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purchasing decisions? can you help?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KBW, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. KBW

    KBW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    I am just getting started in the biz. Over the last few days I have spent several hours on this web site soaking up a lot of information about mowers(size 36 or 48,gear vs hydro, float vs fixed, exmark vs gravely vs skagg, vs lesco etc.) blowers and trimmers. I feel llike I have been on a landscape roller coaster. After a lot of reading on this site I have decided to go with a 48" walk-behind. I have aprox $3,200 to start up with. With that $3,200 I was hoping to get a mower, trimmer, and blower. I already have a truck, trailer, and a 21" . The closest dealer to me, with a good reputation for service is a Gravely dealer. Some of the threads I have read on the gravely gear drive w/b (2002) are a little concerning, however, I have heard many good things too.

    I can get a 2003 48" fixed deck gear drive for $2,450. That mower has a 15 hp Kaw, pistol grip , and recoil start.

    Another gravely choice is a 2002 48" gear w/ a floating deck, elect start w/17hp Kaw. w/pistol for aprox $2,650, however, that mower is a demo unit with 102 hours on it. It is very clean, looks new.

    Am I better off getting the new 2003 w/a fixed deck and saving a couple hundred $$ OR should I get the more equipt 2002 demo w/102 hours on it that has a floating deck and extra 2hp??? or do I avoid gravely altogether? Again I will be doing this part time 10-13 lawns. Some of my lawns are a little hilly , nothing that bad though.

    I don't mind spending more for the demo if it's the better choice.

    I was also planning on getting the echo srm260 trimmer. It sounds like several people don't care too much for that trimmer. I read things about an unadjustable carb. that has had some problems. Aren't all the other brands having to use unadjustable carbs as well? Should i really stay away from the srm260?

    Thanks in advance for your help.......KBW
  2. grshppr

    grshppr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    Welcome to lawnsite:)
    Echo has good trimmers, but I have had better luck with Kawasaki. They are lightweight, and powerful. I found the echo to be underpowered, and it had the same cc's. They make excellent blowers. We use echo and Stihl and both have performed excellent, and one is on its 8th season or so. I don't know much about Gravely but as for a mid size walk behind it is a good investment. The save a lot of time, and do an excellent job. Try get one with as little hours as possible. I've used snapper, husky, and John Deere personally I like the John deere. Make sure you get a sulke for it so you aren't wasting energy running behind it all the time.

    Good Luck!
  3. jkkalbers

    jkkalbers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 144

    Get the floating deck with the hours on it. You'll be glad you have the ease of changing mowing heights with ease. And Gravely has always made a good product.
  4. grassdaddy

    grassdaddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 565

    With a 3200 budget,Lesco would be the place to go--48w/b,kaw blower,and trimmer!
  5. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    Buy what you can afford, but buy with the future in mind. You will expand one day and you want to make sure the equipment you purchase will help you, not hender you. If you can afford the floating deck, go for it.

    Everyone has thier own opinion and brand of choice. Have the machines demo'd on your properties and make the decision from there.
  6. John at JDH Select

    John at JDH Select LawnSite Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 66

    I can't speak for the Gravely WB, but I did purchase a Gravely ZTR last year and have been very impressed. They seem to be built very well.

    As far as WB's go, I have always used Snapper. They have required very little maintenance and have always performed well. I suggest the Kawasaki engine!

    I am running (2) echo 2600's and had to send both back to the dealer because of carb problems. There was a recall on all of the carbs and the dealer replaced the carb as a warranty item. I have not experienced any problems since. The echo blowers are awesome!

    Hope this helps...
  7. KBW

    KBW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    I appreciate all the responses. Thank You. As far as the Lesco option; the closest Lesco dealer is about 45 minutes away and i do not know anything about their dealings. From what i have read on this sight, I should strongly consider buying from a local dealer with a good reputation, therefore, I am leaning towords my local Gravely guy (15 minutes from my house and highly recommended). I would love to hear from somone who has used or is using the 2002 Gravely fixed or floating 48" belt drive. Thanks again. Kevin
  8. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

    I know you're set on a 48", but have you considered fenced yards....that 48" won't fit through it...you're 1st year, you'll want any job you can get...My first mower was a 36" for such applications...now I run a 48" and a 52" and I STILL wouldn't trade that 36" for anything...
  9. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,071

    Like Goodbuess stated, of course depending on the size of your properties, a 36 is a great place to start. My preferences would be 36 metro Ecs $2300, stihl km85r $349, edging attachment $89, stihl back pack blower $439. Total is $3177 which will leave you enough for the mulcher kit if so inclined or for a couple extra bucks the hedge clipper attachment. Good Luck
  10. PR0 TURF

    PR0 TURF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    If i were in your shoes with the knowledge I have gained from a few years experience I would recommend the 17hp with the floating deck. I wouldn't be bothered with the 36". I've never used one...and would never consider buying one. We rarely run into any gates that we must get through. If you had a lawn with a gate you could always use your 21". You'll be happy you spent the extra $$ for the bigger motor & floating deck, not to mention elec. start.
    We have one piece of Echo equipment (hedgetrimmers)...i feel as though they are the weakest link in our arsenal...we strongly favor Redmax for handheld 2-stroke power equipment.

    Just my opinion...


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