From a Dealer Standpoint Please Read

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MisterLandscape, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. MisterLandscape

    MisterLandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    >>>he's never heard of running 'doubles', or Meg-mo blades, or the new Stihl backpack blowers that are due out this spring,<<<

    I was going to write a post about this but since I was new to posting on the board I didn't want to upset anyone until I had popsted awhile. I just read a post about a dealer knowing less than the cutter so I thought I'd go ahead and chime in. As both a dealer and a commercial cutter I would like to say a few things.

    1) running double bades: DON'T DO IT, IT VOIDS YOUR WARRANTY AND IS UNSAFE. This practice seems to be more popular outside of the Florida market as I've only had a couple of people mention it to me and only seen one customer do it (bent the shaft on his 21" $800 commercial mower and wasn't covered by warranty) Operating any machine outside its design envelope is dangerous. Dangerous to the operator, his employees and customers who may be within a distance of the machine that could be injured. To my knowelge there is not one manufacturer that reccomends or makes an aprroved system for running double blades. Hustler has designed an approved double blade system that will be available this spring. Also various companies have mulching kits that have some varation of mulching blades such as Snapper's Ninja mulching system. Just creating your own system for running doubles regardless of the results really is unsafe and puts your company at a huge liability risk (read major lawsuite)should an accident occur. More stress is placed on spindles and other components lowering their life expectancy.

    2)Increasing engine RPMs: This one we see all the time. We have machines come in where the owner has increased RPMs over and above the reccomended maximum limit for that engine. There are so many bad things that can happen by doing this I don't even know where to start. Increased wear that may lead to premature engine failure, overspeed of bearing and spindles causeing early failure, overspeeding of hydro pumps and wheel motors causing failure, overspeed of the blade tip speed over and above the max designed limits--very very dangerous should a blade hit something and come apart. If you want a machine with a high blade tip speed and a faster ground speed buy a Hustler or Chopper (there may be others but those are the 2 fastest mowers that have a large market share). A machine is designed for a certain RPM and every component is made to operate at that RPM. Also, we get folks come in complaining of a problem with their machine and its really hard to track down some problems if the owner has changed the machine to operate outside of the design limits. Higher RPMS or other changes that are made by the owner make standard tests we perform to detect trouble invalid becasue we don't know what the reading should be if the pullys on the hydro pumps for example have been changed to somehting other that whan was orginally designed.

    3) knowing more than the dealer about cutting: I saw a post where a commercial cutter felt her knew more than his dealer about cutting and operating the machine. I sure as heck hope the cutter does know more!!!! Thinking the dealer should know everyhting about running the machine in all circumstances and operating environments is just dead wrong. Its like expecting the mechanics at Delta Airlines to know how to fly the airplane or vice versa the pilots knowing how to work on the plane's engines. You can be a great dealer and not know everything about the commercial cutting industry. Mots of our customers don't know how to take a Kohler EFI (fuel injected) engine and perform a computer test on it, reset the throttle position sensor to its proper calibration and use a meter to check the resistance of all of the sensors and check every ground wire for continuity. (I could give 1,000 other examples from lapping Sure theres some cutters that are pretty good mechanics just like there are some dealers that know a whole lot about cutting in the field. I am both a dealer and comercial cutter and feel like I am able to help my customers in a way other dealers are not able to but I do think you can be an excellent dealer and not know everything about commercial cutting.

    I had a few more things to say but I have a customer here and I need to run. I hope I havent gotton anyone too upset. Steve
    Acute Cut and TClawn like this.
  2. ztrlvr

    ztrlvr LawnSite Member
    from US
    Posts: 102

    How many RPM you talking?

  3. KathysLGC

    KathysLGC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,345

    There seems to be a bit of fire in this post. You seem upset at something your read. It also seems you could be a big help here by being both a dealer and operator. Shall we be seeing more in depth post from you?
  4. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Posts: 2,207

    Dixie Chopper does make a dual blade adapter for their mowers that will allow you to run double blades safely.
  5. lasher66

    lasher66 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 395

    There have been many LCO's that have run doubles on this site (including myself) with no problems of bent shafts or anything else. I think that putting doubles on a 21" mower is over doing it anyways. Any commercial mower that is 36" and up with at least a 13hp motor shouldnt have a problem. I have been doing it for 3 yrs now, and my equipment showes no sign of wear and tear from it. Maybe the dealers should catch on to this idea and produce a mower that is considered "safe" to run these.

