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  #1  
Old 12-29-2012, 02:24 PM
G_Burleson G_Burleson is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Waco, TX
Posts: 9
Help Buying a Commercial Walk-Behind

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
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2012, 05:02 PM
Spring Valley Lawn Service's Avatar
Spring Valley Lawn Service Spring Valley Lawn Service is offline
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Location: Tuscumbia, al
Posts: 140
Help Buying a Commercial Walk-Behind

Toro has a 32 in walkbehind and 30 in walkbehind mower. Check ebay seen some deals there
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2012, 05:45 PM
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lawn systems lawn systems is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: cullman alabama
Posts: 10
We run both scag and exmark love both brands .i have a 36 scag walk behind its great for small places
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2012, 05:56 PM
pseudosun pseudosun is online now
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Posts: 1,068
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
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2012, 06:34 PM
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CowboysLawnCareDelaware CowboysLawnCareDelaware is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: DE
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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
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2006 GMC Sierra 2500hd crew cab
BOSS 8'2" Power V
Hustler X-one 60"
Toro Proline 36" wb w/t-bar controls
Toro 22"
Shindaiwa T254, Echo trimmers, chainsaws, pole hedge trimmer, pole saw, hedge trimmer
Shindaiwa 633 and Echo 760LN
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2012, 07:40 PM
Brucelawns Brucelawns is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Forest Park, ill
Posts: 44
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.
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  #7  
Old 12-29-2012, 08:45 PM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
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Location: Humid S. Fl. with sights set on San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucelawns View Post
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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  #8  
Old 12-29-2012, 11:34 PM
CowboysLawnCareDelaware's Avatar
CowboysLawnCareDelaware CowboysLawnCareDelaware is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: DE
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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
__________________
There is an Old Blue Chair for each and every one of us, we just have to find it.


2006 GMC Sierra 2500hd crew cab
BOSS 8'2" Power V
Hustler X-one 60"
Toro Proline 36" wb w/t-bar controls
Toro 22"
Shindaiwa T254, Echo trimmers, chainsaws, pole hedge trimmer, pole saw, hedge trimmer
Shindaiwa 633 and Echo 760LN
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2012, 03:44 PM
G_Burleson G_Burleson is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Waco, TX
Posts: 9
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
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2012, 04:15 PM
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CowboysLawnCareDelaware CowboysLawnCareDelaware is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: DE
Posts: 476
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
__________________
There is an Old Blue Chair for each and every one of us, we just have to find it.


2006 GMC Sierra 2500hd crew cab
BOSS 8'2" Power V
Hustler X-one 60"
Toro Proline 36" wb w/t-bar controls
Toro 22"
Shindaiwa T254, Echo trimmers, chainsaws, pole hedge trimmer, pole saw, hedge trimmer
Shindaiwa 633 and Echo 760LN
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