building a walkbehind

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by stslawncare, Jun 19, 2001.

  1. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    ive been thinking, how terrible hard would it be to build a walkbehind? between myself and my friends we are rather knowledgable when it comes to mechanics and tools. i am thinking if we take all the best qualities of the walkbehinds out there and put it in one. like who has the best handlebar/steering? toro? how bout the best deck? johndeere maybe? the best engine? briggs? go and find a toro with a bad engine and take the steering from it, go and find a someone with a jd that put a new bigger deck on his and take the old one, go and find a used brigs engine? how hard would it be, has anyone ever done it? thinking if we do the labor might save a grand or two no? also was thinking about parts i already have. like i have a 44" deck for my craftsman tractor that i never use, has 3 blades and imagine how it would be if i put doubles on it. i also know people who have engines laying around, also the local flee market, usually they are good about letting u start them and test them to. I know plenty of people with welders and tools so that would not be a problem. then when all done give it a nice paint job and maybe even put the company name in bright print. just an idea, what do u all think?
     
  2. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    I think it would be a lot tougher than you think it is, and the end result would not justify the time and expense involved. It would take a tredemdous amount of time, money, and expertise to do someting like this.

    Eric
     
  3. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    well time is no concern at all lol, remember off for the summer here. as for as expertise, my grandfather is a farmer, my moms bf has had jeeps and done all his own work to them, seems pretty knowledgeable about engines and mechanics, also friends at firehouse would come in handy, some are mechanics. as far as money, would be cheaper then a new one know?
     
  4. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    No, doubt it. Buy 3 mowers, hand make or rig controls to link parts together, hours of work...

    If you plan on doing it anyway, go for it. Most people have projects they like to do, as from an economical aspect which I think you ask, no way. Who would buy it? This was asked a few months ago: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?threadid=11872&highlight=build+mower
     
  5. racerdave

    racerdave LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    Manufacturers have an advantage with something called economy of scale. They purchase parts and assemble them in large quantities. If you were to build your own, you would have 3 to 5 times the cost of a new one invested. Not to mention your labor...
    If you still want to build one, you will need to find a niche that the big boys have overlooked.
    david
     
  6. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    i do not plan to sell this mower at all, my plan is to spend less money and do more labor to make my own. i akready have the deck, i need the engine (12hp less then $500 used?) a 12 hp would be strong enough for a 44" deck no? hardest part i would imagine would be the handlebars and drivetrain.
     
  7. Grassman

    Grassman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    With the parts you suggested, your finished product probably would'nt be as good as the cheapest walkbehind on the market and would cost at least as much to make. But if you are determined, go for it! Then send us a pic. Russ
     
  8. scottb

    scottb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    I dont know that you will save any money but if you have the time and the want to build one I say go for it just make sure you take some pictures.
     
  9. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    plan for lots of problems with belts fitting and wiring. How are you going to make a craftsman deck work for a walkbehind? I have a 52in hydro walkbehind with a blown engine, and i literaly couldnt give it away. Its a kees, and i called a dealer to see if he wanted it for parts, well he called back about 5 days later and said ok. i never took it, but i think you would be better off to get one like that, im going to get an engine for it and use it for a backup or a 2nd crew. I had this in the paper for $400 and one or two calls.
     
  10. Ssouth

    Ssouth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 437

    STSLAWNCARE, Go for it. I love to build things that noboby thinks will work. (Normally woodworking) Sometimes they work like a charm and sometimes they don't. If you have the extra time, I think the experience will be worth it even if it doesn't work. If it does work, take pictures and show it off here at LS. Good luck.
     

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