Critique my shopping list

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimmyStew, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    I know, "another what do you think about this piece of equipment?" thread. Let me apologize up front! The thing is, I'm not a mowing guy. I've had a small number of accounts the past few years, but starting this season I'd like to drop a few bad accounts and then focus on only full maintenance accounts to supplement the landscaping side of the business. The way the economy is headed, I think it would be smart to sure up some steady, reliable income in case homeowners start to cut back. I don't operate in a highly populated area (or one with a lot of disposable income). I also know of one LCO that is drastically cutting back his operations and two others that will be soon. And trust me when I tell you, that doesn't leave a whole lot of options for homeowners around here. All in all, I'm fairly confident that if I wanted, I could get all the mowing accounts I could handle and I should be able to cherry pick some full service accounts.

    That being said, I'm upgrading/consolidating my mowing fleet (if you can call what I have now a fleet). I'll be running a two man crew - myself and a seasonal/part-timer (most likely a college kid) and would like to focus on mostly smaller properties that will take a full day, maybe a day and a half for the two of us. Here is what I'm thinking about after my "online research" has concluded. I haven't looked at any mowers in person yet (too busy pushing snow around!).

    I'm going with a large-area walk behind since I won't be doing any large properties, I have a JD X300 if I should need it, and I love the cut they give. I'll be perfectly honest, price was a huge decision here. I'm going to look at a Husqvarna WH4817E 48" fixed deck, dual hydro walk-behind. Seems they run a good $1000 to $1500 cheaper than any other brand. I talked to my JD dealer about a JD 7H17 and looked at both Toro & Exmark but the price tag was just to much (Toro, Exmark & Husqvarna are the only dealers that are feasibly close). I also considered a Quick 44 (posted a thread about that yesterday) but reconsidered after reading several posts regarding single vs. dual hydros.

    I'm also going to look at a Honda HRC216HXA 21" commercial mower. I will likely talk to my Husqvarna dealer about the W21S as well, but from some of the posts on here, there seem to be some unhappy users, plus that thing weighs like 150#, Yikes! The Honda has the infinitely variable hydro as opposed to a 3 speed, plus I've always been impressed with the Honda engine.

    I'm open to any thoughts you may have on my choices, good or bad.
  2. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    Who talked you out of the Quick 44???????....oh let me guess someone who has never owned or operated one.......that is usually the case!!!!
  3. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    But I haven't completely abandoned the idea yet.:dancing:
  4. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    Thought of one more question. For those who have used the Husqvarna walk behind, do you use a sulky and if so, what brand? How well does it work?
  5. C&K

    C&K LawnSite Senior Member
    from East TN
    Messages: 295

    I have a Husqvarna 48" belt drive with a velke x 2. I am a pretty big fellow and it performs very well. I do prefer two wheels over one. Jungle Wheels are another good brand.
  6. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,067

    For the money, I think I would buy a Wright Stander over a WB and it would prolly be a 52. Since you will be running the equipment or there to watch the help, I would get a Cub Cadet Widecut(33 inch). As long as you dont abuse it it will last and last and will usually go where the smaller mower would. The Stander wouldnt cost much more than the Dual Hydro WB. Around here, we dont have much gated stuff so we like bigger mowers. My mix is a Toro tbar 44 WB and Exmark 66. I dont carry a 21 and will never buy a mower under 48 again. Im thinking that I want a 48 or 52 Stander to replace the 44 but no dealer within 70 miles. Thats my opinion and hope it helps you!
  7. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    Problem there is, no dealer nearby. If I go with any brand other than Toro, Husqvarna or Exmark, I'm looking at a minimum hour and a half drive to the nearest dealer.

    Actually, I bought one of those last season to replace an older Troy-Bilt that was a fairly decent machine. The Cub Cadet wasn't nearly the machine the Troy-Bilt was. I found the cut on that machine to be horrible and it didn't handle as well. It was a bit heavier and the handles were uncomfortable.

    Once I get set up with some new, good accounts and the new equipment, if I find myself needing a mid-sized 32" - 36" mower I'd probably go with either a Quick or possibly check out a Billygoat.
  8. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,067

    They are all built by MTD on the same line I think. Kinda like GMC and Chevy trucks. I wouldnt go that far for a mower either.

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