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  #1  
Old 07-20-2013, 07:16 AM
Shenandoah75 Shenandoah75 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 11
Starting out... Which 21" commercial?

Fyi: i've been browsing this site for the last week and read every post i could find on this site on the subject and im still torn.

I'm looking to start a side business (I'm a software developer by trade who needs to get away from the desk) and looking for a good mower that will last. I myself have a 3/4 acre lot I mow twice a week and my toro high wheel from the big box store runs great, mulches great, but has two fatal flaws:

1) bushings on the wheels (after 5 years they're shot with too much play)
2) I'm on my second handle/main cable due to rust. ( I live in Florida and a sweat a lot)



So here are my requirements/desires:

1) ball bearing wheels
2) I'd prefer no self propel but i think I'm restricted to he Honda here? I detached it on my toro and don't mind the extra effort. I know the commercial units would be heavier but it's a side job and I need the exercise.
3) Honda Gxv or the Kawi commercial
4) based on prior posts, I'd be willing to go aluminum or steel deck w/line-x
5) I want a handle that will hold up. I sprayed my second Toro with truck liner coating from autozone before I installed and its still rusting at the lever points.

And I've narrowed down to:
Honda HRC216PDA (wins the self propel)
ybravo (wins with the aluminum handle)
Exmark 21
Toro HD

I was thinking maybe I could go with the Honda and have a metal shop fab the handle ? On the other hand, the other three units all offer the Kawi.

My questions to you all:
1) what do you guys do about sweat and the handle rusting ?
2) from the websites it looks like none of the other mfgs make a strictly push mower. still waiting on my dealer to get back, can anyone confirm?
3) any other input?

Thx in advance
Brad
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2013, 09:06 AM
MrGlockJock25 MrGlockJock25 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 51
Check out the Hondas for sure. I got an HRX217VKA which is the highest homeowner model but runs great and cuts amazing. You'll save yourself $500 by getting one of these. I have had mine for three weeks but i know a guy who has had his for 3 years and still runs great so they are reliable
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  #3  
Old 07-20-2013, 09:27 AM
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exmarkking exmarkking is offline
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Location: North Georgia
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Exmark makes one that has the kawi and isn't self propelled. I have the self propelled model and couldn't be happier
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:55 AM
CurbAppealKS CurbAppealKS is offline
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Location: Wellington, KS
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This may not interest you, but what about the 30" mowers from exmark/toro. I don't push mow anything in my business, but if I had enough lawns to justify it I would look at the 30". Of course they bring extra cost, but it might be a good trade off with the extra productivity.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:28 AM
Shenandoah75 Shenandoah75 is offline
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Location: Central Florida
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Thx so far guys...

Curbappeal, I was looking at the Exmark 30 yday... It's a possibility, but doesn't look like it comes in push-only (given the weight, not surprising). And with dual blades, I'd have belt and spindle maintenance on top of the self-propel. I'd be more inclined if I wasn't just looking at picking up a couple of yards in the morning / evening. I was figuring i might squeeze in one more job with the increased width which would justify the cost (but if I need to be at the computer by 9:00 am for the normal day job, it would be tight unless all the houses were in very close proximity)
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:48 AM
CurbAppealKS CurbAppealKS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenandoah75 View Post
Thx so far guys...

Curbappeal, I was looking at the Exmark 30 yday... It's a possibility, but doesn't look like it comes in push-only (given the weight, not surprising). And with dual blades, I'd have belt and spindle maintenance on top of the self-propel. I'd be more inclined if I wasn't just looking at picking up a couple of yards in the morning / evening. I was figuring i might squeeze in one more job with the increased width which would justify the cost (but if I need to be at the computer by 9:00 am for the normal day job, it would be tight unless all the houses were in very close proximity)
That makes sense bud and I don't blame you. I saw a thread on here a few days ago that had a very well built push mower without self propel. I'm talking steel wheels with good bearings. 7 guage deck IIRC. Just very well built. Let me see if I can find it.

Here is the link, it says they don't make it any more, but maybe you can find a leftover or lightly used.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=408588

Last edited by CurbAppealKS; 07-20-2013 at 10:52 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-20-2013, 12:12 PM
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Keith Keith is offline
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What kind of grass are you going to be cutting? Do you have experience cutting any thick St. Augustine? Not wanting a self-propelled mower has me baffled. If you are hell bent on pushing, buy the lightest thing you can find. If you want a real commercial mower buy a self-propelled model and hang up the idea of pushing.

Toro 22197 is hard to beat in Florida. It's a true commercial machine with the Kawi FJ180V Kai engine. They also make it as a pusher, but I can't imagine pushing these things for no good reason. They also make them with the Honda GXV160 engine. Great engine, but it has a noticeable deficit in the power department compared to the Kawasaki.
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  #8  
Old 07-20-2013, 12:14 PM
MrGlockJock25 MrGlockJock25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
What kind of grass are you going to be cutting? Do you have experience cutting any thick St. Augustine? Not wanting a self-propelled mower has me baffled. If you are hell bent on pushing, but the lightest thing you can find. If you want a real commercial mower buy a self-propelled model and hang up the idea of pushing.

Toro 22197 is hard to beat in Florida. It's a true commercial machine with the Kawi FJ180V Kai engine. They also make it as a pusher, but I can't imagine pushing these things for no good reason. They also make them with the Honda GXV160 engine. Great engine, but it has a noticeable deficit in the power department compared to the Kawasaki.
I use my Honda and I find it to be awesome in my central florida st. augustine yards too. I would also say skip the push and get self propelled. Its much more efficient
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  #9  
Old 07-20-2013, 12:53 PM
Shenandoah75 Shenandoah75 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Central Florida
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Mine is plush St. Augustine (and hopefully most of the additional lawns I'd pick up). I push mow the front/side in about 60 minutes (equivalent of a typical 1/2 acre lot I would estimate). I have struggled through thick stuff only when I let the back yard go too long.

If this was going to be 30-40 hours a week in the heat of day, I would admit its a stupid idea. But I'm looking at early morning / dusk and effectively replacing my cario time at the gym... From 20000 feet, Self propel is ~$500 opportunity cost between the Toro/Honda and the 216pda. If I want a spare mower or get my son involved, that almost covers the cost of a second Honda.

That said, I'm not as strongly attached to push only as I was...



Since two of you are in Florida, any comments on the sweat and rusty handles?

Thx
Brad
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2013, 01:00 PM
MrGlockJock25 MrGlockJock25 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Central Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenandoah75 View Post
Mine is plush St. Augustine (and hopefully most of the additional lawns I'd pick up). I push mow the front/side in about 60 minutes (equivalent of a typical 1/2 acre lot I would estimate). I have struggled through thick stuff only when I let the back yard go too long.

If this was going to be 30-40 hours a week in the heat of day, I would admit its a stupid idea. But I'm looking at early morning / dusk and effectively replacing my cario time at the gym... From 20000 feet, Self propel is ~$500 opportunity cost between the Toro/Honda and the 216pda. If I want a spare mower or get my son involved, that almost covers the cost of a second Honda.

That said, I'm not as strongly attached to push only as I was...



Since two of you are in Florida, any comments on the sweat and rusty handles?

Thx
Brad
I've had no problems on my old toros or my new honda with rusty handles.
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