Commercial Lawnboy ?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mike Blevins, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,360

    Anyone ever use the commercial Lawboy push mowers? pros? Cons?
     
  2. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I have one, it's like 3 or 4 years old, with the 6.5HP 2-stroke engine. It's been used a LOT, and in my opinion it's a great mower.
     
  3. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,360

    is the briggs engine they put on the Lawnboy a 2 stroke?
     
  4. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I know the 2-stroke is not a briggs.

    I want to say it's a suzuki. But I think I'm wrong.
     
  5. S man

    S man LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,562

    You're both wrong. The briggs is a 4 cycle engine that shouldn't be on a commcial lawn-boy deck. It's not the same mower anymore.
     
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,917

    I have had LB commercial hand mowers for many years. We mow about 1,200 lawns per season, and the hand mower often runs 30-35 hours per week. The machines are good and bad. Let me explain, from my experiences.

    Good:
    1. Lightweight, only about 80#, rather than 100+ for many others. On difficult terrain and for us older people, this is important.
    2. Great quality of cut. It is better than my older Snapper and better than my Toro Proline 21".
    3. Great bagging function, but speaking only about side bagger (rear bagger, not so -- discharge chute too restrictive); will bag any quantity, and will work pretty well in very wet conditions.
    4. Older style 2 cycle engines were bullet-proof; ran for many, many hours. The newer Dura-Force engines are not nearly as reliable. But, this is a moot point now because LB no longer makes them available.
    5. Side bags, albeit a bit smaller than other bags, are flexible (e.g. can carry 2 or 3 extra empty ones to a back yard, can carry one, or drag two, full ones while coming from the backyard. We use four bags and they will all easily store away in a small box on the trailer.

    Bad
    1. Design flaws in the equipment design. For example, the ground drive cable is subject to breaking at the Z-joint at the handle after only 4-500 lawns. Several replacements, and on two different mowers, demonstrate that is a poor design (P.S. After the last break, I made a repair with a discarded shoelace, and it has lasted for a couple of years (est 2000 lawns). The flexible lace takes the pointed stress point away.
    2. Poor drive wheel design with regard to longevity. Much like the cable, this is a known behavior. A set of wheels only lasts about 1,000 lawns.
    3. Rear height adjustment levers are weak and subject to failure. Again, something that will fail in a season, or so. I have made a welding modification to new ones to improve longevity, but even so, they will still fail after a season or two.
    4. Dura-Force engine not consistent. It is flaky in performance -- runs like a champ most of the time, but will cause difficulties at other times, without warning or reason.
    5. Side bags don't last very long -- zippers are subject to failure. However, with care they will last for a couple of seasons. We use four bags at a time.
    6. In general, the quality of construction is marginal for a commercial machine. I also have a Toro Proline, 5.5hp Sizuki. The differences are noticable, such as cables, height adjustment levers, wheels, handles, etc. But, the Toro is much heavier too.

    There is much else to say, but will hold it at this point.

    I regretting the change to the B&S, 4 cycle engine. However, my last machine will require some rebuilding this off-season (running gear, bushsings in transmission, etc). And, I'm wondering if I should park it for a backup and buy a new LB with the B&S. Despite many LCOs having LBs on their trailers in this area, I don't see anybody with the new model having the B&S.

    There has been some feedback on this board, saying the experiences with the B&S are favorable. Maybe more comments will come in this thread; I would like to hear more. My Toro sits most of the time -- even taking out my 9 year old LB as a second machine, rather than the top-of-the-line Toro. I think I am inclined to buy another LB with the B&S, rather than put the Toro back into full-time service.
     
  7. LALawnboy

    LALawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    i know i'm a little late in entering this post, but scott, i don't think you know what you're talking about with the briggs. why shouldn't it be on the lawnboy? i've got a new commercial lawnboy (bought it this past spring) and it's got the briggs and it hasn't given me one bit of trouble yet. all i've ever used for 21s is lawnboy and in my opinion, the 4 cycle briggs outperforms the tried and true duraforce 2 cycle. the engine just seems to run more consistently.
     
  8. mikes landscaping

    mikes landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from kansas
    Posts: 298

    All we run are lawnboy's for 21". We have a 21" 6.5hp duraforce engine with a side bag, and its a two stroke. Its over 5 years old. It is the best push mower we have ever owned. The new ones thought are not as commercioal grade with the new enviormentally freindly 4 stroke engines.
     
  9. bulldigitydog

    bulldigitydog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Briggs has worked out excellent but Lawn boy has something new in a commercial mower this year. A commercial grade GSV honda 190 with oversized ball bearings on the crankshaft and a cast iron sleeved cylinder,two stage air cleaner and a cast aluminum valve cover. I seen it and its awesome. Will be available in January...But this will be on the new platinum deck not staggered so you can take you pick....
     
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,917

    bulldigitdog ... welcome. Is there any information about this new platinum deck? Where did you see it, and is it in open display at this time? Anything else you can share here?
     

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