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Commercial vs residential mowers for commercial business?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dkh, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. dkh

    dkh LawnSite Member
    from montana
    Posts: 2

    Hello all,
    I am curious what you think about using residential mowers for commercial use? I'm adding a crew this year and wonder about it. I am just looking back at the cost of running two of my mowers, a Scag zero turn and a Deere walk behind, both great commercial mowers but they nickel and dimed me to death least year. I do all my own repairs but the parts are pretty spendy. It seems to me that buying new residential mowers would be cheaper even if they only lasted a couple years then the big outlay for quality commercial mowers that are four times the cost. Just a thought running through my mind as I gear up for for this season. I'm not opposed to used commercial mowers but thats what the Scag and Deere were. What do you think? Thanks
  2. Triplex

    Triplex LawnSite Member
    Posts: 220

    I worked on a golf course that used cheapo big-box store Bolens/MTD and Murray 21-inchers. They lasted a couple of years under severe usage conditions, but we had an in-house mechanic to keep things patched together. They definitely aren't as durable as commercial machines, but you don't have to worry as much about them getting damaged or stolen, which can be helpful if you're getting them for employees to run and not yourself.
  3. pkra12

    pkra12 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    dkh, I don't want to discourage you if that's your choice but i don't think they will hold up, the wear and tear from the trailer ride alone will rip 'em up....Just don't wanna see you waste your $
  4. jgc8fan

    jgc8fan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    I think you nailed your problem right there. A new mower shouldn't need that many repairs, and you have no idea how hard it was run before you got it. I bought my mowers new (Snapper ZTR and an Exmark WB), and neither have needed any significant repairs. The Snapper is on it's 7th year now, and I think it's just about ready to finally go. The Exmark has been running 2 and 1/2 years with no repairs. Just regular maintenance is all they needed, and a few minor things (belts, tires, a throttle, and a $5 circuit breaker is all I've done to the Z, and the only thing the Exmark has needed was new wheels for the sulky).

    You gotta think about it in terms of how much money they make you. People freak out when I tell them I paid $5,000 for the Z (and it was damn near the cheapest model they had at the time), but I made the money that I spent on it back within just a few months, and since then it's made me several hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the investment suddenly looks like a good deal. I'm probably gonna replace it this year or next, and I don't feel a bit bad about it.

    In comparison... Anytime I've tried to use a piece of homeowner equipment I've never had it last more than a few months... This probably explains why most homeowner gear usually only has a 90 day commercial use warranty.

    If money is the concern get WBs with sulkies instead of riders. Personally I've decided when I replace my Z I am getting a hydro wb (mostly because I want to get the extra weight off my trailer, and I think the Z has been a bit of overkill for the types of yards I do).
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I think you should be asking your dealer this question.
  6. Landscraper1

    Landscraper1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Southeastern Ma.
    Posts: 755

    I agree 100% with jgc8fan.
  7. sdk1959

    sdk1959 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

  8. pitrack

    pitrack LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,049

    ;)am I reading that right?
  9. Hawg City Lawns

    Hawg City Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,072

    i always buy the residential 21" mowers some will last 3 years if you take care of them plus you can buy about 3 of those compared to 1 commercial 21"
  10. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,742

    i have a troybilt 21" wit a briggs motor . paid $199.00 5years ago. still starts on first pull used it for two years on 25yds

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