Looking to purchase a new trimmer/mower - whats a good brand?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Scoopumup, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Scoopumup

    Scoopumup LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hello all. I am a 20 year old college student and am running my own small business this summer in my neighborhood, with about 40 accounts. My equipment is starting to go on me and I am looking to purchase a new trimmer and poissibly mower. I currently have a Ryobi 890r trimmer that has worked well so far, but is starting to have some problems. I have looked at some Shindaiwa's, Stihl's, and Echo's as I heard they were the good brands. Any advice on which brand is best for the value and will last for me cutting ~25 yards per week??

    As far as the mower, I currently have a Craftsman 22" 6.75 horsepower EZ Walk push mower. I am looking to get another push mower and have heard that the Toro super recycler with personal pace is a good one, but have also seen the Pros using other brands like Cub Cadet. What would you all reccommend for a good push mower in the 300-500$ range.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!!
  2. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 850

    For trimmers, I lean toward Echo or Shindaiwa, both are very good brands, and very reliable too. I recommend a shindaiwa T270, or Echo SRM261T either one is a good choice.

    Get a mower you will be happy with, and will be productive for you. Toro super recyclers are good mowers from what I've heard, no personal experience with em though.
  3. Thirdpete

    Thirdpete LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 236

    if you're doing 25 yards a week, depending on access and size of back yards, i would say a 48 walk behind. if you're grossing 20 per house, thats 500 gross a week. you could pay off a new 48 walk behind in a few months after deducting all your living expenses and what not. i wouldn't spend 500 bucks on another push mower, especially if you plan on doing this for awhile.
  4. DavesLawnCarePlus

    DavesLawnCarePlus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Hi there... Everyone on this site seems to think that bigger is better. It's NOT! and you're already making decent money doing the lawns with the craftsman... the toro will be a step up. If you can, you should consider the commercial version of the Toro personal pace, but the homeowner one should be okay as long as you maitain it well and change the oil each week or so. I run one Proline and one Super Recycler. The only problem I have with them is that neither of them want to stay straight when cutting sideways on a hill. Anyhow... Good Luck. Feel free to contact me if you want some advice on the toros. They are a superior product for homeowners but need good care to last as a 40 lawn a week mower.

  5. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    ok,first of all, you put the biggest mower you can and still navigate the property fairly easily.

    I would look at either a 36" metro hp, quick 36, bobcat 36", toro 36". keep the 21" that you have for the 34" gates, and you will be fine.

    if you can go larger than a 36", go for it.

    as far as trimmers go, I would take a shindaiwa anyday. if you can get a T270, buy it and never sell it. do not buy a t272. gutless. a t261 may be a very good option for you though.
  6. iluvscag

    iluvscag LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 743

    Scag make's one of the best Walk-Behinds. :)
  7. dmc456

    dmc456 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    Send me a PM or your email and I can help you more. I'm in Louisville. If you want a job, I'm hiring as well. Pay is $10 - $20 hr base on skills not time or age.

    Starting out I would get:

    • Get a echo 210 trimmer (Referbished from HomeDepot) $100 - $140
    • Get the edge-it for the tirmmer!!! ($60) - Best tool I own.
    • Get a good used backpack blower from Ebay ($100) Get stihl, kawasaki, redmax, etc...
    • Get a good 48" mower of some type. Don't go smaller or larger. Reason: 48" should make it through 95% of all gates and any smaller is a waste of time. Get the best mower you can afford. Again, I would suggest a used one from Ebay. If you can't afford a hydro walk behind or ZTR then I would get a belt drive walk behind and save your money to upgrade. A good mower is the biggest time savings you can get. The best all around for residential mower is the Wright Stander!
  8. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    The Stihl 4 cycle trimmers are fantastic. Spool it with Gator line & you'll have a very fast, sharp, easy to handle, efficient tool. I for one will never own Echo again. Too many problems. A little more expensive ......around $375.00 or so. Well worth it though, especially since you're doing a lot. Buy good equipment once vs. replacing cheap stuff that leaves you with down time.

    40 accts. with a 21 means they're pretty small properties I'd imagine. You could, if you wanted to, double your number of accts. or cut your work time in half with a bigger machine. Maybe time would be more important since you're in school. If a 48 or a 36 will go on the props. just fine you will absolutely blow away not only your personal time on the jobs........but anyone else out there cutting in your area with smaller mowers. It would free you up more. Period.

    If you're already thinking of spending $500, at least look at some bigger used mowers before you buy. You could find a decent machine for around $1000. That extra $500 or so you'd be spending........with the amount of work/time you've got.......it will pay for itself in two weeks.
  9. The Grass Amputator

    The Grass Amputator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    I was using Shindaiwa trimmers, but just bought 2 new Red Max's, and am amazed at how well they perform. A bit pricey ($226/each), but I feel it was money well spent.
  10. prostriper

    prostriper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    I'd recommend a 32" Toro pro line mower. I ran one for a couple of years when I could't get the bigger mowers in a few areas (steep hills and fences.) It was very dependable and because of it's T-bar steering it steers just like a push mower. I think it is around $1200. If you weigh less that 200 lbs you can even throw a velke behind it (not on steep grades) to minimize fatigue (longer days).

    For a trimmer I'd go with a Shindaiwa T230. It isn't the most powerful trimmer but for light residential it is all you will need. I have tried bigger shindaiwas and other brands but that model is my favorite.

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