the MOST for the LEAST that lasts the LONGEST part 1

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JAC, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. JAC

    JAC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    I spent 18 years in all aspects of the motorcycle business. I learned about which bikes didn't break down as often; which bikes were easy to fix; which bikes were supplemented by aftermarket parts (cheaper than OEM); which bikes kept their value the longest, and which bikes seemd to SATISFY their owners the most.

    Now if you fellows had all your money back to shop again, and could spend the same equivalent amounts as you did on your original purchases - which mowers would you buy?

    part 2 nest post
     
  2. JAC

    JAC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    I knew, for example, that the Honda 360 twin was an unsatisfactory, underpowered bike that SOLD BIG on the brand name, the style and the electric starter, while the Yamaha 400 twin was a very satisfactory bike, but had NO ELECTRIC STARTER - and in the same year, the Honda 750 was a very satisfactory bike, while the Yamaha 750 was TRASH. At the same time, which bike you needed depended on what you were going to DO WITH IT - so if you wanted a TOURING (long trips) bike in that smaller price range, you would have bought the Suzuki 380 Triple and passed on the Honda and the Yamaha and the Kawasaki - if your main goal was to do wheel stands at the traffic light, you would have bought the Kawasaki S-2 350 Triple. See what I mean? You guys should know this stuff about these lawnmowers!

    part 3 next post
     
  3. JAC

    JAC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    See what I mean? You guys should know this stuff about these lawnmowers!

    Wouldn't you fellows mix brands and models in your "stable"?

    WHICH 36-44" walk behind will tear right through wet 12" grass? LAST LONG - and be EASY TO SERVICE I bet there is one... who has successfully mowed the foot tall grass in the light rain without clogging and left the grass looking flat on one pass?

    WHICH bigger walk behind will do the same?

    IF YOU COULD TRADE all your old machines in on other used machines in exactly the same condition, size and relative value as your old machines - what would you end up with that was different than what you've got?

    WHY do so many praise the Toro and the Exmark walk-beinds (same mower), while other denounce them as no good because they have stamped (not welded) decks?

    Could it be because everyone is so concerned to convince themselves that they did not make a mistake that they just have to vote for what they already own "AS THE BEST"?

    That's what I am trying to do - to get the MOST mower for the LEAST money that will LAST THE LONGEST: which one is it? How about a complete survey from all you pros on what worked and didn't?

    I have been offered a very good price on a certain Toro top of the line mid-sized walk behind commercial - a better price by far than I have seen on a Hustler or Scag or Bobcat that's comparable - but I do not want to make ANOTHER purchase mistake! HELP!!!

    3 John 2
    just another Christian
     
  4. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    Personally....

    Not to sound like a homer since I run Ferris mowers, but I think other than Ferris with full independent suspension, a mower is a mower is a mower.

    Most of what people have problems with, is user abuse anyways.

    I realize as with cars, computers, etc., that once in a while you're going to get a bad mower and it's going to come down to how well your dealer / factory rep treats you, but for the most part, if you take care of your equipment, it will take care of you.

    As for a 36-48" wb that's going to tear right through wet grass, are you talking wet from dew? Or wet with 2" of standing water that you have to mow over. I know people on here say their mower, whatever brand will mow in the rain.

    I have demo'd most every mower on the market over the last 16 years, except Everride and Badboy cause there's no dealer here, and they're all about the same, all have their own little quirks, +'s and -'s.

    Personally, I run Ferris IS 4000 because of the suspension and doing strictly commercial properties. If someone else came out with a full suspension mower, I'd give it a shot. Not saying that I don't like my Ferris, but I'm always open to new ideas. You have to be if you're going to survive in this career.

    Most of what people buy is because that's what dealer they have in the area.

    Up here in MN, it's all Toro, Exmark, John Deere, with a few Scag here and there and my closest dealer happens to carry Ferris and Kubota. I'd say the Toro dealers outnumber everyone else 3-1, but that's probably because Toro is based out of Minneapolis, or at least that's where one of the headquarters is.

    As for getting the most for the least... just remember, alot of times you get what you pay for.

    I'd suggest getting a pamphlet from each mower you're interested in, take it home, flip open to the back cover and just run right down the specs of each mower, making sure you're comparing apples to apples, not oranges.
     
  5. JAC

    JAC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    Thanks for the advice!

    just another Christian
     
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Just to help you out a little here let me straighten something out about your statement.

    It is true that Toro and Exmark are made at the same plant. And they are almost the same mower but there are no stamped decks available in Exmark's lineup but there are in Toro's.

    I personally will not buy another Exmark mower. It's not that I have had a bad experience with my Metro 36 but I don't think it was built to last a long time. My mower has under 1,000 hours on it and here is what I have replaced or need to replace.

