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Old 05-27-2014, 10:29 AM
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LawnMowerMan2003 LawnMowerMan2003 is offline
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Purchasing a larger mower(30-33")?

I decided to start a thread on this, even though I'm not quite ready to buy a larger mower; it wouldn't hurt to do a little research first. The next mower I buy should probably be no wider than 33" to fit through the gates.

I would love to buy a Toro walk-behind, but I don't think I'm going to have the money for one of those new for quite a while. So I have 3 options in my head now. If there are more I haven't thought about, please feel free to add them.

I would like some input on the pros and cons of some available choices:

1. Look for a used Toro walk-behind. This might be a bit risky, because I don't really know what to look for, and some problems might not be evident from initial inspection anyway. I would hate to buy a mower and find out it needs repairs that I can't afford! On the other hand, it might peform the best out of the available options.

2. Get a Toro TimeMaster. I didn't really know what this was until today, when somebody suggested it. It looks like a regular 21" mower to me, but obviously it's much wider, and I noticed it had 2 blades. I would be hesitant to buy a wider one with only 2 blade. I didn't see what the horsepower was yet.

3. Get a Cub Cadet 33 inch walk behind. I'm not sure if this mower is officially called a "walk-behind" but it looks like a consumer walk behind to me. I'm wondering what the advantages to this one over the TimeMaster are, if any. Obviously, it looks heavier duty, but I know it's not really commercial either, and more expensive than the TimeMaster.


As you might have guessed from option 3, the larger mower does not have to be a Toro, but I do like the way Toro cuts, and the T-Handle design for the commercial ones. I suppose the 4th option would be a different brand of commercial walk behind. I haven't priced any of the commercial ones lately.
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Last edited by LawnMowerMan2003; 05-27-2014 at 10:35 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2014, 10:44 AM
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LawnMowerMan2003 LawnMowerMan2003 is offline
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When I looked up the Cub Cadet, it turns out the model number is 760 ES. And the MSRP is $1499, which makes me wonder if it would be worth an extra $500 over the TimeMaster.
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2014, 10:45 AM
PicturePerfectLawns PicturePerfectLawns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnMowerMan2003 View Post
I decided to start a thread on this, even though I'm not quite ready to buy a larger mower; it wouldn't hurt to do a little research first. The next mower I buy should probably be no wider than 33" to fit through the gates.

I would love to buy a Toro walk-behind, but I don't think I'm going to have the money for one of those new for quite a while. So I have 3 options in my head now. If there are more I haven't thought about, please feel free to add them.

I would like some input on the pros and cons of some available choices:

1. Look for a used Toro walk-behind. This might be a bit risky, because I don't really know what to look for, and some problems might not be evident from initial inspection anyway. I would hate to buy a mower and find out it needs repairs that I can't afford! On the other hand, it might peform the best out of the available options.

2. Get a Toro TimeMaster. I didn't really know what this was until today, when somebody suggested it. It looks like a regular 21" mower to me, but obviously it's much wider, and I noticed it had 2 blades. I would be hesitant to buy a wider one with only 2 blade. I didn't see what the horsepower was yet.

3. Get a Cub Cadet 33 inch walk behind. I'm not sure if this mower is officially called a "walk-behind" but it looks like a consumer walk behind to me. I'm wondering what the advantages to this one over the TimeMaster are, if any. Obviously, it looks heavier duty, but I know it's not really commercial either, and more expensive than the TimeMaster.


As you might have guessed from option 3, the larger mower does not have to be a Toro, but I do like the way Toro cuts, and the T-Handle design for the commercial ones. I suppose the 4th option would be a different brand of commercial walk behind. I haven't priced any of the commercial ones lately.


