Better mowers... Any large business use them?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Shady Brook, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    I am sorry to bring up another Better/Quick mower post, but in reading through many posts I find something in common with most of the owners, and that is that the Better mower they own is either their biggest and only mower, or close to it.

    I am very intrigued by the mowers with the rave reviews and all, but have seen rave reviews about other products only to realize that those happy with them were in a certain region, or it was their first machine and had little experience to compare that item with any others.

    I would like to hear from guys with larger business who own Better mowers. My main crew will take out a 36" and 32" walkbehind for gates, and two 60" riders with a tripple bagger. I consider this a well armed mowing crew. Would anyone feel better armed with a Quick 36" then with a 36" Wright stander?

    I could be wrong, but the Better mowers sound great for small compact lawns, or as gate mowers because of their size, and low impact in wet or tender grass conditions.

    Am I missing something? Would my business quality improve by having a Better mower added to the mix?

    Does anyone really mulch with a blockoff plate in heavy Northern grass growth with good results. I would love it if it were true, but this is the kind of thing that makes me nervous...seeing guys say they can mow huge growth with a mulch plate on a Quick 36". If it is true...great, it is just hard to believe.

    So, not to have this be the same as 9000 other Better threads, please give specific input.


    BUCKEYE MOWING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,169

    I think a 36 or a 44 is at least worth trying...the cost alone is reason enough to give it a shot. It's cut quality is second to none . I have used it in residential and commercial applications and have never been disappointed.It's more than capable of handling wet northern grass. It can mulch just about anything very well . Just like any other mower, if the turf is to high and wet will get green goo . I am sure you would double cut any area that was long and wet anyway or bag it to begin with. So IMHO you can not go wrong with a BOP product.
  3. jameson

    jameson LawnSite Fanatic
    from PNW
    Posts: 7,080

    For my company, we started with 44" Toros (sfs decks) and 21" Hondas. However, I desperately needed a mower with a deck larger than a 21" that could access lawns in hard to reach spaces; I have a number of lawns that can only be accessed by stairs.

    The Q36's small footprint and lightweight fit the bill.

    At some point, you're almost comparing apples to oranges. Take a typical 36" walk:

    • Weight: 450-500 lbs
    • Length: 78.0"
    • Number of blades: 2

    Compare to the Q36:

    • Weight: 308-311 lbs
    • Length: 59.0"
    • Number blades: 3

    Now, I can directly compare the Q44 to my old Toro walks; the Q44 leaves a better cut, hands down. It's shorter front to back by a mile and certainly lighter. This combo for me is unbeatable.

    I would that BOP come up with better controls and a dual hydro system based on ZT2800 transaxle technology or some comparable system, then IMHO, they'd have a world-beater.

    If your idea of a larger business is one that is in possession of a mower with a deck size greater than 44 inches (or is other criteria being considered?), then you'll have to ignore my comments.

    Though a 36" Wright stander is a fine machine, it would not have been the practical choice for my immediate needs.

    The 36" Wright Stander weighs in at 630 lbs; that is well over 300 lbs more than the Q36.

    I think you're exactly right.

    My definition of mulching excludes "heavy" and "huge growth".

    With that said, I never had success "mulching" "heavy" or "huge growth" with the Q36. I did attempt to mow a couple of typical "huge growth" lawns with the Q44--with only the block-off plate--and it performed OK. Well. . . frankly it performed as good as my TriVantage deck when fully baffled w/dedicated mulching blades--you do have to collect the mush and clean the deck afterward, but surely a 5 gal. bucket of green mush is better than 4 tarps of heavy clippings. . . right?

    BUCKEYE MOWING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,169

    Very well said Jameson !
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,207

    Shady Grove I suspect you already know the right answer here...even the Wright Stander 36" needs some constant service and that is a pretty darn heavy built unit.....and our Scag 36" hydro is in the eight year and still mowing along. When you are in mass production mowing, stuff happens and these heavy duty mowers take the punishment. I was driving my Scag Tiger along on the side walk and clipped a fire hydrant at a pretty good speed...didn't hurt anything. I have run these light weight machines when I was running part time and when the stars all line up they last but not long. The first thing we broke on lightweight was the handles.....still exactly the same handles 10 years later. Our dealer has at least 8 different light weight quick but does have Ferris and they are selling to homeowners who are beginning to do lawns again.
  6. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    Outstanding posts fellas!


    How would you compare the cut quality of the 36 Better mower to the cut you get with your ultracut?

    I am very happy with the ultracut on my Turf Tracer. It is superior to the cut on either of my Super Z's, but both could be better in wet conditions.

    I think I could justify the 36 if I new it would leave a clean cut without pressing down the grass when damp, or when in heavy growth. It seems as if most people are happy with the cut in any condition. I think the light weight is a key, but the tunnel deck must really get some good vaccum on the grass.


    I did want to hear from guys with bigger setups for a variety of reasons. Experience with a variety of machines carries some weight when evaluateing performance, maintenence, and the ability of the machine to standup to heavy use, and occasional abuse. That said, your comments were outstanding, and much appreciated!


    This has been my school of thought. I don't mow much anymore, I focus more on Landscapeing and Lawn apps while I have a crew do most of the mowing. The machines are being worked, and pounded day in day out. My Scag 32 will likely never die, and the Stander has been utterly reliable with one quirk that was Kaw related. I am not overly impressed by either unit's cut, and have pretty much concluded that nothing will really impress me cut wise in a mower of this size. If conditions are perfect, they do great, but other then that, they are ok. The Stander is blazing fast, and time is money. I have a hard time believing my guys would choose the Quick over the Stander for a variety of reasons. I might if the quality difference is noticeable, but I might have to pull the stander off the trailer for them to choose the Quick. I don't want to this, yet I really want to try one of these mowers.

    So, that is my problem, and in a round about way it gets back to the big mowing crew that is setup for speed. If I were mowing with my crew I would get a Quick 36", and hope for the best in the reliability department. I am still gun shy as I don't know if the guys would use it much.

    I know guys claim service from Better is great, and you can get work done locally. I am sure Gary will take good care of you...however if I go to my local dealer and bring him a Quick 36, they are going to look at it like the Naitive in the movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy". I am sure he would work on it, but not only is it not going to be a priority, it is flat out gonna sit for a while til the other commercial guys are taken care of who bought their units from him. That is just a fact.

    Again, the comments are great, and I would love to hear more of them.
  7. dubblet125

    dubblet125 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    I think the main reason you dont see big companies using BOP mowers is dealer loyalty. It can be a great mower but eventually your gonna have problems and your not gonna be your dealers priority. My dealer bends over backwards for me but i can tell you right now if i brought a quick 36 into him for repair not only will he not be very happy but hes gonna take his sweet ass time getting back and hes definately not gonna give me a mower to use while its down either.
  8. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 43,014

    Shady, there are some excellent pictures and information on this thread

    Unless you have a crew of Samsonite gorillas, and don't do any regular maintenance, you shouldn't have any problems with the Quick 36. And if you do, they are very simple machines that are easy to service and maintain.

    I guess because they are so compact and light a lot of people don't consider the Quicks to be comparable to other "commercial" mowers, but they are very well built and powerfull, especially if you go with the Samurai/Kawi model.

    Good luck


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