Best Residential Wide Cut Walk Behind?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by LawnLimey, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. LawnLimey

    LawnLimey LawnSite Member
    from ME
    Messages: 3

    I have just purchased a new home with around 1.2 acres of hilly lawn to cut. Some of the hills are borderline too steep for a ride on (20-25 incline) so I am looking for a wide cut walk behind. I will be using it solely for my property so a residential mower will do for me. Any ideas for my best option, with a budget of $2000?
  2. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    I would buy a used commercial walk behind. You should be able to find one in that price range. If not here are a few options on the residential side.

    1. Cub cadet 33" wide area walk behind
    2. Craftsman 33". They did make a 36"also
    3. Simplicity 34".
    4. Troybuilt 33"
    5. Billy goat 33" if they still make them
    6. Toro timemaster 30"

    The craftsman is pretty durable but the cut quality is not the greatest unless you sharpen blades often. I would throw all these options out along with buying used. I would spend a little more and get a snapper pro walk behind. It wont set you
    back as much as a toro or scag but you are still getting a commercial unit that should last for years. It will also hold its value pretty well if you want to sell it later.
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  3. seabee003

    seabee003 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    I had a similar problem to you in the late 90's - new large yard (~1 acre) with big hill which was not cuttable on a lawn tractor. I looked at residential walk behinds and ended up opting for a 48in commercial hydro walk behind in spring of 1999. I spent about $3500 which was twice my budget.

    The mower (JD HD45) has been great - no problems other than usual maintenance. Been used for 13 seasons (~700 hr), still in great shape and I expect to easily get at least another 700 hrs out of it before anything major needs to be done.

    Several points drove my decision.

    - larger deck - the residential mowers were 36 in or less
    - better engines - Kawi 14hp - good in cool season with mulching kit
    - dual hydros - faster easier especially on steep hills
    - commercial grade with long life expectancy for residential use

    The market is different now and I am not familiar with the new residential mowers. But I think a good quality used 48 in dual hydro walk behind could be found on your budget and you could get many years of use out of it.

    If you go with a residential mower, make sure you know what its capabilities are on your hilly terrain.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
  4. LawnLimey

    LawnLimey LawnSite Member
    from ME
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the input. I have actually narrowed it down to the Troy-Bilt or The Billy Goat 3400. A few retailers still have the Billy Goat for $1500 and I can get the Troy-Bilt for $1100 with a Lowes discount. I'm handy with repairs and a stickler for maintenance so trivial problems like belts, blades etc are not an issue.
  5. GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,440

    Flip a coin with those options. 1,2,4,5 are all MTD variants of the same thing.
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  6. LawnLimey

    LawnLimey LawnSite Member
    from ME
    Messages: 3

    Thanks, I'm aware of the MTD buy outs, just want to know which ones are built better. I know the Craftsman have deck weld issues and the Cub Cadet has VERY bad belt issues.
  7. dbear

    dbear LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    I don't see Ariens 34 or Gravely 34 on your list, so I'll toss them in there. Same machine different paint.
  8. KarlP

    KarlP LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 31

    Three years ago I posted a thread called "Good Enough 36" Walk Behind Mowers". I didn't really need a Turf Tracer HP for one lawn. :)

    I ended up with a 36" Dual Hydro Bradley (aka Red Hawk) for under 2k. It has served me very well. I think they are a few hundred over that now. I'd consider it a low end commercial mower and quite a bit better than the homeowner models.
  9. dbear

    dbear LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    Doesn't look a bad unit, but what the heck happened to their pricing?

    "36" Bradley Hydro Drive Walk Behind Mower 16HP Kawasaki Electric Start Engine

    $3,289.99 Plus Shipping."
    36" Bradley Dual Hydro

    The belt drives are around $1700 plus shipping.
    36" Red Hawk Belt Drive
  10. KarlP

    KarlP LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 31


    I also bought mine off ebay (direct from Havener) for $19XX.

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