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New guy needs some help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Orrdc, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. GrassIsGreenerLawnCare

    GrassIsGreenerLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 636

    Gus is right. Although I have not really had any problems with my metro 48 belt driven, I wish I had gotten a hydro. But the cost for a hydro is considerably more, especially when starting a new biz.
    For what you are doing, I dont really think you need to be that particular, and think you wouldnt have ANY problems with a belt driven WB. I would reccomend the ECS grips compared to pistols tho

    I hate Toro T-bar, and wish I hadnt bought the Toro 32. I have a Gravely 36in which is one strong mower (will cut almost anything), but the pistol grips make your thumbs ache after 1 freakin lawn! Just a heavy mower. But Im glad we have it, because the Exmark cannot handle thick, long, or wet grass well at all.
  2. Orrdc

    Orrdc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Thanks guys, we just did 8 lawns in 6 hours, avg about 35 min actually working, if we can cut that to 25 I think it's worth it.

    Maybe I shouldn't be so picky about the grips. I just know I don't wanna have sore hands and I want something my wife could control if need be, any tips on this
  3. mtmower

    mtmower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,111

    I've run Exmark belt drive 48" and it did ok. When wet belts will slip. Hydro is nicer. Maybe hold out till you can find a good used. I'd stay with 36" for gates. I still have a 21" push (hardly ever use) my 36" hydro for gates (three yards a week), and then my big ZTRs. You won't regret the 36". Buy a good one and keep it no matter how big you may get.

    I found my 36" hydro pro Encore used for $1000.00 and will always have a 36". Pistol grips are fine in my book other than catching branches or chain link when in a corner.

    You may look at the Hustler Trimstar as well. A heck of a mower buy may have trouble finding one used. Take a look at their controls.
  4. Orrdc

    Orrdc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Yea I think I'm gonna expand my horizons and just hold out for a good deal to come my way
  5. Tofutti

    Tofutti LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    If you're doing most everything with a 21" push mower, then buying a 36" WB is going to make a world of difference... Both in cutting ability and speed difference ( ground travel speed AND number of passes). It's true, belt drive is not ideal, but for the number of accounts you have and esp if only a few of them have any hills to speak of, you'll be fine, and impressed. If you're a smaller person, throw a Velke/Sulky or even a ProSlide/GoSlide (http://www.novaestore.com/) on it and roll even faster.

    As to the machine you're looking at ( the Metro), let me tell you, if it's "almost-new", then it's a deal ( barring any known major problems).

    Fifteen-hundred dollars won't buy very much of a commercial mower these days.
  6. Orrdc

    Orrdc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Not small, former college lineman lol. I don't care about the sulky, I like the exercise
  7. Orrdc

    Orrdc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Is encore any good, I haven't heard anything about them. I can get one pretty cheap
  8. Orrdc

    Orrdc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Any thoughts on a 1991 scag? Older guy called me and said it was never used much just on a residence. Said he did maintence on it every year and sent me pics and I'll say It looks to be in really good shape
  9. J & D Greens

    J & D Greens LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 765

    I got a really good deal on my Encore 32" mower. (you can see it in my pic thread) the spindles were replaced with nice ones that have grease Zerk's and the motor was replaced with 16 hp. Kawasaki. It is a twin belt drive and I have had no problems on hills except when the ground is wet. (but most deck mowers will tear up the wet ground on hills were as a light 21" mower will still get it done). This season I put a new rear tire on it and will be replacing the front bushings and it is good to go.

    Honestly it is nice to run the 32 on the larger accounts but, I only use my 32" mower 25% of the time (setting them up on the same day). On anything small it is probably better to use your 21" mower and get done just as fast or even faster. So if this is just a part time gig is it really worth spending the extra? I would look at all your accounts and evaluate how many you will use it on. I have to say a good used mower would be the way to go if you want to try it. I got mine for $400.00 and only had to do miner work (bushing on the left clutch) to get it going, get a catcher for it and make a bracket for it. So $70.00 for used catcher and Fab the bracket and I have been using it for 3 seasons now. I hope this helps because even though I got mine cheap it still it cost money to run all the equipment you have the more you spend and the more overhead you have just to cut 20-25 yards?

    We have to be careful on what we spend. Because it is just like a new car. Buy it and drive it off the lot, you will not get that $5,000.00 back if you have to sell it. Same with every purchase we make, we have to be frugal with every penny spent because we could keep it in the bank instead.

    Now that being said I struggle too. Do I buy this or that? Good luck, David
  10. mtmower

    mtmower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,111

    Encore made a good product. Just as well thought out and heavy duty as anything. Mine has filtered hydro system and what looks to be about a 2 gallon reservoir, which is huge for a walk behind. Mines also a true zero turn, motor per wheel. Some mowers, Ferris for example have a single wheel motor which drives a open differential like a car would have. These are fine also. I've been told at one point Hustler may have even manufactured some of their product for a short time. They got into some problems and all but went under or were bought out. There was a lag in production, service, dealers, etc. I hear they are back up and running as about a year ago. I wouldn't be afraid of buying a used one. Especially if you can do your own work on them. A lot of the parts interchange with other brands (pump, belts, blades, cables, wheels, pulleys, etc.). When it comes down to it, the frame, deck style, and operator controls are the only major differences between mower brands, other than color and price,or when you talking new, warranty. I think they used all Kawasaki. Going on three years on a used unit and other than maintenance not one problem.

    The Scag should also be a good bet. It all depends, of course, on how well they were actually taken care of. Scag may have had more than one deck option back then which you may want to do a little research on.

    If you don't turn your own wrenches you may want to base your decision on which brand would have the best dealer service/parts support in your area. This can be huge.

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