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Commercial vs "home" mowers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green-pa, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    I've been using a Honda powered Troy Built 21 inch for my first year so far. It's from Lowes so it's not commercial. It was all I could afford at like $350.
    Been doing great so far but was wondering what the advantages are of using a commercial instead. Seeing as how they are about 3x as much, surely there is a long list of differences. The main questions I have are:

    1. Is there considerably less vibrations ( my right hand is already aching from time to time )?

    2. Will it cut at a greater speed to increase productivity?

    3. How much longer will it last than a standard "home" mower?

    I was thinking of returning the $350 one I have and upgrading to the top of the line ( at lowes) which is a John Deer 8.75 hp for $500. Can anyone tell me what differences 8.75 hp will be vs my 6.5 hp?
  2. charmill26

    charmill26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    well i dont have a commercial 21 but i'd say they are much better built and will last longer. i would say that would be the main differences. it might cut at a greater speed im not sure.i would imagine the 8.5 hp would. i'd say the main difference would be quality and how long it will last. hope i helped out
  3. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

    How big are the properties that you are mowing? I prettymuch use my 50" Gravely ZTR for everything except small backyards. For the small backyards I use a 22" 4hp Murray that I got used for like $20. Don't waste you're money on a $500 9hp push mower. Look around for a nice used belt drive commercial walkbehind. For the $500 you may be able to pick up a decent
    36"-48" machine that would cut your mowing time in half.
  4. prosperity

    prosperity LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    That is still not a commercial unit......
  5. bigcutup

    bigcutup LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    The 8.75 on the John Deere is probably the Torque Rating, & not Horsepower. The newer mowers are rated by torque rating & CC's. You would probably not notice ANY difference in speed of work between the two mowers you are discussing.
  6. xpnd

    xpnd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    1. Not necessarily

    2. Depends on the tranny. With WB it is not so much the speed of th mower but the endurance of the operator. Most commercial trans will have a top speed very similar to each other. Manufacturers have spent research dollars to find out the optimum speed a person can walk all day cutting grass.

    3. Some of my mower decks are 15 years old. There is really not that much difference in commercial versus residential engines unless you include MTD, Craftsman and Briggs. The major difference lies in the deck, trans and wheels. The wheels for my small WB is made up of 6 parts. Anyone of them can be replaced. The typical homeowner will mow his lawn roughly 30 times a year. The units that go out on the truck see that much service in 1.5 days. Go with a true commercial mower.

    4. I wold suggest you start developing a relationship with a local dealer that can also provide service. When a critical unit goes down it is nice to have a dealer that will see that you are up and running the next day.
  7. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    If I found a used ( non-commercial) riding mower of like 42", would that cut about twice as fast or 3x as my 21"? And would are they generally less vibrations and stressful to the hands than a 21" in push? I have a 32" John Deer but it's my fathers and he doesn't want me using it for jobs. It has some vibrations in the steering, but is overall less wearing to the fingers and hands. I think part of the reason my right wrist/fingers/hand is starting to get overwhelmed is cause I've spent so much time on the PC in the last 4 months with my right hand on that mouse for hours and hours each day. The lawncare jobs this year just may have pushed it over the edge.

    thanks guys for the insight!
  8. jhig81

    jhig81 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Either are just as good it would just depend on the job that you are doing at the time. If you are doing residental, you would have to work twice and hard with a push mower, the only plus is that they are cheaper. Getting a commerical one means you are going to have to invest in one which it will pay for it self in the long run. Try this website out i found lots of good ones on here landscapingequipmentsupply.com
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    He knows what he's talking about...

    the greater HP would help you in tall wet grass. but how much of that do you cut....

    as for speed I know some of the push mowers have a transmission on them that will let you select a speed. but come on. your NOt going to break any record speeds.
    I also have a G-Sale special. I dont use it much but it's self propelled and very seldom do I grip the handle to the point where it hurts my hand at the end of the day. Let the mower do the work.

    commercial push mowers have steel decks and larger HP. they last a long time. But there heavyer than heck. if you have to unload and load them from the back of a truck you will be nursing a sore back every night...
  10. gravtyklz

    gravtyklz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    How many accounts would you guys wait to have before buying a commercial product. That is if you were using a residential machine to start with.

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