    Left hand spindle replaced under warranty
    Left hand spindle needs to be replaced again
    Right hand spindle needs to be replaced
    Left and right front wheel bushings worn out and replaced
    Left and right caster bushing worn out and replaced
    Right hand jackshaft support bearing worn out and needs to be replaced
    Left and right control handles worn out and replaced

    Most people would never notice or ignore most of these things but I don't. I expect my mowers to be like they are brand new all of the time.

    A friend of mine has 2 Lazer Z's and he has pretty much come to the same conclusion. Both of his are under 1,000 hours each and he is looking at replacing some spindles, has replaced the clutch switch on 1, replaced all of the front wheel bushings, the antiscalp wheels keep falling off, replaced 1 non-adjustable Warner clutch, 2 steering dampeners, 2 mule drive pullies and a bunch of other stuff.

    Additionally the deck on my Metro is just plain flimsy. You can push on the handlebars and see the casters mounts flexing the deck where they attach. The deck also cracked where one of the baffles is welded to the back of the deck.

    My mowers are not abused and receive regular maintenance. My Dixie Chopper is closing in on 1,000 hours and I have had to replace nothing. It even has the original belts on it.
     
  7. JAC

    JAC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    Dear Friend,

    YOU SAID:
    As for a 36-48" wb that's going to tear right through wet grass, are you talking wet from dew? Or wet with 2" of standing water that you have to mow over. I know people on here say their mower, whatever brand will mow in the rain.

    REPLY:
     
  8. JAC

    JAC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    RE-MOWING TALL WET GRASS

    Dear Friend,

    YOU SAID:
    As for a 36-48" wb that's going to tear right through wet grass, are you talking wet from dew? Or wet with 2" of standing water that you have to mow over. I know people on here say their mower, whatever brand will mow in the rain.

    REPLY:

    How about mowing during a light rain? Mowing the morning after a heavy rain? Mowing lush, tall (12") grass on a dry day? I have 2 mowers here which will mow these challenges.

    Billy Goat Brush Mower (UNSTOPPABLE). I have mowed 4 foot tall grass and weeds in the pouring rain with the Billy Goat and it doesn't even notice what it's running over. It does not cut dead flat, but it leaves no streaks or twigs. It leaves very appealing looking stripes, with all the clippings neatly arranged in two 4" wide strips on either side of the deck. It's actually quite pretty (I think), and especially if the clippings dry before they are disturbed - you end up with nice long golden stripes across the field (if you cut rich, thick grass).

    SWISHER TRIM-MAX STRING MOWER: the most totally useful lawn, grass and weed cutter on the property. It does everything effortlessly except cut hard-wood weed stems over 1/4 inch thick. If I were to replace ther 1.55mm plastic line with stainless steel wire - it would tsake down small tree starts, wood and all. I have cut down 4 foot tall rose bramble with it. It takes down any normal height of grass (up to 2') with ease, even in the rain. It will scalp a clean stripe of bare earth directly under the fence. I totally love it - and IF something like this was self-propelled and had hydro-steering and a fixed cut height adjustment.... it would actually replace some mowers that I have.
     
  9. JAC

    JAC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    Dear Friend,

    YOU SAID:
    . I know people on here say their mower, whatever brand will mow in the rain.

    REPLY:

    How about mowing during a light rain? Mowing the morning after a heavy rain? Mowing lush, tall (12") grass on a dry day? I have a mowers here which will mow these challenges.

    Billy Goat Brush Mower (UNSTOPPABLE). I have mowed 4 foot tall grass and weeds in the pouring rain with the Billy Goat and it doesn't even notice what it's running over. It does not cut dead flat, but it leaves no streaks or twigs. It leaves very appealing looking stripes, with all the clippings neatly arranged in two 4" wide strips on either side of the deck. It's actually quite pretty (I think), and especially if the clippings dry before they are disturbed - you end up with nice long golden stripes across the field (if you cut rich, thick grass).

    Thanks again
    just another Christian
     
  10. Top Notch

    Top Notch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    I'd buy every single piece of Stihl 2 stroke stuff again in a second.

    I would not buy my 36 inch Scag walk behind again. I'd get a Toro T bar unit. My Scag isn't half the mowing machine as my buddies 36 inch Toro.

    I would not buy my Scag ZTR again. I would buy a Kubota diesel unit. Zero percent for 36 months.

    I hate my 21 inch Toro Proline. I have had lots of engine trouble with it. It's the 2 stroke Suzuki 980 dollar model. Supposed to be the best. I sure don't like the engine on it. The mower is killer though.

    I would buy another Big-Tex trailer in a second.

    I have 2 Cummins Dodge trucks. I'd buy them both again.
     

Share This Page