    DLCS likes this.
  6. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Steve, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, But allow me to look at this through a commercial cutters eyes.

    1 Dixie has had their "x" blades available for a while, and I don't believe that they neccisarrily frown on the practice of running doubles.. However, I do agree that no mfgr, unless they have tested the machine for safety with doubles installed will come to your rescue if you get someone hurt running doubles..

    2 Matbe if you were turning 6000 rpm's, on a piece of commercial equipment designed to cut grass. But a lot of machines as delivered, don't even turn their rated rpm's, which can often give a poor cut. A GOOD dealer, one that looks out for his customers best needs, would be checking, and correcting this before delivery of a new machine.

    3 I serriously doubt that a dealer would know everything an LCO does about cutting grass. However, a dealer interested in attracting loyal customers SHOULD do everything in his power to educate themselves about the industry, to better serve their customers.. A few dealers I've dealt with in the past, seemed like they live in a vacum, totally out of touch with customers needs. While we are discussing dealers and their knowledge..
    I think every dealer should at least have an excellent knowledge of their own products.. Too many times I have dealt with a dealer, and I knew more about their product than they do!! Mostly from just reading the brochure or looking on the net and doing some reaserch!! Another peeve of mine is that too many dealers/equipment sales people CAN NOT GIVE ME REASONS TO BUY THEIR PRODUCT!! They can tell me ( some times in wild lies or exaggerations ) why not to buy their competitor's product, but they don't know enough about what their product can do to tell me why I should buy it..

    I could go on, but I really don't want a flame war, I'm just trying to show how this looks to some LCO's..
    DLCS likes this.
  7. cgotro

    cgotro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    Well here goes my two cents. We also have a dealership and Lawn service. We use only what we sell. We also have commitments to the companys that we represent and sell their products. I can't afford to eat the cost of an engine because I raised the rpm's. I will set them where they are supposed to be. I have had people that believe that "It has to cut faster". The equipment is designed to operate at these specifications. If you need bigger, faster, better cut than move up to that mower. It will pay for it self over time.I look for quality in my cuts and we all look back at a yard when we finish and can say we did a good job. As a dealer I will talk to someone looking for a mower about how big his business is and how big he wants to be. I like to over size him a little if he can afford it, to allow him to grow. I care about these people and I have and interest in their being satified with my equipment and to let them know that I am there to serve them.If we work together we can both be successfull. I think we just need to take the time to talk to each other on a rainy day when we have time.
  8. MisterLandscape

    MisterLandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    Thank you for your post and I think you did a better job than me expressing our beliefs. I did not mean for my post to seem mean or "fired up" but I really think it unwise to use machine outside the desing specifications. Thank you
  9. stizostedion_vitreum

    stizostedion_vitreum LawnSite Member
    from ND
    Posts: 51

    thanks to all who posted on this topic.... this is a little off topic but it hit me right away because it's something that FIRES ME UP!

    I run a couple different businesses in both retail and service thing that gets me fired up in all of them are businesses that try to be both a supplier and an operator/service all within the same industry (non-compete.) None of the businesses that I associate with overlap one another in the same industry.

    I would have an awful hard time buying equipment/product from someone I'm also competing with on the service side, within the same industry.

    It's difficult enough competing with those that are on a level playing field let alone those that are wholesaling and selling to themselves, called two stepping. I DON'T support them and wish the rest of the competition understood (which most do) this poor practice.

    Yea, I know i'm gonna hear let er' go---- just giving my .02

    Soupy likes this.
  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    1: Dixie Chopper has been making a double blade bracket for years on end. They are and have been approved for use on Dixies both with and without the bracket. Dixie also has an X blade arrangement that doesn't use the bracket.

    2: Gravely sells double blade setups for their walkbehinds.

    3: Exmark does not approve of the use of doubles but have also said (on their forum here) that doubles don't void the mower warranty. They said that any part that they deem is damaged by doubles will be denied warranty coverage.

    4: Hustler is pretty much the same deal as Exmark I believe. I am sure their rep will chime in here and give the specifics.

    mcclureandson was right, you dealers don't know squat.

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