It will probably be the best decision you ever made. When I started I didn't want to buy a bigger mower, now I have a buying mower addiction. When you buy a 30" you'll wonder how you ever used a smaller 22 or 21. Then there comes a day you have to service the 30, put belts on, change the oil, etc. And you use the 22" for a day and it will be the most dreaded day of your life going back to the smaller mower. Then comes a day you'll get a walk behind and you'll wonder how you ever used the 30. In my opinion, If I we're going to buy another 30" I would buy another Turf Maste and wouldn't even give the Time Master a look. I know their cheaper, but I talked my dealer down and only paid $698. more then the Time Master for much more machine. The Turf Master is really built like a tank. Not saying anything bad about the Time Master, but if you buy one and ever come to later regret not buying the commercial version, it's pretty much too late. I'm neither a fan of the transmissions on the Time Masters. I'm a firm believer in buying the right machine for the right job. If your going to use it for commercial use, buy a commercial mower and you won't regret your mistake because it won't be a few days before you start putting money back in your pocket. Now if you look into the walk behinds, I bought one of those after my 30 and couldn't be any happier. I have a sulky on that thing and it literally seems like I haul through the lawns. I see your in San Antonio, if you want to look into a used walk behind let me know. I have a buddy in Buda right down the road from you, that has an older Gravely Pro 32" walk behind for $500.00. He works on them and got it from a landscaper, the landscaper never paid him the money for all the new parts he put on there when restoring it. I took it for a test drive just the other night and it runs just like my 34" minus the fact it doesn't have the sulky. Either way, go big and you WON'T regret it. For your info, we have the privacy fences around us on everything in Austin and my 34" fits with ease through the smallest of them.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:49 AM
PicturePerfectLawns PicturePerfectLawns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnMowerMan2003 View Post
When I looked up the Cub Cadet, it turns out the model number is 760 ES. And the MSRP is $1499, which makes me wonder if it would be worth an extra $500 over the TimeMaster.

$1400.00 for a Cub Cadet? I would say no go. If you we're going to spend that kind of money, I would spend and extra $298. and get the Turf Master commercial with the Kawi engine all day. And for $1400.00 you can surely find a good Scag or Gravely walk behind that's built like a tank for that price. I paid $1500.00 for my Gravely 34" with the Kawi engine and a sulky both, with 200 hours on the machine when I bought it.
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  #5  
Old 05-27-2014, 10:51 AM
PicturePerfectLawns PicturePerfectLawns is offline
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I picked up the Turf Master from here. Here's one they have used and would be able to pull a sulky all day, same engine as mine. I bought my Gravely from down in San Antonio off craigslist where your at.

http://www.landscapesupplywaco.com/demo_used/?id=8
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  #6  
Old 05-27-2014, 11:03 AM
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LawnMowerMan2003 LawnMowerMan2003 is offline
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The risk factor for used equipment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PicturePerfectLawns View Post
It will probably be the best decision you ever made. When I started I didn't want to buy a bigger mower, now I have a buying mower addiction. When you buy a 30" you'll wonder how you ever used a smaller 22 or 21. Then there comes a day you have to service the 30, put belts on, change the oil, etc. And you use the 22" for a day and it will be the most dreaded day of your life going back to the smaller mower. Then comes a day you'll get a walk behind and you'll wonder how you ever used the 30. In my opinion, If I we're going to buy another 30" I would buy another Turf Maste and wouldn't even give the Time Master a look. I know their cheaper, but I talked my dealer down and only paid $698. more then the Time Master for much more machine. The Turf Master is really built like a tank. Not saying anything bad about the Time Master, but if you buy one and ever come to later regret not buying the commercial version, it's pretty much too late. I'm neither a fan of the transmissions on the Time Masters. I'm a firm believer in buying the right machine for the right job. If your going to use it for commercial use, buy a commercial mower and you won't regret your mistake because it won't be a few days before you start putting money back in your pocket. Now if you look into the walk behinds, I bought one of those after my 30 and couldn't be any happier. I have a sulky on that thing and it literally seems like I haul through the lawns. I see your in San Antonio, if you want to look into a used walk behind let me know. I have a buddy in Buda right down the road from you, that has an older Gravely Pro 32" walk behind for $500.00. He works on them and got it from a landscaper, the landscaper never paid him the money for all the new parts he put on there when restoring it. I took it for a test drive just the other night and it runs just like my 34" minus the fact it doesn't have the sulky. Either way, go big and you WON'T regret it. For your info, we have the privacy fences around us on everything in Austin and my 34" fits with ease through the smallest of them.
I've bought used equipment before, but I haven't spent more than $200 on anything used yet. When it comes to a 21" I would much rather have an older 21" commercial than brand new non-commercial, although I have to say, I've made some non-commercial ones work, such as Honda and Snapper, and I think I can definitely get one season out of them, at least.

