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  #1  
Old 10-27-2013, 06:03 PM
LawnNinjas LawnNinjas is offline
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Location: Pembroke Pines, FL
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What to look for when buying a mower?

Hello everyone! This is my first post and I am fresh to this business. I have been doing all the back work for my business. I have a name, logo, Web site, business cards, third line on my family plan just for the business, and everything but accounts and equipment. I will not be taking out a loan. I have money saved up to buy the equipment and possible trailer. Not a lot, close to 2,500 dollars.

So here are my questions:
1. When buying a used walk behind mower, what am I looking for to make sure that it's a good deal?
2. What kind of brands should I look for when buying equipment? Especially since I am starting off and have a certain amount of money. And won't have a lot of accounts starting off.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:29 PM
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123hotdog 123hotdog is offline
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Many will tell you that $2500 is not enough and the same many have probably started with allot less. I know I did. I would look at the dealer where I would be getting my parts and repairs from. Until you have two working mowers, you are going to be at the mercy of the dealer for repair times. After buying a used mower, I would go to pat's small engines online (their prices are unbeatable) and purchase spare belts and one spare spindle. I would buy a 48" walk behind mower and push mower for a backup and keep my lawns small till I grew a little. A 5x8 trailer should do in the beginning. Get you a about three cans of dollar store black paint and paint that trailer every season. I been doin it for years. I started with much less than that. For years I grew the business faster than the equipment would support comfortably. It was a struggle but the payoffs were big in the end.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:02 PM
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ed2hess ed2hess is offline
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Well since you are in Flordia I assume you will be cutting small yards so get a 21" mower. Unless you are a good mechanic I would get a new Honda around $500.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:10 PM
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A. W. Landscapers, Inc. A. W. Landscapers, Inc. is offline
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It's probably going to take a lot of luck to find all the necessary equipment used and still in good condition and a trailer with only a $2,500 budget.

You might be able to find a 36" walk behind that's still in decent shape for somewhere around $1,000 to $1,500. I'd suggest buying the trimmer, edger and blower new.

You might want to consider taking advantage of the 0% financing being offered by most of the big name companies on their new mowers…this is a good time of year to get a good price on a new mower.

As far as what to look for when buying used, make sure it easily starts when the engine is cold, has clean oil, no leaks, clean air filter, make sure everything is lubed well…what is the condition of the belts and tires? Do all the gears work? Do the controls work? What is the overall condition…has it been used and abused or has it been well taken care of? What type of engine does it have and how many hours are on it? What do the blades look like…do they look sharp or do they look like they haven't been sharpened ever? Dull blades means the engine, belts, etc. have all been working harder to push the dull blade edge through the grass to tear the grass instead of cut it like a sharp blade does. It is also a possible indicator that regular maintenance might have been ignored. Do the blades turn and stop when you activate/deactivate the control? Check all the hoses…are they in good condition or do they look cracked and brittle? Check the spark plug…does it look new, slightly used or old and rusty? Check the inline fuel filter…is there one?…is it clean or is completely clogged? Does the exhaust smoke?

I'm probably forgetting something so I'll let others chime in.
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Hustler X-One 60"
Wright Stander RH 36"
eXmark 21" ECXKA21 Mower
Stihl FC110 Edger
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Equipment & Work thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=415830
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  #5  
Old 10-27-2013, 08:32 PM
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123hotdog 123hotdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed2hess View Post
Well since you are in Flordia I assume you will be cutting small yards so get a 21" mower. Unless you are a good mechanic I would get a new Honda around $500.
I couldn't agree more. Once I started buying new it changed my life forever.
__________________
Licensed and Insured
Operating since 2007
1993 Isuzu NPR dove tail open bed 4cyl diesel
1978 F-350 Dump Truck
1988 Z-71 Chevy 4x4 Meyers Plow
2005 Chevy HD 2500 6.0
2013 61" Bad Boy Outlaw XP 36 Vanguard
2013 54" Bad Boy Outlaw Stander Kawasaki
2014 48" Wright Walk Behind
1995 36" Scag Walk Behind
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2013, 11:48 PM
Jaybrown Jaybrown is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Toronto Ontario
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What to look for when buying a mower?

Timemaster 30 or a turf master Toros. Nobody uses 21s here anymore. They are a waste of time plus the 30 has a twin blade that leaves an awesome cut
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2013, 09:19 AM
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Triton2286 Triton2286 is offline
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Location: Long Island, NY
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If you must go with a used mower here's two thing to do.

Check to see if the engine is warm when you show up, they ran it to make sure it started on the first or second pull.

Bring a compression tester as well and check that.
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