What should I step up to??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FFJSV, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. FFJSV

    FFJSV LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Hello all,

    I am new to this site and the truly commercial side of business. I currently use a Troy Built 33" wide cut mower and a Homelite string trimmer. I only do lawns right now around my neighborhood for family and friends that need help. Until the past week my shift at work did not permit me to do more. Now I have 3 days a week to actually make a business out of it. I do not know what kind of walk behind to step up to. I have pretty much determined a 36" is the right size, but I do not know whether or not to go with gear, hydro and fixed or floating deck. I have Toro, Exmark, Scag, Gravely, and Ferris dealers in my area. Cost is a concern just starting out, but I will not sacrifice quality for price.

    The new Ferris Hydrocut 36" with the Kawasaki engine is priced at $2699.00 and seems like a good deal pricewise but I have not seen any pros in my area using them. Most have either Toro or Exmark.

    Any advice you have is appreciated.

    Thank you,

  2. redoak77

    redoak77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    The ferris hydro is only a single hydro, I think. Anyways, I started outwith the same 33" mower, It still sees use once or twice a week. I was able to get a good deal on an exmark so i went for it. It was 48in hydro and i absoutely love it. If i were you, i would go with an exmark. I don't think you will see to much of a difference with a floating of fixed deck on a 36" so a fixed would be okay. Get the hydro model if you an afford it. You will be alright on a gear drive if you start out on it but if you get a hydro you will never go to a gear drive. The instant reverse on the hydro is awsome. Anyways good luck and do let us know what u decide on. I am a little curious about the ferris. I really want the 3000 ztr :D

    P.S. A scag would not be a bad choice either
  3. cavemn1314

    cavemn1314 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Have you looked into buying a used one. My first commerical mower was a two year old hydro exmark turf tracer 48. I bought it from my dealer and haven't had a single problem with it and i've had it for three years, but this year a bought a new 36 turf tracer and love it. In my opinion i would o for the hydro floating deck, but for starting out i would recomend finding a good used one.....good luck
  4. mastercare

    mastercare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 289

    I currently cut all of my accounts with a 48" Bob Cat. I used to have an Exmark Lazer ZTR....got out of the business, and came back 2 years later. Now I'm starting from scratch, and bought a WB.

    I have used Gravely, Exmark, and BobCat Walk Behinds. All are good machines. As far as Belt vs. Hydro.....I saved the $200 difference and went with the belt. So, its no big deal to use the belts since I'm used to them, but on long days my shoulders are sore becuase I don't have the power on the turns, and end up yanking the mower around. At the time of the purchase, that $200 meant a lot....now I wish I had the hydro....but you'll get used to either one and be happy with it.

    As far as floating vs. fixed deck.....I've used both, and the cut quality is the same. The floating deck rarely "floats" on a WB but the reason I paid for it was how quickly you can change cutting heights. Some lawns get cut higher, and its a matter of pulling and inserting 4 cotter pins. With the fixed deck, you have to actually remove the front caster wheels and adjust the number of spacers above/below the bushings (on the Bobcat)... other mowers are set up different, but the floating deck is definitely a time-saver when you have to change deck heights throughout the day. Probably the most valuable "extra feature" in my opinion.
  5. FFJSV

    FFJSV LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Thank you all for the advice I consider it very valuable. As far as used is concerned it is high up on the possibility list. The problem is there are not many used machines currently at the dealers I have visited. Several suggested coming back at the end of the season when people are looking to trade in on new machines at end of the season deals.

    One dealer I have around here sells both Toro and Exmark. Which do you guys think has the better deck and provides the better cut. Or any other differences between the two.

    Thanks again.

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