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Commercial Walk-Behind

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BareFootLawn, May 25, 2004.


Best Walk-Behind Hydro 48" for the $$

  1. Ferris - HydroWalk DD

    2 vote(s)
  2. Gravely - Pro G

    4 vote(s)
  3. Hustler - Hydro Walkbehind

    5 vote(s)
  4. Scag - SWZU 48

    10 vote(s)
  5. XMark - Turf Tracer

    12 vote(s)
  1. BareFootLawn

    BareFootLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    Buying my first commercial walk-behind and would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this.

    Specs: 48" Hydro (will be used primarily for residential jobs), Floating Deck, Electric Start, Mulching Kits, Gator Blades.

    My dealer's sell:
    Ferris - HydroWalk DD (17hp Kaw) $4,725: The dealer is super nice, but he has been promising me one will be in for the past 10 days. Still does not have one, PLUS told me that I would only be able to test drive it in his shop, not on a lawn. I haven't actually seen one up close yet. This is the closest dealer (13 miles).

    X-Mark - Turf Tracer (17hp Kaw) $4,925: The dealer is super knowledgeable and has several demos on-site if one is ever needed. He's giving me one to test drive tomorrow. I have 7 residential lawns to try it on. I liked the steering controls, but did not like the deck height adjustments. It looks like it's the most solidly built of the whole bunch. Dealer is 33 miles away.

    Hustler - Hydro Walk (17hp Kaw) $5,249: The dealer didn't have one on site, claims he can get one the next day if needed. Sells more snowmobiles than cutters. Gave me a pamphlet and a quote, that was about it. Didn't offer to bring one in for a test drive. I didn't offer to come back either. Dealer is 49 Miles away.

    Scag - SWZU (17hp Kaw) $5,537: Dealer had two on the floor. 2001 model that had a rigid deck, he offered to let me take it for the day if I wanted. The other was a 2003 that looked a little used, but he was selling "new". They sell John Deere tractors there and he was wearing JD apperal. He had to look up everything I wanted to know. Had "0" knowledge about the product. Dealer is 42 miles away.

    Gravely - ProG (15hp Kaw) $4,750: Dealer was personable and seemed to knowledgeble. They also sold John Deer lawn equipment and once again, seemed to know JD and not too much else. Claimed it was "the best", seemed to be high on their steering. Dealer is 27 miles away.

    I'm leaning HEAVY toward X-Mark unless someone sees something I don't.


    Lance Newby
    Barefoot Lawn Service
  2. J.Gordon

    J.Gordon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    I have a Hustler Super walk-behind 25 hp/ 54’’cut. The H-bar is by far the most comfortable controls that I have used on a walk-behind.It has a great cut, fast speed, big tires, able to operate it for long period without fatigue. I didn’t give much more for my Super w/b than the price you have listed for the 17 hp.
    For me the dealer has to stock equipment! And stand behind it. I would not buy something that I couldn’t demo on my properties. As far as which one is the best you would have to decide on that choice yourself. I wouldn’t trade my SWB for any other, but the dealer I purchased my mower from will do whatever it takes to keep me happy. Will the dealer you use give you a loaner if something goes wrong with the machine you buy? (If he wants me as a customer he will.) I would tell all the dealers what you expect from them and see which one wants your business. I think all the machines you have listed are well built and would last a long time.
    From the list of dealers you have listed I believe I would get the Exmark! It looks like he would be more likely to back you up when needed.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Dealer wise I would go with #2 Exmark. Mower wise, Let your fingers do the walking, Test drive Test drive Test drive!!
    That mower will become an extention of your arm so get what feels best for you and what will work on your lots.
    I have a Exmark with the ECS and I like the feel. Also your hands are more inboard around trees and such. I have not tryed it but that H Bar on the Hustler looks neat. If I were looking today I would be sure to try that.
    What did you not like about the deck adj. on the Exmark. It takes me about 30 seconds to change and most of that time is walking around the deck. The pins will pull a little (but not to much) easier after a few times.
  4. BareFootLawn

    BareFootLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    I bought the X-Mark. Will PU on Tuesday. The customers I cut while I had it on demo all liked it one gentleman didn't want me to use it on his lawn because of the size, once I finished he said it "looked like a golf course!" and he doesn't want me to use anything else. I was very pleased with the results.

    PM - you were right about the adjustments, I cut some at 3" and some at 2 1/2" and it was very easy to adjust.

    J. Gorden - The Hustler dealer wouldn't let me "demo" it away from his lot, so I told him I didn't even want to bother with coming back and looking at it.

    Thanks for the replies.

    Lance Newby
  5. J.Gordon

    J.Gordon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    It sounds like you made the right decision. If you ever decide you need a catcher look at the Accelerator. It’s well worth the money if you need to do any bagging with walk-behind!

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Congrats. Hope you and it make lots of $$$$. Good luck.

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