Need 2 Walk-Behinds

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by zinkjo, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. zinkjo

    zinkjo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    Starting up our business in the spring. Anticipating 15-20 residential clients year 1 and then doubling every year after.

    I've been looking into equipment and with all the choices not sure what to go with. I think I've narrowed the search down to Gravely and Toro. I have a few questions:
    1) Any preferences between Gravely and Toro?
    2) Is it worth going with the hydrostatic?
    3) Is it worth going with a floating deck?

    As I already have a full-time job money is not a huge issue. I'll be using my full-time job to support the new landscaping business for the first couple of years.

    thanks for your time and help
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    the answer to your questions in your situation as I see it are as follows:




    TO SUM IT UP FOR YOU.......NO! as a new operation, it makes no difference if you choose toro or gravely. nor does your other choices matter.

    what matters is that you work hard and be genuine to your new endeavor.

    good luck to you amigo and I'll bet you do OK.

  3. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    1.I personally prefer gavely because I think that they are built sturdier than the toro's.

    2. it depends on the size lawns your doing. if you only have little postage stamp lots then a hydro is definatly worth it. on the other hand if your doing large acreages were you not turning to much than you should be fine with a belt drive.

    3. yes. a floating deck will leave a much better finish to your lawns than a fixed deck.
  4. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    TCLAWN--with all that fact of the matter advice, are you really just FIFTEEN YEARS OLD???

    GEO :dizzy:
  5. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    geo, yes I am. I have some friends in the lawn business and am very observant or so people say. I try to learn as much as I can by watching other people. I look at a lawn that has been cut with a fixed deck and a lawn that has been cut with a floater. I can tell the differance imediatly. it is common sense that a hydro will be better for small areas with it's zero turning ability. it also makes sense to be economical with a belt drive when you really aren't turning that much on huge properties.

    I have seen the gravely's and it's just my personal opinion.

    it is amazing how much you can learn by listening to the people on this site and friends that know much more than you do.
  6. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,930

    I prefer Toro because of the t-bar controls. Leaves you less tired at the end of the day.
    A hydro will give you better maneuverability...but if you want to hold cost down, then just stick with gear drive.
    As for floating deck, my Toro 36 has the floating deck so I can adjust cutting heighth by pulling and reinserting a pin. Much easier than a fixed deck.
  7. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    My first commercial mower was an encore 48" belt drive with a 12.5 hp Kawasaki. It was a good mower. I didn't like that if the belts got wet they would slip. Either in the rain or if you are going though wet spots in the spring. I would get a hydro with a floating deck. Have you looked into the exmark turf tracer or the hustler w/bs? This machine could last you a long time.
  8. zinkjo

    zinkjo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    I just started shopping last week and I don't have a good feel for the prices just yet. I've compared features of the following:
    Toro, Gravely, ExMark, Scag and BobCat.

    What is the ranking in terms of price?
    What is the ranking in terms of quality?

    I have the following in terms of perceived quality:
    1) Gravely
    2) Toro
    3) ExMark
    4) BobCat
    5) Scag
  9. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    TCL--I don't have a problem at all with you voicing your opinions and you have stated how you have come to those conclusions.........which is by-in-large from observation and association with others...more learned than yourself.

    but you simply don't need a hydro floating deck to get started in this business. and either gravely or toro is a good choice.

    as for the floating deck giving a better cut, unless you can explain that to are simply wrong. perhaps there isn't a smooth lawn in hawaii and the floaters are required, I dunno. but for CONUS, scalping is operator error.

    GEO :)
  10. J.Gordon

    J.Gordon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    Since you said money isn’t an issue, I would go with a floating deck Hydro. I don’t know that much about the Toro’s and Gravely’s but I like the T-bar Toro has. If you have a Hustler dealer around you should demo a super walk-behind, you wont find a walk-behind that is easier to operate than the Hustler H-bar with a BullRider.

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