Buying Lower End Brands

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by afftandem, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. afftandem

    afftandem LawnSite Member
    Messages: 196

    You get what you pay for... well, not always.
    In the past, the things I have purchased, I have had better luck with the off brands over whats thought to be a better product.

    My first car was a '93 ford tbird... according to all the consumer magazines not a great buy.. no resale value to it and its never goin to last like a honda, nissan, toy.. but i put over 180k on it myself, sold it a 2yrs ago to my landlord who sold it to somebody else who he said they would finish it off. i saw it last summer on one of my mows and mentioned it to them that it used to be my car.. they said it was still running fine and had over 200k on it.. i bought it young and didnt keep up with all the oil changes (sometimes over 10k) and the new owners were young pothead teenagers who i assume was not keeping up w/maintenace.

    have had several problems w/sony dvds and vcrs..yet had a cheap GoldStar vcr that just wouldnt die.

    bought a toro 22" selfpaced electricstar mower (was in consumer rprts mag. as the best mower to buy right under hondas $700+ non commercial) but it didnt mulch worth crap. Had a craftsman 21" which gave the best mow on a lawn (dead now, but i put it through hell and didnt take great care of it) wouldve probably gone into next season if i had taken better care.

    Have Roper washer/dryer which are about the cheapest brands out there, and never a problem.

    also an emachines computer which works perfectly..

    just bought a 52" wright sentar which will probably be nothing but hassels... kinda thinking now i shouldve went with the less popular brands.. Husgavana(or whatever), bradley, or sumthn else (maybe i should stick with briggs)
  2. Bull

    Bull LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 308

    And your question concerning the business is what???
  3. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    Why the gloom over the Sentar?
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Ya know that for normal household service most of the things you say hold true. However, I do know for a fact that when you get into heavy commercial use there is no substitute for a commercial piece of equipment besides buying 2 of the homeowner versions.
    If you are easy on mechanical equipment and take care of it (PM, do not abuse it) it will last a certain period of time. Commercial equipment is built with heavier components. Brand name is not synonimous with commercial equipment.
    Toro makes homeowner versions of mowers. Some are decent others are not so good. Toro makes garden tractors of varying quality. The basics are the same, 4 wheels, motor (3rd party vendor), seat. But the difference is with the wear components and design. Another brand has a thin gauge stamped deck. The off brand has spindles that are built cheaper. The deck does not come off easily. They both will cut grass but how long will they do it under adverse conditions? Homeowners don't cut in adverse conditions so both of these mowers seem equal except for the price.
    I will admit that some of the reason price is higher on the consumer grade end of products is advertising costs but there is also quite a difference in the quality of components used in assembly.
    That being said I will not say that I buy all brand name heavy duty items. Sure I buy a lower cost item when I know that this item is not gonna be put to the test. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose.
    I just leave it at this; commercial lawn equipment has to be heavy duty. Every company has good and marginal design ideas. I say that because I have not found one mower that is PERFECT for all that I do. I have used all grades of equipment and know that I get what I pay for and I can't afford to take the gamble that a cheaper piece will outlast the more expensive heavier built piece.
    I am glad that you have had luck in this respect. I wish that my luck was the same. Take care.
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    well said mow ed.

    here's something to keep in mind also

    if a homeowner mows his grass every week, he'll have between 30-40 mowings per year, depending on where he lives.

    most mow every two weeks, but we'll use weekly as an example.

    we mow 20-30 yards per day. so we will put an entire season's worth of use on these in 2 days. so for every week put 3 years wear and tear on the unit.

    i started my business out with lowe's MYD mowers, and at first thought the same as the thread originator. but as my business grew, i found out the truth.

    My first MTD lasted 4 years. The later ones would not even make it through a season. after i bought my first commercial unit ( exmatk viking) i would NEVER go back....
  6. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    there is still time for you to get rid of that sentar if you sell it cheap enough!

    pm me a phone number and pull it out front. I'll be there in about 6-7 hours.

    GEO :)
  7. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    GEO - he said it was a Wright... not a Lesco! :)
  8. Carolina Cutter

    Carolina Cutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Well personally I feel as though the pride in workmanship of items is not what it used to be. That is where the problems start. Everything today is mass production instead of quality production.

    Most household electronics seem to be a crapshoot on time of service anyway.

    I will say this.....I have a Murray 20" pushmower (no bag) that I use strictly for doing some of my commercial islands. The reason I use this is because it would be impossible to use anything else there besides a trimmer due to the shape of the islands and the size. I am beginning my third season with this mower and for $100 it has been a good investment. All of my larger stuff is done with the Exmark though. So, sometimes even though you pay very little for an item you will get good service out of it.
  9. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    I know, I know......... but because I am nice guy I'd be willing to take a chance on the WRIGHT......... especially for the price I'd offer him!!

    GEO :D
  10. newbomb

    newbomb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 391

    It sounds to me like someone didn't do their homework. I think you spent a lot of money on a machine you didn't know much about and now don't like it. Buy something more obscure than a Wright Sentar? That's not smart. I have never seen a Sentar and there are quite a few large commercial dealers in Baltimore. In police work they call that a clue. Any way you might want to sell it or trade it in for something else, I dunno maybe an Exmark, Scag, JD, Toro. One of these obscure brands might be a better buy. If you buy junk your buying twice. Paul

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