21" mower high dollar or low dollar???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by helodude, Oct 25, 2000.

  1. helodude

    helodude LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    I've been pondering this for several years approx. 10 to be exact. In the late 80's for a commercial 21", you paid around 650.00 to 900.00 per mower. You generally got a 5HP, self-propelled, rear bag. Back in those days I bought Snapper, Toro 2-cycle, the old Jac 2-cycle, Bobcat. No matter what I purchased I got 2 seasons before major work. For several years now, I've purchased the harry-homeowner machine, it's now got a 5HP, self-propelled and rear bagger. I've noticed it lasts about the same but I only pay for 250.00 for it. Depending on how it looks at the end of the season, I've sold them off at the yard sale. What I want to know was anyone else done this? Or thought about this? Or does this make me look like a fly-by night operation, because I've changed my colors?
  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937


    It goes back to the old addage that you make too good of a machine, it will not need replacement. You cheapen different parts and at least you sell the owner parts. You really cheapen them up, and you get repeat sales in a shorter time frame. Yeah, I'll pay $1200.00 for a trim mower if it is the last one that I'll have to buy (and be maintenance free!). My neighbor was in the biz and used to buy $99.00 K-Mart specials, and throw them out every year or two.

    I personally have used LawnBoy's for 18 years (original still mowing for my Dad) and have had no problems. The cut could be a lot better, but they just run and run. Side discharge push. Never needed a bagger or self propelled.
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    I'm running the same 2 Snapper 19" 2 cycles that I bought back in 1984. A lady at the dealer told these mowers would never last for commercial work. I knew better, because the service I worked for previously used them. His used to run everyday for 9-10 hrs. a day. At the time I bought them, they were about the lightest trim mower you could buy. I also liked the high, solid mount handle. I paid about 300 bucks apiece at that time.
  4. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    It depends. As of right now I have no use for a 21". If the 36" won't cut it a trimmer will. If I did find the need to buy a 21" and I needed it over an hour or so a week I would probably buy a good one.

    We had two cycle Toros that were top notch and a few that were not. I would really have to evaluate all of them before making a decision.
  5. Vandora Lawn & Landscape

    Vandora Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    I'm a fan of the John Deere 21" Mowers. Beautiful Cut.
  6. The best 21" mower is 32" wide.
  7. johnnyjay

    johnnyjay LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    I started my business the end of May this year. I bought a 36" Exmark WB and a 21" Toro push with no bagger. (Approx $400). I have used the Toro less than 2 hours all summer. What the 36" won't cut the Weedeater will. It takes more time to unload the 21" and reload it on the trailer.
  8. tpirobert

    tpirobert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    I too have pondered the trim mower question. Having used commercial Toro and Snapper units...I now use a $400 Yardman mow/bag/side discharge unit. The best thing about a 21" mower is never using it! I have 2 yards that need the 21" and their good accounts...otherwise I'd drop them. Kind of like digging a ditch with a shovel while the backhoe sits on the trailer. After 10 plus years experience I buy "top line" home owner models, but if you need it on every yard get commercial. That's my two cents.
  9. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    I've been using a John Deere 14sb 21" mower as a trim mower. I only run it about 1 hour a week. It will probably last forever. I think the cost is between $700-$800, depending on the model. The commercial model is close to $1000.
  10. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams LawnSite Member
    from Pa,MD
    Posts: 15

    John deere all the way,i have 2 that are 9yrs old with kaw. motors 5.5hp. We mow large townhouse complexes where u have to use a 21 in. to mow the front of the houses, there is anywhere between 150-250 houses in each one.Oil changes do make a big difference.They get run appro. 20-30 hrs. wk
    Did have one problem had a crank bend,somehow a rock just jumped up and an employee hit it and didnt know it ,so i was told. replacement motor $ 400. i guess thats expected from todays work force.Other than that very good luck we have 4 of them to date .

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