them both. The cut quality and design are far superior to the encore.

The best way I can think of to describe the encore is a walkbehind bushhog.

mdb landscaping
10-01-2000, 12:59 PM
if i were you i would go with a 49 inch walk behind, preferably a scag. if any of your accounts have hills and such i would recommend the hydro over the belt drive. i have a belt drive at the moment and am going to purchase a turf tiger in the spring, but there are a few instances when a hydro would come in handy.

Turf Kutter
10-01-2000, 01:14 PM
60"60"60"60"60" woop`s I meant 60" DC.

10-01-2000, 01:15 PM
We all knew what you meant.


10-01-2000, 03:27 PM
48 inch is a good size 36 is not productive enough 60 inch will tend to scalp

10-01-2000, 06:59 PM
35 weekly or bi-weekly?

10-01-2000, 07:04 PM
Hey Chrisbolte...

Please don't take this the wrong way, but .. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!?! Number 1) 36" is perfect for the difficult to get into yards (basically the ones with the smaller gates) .. Number 2) 48" is a great width, but in our experience, you can't get into most peoples backyards with gates ... Number 3) 60" DOES NOT SCALP .. It's the person who's cutting with it .. I can cut very difficult areas with the Dixie Chopper that would normally be scalped with a walk behind (due to the fact that you can adjust height at your convenience) ..


10-02-2000, 12:02 AM
I use a 36" Toro on 12 accounts. I like the T bar. I think walk behinds are very practical. You can put a velke or sulky on them to ride.
They start in pricing for not much more than your troybilt. They start @ $2000 for a fixed deck. Some examples are Exmark, Black Rock, Encore and Toro.
I have'nt used anything over a 36", but if I did it would be a floating deck.
These mowers should be easier to control than your troybilt. I don't believe the troybilt has individual wheel brakes and clutches.
As far as size, I believe the size yard of the account would determine the size cut needed. My largest account is only about a half acre and I have many small accounts where a 36" was just the right size. Exmark uses this formula for production.
100% Efficiency: MPH x width of cut / 99 = Acre Per Hour
80% Efficiency: MPH x width of cut / 120 = Acre Per Hour
These fellow contractors are a wealth of practical knowledge. Thanks from a new member. Good Luck.

10-02-2000, 12:03 AM
get a 48. You don't need to spend all your profits on a rider. Get exmark If you can. I would also keep a 21" for the fenced in yard where the 48" won't fit.

10-02-2000, 12:42 AM
I used an Encore 36" to do 40+ yards/wk for 2 seasons. Unless you have a lot of gates, get a 48". If you can afford it, get both. What happens when your mower breaks? They ALL break down.

10-02-2000, 01:13 AM
darryl-I don't know if you can get a Black Rock for what you pay to get an Exmark or Toro. Exmarks and Toros are built quite a bit better. It's like the difference between Craftsman and John Deere, you get what you pay for. I can't get a 36" Exmark for less than $2500. It won't happen in the West. I called my dealer and he said $1999 for a 32" on sale!

10-02-2000, 01:29 AM
You guys need to call Exmark, they have been having a special all year on the 36" Metro for $1999. I bought one and love it. I believe it is an exmark promotion. Heck, it promoted me enough that I went and bought the Lazar HP last week. LOL.

lawrence stone
10-02-2000, 10:04 AM
I have a old Toro for sale in Eastern PA that can fit your needs.

End of season special only $1100 w/toro bagging kit and gator blades. Photos at:


Keep both the 33's for gate mowers. This way you can keep one of the troys going for you can steal parts from the other.

I also have a 48" recycler deck that can be purchased in place of the 44" deck.

10-02-2000, 08:44 PM
COME ON EVERYONE, Lets all pitch in and buy that mower from stone. He will be grateful and we can have a good ceremony to decomission this used but not used up machine.

lawrence stone
10-02-2000, 09:03 PM
Getmow I might just take that 44" and a 52" with a twin kohler and lease them to some local scrubs on a seasonal basis next spring.

How does $50/week (32 week season)for the 16hp/52 and $40 for the 11hp/44?

A security deposit of $400 is needed to cover any blown engines due to no oil in the crankcase.

10-02-2000, 09:48 PM
Stone, I'll take that offer as you must have read in a post from a long time ago about that no oil in the crankcase thing. This particular 44" Toro has been around the world(wide web) a couple of times and needs a good home.