I'm really torn on what type mower to buy

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by fishinpa, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. fishinpa

    fishinpa LawnSite Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Messages: 293

    I'm in NE PA and have a little over 1/2 acre. Pretty hill but nothing any WB or ZTR would have any difficulty with.

    It currently takes me about 1.5 to 1.75hrs to cut with a 21" lawn boy that doesn't pull as fast as I can walk. Although that's not too terribly long I have a budging disc in my back and that time does not include the 'ol trim & blow. I'm pretty hurting by the end of it all.:cry:

    I'm currently waiting to see what Hustler's spring specials are going to be (thinking 2995.00 for the 36 mini-z), but can save about $500.00 and get a loaded 34" to 44" Gravely with the upgraded Koehler motor, lights, etc. I like the idea of the Quick 36 but I'm not sure about turning it on the hills with only one hydro. PS: I've never run a WB or ZTR before but can drive or operate about anything I can get my hands on.

    Will I regret getting a 34" to 36" instead of a 40" to 44"? I don't have any gates to be concerned about.

    MAX budget is about 3400.00 but wonder if anyone has some enlightening experience to share with me. I already have a good spreader, trimmer, backpack blower & all that so the mower is the only budget concern this year.

  2. steve45

    steve45 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    I've looked at the larger Hustlers and almost bought one. I bought a Scag, but I was impressed with both. Haven't looked at a Gravely.

    Compared to what you have now, I think any ZTR would be an improvement. One thing you really need to look into would be an upgraded seat. The larger mowers have springs/shock absorbers in the seat, which would probably be very helpful for your back.

    ZTR's are about the simplest thing on earth to drive, you'll have it mastered in less than 5 minutes.

    Will you need a grass catcher? If so, look at the options, as they are limited on the smallers mowers, and very expensive on the larger ones.

    My dealer told me to avoid the Kohler 'Courage' series engine like the plague. The Command series are pretty darn good.
  3. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,584

    Consider a Lesco. They buy direct from the manufacturer, so the price is typically a grand or so less than a Scag or others. They are Scag designs, have the same deck, same steel, same engine, same spindles, just about same everything. A 48" walk behind belt drive will run you $2500 or so. They are easy to maintain. Alot easier than a hydro. If you only have 1/2 odf an acre, you DON'T need a friggin' hydro. That would be an extra $100 min. and is unnecessary unless you have signifigant hills or acreage.
    A Lesco walk behind is a perfect home owner mower.
  4. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,584

    Sorry, an extra $1000 minimum on the cost of the hydro, not $100!!
  5. CC Lawncare

    CC Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    You would do better to hire a guy to do your mowing. You could probably get someone to do the work for $20 x 30 mowings per year=$600 per year expense but you have no time wasted doing lawnwork and no $$$ wasted on fuel/service/etc. Your good for 5 years until you hit the "breakeven" point on the money spent and if you had bought a mower for only $3000, it will be trash in 5 years anyway. Just my thoughts for you.
  6. nmurph

    nmurph LawnSite Senior Member
    from ga
    Messages: 668

    That equals 75 hrs of mowing time. a hustler mini fasttrak is not even broken in good at that point.
  7. fishinpa

    fishinpa LawnSite Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Messages: 293

    Iwent up to the Lesco dealer last yesr and got the impression they did not deal with the general pubic. Aren't they a "Commercial Account" only type of supplier?
  8. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Messages: 1,346

    Demo one. But I agree with other post ,, just let someone do it for you. Will not cost much more... in long run it will save you since u already have back trouble.
  9. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    Just to let you know, 3600 is a very TIGHT budget to get a decent machine for...
  10. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    For what you have to do, look around for a good used commercial mower of almost any type. You will save $, you will get a machine that lasts a decent amount of time, and it will blow away what you're doing now.

    You can get a really decent walk behind for about $1000. For homeowner use, it will last forever. I picked up a backup toro 36" with Tbar for $500 bux 4 weeks ago...nothing wrong with it.

    Even a 36" walkbehind to do a half acre is more than adequate. Get a 48" if you think 30-45 min is too long with the 36".

    You don't need to spend a million dollars on a mower..save your cash for a good back brace--take it from experience!

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