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Commercial vs residential mowers for commercial business?

dkh

LawnSite Member
Location
montana
Hello all,
I am curious what you think about using residential mowers for commercial use? I'm adding a crew this year and wonder about it. I am just looking back at the cost of running two of my mowers, a Scag zero turn and a Deere walk behind, both great commercial mowers but they nickel and dimed me to death least year. I do all my own repairs but the parts are pretty spendy. It seems to me that buying new residential mowers would be cheaper even if they only lasted a couple years then the big outlay for quality commercial mowers that are four times the cost. Just a thought running through my mind as I gear up for for this season. I'm not opposed to used commercial mowers but thats what the Scag and Deere were. What do you think? Thanks
 

Triplex

LawnSite Member
Location
Ambler, PA
I worked on a golf course that used cheapo big-box store Bolens/MTD and Murray 21-inchers. They lasted a couple of years under severe usage conditions, but we had an in-house mechanic to keep things patched together. They definitely aren't as durable as commercial machines, but you don't have to worry as much about them getting damaged or stolen, which can be helpful if you're getting them for employees to run and not yourself.
 

pkra12

LawnSite Member
Location
youngstown oh
dkh, I don't want to discourage you if that's your choice but i don't think they will hold up, the wear and tear from the trailer ride alone will rip 'em up....Just don't wanna see you waste your $
 

jgc8fan

LawnSite Member
Location
Jacksonville, FL
I'm not opposed to used commercial mowers but thats what the Scag and Deere were.
I think you nailed your problem right there. A new mower shouldn't need that many repairs, and you have no idea how hard it was run before you got it. I bought my mowers new (Snapper ZTR and an Exmark WB), and neither have needed any significant repairs. The Snapper is on it's 7th year now, and I think it's just about ready to finally go. The Exmark has been running 2 and 1/2 years with no repairs. Just regular maintenance is all they needed, and a few minor things (belts, tires, a throttle, and a $5 circuit breaker is all I've done to the Z, and the only thing the Exmark has needed was new wheels for the sulky).

You gotta think about it in terms of how much money they make you. People freak out when I tell them I paid $5,000 for the Z (and it was damn near the cheapest model they had at the time), but I made the money that I spent on it back within just a few months, and since then it's made me several hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the investment suddenly looks like a good deal. I'm probably gonna replace it this year or next, and I don't feel a bit bad about it.

In comparison... Anytime I've tried to use a piece of homeowner equipment I've never had it last more than a few months... This probably explains why most homeowner gear usually only has a 90 day commercial use warranty.

If money is the concern get WBs with sulkies instead of riders. Personally I've decided when I replace my Z I am getting a hydro wb (mostly because I want to get the extra weight off my trailer, and I think the Z has been a bit of overkill for the types of yards I do).
 

pitrack

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Omaha, NE
I think you nailed your problem right there. A new mower shouldn't need that many repairs, and you have no idea how hard it was run before you got it. I bought my mowers new (Snapper ZTR and an Exmark WB), and neither have needed any significant repairs. The Snapper is on it's 7th year now, and I think it's just about ready to finally go. The Exmark has been running 2 and 1/2 years with no repairs. Just regular maintenance is all they needed, and a few minor things (belts, tires, a throttle, and a $5 circuit breaker is all I've done to the Z, and the only thing the Exmark has needed was new wheels for the sulky).

You gotta think about it in terms of how much money they make you. People freak out when I tell them I paid $5,000 for the Z (and it was damn near the cheapest model they had at the time), but I made the money that I spent on it back within just a few months, and since then it's made me several hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the investment suddenly looks like a good deal. I'm probably gonna replace it this year or next, and I don't feel a bit bad about it.

In comparison... Anytime I've tried to use a piece of homeowner equipment I've never had it last more than a few months... This probably explains why most homeowner gear usually only has a 90 day commercial use warranty.

If money is the concern get WBs with sulkies instead of riders. Personally I've decided when I replace my Z I am getting a hydro wb (mostly because I want to get the extra weight off my trailer, and I think the Z has been a bit of overkill for the types of yards I do).
;)am I reading that right?
 

KrayzKajun

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Harvey,LA
i always buy the residential 21" mowers some will last 3 years if you take care of them plus you can buy about 3 of those compared to 1 commercial 21"
i have a troybilt 21" wit a briggs motor . paid $199.00 5years ago. still starts on first pull used it for two years on 25yds
 
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