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LawnBoy commerical 21" hand mower - Briggs engine

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Roger, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Now that LB has sold the 21" commercial hand mower with only the B&S engine option, can anybody share their one-season (or more) experiences?

    I have ran LB 21" commercial mowers, with 2 cycle engines for several years. The mower gets heavy use over the season, used primarily with side bagger. I have a "F" model, related to spot duty for the past four seasons. And, I have a Dura-Force 2 cycle model that has seen many, many service hours. The Dura-Force engine has been an enigma for me, running so well for most of the time, but has its quirks (e.g. warm starts) at times.

    The time has come for some decisions: (1) Do significant rebuild on the mower, or (2) Replace it with something else, having two mowers for spot duty.

    I am well committed to the LB line, so don't bother to convince me to go elsewhere. I love the quality of cut, the side bagger works so well in this area, and the mower weight is the most managable.

    However, if I were to replace with another LB 21" commercial mower (with the offset wheel design -- no worry, I didn't like it until I used it for awhile, now don't want to do without), I only have the B&S engine. I have read of at least one person with one, and the reviews part way through the season were favorable. Now, the the season is over for most of us, maybe there are those who used their LB with B&S extensively for the entire season. I know the rest of the mower undoubtedly has the same flaws as earlier 2 cycle models (e.g. ground drive cable life, rear drive wheel longevity). My question pertains to the B&S engine.

    I am interested in such things as reliability, power, starting ease, hours of running per tank of fuel, air filter management, (no oil filter as I recall), difficulty in maintenance (e.g. carb adjustments, oil changes, etc).

  2. P&C Lawn Care

    P&C Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 373

    I can't see anything being called a commercial mower with a B&S engine (unless it has a Vanguard B&S). If you can rebuild to old type two stroke, do it. But you would probably just be better off buying another brand mower. I think the old lawnboys are great (I still have one), but those good two stroke LB's are a thing of the past. Not sure what you mow, but commercial walk behind mowers (larger than 21's) and zero turn mowers are the right equipment in todays market. Yes some 21's are still necessary but getting fewer and fewer.
  3. LALawnboy

    LALawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    roger, i know i'm way late in even bothering to answer your question, but i'll give it a shot. i've had my commercial lawnboy (b&s engine) for about a year now. i've been very impressed with how easily it powers through thick grass. 98% of the yards i cut are thick st. aug and we've gotten a decent amount of rain lately and it has done a superb job. the only time it has truly bogged down is in thick, wet grass/weeds mixes, but i have found that if i slow down just a bit, it does just fine. as for gas consumption, i don't think there's any comparison between the duraforce and the b&s. i haven't used many other commercials, but compared to a few i have used, this thing just sips on gas. i've actually surprised when i've been cutting non-stop for a while and i look down at the tank and it's nearly 3/4 full.

    as for the faults associated with the older 2 cycle models, the lawnboys still have weak ground drive cables/rear wheels. other than that, if i was going to buy another commercial 21 tomorrow, it'd definitely be another lawnboy with the b&s.

  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    LALawnboy -- Thanks for your feedback. When I posted the original message, I was debating whether to scrap my old machine and look at a new one with B&S, or to make repairs to my old one. I opted for the second choice, ... for now.

    I had some problems getting my old one back in good running order:


    But, first indications of the mowing season are favorable. A couple of more weeks will determine if my frustration level will dictate a change. Your favorable feedback with the B&S engine is good information for me.

    There was some threads floating around this Winter regarding a new commercial model, one that might be available by June 2007. The new deck design (cast aluminum, non-offset wheels, variable ground speed based upon the same design that has been used in consumer models) is apparently now available for consumer models. I have been given conflicting information regarding availability in a commercial model, with a good Honda 4 cycle engine. My preference would be to continue to run my DuraForce hard all season, and not be concerned with another new mower.
  5. LALawnboy

    LALawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    good luck with your mower. i just read the other thread about your mower, and damn, i'm surpised you haven't gone off the deep end with it. don't know if this is helpful, but today i noticed another difference between the duraforce and b&s. my commercial LB with the b&s, as of friday, is in for repairs for the self propel, and i'm using my backup for now, which has the duraforce. after cutting all day, i think there's about a 10-15 lb. difference between the two engines (the b&s weighs more). it's not a big deal, but i just thought i'd let you know. one other thing, about the starting ease of the b&s, it starts on the 1st pull 99.99% of the time for me. depending on the temp of the engine, it sometimes takes 2 or 3 pulls on the cord, but never had to pull more than that.

    as for the rumors floating around about the new LB commercials, i've heard everything from what you've said to a design similar to the toro proline. i've personally come to like the offset wheel design and i hope they don't totally do away with it. if they do, i'll definitely be buying another commercial LB with the offset design before they're all gone. once again, good luck with everything

  6. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,522

    I have a Snapper with a 6.5 B&S on it that has been great. I'm guessing that it has somewhere between 800-1000 hrs on it. Haven't done anything to it except normal maitenence. I change the oil every 2 weeks regardless of run time. I know that a lot of folks knock the B&S engines, but this one has served me very well.
  7. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,711

    i recently installed a b& s quantum 6 hp 1/c on a snapper and am extremly impressed with this engine. its smooth ,extremly powerfull and starts eaisly. i recommend this engine for commercial mowing-something i thought i would never say about a briggs!
  8. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,711

    my guess is when the new lawn boy comm hits the market -the old staggered deck model will dissapear. get one now if you want one. the new one will have the personal pace drive which isnt suited for comm duty in my opinion

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