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Commercial Walk Behind Mower for Homeowner

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Cagey, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Cagey

    Cagey LawnSite Member
    from florida
    Posts: 8

    I would like to ask for some professional input from those that use your mowers daily for hundred of hours each year. I am a homeowner and am looking to replace a 20-year old Honda 21 inch mower that I purchased new. I started out by looking at another Honda, but the dealer steered me away from them since he did not consider the new Honda engines to be anywhere near the quality of the HR215 that I have. That opened up all possibilities then, so I started looking a little larger mower to cut my mowing time. I mow about a half an acre, with only two trees and the yard is fairly flat. I started out by considering a eXmark Metro 32” with a 15 hp Kawasaki, I am also considering a Toro 32” T-bar fixed deck mower with the same 15hp Kawasaki. On another forum, it was suggested that I look at the BOP Quick 32 Ninja with a 15 hp Kawasaki. While I know that a 36” machine is not much larger than a 32” one, I am concerned that I will not be able to fit a 36-inch machine in the garage with 2 cars.

    My questions are as follows.

    1. Are BOP mowers a good high quality machine?

    2. Would any of you that own them expect a homeowner like myself to not get 20 years of usage out of a BOP machine?

    3. Since my wife and my 6 kids will be using the machine (as they get old enough) do you believe anyone of the machines I suggested has and advantage over the other; i.e.: which one would be easier for one of the girls to steer? Yes, I have heard all the comment concerning 6 girls.

    4. If you can share any other pro/con concerning one of the machines, I would be greatly appreciative.

    I thank you for your input in advance for all of your input. Take care and have a great day.

    Cagey
     
  2. ixlr8

    ixlr8 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    I purchased a Husqvarna 48" walk behind for my residence. It was just over 1 acre, very steep hills, lots of stuff to mow around.. so a rider was out. It has served me well, it is a belt driven unit, in hilly conditions with lots of maneuvering, I would suspect it is not for the ladies. It is a bit much to wrestle around. Flat level ground, they could probably handle it. On the belt drive machines... reverse is more like a sort of assist, not much help. I wish I had gotten a hydro drive... but my dealer wouldn't sell me one since I didn't have any experience with maneuvering a walk behind. With the hydro... what you tell it to do... consider it done, the belt drive is apparently more forgiving of mistakes. It is 8 years old, Kawasaki 14hp engine, all I have done to it is; put gas in it, sharpen the blades, change the oil, grease the fittings, and this spring changed the belts as I thought it was a good thing to do after 8 years. It is too big for my garage... I got a 10'x14' shed to put it and other gardening stuff in and keep the mess out of the garage. HTH
     
  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,844

    Cagey - I have the BOP Quick 36 Ninja with the 15HP Kaw. LOVE IT.

    Use it commercially 10-15 hours per week. Cuts excellent, VERY NICE STRIPING.
    For the hours use you have to use it each week, it should very well go 20 years with that Kaw engine. I would recommend the 15HP Kaw Ninja model vs the 16HP Kaw Samurai, you don't need electric start as a homeowner and the pull start on mine is pretty easy.

    One reason I might steer you away from the Quick, however, is dealer support and maint. BOP does do an excellent job with owner support, but as a homeowner you may want that 'hometown' dealer to have a relationship with. If you try to take your Quick to someone local to fix, you probably will not get any priority at all, especially over the commercial guys that bring machines in all the time (that they may have purchased there). That is, if the Quick even needs any fixing beyond what you can do yourself (which is a lot if you know very basic mechanics.)
     
  4. Cagey

    Cagey LawnSite Member
    from florida
    Posts: 8

    Ixlr8:

    Thanks for the input. I do need a machine that will fit in the garage with all the other stuff, since sheds are not allowed in the neighborhood.

    DA Quality Lawn & YS:

    Thanks for the input. I am fairly mechanically inclined, so I believe I can handle most of the mechanical issues that might come up. As long as the Kawasaki authorized dealer will repair the engine if it should break, I believe that would be fine.

    I was actually looking at the Ninja versus the Samarai, since I do not believe I need electric start. Plus it is another thing to go wrong with the mower. Do you believe the girls would be able to steer the Ninja around the yard? Also, do you know if the Ninja is easier to steer verses the other mowers that I mentioned?

    Thank you

    Cagey
     
  5. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,844

    Cagey - as far as support for the Kaw engine, give BOP a call (ph # on their website) and ask them that question, they are happy to answer questions.

    When you refer to the 'girls' using it around your yard, I am assuming you are referring to your daughters?? The Quick machine is a single hydro which means that you still have to manually turn the machine at the end of a pass. Once you get on to it (throwing your body weight a bit to swing it around), it is a snap. However, it should be used by adults or near that age, someone around, say, 15 may have trouble turning the machine (even though it is lightweight and compact, it isn't as lightweight as a 21" mower:) It is a commercial machine and is built to last.
     
  6. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    The Gravely 1034 might be a good choice for you. It just came out this year. I've attached two photos and a web link. They are priced attractively. Here in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada area, they are about $1600. Most likely, they are cheaper in the U.S. Although not as good as a true commercial unit like the Exmark or Toro 32", it might serve you well. A few landscapers bought them in April and have used them for commercial use and they seem to be happy with them.

    http://www.gravely.com/products/walkbehind/waw/

    gravely2.jpg
     
  7. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    Alot of people seem to really like the BOP mowers. I have never used them but I prefer to buy my mowers from a local dealer. That way there is always someone who will fix your equipment and do any and all warrenty work on it. It really helps to have a good relationship with a local dealer, that way if you need something they will be more than willing to help you out.
     
  8. freedm2

    freedm2 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 192


    I don't understand why everyone is so concerned about dealer service. There is nothing to these machines. If you can't bolt on a new pump / wheel motor.... Now would I try to rebuild a pump.. No, but the dealer probably won't either. Too labor intensive. I get dealer service during the warranty period but that's it..

    FYI - the Quick 32 is longer than the Quick 36. Might as well get the 36 for a 4" gain in width.
     
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    I don't think you are ready for a commercial Walk-behind mower,
    it ain't no wheeled trimmer like that 21" you're used to.

    Certainly I wouldn't even consider letting anyone under 18 get behind any
    of my grand toros, that thing will crush your bones and probably I did just
    overbear some on this here melodramatic opportunity but these machines
    either get the respect they deserve or they will pound it into the first
    bright-eyed bushy tailed noob, however you like.

    And sure it's not as dangerous as a brush chipper, but still, watch out LOL

    That having been said, yes it will last 20 years but there are more than
    a few differences between a commercial Wb and some puny 21" toy.

    Because that's what a 21" is to me, a puny POS toy.
    Commercial machines also require constant maintenance, I do mine daily,
    you'll need a grease gun for starters but what you're thinking of is not
    unheard of and it can be done, it is not only quite plausible but if approached
    properly can give many years of great second-to-none service, so good luck.

    If you do buy one, if you think I did overbear then give it a chance because I think
    once you get a bit of a ways down the road with it you might agree with me, they
    are in a category completely apart from anything you have ever experienced.

    I might recommend renting one for a day, they do cost about $100 to rent but more than
    a few of these rental places do rent them, that you could do for one cut just to see if this
    is something you might want to get into.

    Peace out.
     
  10. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    I agree with this assessment ... the Quick 36 is a good commercial machine and will last you for 20 years if you're only going to do your yard with it !! Get a Quick machine, you won't regret it.
     

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