getting my first mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by nevar, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. nevar

    nevar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    so i am ready to start my own thing, tired of working for someone who isn't ME. i just got a long bed ranger and am ready to get a mower. my main question is, if I am just starting out, should i get a commercial mower or a homeowner? i can get a honda HRX216 for $1111. or should i get a crap mower and get a commercial after i made enough money this summer? i am thinking it will pay off to have a decent mower which will make work faster and more efficient. any serious opinions welcome, thanks
  2. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    In your business plan, you should have a figure that tells you what you can spend. I take it you don't have one right? You need to make one and follow it.
  3. Hell on Blades

    Hell on Blades LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    :nono:DO NOT START YOUR BUSINESS ON CREDIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:nono:

    You should absolutely buy whatever you can AFFORD, not what you want or think you need.

    Fins a way to make all cash purchases and we'll go from there...
  4. nevar

    nevar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    ok, so i know lawn mowing is the bread and butter, especially to start, i will take any job though. i have some pruners, loppers, shears, other hand tools, saws, chainsaw, trash can, rakes.. i just got a truck. my goal is to get the following:
    2.backpack blower
    3.string trimmer
    4. 8' orchard ladder

    i can afford the $1K mower but then that's the only thing i'd have to start with. and now in spring and summer that's mostly what i'll be doing. i have a few clients and some landscapers that have clients they would pass to me.

    so i guess my question is should i get a handheld blower, a 400 mower, a homeowner trimmer and the ladder; and hope that the blower, trimmer and mower last thru summer OR

    just get a nice mower and as i make some money back get the nicer equipment? i have this choice. i dont have any mowers or trimmers of my own so i'm just trying to make a wise decision. any more help is appreciated
  5. IHusky

    IHusky LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    Get a commercial mower to start with, check out the Snapper 21 but make sure you know if your going to mulch or bag.

    If your going to bag get the Snapper Hi-vac.

    If you are going to mulch, get the Snapper mulcher.

    The Snapper Hi vac (will not mulch very well, I had it and found that it leaves a couple of strands of grass when mulching and it drove me nuts) deck curls in at the bottom and the Snapper mulcher curls out at the bottom, it makes a big differnce. Just picked up the commercial Snapper 21 mulcher (the one in the link above) with Kaw engine for $719 + tax ($780 with tax). That leaves you $220 for a descent commercial trimmer if you can find the Snapper in your area for that price. Call around because there was a $200 price difference between the two dealers I called. The Toro/Exmark and Honda Commericals will be in the $1200+ . Snapper 21" good value to start especailly if you only have $1000 to use.

    The other option is to find a used commercial walkbehind. You can get them for under a grand and don't be in a hurry to buy. Wait for the right deal to come around. Craigs list is a good place to look. Residental mower/trimmer/blower is a waste of time, especially if its your primary. You can add the commercial blower and trimmer as you make money. Good luck.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  6. nevar

    nevar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    thanks for the tips. i'll probably go with the honda as i will be bagging and mulching, i cant go any bigger than 24-26" due to small gates and paths. i know a lot of people started with the worst gear, but that's what they had to work with... i have a choice to make at least
  7. blake2727

    blake2727 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Messages: 88

    Nevar, just going off the prices IHusky posted I would look at the snapper 21" because at that price difference it will allow you to buy a decent trimmer and you will probably need a trimmer. You can probably afford a commercial trimmer if you go with the snapper. I know you can get a echo that would be within budget and possibly a smaller stihl. I like the shindaiwa but they are going to get up in the three and four hundred dollar range. You can probably get a echo for two hundred or less or a smaller stihl for two hundred or a little more.
  8. IHusky

    IHusky LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    The Honda is a very good mulcher and I think can bag decent too. Whatever you decide, go commercial from the start. Don't waste money trying to save money. When I was starting off, I went with a Cub Cadet as my primary mower. Man was that a big mistake. I paid $550 for it. Over a two year period I had to have the transmission fixed twice at $80 a pop. I could have just bought the Snapper commercial for about the same money and its going to last many years with the proper maint. I sold that piece of crap for $75, I really wanted to push it off a cliff. Don't make my mistake, get a commercial unit to start.

    Like blake2727, even the entry level Stihl or Echo are going to be far superior than the homeowner crap they are pushing at the Home Depot, Lowes and Sears.

    JMMARICH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Get the Snapper 21! If you have a good foundation (mower) for starting out, the rest will fall in place.
  10. nevar

    nevar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    so i ended getting a stihl bg85 blower for $200 and the sthil fs55r trimmer, which is the top homeowner with a straight shaft.

    i take care of my stuff, i just need the trimmer to last me a while, i'll need a backpack blower by fall anyway.

    as for the mower i'm pretty set on the self propelled honda for $1100, although i will try to go take a look at the snapper 21 you guys mentioned. but definately getting a commercial one, i'll probably be mowing some tough lawns as a newbie...

    don't want to start a new thread but, what about ramps for getting the heavy mower onto the pickup? can anyone point out a manufacturer or just use some boards?

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