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new vs. used

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by sparcolawn, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. sparcolawn

    sparcolawn LawnSite Member
    from IN
    Messages: 179

    can an old used mower do the same great job as the same brand new one? i've been offered an older ('98 with over 1000 hours) real cheap, but am thinking of getting a new one..... can an older mower still stripe and cut good?
  2. Eddie B

    Eddie B LawnSite Senior Member
    from gone
    Messages: 859

    Many new and old mowers perform the same... As far as walk-behinds go, I just assume buy an older one and beat it for what it's worth. They are considerably cheaper. If I was buying a zero-turn, I'd look at a new one or a lightly used. There's too many things that could be neglected and that could go wrong with em.

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Subtract 5 bucks for every hour deduct 1500 to 2500 with no warranty,yes used mowers can cut good.
  4. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,581

    Some of my older mowers (97-99) still cut better than my new ones.. It all depends on maintenance. If it was done properly, you should have no problems with a 5yr old mower.. If it wasn't done, it's probably toast at 5yrs..
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    In a side-by-side comparison test, the simple answer is NO, an older mower can NOT do the same thing a newer mower does. Quality-wise, it is very possible the lawn turns out as good in the end, but it usually takes longer and it's a little bit harder due to machine sloppiness achieved from years of wear and tear.
    That having been said...
    I bought a brand-new Wb this year but I will tell you if you have NEVER owned a brand-new commercial mower, then I highly recommend buying a used one first! My brand-new machine straight from the dealer, even with ALL the dealer prep from the best dealer in town is *NOT* ready to cut grass full time. I went over the entire machine myself and found several things that had I not corrected them, would've warranted down time and repairs (yes I know the machine is under warranty, but I don't got TIME to have a Wb in the shop for some dumb reason). In addition, unless you already know how to adjust your machine's settings, the blades and deck and wheels and everything else is adjusted by the dealer to THEIR specifications and is likely not the way you're going to want it. However, if you do not KNOW beforehand what you prefer your settings to be like, then you get to do trial-and-error with a brand-new machine and that will cost you time and reduced production.

    For a first commercial machine, I highly recommend purchasing a used one first because it is NOT as easy as it looks: I ditched my old Wb's several times and got them stuck as well, but now that I know what I'm doing, the new one has NEVER seen a ditch due to operator error, and no, I never get it stuck in the mud, either. All this adds to the life of the machine and for the cost of new, you want it to last as long as possible.

    That, and you need to know how to fix them. Even under warranty, a new WB will require repairs that are not covered, and if you do not know how to fix them, you will either spend a lot of money on it OR take a chance on screwing something up, same goes for operation. If you mess up an old Wb, first of all chances are it's already been broken so you don't need to worry about it, and if you do break it, it didn't cost 3-4 thousand dollars.

    I bought and used 3 older Wb's before I bought the new one, and still have 2 of the old ones (the first I gave back to my friend, the second I now use for my own yard, but the third is still in operation as is the new one).

    Yes, I am very glad I had a 1998 proline model 30197 before I bought the '05 30197 because I learned most everything I needed to know about this machine before I got the new one. Had I not known what I learned, I would hardly have gotten 70 percent out of a machine that costs too much to be farting you out of 30 percent time and productivity. Not only that, but there are at least 10 or 15 different models from each manufacturer, and yes, they are ALL different and only by owning and using several different older wb's did I finally find out which model I really liked the best - Imagine buying a brand-new wb that you have to THINK you like a lot and never realizing there is a model out there that you would've been CONVINCED is your true calling.

    And in that sense, the old Wb will be AS good and fast as the new one *unless* you know what you are doing from having operated older ones for a few years, first.

    dass jus' me.

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