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Help Buying a Commercial Walk-Behind

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by G_Burleson, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. G_Burleson

    G_Burleson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Hey everybody. I'm at the point where I need to invest in a big mower. Up to today I've been using two small push mowers for all my properties.

    Many of my properties have hills, and most are smaller so I'm thinking that I would benefit most from a commercial walk-behind mower, around a 32".

    I will need the mower for about three years, to get me through graduate school. At that point I'll start up a small software company, and keep mowing a few properties. I'll most likely sell the big mower and use a small one for the properties I keep. So I need it to go strong for those three years. I'll be busy, and don't want another headache of a broken mower.

    I have $2,000 to $3,000 to spend on the mower.

    I'll be mowing 40-60 properties on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, and the mowing season is long here in Waco, TX (March-December this year). I need this mower to be my work horse. Dependable, efficient, and with an exceptionally smoothe cut.

    I don't know how to maintain these bigger mowers, so dealership support is important. I think Waco has good support for the main brands. SCAG has great dealership support here.

    Do you guys have any suggestions on Brands of mower?
    Is there anything else I need to factor in?
    Should I go for a mower that I can get a three year warranty on to ensure that it lasts through the three years that I need it?

    Any advice on these brands:

    I'd really appreciate any advice. Thanks!

  2. Spring Valley Lawn Service

    Spring Valley Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    Toro has a 32 in walkbehind and 30 in walkbehind mower. Check ebay seen some deals there
  3. lawn systems

    lawn systems LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    We run both scag and exmark love both brands .i have a 36 scag walk behind its great for small places
  4. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    Don't rule out fixing some things on your mower. It wasn't as hard as i thought; i surprised myself. Get a manual, and read it, and just get familiar with how everything operates. For 60 properties, i'd get a 32 with a sulky. When your legs start to give out, it will be nice to ride behind it. Looking for a slightly used 32" scag would be a good option. If you aren't even worried about your legs getting sore, try that 30" as suggested above. It's really a big difference over the 21, if you don't overlap too much. I know this isn't recommended here, but there was a period when i'd just get used residential riding mowers, and just use them up. You don't go into debt, and you can ride:)
  5. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    I hear a lot of guys rave about how great Scag's are in wet conditions and I know they stripe well. I started out with a 36" Exmark Metro fixed deck, I liked up but them I got a Toro 36" Proline with a floating super flow system deck. Under Ideal conditions I feel that their is no better mower on the market, in wet/thick conditions it doesn't disperse grass well for me with gator blades on it.

  6. Brucelawns

    Brucelawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    Why not buy a stander? The velke or sulky attachment would be great if you buy a walk behind. I've never owned a walk behind. We only have standers and push mowers. I was scared when I bought my first stander
    (36" wright stander). Thought the price was too high and didn't think we needed it (not enough big properties). It was the best decision I ever made in this business. No doubt! Get an attachment or a stander. You will not regret it. Toro walk behind or wright stander IMO. Speed and quality of cut is unmatched with a reak commercial mower. And not having to walk all the properties all day keeps you or employee(s) energized and happy.
  7. I was going to say the same thing. For 60 properties, stander or WB with sulky.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    I didn't even read the 40-60 lawns part.

    DO YOU ALREADY HAVE THE LAWNS? or do you think you can get those lawns?

    Because anyone who is mowing more than 15 lawns is going to have upgraded to a mower larger than 21/22" so that they are making more money and saving themselves time.

  9. G_Burleson

    G_Burleson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Good stuff so far guys.

    I have been running two push mowers, with me and one worker, and taking care of around 20 properties. I am confident that I will get at least another 20 between now and April. I got the first 20 from June to August this year.

    I'm thinking walk-behind over stander, because I have several properties with hills. I'm looking at all three that were mentioned, TORO, SCAG, and ExMark. Can standing mowers handle hills like a walk-behind?

    Thanks for the advice on the Sulky. I never mind walking all day but I hadn't even considered the other guy. That would keep a worker much happier. Also, on the maintenance, I'll take that into consideration. I'll be busy but would probably save a ton doing my own maintenance.

    So what I'm hearing is TORO, SCAG, and ExMark. Cut width from 30"-36". I believe with my price range of 2-3K I'll be getting a belt-drive, rather than a hydrostatic. If I do happen to find a hydro in that range, I'll go for it. A mower sold with a sulky is a huge bonus. Anything else I'm missing here?

  10. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    I don't mean to sound ignorant but you've obviously not looked into standers. Your gonna spend $5000-$6000 on a 36" stander, you might be able to get a used stander for $3000 in good condition. Stay away from Toro Grandstand's that are 2009 models, it was there first year and had MANY issues.

    Yes you should buy a brand new 36" walk behind. Belt drive is in your price range. I can mow 12 1/4 acre lawns a day with my 36" Toro walk behind which is belt driven. I do not use a sulky.

    I bought out another company this season which has large 1/2-3/4 acre homes and several large 5-6 acre areas. I will be upgrading to a used JD 797 with a 72" deck as well as a 52" stander, I haven't chosen my stander that I want yet. I really like Scag but I would like to match my equipment so I would prefer a Toro or JD. It will come down to me re-demoing equipment this March.


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