commerical mower vs residential

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dabears8430, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. dabears8430

    dabears8430 LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 43

    I was wondering how long can a Home Depot toro ZTR last doing about 40 hours a week worth of mowing? They are cheaper that's why I ask and has anyone ever tried going that path
  2. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,067

    A couple weeks before starting to give problems. If all you have is a few $K to spend then get a used Commercial of of CL.
  3. mbrew

    mbrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 491

    I have an Ariens that I bought 10 years ago. It now has about 500 hours on it and although I wouldn't say its going strong, Its still productive and I'm still using it. This was one of the earliest home owners ZTR's and it isn't nearly as well built as those that are built today. The problems I've encountered were the cogged deck belts breaking and starters going out. I have hit a lot of stuff, but I don't count on more than a hundred hours out of that belt ($70!). The newer decks aren't timed so that's not a problem anymore and strangely. I've had no spindle trouble. I also had starter problems before I got smart and figured out that the valves were out of adjustment which caused hard starting, starter gear breakage and wore out one starter.

    Now, the Briggs engine is using a good amount of oil although it still runs fine and I think it may be getting slower. Possibly the hydraulic pumps getting weak. I don't think this pump setup is being used anymore, but I'm not certain. All of my use before this year was as a homeowner, but I've used this thing commercially this year. I'd be surprised If I got through next year with it. I have been hard on it.

    If I was a homeowner with under 2 acres, I'd buy the new Ariens real quick. I think for commercial work I'd look for a good used machine.
  4. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,049

    Most mowers that Lowes or Home Depot sales are made by MTD.(Even John Deer,Cub Cadet,Toro). They are not made to take the abuse like a commercial machine is.Even the blade are very thin and will bend if you touch anything other than grass. Also most of there machine have a blade kill switch if you go into reverse.Save your money and find a used commercial machine.
  5. jiggz

    jiggz LawnSite Senior Member
    from jerz
    Posts: 646

    used commercial.. It's not even a question

    i have stuff 18 years old and still going strong with a million hours.. try that with a homeowner Toro or likewise
  6. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,049

    I have bought 2 used machines from Craigslist.One was a Ferris "48"in.Walk behind with 76 hours.It now has 160 hours on it.The other was a Great Dane "36"in. walk behind with 15 yes I did say 15 hours. It now has over 200. Both only cost me about half of what they were new.
  7. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,203

    A residential mower may last you a year or so, but if you spend the extra bucks for a commercial it will end up being cheaper in the long run then buying a 2k mower.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. mowerdude777

    mowerdude777 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,732

    I would get a used commercial any day over a home cheapo ztr those things are CRAP made by ayp (who also makes crap brands like craftsman, troy built, mtd, etc) stay far away from those brands, or really any lawn equipment sold at lowes or home depot, trust me I learned that lesson the hard way
  9. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    So if you will be putting 40 hours a week on that mower and working 25 weeks a year, that's 1000hrs a year. I think if you are putting that many hours on a mower each year, you shouldn't have any problem affording a full commercial machine. If you can make $50/hr mowing, that's $50,000/year you'd be grossing. I think you'd be able to pay off an $8500 commercial mower.

    The engines that go on the residential mowers aren't rated for high hours. The hydros are of poorer quality than the commercial counterparts. The decks on the residential mowers are thin and can crack/bend far easier. The frames are also weaker. The power isn't there on the residental mowers and they will not give you the performance in thick growth or where extra power is needed.
  10. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Worded exactly as my experience has been. These machines are NOT made for commercial use and are barely made for residentual.

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