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Homeowner ?, Commercial walk behind or big box riding?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Michael950, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Michael950

    Michael950 LawnSite Member
    from C
    Messages: 32

    I am a homeowner who has a home on an acre lot. I have to mow approximately 17,000 sq ft of turf. To mow, trim, and blow it takes from 3 - 4 hours, all with a 21" Honda push mower. (longer when we get over 95*)

    My Honda worked great at my old house, but this is getting old fast. Been here 2 years and I'm not going to do this routine again. I'm going to bid the work out, but I know it's going to be at least $50 a service.

    I know that speed and width of cut are important, and I have yet to find a rental place that rents a commercial walk behind mower (Exmark/Toro/Scag) which I would prefer so I may gauge the improved efficiency of a commercial walk-behind.
    I'd like to get a 48" Turf Tracer or Viking (or Toro equivalent), but that's a lot of coin for a homeowner. Realistically I'd get a 36 or 48" Metro, but for about the same amount of money I can get a 50" ZTR Cub Cadet from Depot (or something similar).

    I'd love to be able to test drive the mowers, because I know the quality of cut, handling of terrain, and impact on turf (damage) will all be different. So the next thing is to ask the pros.

    Would I be better getting the big box rider, or should I get a commercial walk behind?

    [Mowing season is April 1 to Nov 20, and May to Oct is weekly. At $50/service that would be approx $1,400 per year. I've done this for 2 years now so self mowing has saved me $2,800, but I feel a more realistic rate would be $55-$60]
  2. Michael950

    Michael950 LawnSite Member
    from C
    Messages: 32

    Regarding obstacles, there are approx 6-8 tress in the front and 10 - 12 in the back. Most of which are approx 4-5" DBH.
  3. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    I would get the homeowner ztr if all you were cuting is your own lawn.
  4. JTF40

    JTF40 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 875

    How much $$$$ are willing to spend? :usflag:
  5. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Messages: 1,625

    Look at Snapper or Husqvarna (or a quality equivelant) at a local independent dealer. They'll be there to take care of you if your mower goes down. Where will Home Depot be?
  6. Michael950

    Michael950 LawnSite Member
    from C
    Messages: 32

    If I can get the job done in 2 hours or less, $3,000. But if Snapper will do the same, for half the price then I'd get the snapper.
  7. mybowtie

    mybowtie LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 683

    have afriend of mine that has a homeowner toro ztr. Mows around 1 acre at his place, and the same at his dads. Cuts good, and hasnt had a problem in the 2 yrs hes used it. Buy at your local dealer, much better support.
  8. CottonPatch

    CottonPatch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    Might want to take a look at the new Gravely Wide Area Walk (WAW) intended for someone like yourself. Should be less that $1500.
  9. CFB

    CFB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    If you are handy I would look into getting an old dixon ztr on ebay or somewhere. I picked one up (12hp briggs/42") a few years ago and use it solely for my home yard. Paid 350 for it. It is 20+ years old but parts are still easy to get and it cuts great. I mow 1 acre with it, takes about 25-30 minutes I think. It is great for what I use it for and honestly has plenty of power to speed through it. It is the old cone drive.
  10. JTF40

    JTF40 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 875

    Here ya go. The finest customer service and quality machines. :usflag:


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