Things To Consider Before Purchasing New Mower

OP
J

JLH52

LawnSite Senior Member
I think your list if more a homeowner/hobbyist list.......

not one a person buying a mower to make money with list.

For example....

A Gravely 460 will make the same amount of money as a 260 and cost much less. Yeah, you might not have the air ride seat and fancy deck lift, but some things costs more to fix if they do fail.

This holds more true when buying a fleet of 5-10.
I would think the opposite, it would seem to me a person buying a mower to make money with would look more closely at the details because of the many hours they'll spend using the mower. Whereas a homeowner would be using their mower much less.
 

Bitches_Brew

Banned
Location
earth
I would think the opposite, it would seem to me a person buying a mower to make money with would look more closely at the details because of the many hours they'll spend using the mower. Whereas a homeowner would be using their mower much less.

grassman said it best..... :nod:

cost and ROI should be a huge consideration, maybe the highest. I’m for all the other stuff, especially deal support, reputation and warranty, but at the end of it all, if the math determines you make less money, then all you have is a hobby.
 

kemco

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Memphis TN
If you are running commercial mowers and not making a profit... Yep something is wrong there. We still profit even though mowing is by far the least profitable of anything we do.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
If you are running commercial mowers and not making a profit... Yep something is wrong there. We still profit even though mowing is by far the least profitable of anything we do.
Do you know how many people don’t know. If everyone paid themselves properly, as an owner should, I think peoples profit margins would be a lot less. Then subtract out all the other work, and just account for mowing. How profitable would they really be.
 

tundraman

LawnSite Bronze Member
Can you explain further exactly what you’re referring to when yo say, “I have stalled out my 38.5 hp Kawi EFI a number of times on my 672 Gravely.”

Did rpm's drop and the engine lug for lack of power, or did it completely stop?
Completely stopped. I have gotten better so when she is about to quit I will reverse to clear the deck from grass or turn. I also am going very slow through those high thick areas. The 72 inch decks do not process grass as fast as the 60 I had and load up and stall much more easy. I had the same results with the Ferris 3300. The new Toro 4000 does not have that problem and ran circles around the Scag cheetah.
 
OP
J

JLH52

LawnSite Senior Member
Completely stopped. I have gotten better so when she is about to quit I will reverse to clear the deck from grass or turn. I also am going very slow through those high thick areas. The 72 inch decks do not process grass as fast as the 60 I had and load up and stall much more easy. I had the same results with the Ferris 3300. The new Toro 4000 does not have that problem and ran circles around the Scag cheetah.

This works best for me in overgrowth.

* Raise deck to higher setting.
* Slow down your forward speed to allow mower to cut and discharge clipping.
* Take half the swath of deck instead of full width.
* Always blow clippings where you've already cut.
* When blowing clippings onto uncut grass the mower has to work twice as
hard.
* After first cut, raise deck even higher and go over again to evenly spread
clipping.
* After clippings dry briefly you can now lower deck and recut to desired
height.
* I never leave clippings piled up over surface of grass, if you do it's harder to
cut next week.
 

Richard Carey

LawnSite Member
Location
Massachusetts
If unfamiliar with a certain type and brand of machine,features, operational limits look toward dealers with demo units, try them out on your average lawns and the most challenging sites; this lets you experience your productivity, ease of use, cost efficiency, trailer fit for your operation. I have done this with multiple brands, Walker, Ferris, Exmark, JD, Wright, Hustler, Toro. I have purchased many of these, used them all, and based on current clients, property size, terrain, productivity and ROI, decided which ones fit the needs of the company. Currently run the JD 997 diesel, rear discharge, with gator blades. I do not even look at “homeowner machines”
 

njmowerman

LawnSite Member
Location
nj
I'm not going to tout one mower or another as others have, but I have a few observations:

First, homeowners don't shop for commercial laundromat washing machines for example because they don't want the commercial features such as the quarter slot. With mowers, everyone would love a commercial spec'd mower, but not everyone wants it bad enough to stomach the price tag. That is where the list of features become valuable. The feature-by-feature comparison busts through all the marketing wank and shows what each machine is really made of. Also don't forget that one brand of low-price mower could have better specs in a certain area than another brand of higher-priced mower.

The next logical step in this thread is a Consumer Reports style rundown of various mowers with their features listed next to their price. There's always something to be said for buying the machine that is the "best value".

I would also add to any list of specs the ease of getting the parts you need several years down the road. This is somewhat mysterious but very important.
 

beetles

LawnSite Member
1. Cost. In the end, you have to pay for it or at least until you trade it in/ return on lease. What does your clientele afford you? Is the warranty good?
2. Efficiency. Does it move quickly and leave a good cut? Are the service intervals long enough not to interfere with your work? Can you get it serviced quickly and conveniently? Are belts and parts readily available? Can you perform routine maintenance easily on your own?
3. Features. Can you get the features you want and need? A motor you want? EFI saves fuel, but is more expensive to buy and service. When in your typical use do you break even on that?
4. Durability. Commercial machines are tougher and heavier, made typically with thicker steel, heavier bearings and pulleys and larger engines, heavier-duty hydros, larger drive wheels, choices of tire and choices of deck. Do they cut better than homeowner machines? Mostly, but some homeowner machines with lighter weight pressed steel decks do an excellent job at 1/4th the price of a commercial machine (thinking the Cub Cadet ZT line with the Kawi motors) but they aren't made to stand up to commercial work demands. I can't think of a reason to recommend a homeowner zero-turn for commercial duty.
 

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