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Commercial 21"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by S man, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. S man

    S man LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,562

    I have now a snapper 21" residential right now. I don't have many lawns right now with all that's happened(I'm in a fema trailer across the lake). So, I'm staying small until the truck, money, and more lawns come in to get a commercial walk behind or rider next year. This year I need a good commercial grade 21". I'm staying with small lawns. So what 21" should I get. I'm welcome to any suggestions. For some strange reason I was thinking toro or honda. The snapper pro doesn't seem any better than the res models except for steel wheels and a commercial engine. Also, what engine is long lasting and easy to work on the 6 hp Kawasaki ohv with pressure lube or the 5.5 honda gxv? I thought the honda was more durable. Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,953

    We got the Kaw because I was afraid of Honda running slow but don't have any technical information. The blade speed on our 6 year old commericial Honda is low and isn't good for mulching. It is a mean bagger.
     
  3. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    We have 4 toro comm. 21, they have been great! All have kawasaki engines.
     
  4. S man

    S man LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,562

    The only thing with toro is that I've used a proline with a 2 cycle engine and didn't like it. It could cut through thick grass the way my briggs quantum can.
     
  5. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    They don't make the Proline 21 with a 2-cycle anymore, they all come with 4 cycles. My 21" proline has been very good to me! When people ask I always recommend them. I also I have a friend who uses the commercial Hondas and swears by them, and he has been mowing for a LONG time. Good luck!
     
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,915

    I saw a Toro ProLine 21" commercial unit, with a 2 cycle Sizuki (5.5hp) sitting at a dealer late last week. I thought they were all gone. This one was new. I think the price was about $1,100.

    He also had a Kaw version sitting beside it, but I was surprised to see the 2 cycle still around. I know posts have been made here on LS saying nobody had them any longer, and those posts were made already last Summer (I think?).
     
  7. S man

    S man LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,562

    The epa got rid of them. Some dealers still might have some that are no longer in production. I saw a toro with a suzuki and some lawn-boy duraforces at my dealer and they told me they don't know if they will get any more in. I thought to myself, duh they don't make them anymore. Dealers can be funny.
     
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,915

    I realize they were no longer permitted to manufacture them after Jan 2004 -- at least the LB DuraForce. I bought one in April 2004, "... this is the very last of the line, only those made before Jan 2004 will be sold and only a few remain." I am not certain of the last date of manufacture of the Suzuki for the Toro ProLine mowers. Apparently, some dealers (wholesalers?) stuffed many of these mowers away, only to bring them out slowly and get big money for them because of scarcity. As far as I can determine, many more LB DuraForce mowers were available after the last date of manufacture than Toro with the Sisuki.

    I have both (LB with DuraForce, Toro ProLine with Sizuki), and wish the Sizuki was mounted on the LB mowing deck. I like the LB deck far better, but like the Sizuki far better than the DuraForce. Oh yes ... the Toro rear wheels have much more life than the LB drive wheels. The cables on the Toro far outlast the cables on the LB. Now, if we could just design the ideal hand mower .... picking and choosing, melding together for the best.
     
  9. S man

    S man LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,562

    What is it about the toro deck you don't like? Is it the way it cuts?
     
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,915

    Most of our hand mower work is bagging. The LB, with a side bagger, will put clippings in the bag far better than the Toro. I had a LB for many years, but had a mechanical problem right in the heart of the heavy Spring work load a few years ago. I invested in a Toro, thinking I was getting "top of the line." However, I learned it did not bag clippings very well on lawns with heavy, green clippings. I struggled through that season, and into the middle of the next Spring. The bagging difficulties with the Toro were so bad, I went right out and bought a LB and side bagger (DuraForce engine). The matter of dealing with difficult bagging was solved. The LB DuraForce was not without its problems, but the issue of difficult bagging conditions was not one of them.

    At the suggestion of another member on LS, I bought a different blade for the Toro. I had already taken out the kicker plates and taken off the accelerator plate. The blade is a "high-lift" and it helped with the bagging in a significant way. However, the workhorse mower for typical bagging, especially in heavy conditions, is the LB with side bagger. I use the Toro as a second mower sometimes, trying to add as many service hours as possible to save the LB. I believe the Sizuki will last a very long time, but I don't think the DuraForce has a very long lifespan. But, I am willing to add hours on the LB, just so the bagging works well.

    For me, mulching grass is very rare. The growth rates in the Spring are high. Either mower will tap out on power after the first 20 feet in these conditions. And, that says nothing about the quality of result. I do not like to work 3-4 day cycles during heavy growth and extend to 7 days during lighter growth. I want a steady flow of weekly customers across the entire mowing season. Mowing is my primary work, so I have no work to fill in during times of lesser mowing. Furthermore, customers in these parts will never pay for somebody to come on a less-than-7-day cycle, even during peak growth periods. The Spring growth on the turf in these parts is very highly saturated with water. If the clippings aren't cleanly cut and deposited into the bag with a minimum of mower action, they turn to green mush.

    I do use the Toro for mulching leaves in the fall. The engine has good power and the notched mulching blade, along with the kicker plates, does an excellent job of mulching leaves. I typically will make a second pass over the mulched leaves with my w/b to make good even cover of the mulched leaves.

    ... a long answer to a short question. I would never recommend a Toro when bagging is the primary mode of service, not when I know there is a much better alternative. I have ran them side-by-side too often, on too many different properties to believe otherwise. The quality of the Toro machine is far superior, engine is far superior, but the bagging functionality is badly lacking.
     

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