View Full Version : Follow up post: what would you do?

12-10-2004, 06:35 PM
I posted a few days ago needing an opinion on whether to sell my 42" ZTR and get a walk behind, or self-propelled mower.

All the yards Ill be doing are residential and most have very tight spots (its a retirement community). No yard will take me more than 15-20 minutes (mowing, edging, trimming and blowing) or less.

I came across this at my local dealer:
Possible new mower (http://www.encoreequipment.com/pages/pages03/classic03.html)

$1200 brand new.

Ive searched and read some posts on these types, but is this a 'go' in everyones opinion?

[edit]Yes I realize Id be better off getting a big name brand, hydro walk-behind, but just starting out, I cant afford to drop $2000+. Unless anyone knows of a good WB around $1300-$1500.


12-10-2004, 07:01 PM
Have you looked into the Bradley? They look to be a good mower, peerless transmission and Kohler engine. The place I can tell you to see one is E-bay. Do a search on Bradley and it will show all the deck options. The dealer is near me and I am thinking about one myself. Good luck

Travis Followell
12-10-2004, 07:56 PM
I would get a good 21" before I would get one of those. For yards that small a 21 would probibly work best for you.

12-10-2004, 09:35 PM
Yeah, but a 21" Push Mower = Pain in the @$$. Ive tried using it on some of the thicker sod before, and it about killed me.

My main reasoning was the self-propelled and decent size (barely) cut path.

[edit]hulan, yeah I did see the Bradley 32" but I think its like $1500 or so. I *MIGHT* be able to splurge $1500, but only if its worth it. Again, Im worried about manuvering the BEST I CAN.


12-11-2004, 12:07 AM
Anyone else?


One Clemson - R U Orange?

DFW Area Landscaper
12-11-2004, 12:20 AM
Just looking at it, I'd say that if you've got enough horse power to mow really thick, succulent out of control lawns (clean ups), the tires are too narrow. In other words, the more horse power, the more the engine weighs. If the engine weighs too much, I'd guess you'll get stuck in soggy soils with those narrow tires.

If the engine is no heavier than the engines on standard 21" mowers, I'd say this might not be too bad.

I'm also a little skeptical of the propulsion method. I once had a 21" Lawn Boy with a self propelled drive mechanism that was very similar when I was in high school. It was always breaking down. And it was labeled a commercial mower too.

DFW Area Landscaper

12-11-2004, 01:28 AM
Good point DFW, I never really thought about wet sod, etc. and the weight of the machine.

Do the mowers like that one (bicycle wheels) turn pretty easy? Basically Im asking if you can get yards done quickly.

PS:As for breaking down, Ill only be doing MAYBE 10 Yards per week. I work full time in lawn maintenence @ a retirement community, so I dont really have time for a ton of yards, and the fact Im in college taking 3 classes per semester doesnt leave me time. Im just tryin to make a few extra hundred dollars a month ya know?


Travis Followell
12-11-2004, 08:36 AM
You could try a 21" with caster wheels on the front. They are kindah like a zero turn self propelled mower. Those caster wheels should help out a lot with manuverability and probibly wouldn't be too hard on you. Just a thought.

12-11-2004, 12:20 PM
Here is a pic of 1 of the yards in the community Ill be mowing in, most are about this size, but some are actually smaller w/tighter spots:


Bradley 32" Good Here, 27" Encore, or just get what Travis said, a 21" w/casters?

peace and thanx

Mark McC
12-11-2004, 12:32 PM
Hey Clemson,

I like the idea of the width of the mower. I think you have the right idea there.

The misgiving I have about this Encore item is the drive mechanism. It looks to me like a moderate amount of wear and tear on the machine might cause the drive gear to slip past the tires, leaving the operator with a rather large and heavy push mower.

I recommend you try to stick with a proven machine. The Encore Classic might be a good mower, but I'd hate to see you cough up $1200 to find out otherwise. If there is any way you can find another $300 in your budget to get a mower that has a proven track record, it'd be a good investment.

12-11-2004, 12:39 PM
Thanx for the good point on the drive mechanism, that would be one he!! of a heavy push mower. Given season wont start for another 1.5-2 months here, so maybe it wouldnt hurt to save some $$$.

Any recommendations? (yes I know theres been millions of threads, im just asking opinion BASED on the yard I showed).


12-11-2004, 05:08 PM
No recommendations on what type of mower for the yard pictured??


Mark McC
12-12-2004, 11:42 AM
In your situation, I'd be inclined to go with the Bradley or the Quick 36. The Quick is closer to two grand, but it has hydro drives. You can Get a Bradley 32" with belt drives for around $1,800, but belt drives are more work to operate.

Quick mowers: http://www.betteroutdoorproducts.com/

Bradley: http://mowersulky.com/Bradley_Mowers.htm

12-12-2004, 12:57 PM
Moneys an object right???? Buy yourself a quality 21" mower and work this next season with it. Then next year purchase yourself a 32-48" hydro walk behinde. It is that simple. at max you are spending 1000 on a quality 21. Heck you can even go for a honda or toro upper line mower for say 500 for the amount of lawns you are planning on doing.

12-12-2004, 01:45 PM
You're in college, you're only doing ten a week right? Are you going to pick up more in the future or just to get through school? Can't see dropping a grand into a 21 for only ten. Time is a valuable commodity to a college student so wider deck would be nice but how long will it take to pay for itself? Throwing a grand out there to only make a couple of hundred a month just doesn't really seem cost effective. Wouldn't it be easier to keep the grand in the bank and work part-time somewhere for that kind of money? One car repair can easilly cost you that grand today. Just a thought. The 21 may be a pain but is it really worth moving up? Will you take on more work to help payoff mower instead of free up time or what exactly is the goal?