snapper rear engine rider

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by heyfishguy, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. heyfishguy

    heyfishguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    I am a fairly new lawn maintenece company and dont have very many accounts yet but I do have one large commercial property and occasionally do one off cuts for people that are half & one acre in size with my honda hrc 216. But it takes me like four hours to trim and mow. I would like to get a ride on type mower but really do not like the tractor style ones. I cannot justify the cost of a zero turn unit yet, with the amount of debt I have . So I was thinking of getting a ride on untill I could build up the type of customer base with large yards to justify a zero turn like a walker in say a year or two. Anyways my local dealer has these snapper brand rear engine riders that come in a 28 or 33 inch cut size and are available with honda engines. They kinda look like a go-kart They seem like very well made simple machines, that apparently cut very well, and as an added bonus they have a stand built on the back so you can pick them up by the front and stand them up on their rear for easy deck cleaning and long term storage. This thing would be able to fit through the gates of all of my cleints and probably cut my mowing time in half. Anybody have any experience with one of these as a starter unit. I know that they are just a residential unit but they seem very well made. The dealer told me that if I could not afford a commercial zero turn then he would suggest the snapper over a residential zero turn or any tractor type ride-on if I am going to use it for commercial use, and said he knows a another commercial lawn mainteneace guy that has used one for over 15 years. Any thoughts. All of my other equipment is commercial including my custom built dump trailer witch is why I,m in debt.
  2. John's Lawns

    John's Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I purchased one last year (28 inch cut, 11HP). I have been very pleased with it, no problems at all. I think it is a good machine to get started with and when you can afford it, (same boat I am in) upgrade to commercial.
  3. John's Lawns

    John's Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Oh and be sure and have thick skin if you purchase one as you may get called "Forrest Gump" a time or two!!!:laugh:
  4. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    One thing about the Snapper R/R, Always take off in first gear position then shift to higher gear ranges on the fly without pushing the clutch pedal. Same goes for slowing down for obstacles, Down shift on the fly. If you have to come to a abrupt stop always shift back to first gear before taking off again.This will prevent cracking the rubber on the drive disc and loss of traction in the drive system along with frequent disc replacements.
  5. pluto

    pluto LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hi Heyfishguy-- I am not a commercial lawn man, just a guy who enjoys cutting my on yard very much.I have had a 33'' snapper rear rider for the last fifteen years and can attest to the fact that they are very well built machines and hold their value .I just traded mine for a new 21''cp216019kwv walk behind.However ,I would suggest that you look at some used commercial mowers as I Belvia that they would suit your needs better. From what I have learned on this forum- TIME IS MONEY- and the snapper rear rider is just to slow if you have a lot of yards imo. Anyway's, I wish you well and hope you find success in your venture.
  6. SnapperfanRedmaxman

    SnapperfanRedmaxman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I have ran the Snapper rear engine riders for many years and they are very
    reliable. Don't make the mistake that I did and buy the 42" model. The deck is just too heavy for the frame. I would stick with the 33" high vac. It is a single blade and cuts very well. Make sure that you do as restrorob says to preserve your drive system. Good Luck.
  7. heyfishguy

    heyfishguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    Thanks for the replys so far guys. I realize that the snapper would be alot slower compared to a zero turn, but surely it would mow a one acre property faster than the 3-4 hours it takes me now with a 21" honda. The city I live in has a mix of property sizes from 4000 s.f. to 7000 s.f. to half acre and full acre, although most of my jobs are done with the 21" easily, I dont want to pass up or lose money on the big occasional properties untill I have enough for a zero turn some day. I also thought that if i go with the 28" deck I could use it for alot of the smaller properties I do now as well, as most houses around here only have a single gate to the back yard as wide as a sidewalk.
  8. heyfishguy

    heyfishguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    I just found out that the honda motor is no longer available on these snapper units ever since briggs and stratton has become the parent company. Are these still a reliable unit with the briggs and stratton. My experience is with honda motors only.
  9. AviatorTOm

    AviatorTOm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I can't speak of the Briggs and Stratton but I will mention that Gravely sells a Rear engine rider very similar to the snapper...I don't know what engine or price is has but a few other features like MUCH MUCH MUCH better turning than the snapper whichi s a + on the Gravely.

    The gravely also comes with electric start which the lower end snapper doesn't.

    Here's a link to 1 of 2 models Gravely sells...

    Have a great day
  10. Scag413

    Scag413 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,287

    I started out with a rear engine snapper 28" 12hp briggs engine. Great engine great mower all around. I would suggest a hi-vac they do an awesome job. I was very pleased with mine. I didn't really wanted to sell it, but I did 2 weeks ago so I can pay for my new Tiger Cub.

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