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Long distance dealers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by PaulJ, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    I've been thinking about this awhile now , and another thread has something similar so I thought I'd ask.

    How far would you go to a dealer?

    My situation is I am hoping to add another mower next year. I know what I want, 48" hydro Walk-behind w/floating deck, largest engine possible, probably elec. start. I will add a stand up sulky, metal mesh catcher, and probably doulble blades, maybe even a flex-deck down the road.
    With the info from this sight I have narrowed my choice down to Exmark, Gravely, and Hustler.
    my problem is I have to drive over 100 miles to see any of these machines.

    Exmark- there is a dealer here but he doesn't have any walk-behinds. He said he would try to get some in so I could try the Ecs controls, but that was a couple months ago. Also this dealer isn't realy a mower dealer, he is a sprinkler company I know and the Exmarks are just a sideline, makes me wonder about repairs and support down the road.

    Gravely-there is an Airens dealer here but he can't get Gravely, I will have to go to a dealer he knows 100 miles away to try one. If I do get one he can do the service work for me no problem. Just doesn't sell the commercial side of Airens. (This is my favorite dealer here and always does his best to get me working again as soon as possible).

    Hustler-No dealer here, again have to drive over 100 miles to see one, but this daler might bring a machine out to me to try, But this season is about done for demoing on grass. He did say that he knows my favorite local dealer (the one that sells Airens) and could have hime do any warrenty repairs or service even though they aren't hustler dealers.

    The local dealer also sells Toro(res and comm), Scag, Dixon, and White.
    Another dealer sell Snapper, and some Grasshopper, but I haven't dealt with them much.
    Ace Hardware sell toro snapper and deere.
    I think there is also a cub Cadet dealer but I don't know if they sell commercial. They might also sell Woods.

    That's my situation. I don't want to tick off my favorite dealer by buying a machine from someone else, then asking him to fix it.
    The only one he gets anything form the sale is maybe the Gravely, (out of my three choice) but that seems like the hardest for me to see. From the specs I like the Gravely exept the pistlol grips. I'dlike to get away from them.

    I 've ran Snappers in the past and like the controls but I thik Snapper has gotten passed up with the new inovations on the other models like the deeper decks, blade speeds, tire sizes, etc.. I hav'nt tried Toros but I don't like the looks of the T-bar, and I don't like the stamped decks.

    I guess I have to take a drive and hope I can try the mower I am looking for when I get there.

    I just would rather do buisness local.

    Sorry this post is so long, but I've been thinking on this awhile.

  2. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    Does the dealer you want to service the mowers sell Toro? If so get a Toro. I can understand wanting to support Lawnsite. But you have to support yourself first. Toro's are as good as any mower out there and usually most Toro dealers have very good parts availability.
  3. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    I would highly recommend going with a combination of closest and best dealer for your purchase. You are going to need parts, have questions and possible need a loaner. If the dealer is far away who is going to help you then. You are in a very difficult situation/location to say the least. Best of luck to you.

    Thank you,
  4. Alan Bechard

    Alan Bechard LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    we tried a dealer 60 miles away and that just did not work out for us. Our current dealer is 30 or so miles away and he is the closest dealer that I like / trust / respect.

    I really wish we had a dealer that I wanted to deal with in my own town.

    Al B
  5. lawnkid

    lawnkid LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 935

    Try out the Scag w/b's. Alot f guys here rin the SWZU's and theyproduce an excellent cut quality, a great stripe, and usually have good dealer support. Just a suggestion.
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    If I were you I guess I'd just have to decide if those controls on the Hustler & Exmark were more important than other issues. If not I'd just buy the Scag of your favorite guy or get the Gravely and let him service it since he is an Ariens dealer.

    If it were me I'd feel more comfortable dealing with my local favorite.

    Now you "may" want to look into Husqvarna walkbehinds. They have some with the ETS system controls and they also have a quick deck lift on some of them too. It has a handle at the rear you use to raise and lower the deck right where you are. It looks like the lift handle on their ZTR's. Just a thought anyways.
  7. We do 4 U

    We do 4 U LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    If the Toro dealer is a good dealer then go Toro. i have a 44" wb gear drive and love it. I got a Super Z this year and hve been using that but I used the wb for 2 years with out 1 problem oher then 1 broken belt. i also think the cut is good but some on this site my not agree. Also the t-bar conrols are a lot easier on the hands than the pistol grips on the Scags imho.
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Does the t-bar offer a full range of control like other styles? It does look like it would be very easy to use.
  9. We do 4 U

    We do 4 U LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    envy, yes the t-bar does offer a full range of control.
  10. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Thanks for all your replys.

    A couple of you have sugested I try the Toro. I will admit I have never run T-bar, but in order to try one I will probably have to go to another dealer ,again the 100 mile drive. Same with the Scag. I have looked at the toros that belong to another Lco when they were in for repair. They didn/t seem like they held up *** well as others. Also I have seen the lawns cut by these toros and they look uneven and shabby. I don't know if that's operator or mower but It makes me wonder. Whenever I mention getting a demo of commercial equipment from any of the local dealers I get a blank look and the name of the dealer in Omaha NE that carries them.
    The main things I like about the brands I mentioned that I don't see in the Toro or Scag are:
    Deep decks, Large tires without being a monster machine. (650-700#), maintenance free spindles, electric clutch, and few others.

    I have a 36" Lesco now(dealer is in Lincoln) and it does OK but I realy want a better quality of cut and better lift and discharge. and. easier/less maintance.

    The city where I work is about 20,000 people I live about 18 miles away near a town of 200. Lincoln Ne 200,000 and Omaha ?? are both a little over 100miles away and they are the only places where the dealers actualy stock commercial stuff.

    It looks like I am going to have to take a drive to Omaha I just don't know when I can before the snow comes to stay, Then when spring comes It will be busy, busy, busy again.

    I like small town livin' but I guess this is one of the disadvantages.

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