Need 21" mower

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Yamahauler, May 7, 2005.

  1. Yamahauler

    Yamahauler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I am just getting started in the business and I need to replace the beater 21".
    I really cant afford a full blown commercial like a Exmark, Proline, or Honda.
    How good are the better consumer units like a Honda Master HXA or the Toro Super recycler 20038. Any opinions will help.
    Thanks Mike
  2. green-go

    green-go LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Short of getting a commercial Toro, I'd suggest the following options:

    Snapper's homeowner models are nearly the same as their commercial variety, the commercial version(s) just use a more durable/commercial level engine. They are reliable, well made mowers. I personally don't like how the bag attaches to the mower, but that's a minor thing and they do bag well.

    Toro: I don't like their Personal Pace drivetrain myself, but that's just a personal preference and they are excellent mowers otherwise. I'd actually suggest looking for an older Super Recycler that uses their older drivetrain design, they operate just the same as the commercial models, just not as durable (although they are still durable mowers). Even if the engine is shot or underpowered, you could probably find a used one in great shape for $50 and put on a 6+ horse Briggs engine for about $150. I've got a couple of older Super Recylcers used in great shape for about $50 apiece and to me they're the next best thing to having a $1200 commercial Toro. If they have a strong engine on them they operate and cut basically just the same as the commercial models as well, they're just not the tank that the commercial models are.

    Some people swear by Lawnboy mowers, the older 'traditional' designed Lawnboys, that is. Another brand to consider.
  3. grasshopperslc

    grasshopperslc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    I would go with a Snapper commercial 21" push mower.It's more like a walk behind!!I'v used it on 45+ degree hills with the only problem being that when you go sideways it starts losing traction on one wheel.Mine came with a bagger,mulcher and side discharge shoot.And a Ninja mulching blade.And sittin' on top is a Kawasaki 6hp commercial engine.But over all it's a great little mower. :D
  4. MowinGuy

    MowinGuy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9


    I am in basically the same situation as you. I use a self propelled Lawnboy. I target my advertising toward smaller lawns. With the two cycle engine I can use the same container for the gas in all my equipment and there is no oil to change (one less maintenance item).

    I don't know how it will hold up over the long run. I have been using mine for three years, but only three or four season long accounts.
  5. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 805

    I've used the toro recycler this year starting in March up to now. It had 1 year of strictly residential use before I went commercial. I have almost 60 accounts, and must say it's showing it's wear. There is a slight winding noise coming from it now while moving, which I'm told is the tranny which goes out frequently during commercial use with the personal pace. Going to buy a Toro proline today and replace the tranny to use as backup.
    I would say if you don't have too many accounts the toro will get you by, but would recommend using the money you get from those accounts for your next mower.
    Good luck!
  6. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    My 21" are both Toro from Home depot, I just got the Personal pace, will go up to 5mph I think, rear wheel drive, my other is a front wheel drive Toro 21" big wheel.....both have paid for themselves, i keep the oil fresh and blades sharp....$600.00 for both, saved me $400.00 for the commercial Toro...///both start on the first pull!!
  7. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Buy used commercial, replace engine. Will last a long time. Just look in the paper and find one that has a good deck. The main difference I always see in the commercial untis is engine choice (sometimes not even that) and the deck. If it is not your primary mower and you just use it for trimming you may just consider a cheaper mower for now. Depends on how much you use it. Not a fan of homeowner equipment myself. Grew up spoiled.
  8. Yamahauler

    Yamahauler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    You have given me some good suggestions.
    The way I see it if I buy a used commercial and replace the engine I have a 50/50 chance of getting a mower that will last.
    If I go Homeowner I might get one year out of it. The Toros at HD are about $379.
    The Super recycler with a B&S OHV intek is $525 with a $50 rebate. My concern would be longevity of the drive system and the personal pace setup
    Finally the Honda Master supposedly has a commercial engine and hydro type trans. The master costs $799 and the commercial costs $1129.
    Most of the Landscape services in my area doing residential yards are using Honda HRCs or Toro prolines.
    I will start looking in the papers for a used commercial first and decide.
    Thanks again
  9. Tider6972

    Tider6972 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 649

    The 20038 is an excellent choice. The weak point of the personal pace system is the belt, in my experience. The system drives *both* wheels, and the deck is superior to anything else out there. In fact, the 20038 is almost identicle to the Proline's, just a thinner aluminum.

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