So maybe the best strategy is to go for a used walk-behind, but I'm a bit concerned about having to do expensive repairs (especially if I used up most of my budget to purchase the mower). Of course, at a $500 price, it's probably worth the risk. I guess I'm taking a risk too, on a $1000 machine that's not commercial. Maybe I should look for $500-$700 used walk-behinds. I would definitely consider that Gravely, but I don't even have an extra $500 yet.
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  #7  
Old 05-27-2014, 11:15 AM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
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Belt drives are a better buy in that range
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  #8  
Old 05-27-2014, 11:19 AM
PicturePerfectLawns PicturePerfectLawns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnMowerMan2003 View Post
I've bought used equipment before, but I haven't spent more than $200 on anything used yet. When it comes to a 21" I would much rather have an older 21" commercial than brand new non-commercial, although I have to say, I've made some non-commercial ones work, such as Honda and Snapper, and I think I can definitely get one season out of them, at least.

So maybe the best strategy is to go for a used walk-behind, but I'm a bit concerned about having to do expensive repairs (especially if I used up most of my budget to purchase the mower). Of course, at a $500 price, it's probably worth the risk. I guess I'm taking a risk too, on a $1000 machine that's not commercial. Maybe I should look for $500-$700 used walk-behinds. I would definitely consider that Gravely, but I don't even have an extra $500 yet.


To tell you the truth, being that I was in your position not long ago. I can't tell you what to do, but I can give you my stand point. I went from a 22" to a 30" to now a 34" Walk Behind. If I we're to do it over, I would have started big rather then having to out grow machines in a few months, to only find myself wanting something bigger. Remember whatever you have saved, you don't have to spend it. You can always save it a little bit longer and get something much nicer. Most of the walk behinds out there are built like tanks from what I've found out. Repairs on them aren't terribly expensive at all. I mean heck, the whole transmission for some of the walk behinds are around $200.00. You mentioned the $1400.00 cub cadet, if you were planning on spending that kind of cash I GUARANTEE you that you can find a nice heavy duty walk behind in good condition. If you want something with no problems, for that price you can find something with low hours. If you wanted to spend less scour Craigslist, but as you mentioned I'd be weary of who you deal with. The Gravely 32" I'm speaking of, it's hard to find a quality walk behind that's in good running shape for that price. The one I'm speaking of is a little older then mine, but is running in tip top as I took it for a spin personally. He's a mechanic, it had been sitting out for a while and a landscaper brought it in for repairs. The landscaper never paid him for all the parts he ordered so he got stuck with the machine and is just trying to get the money back from time and parts he put into it. Don't be in a rush either and look around and figure out what you want. He's not selling it anytime soon I don't think. He hasn't even advertised it for sell. Last time I was out there it was just sitting in the back stored. Some people on LS here are buying the Time Masters. They may run for a year, maybe two years, maybe not a year. But If I was dropping 1k on a mower, I want something that's going to run for more than a season, that's just my opinion.
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(I took the Praying For Rain out of my signature, due to my hypothesis that it has been a jinx on Central Texas.) Now here comes the rain.
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  #9  
Old 05-27-2014, 11:21 AM
PicturePerfectLawns PicturePerfectLawns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiffyspark View Post
Belt drives are a better buy in that range
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Agreed. You can find a good deal on belt drivens all day used. Not that everyone doesn't want a hydro, but you can find good deals on belt drives all day that will give you lots of good use. Especially for starting out with a bigger piece of equipment.
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(I took the Praying For Rain out of my signature, due to my hypothesis that it has been a jinx on Central Texas.) Now here comes the rain.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:24 AM
PicturePerfectLawns PicturePerfectLawns is offline
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In that price range another good used belt driven walk behind to look into would be an older Lesco unit. Here's a unit down the road in Houston that has the Kohler Pro Command 15 HP. http://houston.craigslist.org/for/4488200095.html
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