Advise on buying equipment

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MJ, Jan 8, 2001.

  1. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    I'm looking for advise. I want to start lawn care next summer. Talked to a John Deere dealer today who offered me a Walker he'd taken in trade for about the same as a JD 166. I think a 42". He'll put a new 20hp unit in it. I realize neither is ideal, but it's what I can afford for a start up. He'll provide service either way, though I doubt the Walker would have much of a warranty. Told me he would provide a loaner if I needed for the Walker. It just seems to me I'd be better off with a 4 yr old Walker than a new home owner LT. Any opinions?

  2. BIG D

    BIG D LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Why would the Walker not be ideal? Its one on the best machines made. Don't even think about the Junk Deere. Not for commercial use. I would think the walker would be ideal. I wouldn't worry about the warranty in the commercial industry not much comes out on warranty.
  3. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    I would get the Walker too. It has to be better than that homeowner JD. If he will give you a loaner if the Walker breaks down, it seems like a good deal especially with a new motor on it. Walker gets my vote of those two.
  4. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    I must agree with them two, go with the walker if not you may be very sorry.

  5. Go with the Walker, the cut will be much better than the homeowner JD. Plus the productivity of the Walker will be far greater than the JD.
  6. DMC300

    DMC300 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    Are these your only choices?If so i would not pass up the walker for a J.D..Please make sure this mower will be serviced unbiasly by the as he promised.If not you could have an unpleasent /expensive first year.Not that many of us did'nt,but that's why you're asking...
  7. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    Thanks for the replies. Yes, I would expect that he'll make good on his promises of service. We're totally rural where I live in Maine and we live or die by our reputation. One unkept promise gets spread like fire and can put you out of business.

  8. osc

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    The only problem I have with the Walker is the 42" deck. Mowing is all about cutting grass quickly. Walkers are slow and with it only cutting 42" per swipe, you are going to be all day on a few residential accounts. 150 dollar days on that machine will be maxing out time and speed and daylight.

    My advice is to get atleast a 52" deck. That is 10" more and it is still small enough to mow small yards without looking rediculous or scalping. I have a brand spankin' new 48" belt drive wb that never ever comes out of the barn. I've used it once. We have 5-61" mowers and the 48 costs me money in time and labor every time I look at it. the 61's will do evrything a small mower will do, only much faster.

    As a matter of fact, the 48" will probably go up for sale in the on the used equipment forum for 1,200 bucks. It has a 14.5 Kawasaki and that is plenty of power on that unit.


    [Edited by osc on 01-09-2001 at 07:42 AM]
  9. Greenkeepers

    Greenkeepers LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 695

    Follow everyones advice here. Of those choices, definately go with the walker. Just make sure that the dealer is going to service the unit for you. Walkers are good machines and much better that a homeowner unit.
  10. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    Thanks. That was why I wanted as many opinions as possible. One thing I'm finding is that a new guy can avoid a lot of mistake by paying attention here. I have already. Another I hadn't even thought of was getting that big of a deck (big to me). Makes a lot of sense though and clearly would pay for itself in productivity. Like most people, I'm just used to taking what comes with it from the store. Have to change my thinking. Would a 20hp be enough for a 50"+ deck? Or should maybe get a 26? I already know enough to pay attn to the brand as well as the hp.

    Thanks for all the advise.

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