Need Help choosing a Walk Behind

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by slamjamrockinman, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. slamjamrockinman

    slamjamrockinman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 715

    First of all I will tell you guys about my situation. I am 15 and this is my second year of mowing and now I am actually starting to form a buisness. This year I have had a decent amount of work and new clients gained. Me and my friend are starting to gain more and more clients this season. Right now we are at about 15 accounts so far so we have finally decided to upgrade mowers. we have been using two 21 inchers but are looking to upgrade to a commercial walk behind to increase our effiency so we can handle more work and make more money. I have narrowed it down to two mowers right now. Now I know you are all gonna say go hydro, yes eventually I would like to but I think know a belt drive would work just fine. I have narrowed it down to two mowers One is a 52 inch toro proline 14hp kohler with sulky and bagger for 750. This unit looks as it has been used a decent amount which makes me a bit nervous. The other is a bobcat 48 for 900 I think it has a kawi but not sure. but the guy said he could work with me on the price. The guy who has the bobcat only used it for 6 yards a week and has owned it since new. It looks to have way less hours then the toro and in better shape. My gut feeling is to go with the bobcat though the toro may have more bells and whistles(sulky, bagger) Oh yeah I have a bobcat dealer which is about the same distance as the toro dealer. Sorry about the long post all advice will be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!!
  2. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,119

    Bobcat is a great machine, but I would go with the Toro, The T-Bar is easier to use than the pistol grips, the deck height is easier to adjust. I guess it depends on how often you change height of cut.
  3. Grass Happens

    Grass Happens LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Lbi, i completely disagree. the T-bar is very difficult to quickly back out of a situation. A concern that I rank much higher then adjusting deck height. With the bobcat, just pull up on the levers to the neutral position, and pull back, no stopping, changing gears, pushing down the handle and repeat. I change my height of cut twice a year, and depending on what model toro, it is no easier to adjust the deck then the bobcat. I use two T-bars at work, and own two bobcats. If I could get away with losing the toros into the pond, i would.
    As for the machines, why are the sellers getting rid of them? do they start easy? any colored smoke at start-up? idle smoothly? how well does the deck engage? when they go in gear, are the machines jerky, or smooth? any backfiring when being shut-off?
  4. slamjamrockinman

    slamjamrockinman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 715

    I have not looked at either, but the guy with the bobcat is selling because he did lawncare on the side but can't do it anymore becasue he got hurt at his other job. I am going to look at the bobcat on wednesday so I willl keep you guys posted. Any more advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    i am around your same age and i recently purchased a 48'' bobcat. it is the best investment i have made yet

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    I would normally say to go with the Toro, but if the bobcat sounds like a better deal, go with that. I do prefer pistol grips to T-Bar controls. Just my opinion.
  7. slamjamrockinman

    slamjamrockinman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 715

    I found another toro same model but cheaper I think I might go look at that tomorrow. Then I will make my decision thatnks for the help guys!
  8. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Changing high seems to be a PITA for us on walk behinds,

    keep this is mind while looking over your choices.
  9. dura to the max

    dura to the max LawnSite Silver Member
    from georgia
    Messages: 2,246

    welllll. i for one am saying not to worry about hydros, they'll come in time if you stay in the biz, a belt drive is fine for now, and should last you many seasons. i love the toro mowers, but a 52" 14hp sounds a litle off to me. no experience w/ the bobcats but some on here love them. you said that both dealers were close, but which one can you work w/? i have a scag dealer that is close but for years i went acoss town b/c i couldnt stand the dealer, so i might check that out too. i would go w/ your gut and get the bobcat, i like t-bar over pistol, but if its going to last longer then get it.

    i would buy this outright too, leave your friend out of it. what happens when ya'll split? half a mower aint gonna do much good. ive seen many relationships ruined over $$$$ and it just aint worth it.
  10. slamjamrockinman

    slamjamrockinman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 715

    Ya I think I am going to look at both and then decide. I have been to the toro dealer and it's allright, but I have a lot more toro dealers in my area so if I don't like them I have 3 or 4 others to choose from that are all fairly close. I only have one bobcat dealer that is fairly close to my house. The reason I am with my friend is because he has a truck and a driver's license. I have neither of those since I am only 15 so I would be no where with out him. We haven't had any major problems yet so I think I will stick with him.

Share This Page