Toro Commercial Mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lancetaylor, Dec 24, 2002.

  1. lancetaylor

    lancetaylor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I'm planning to open a new lawncare dealership in a small town (75,000) and will compete with primarily one other dealership which sells ExMark, Walker and Encore. Ferris, John Deere and Gravely are also represented in town but by agriculture/implement dealers and aren't really a factor.

    I'm seriously considering taking on Toro as the cornerstone of our product offering as well as Grasshopper due to a strong customer base which should offer alot of service work.

    I'm interested in commercial mowers opinions on Toro ZTR's and Walk-Behind mowers.

    Quality? Pricing? Factory Support? Warranty?

    I've also looked at Scag, Dixie Chopper, Hustler, and Ferris, but none of these manufacturers seem to have the name to bring in both the commercial and homeowner customer.

    Am I overestimating Toro?
  2. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    I bought a Toro Z 149? (19 hp Kaw, 52" deck) for my first commercial mower.

    When I started looking for a 60" mower this summer, I wound up with the Hustler.

    The controls on the Hustler were smoother, cut a little better, etc.

    However, I think you are right. You have a large potential base that will recognize the Toro name, and also they have a line of homeowner on up.
  3. rwleigh

    rwleigh Banned
    Messages: 107

    I might be able to help you. I have a son-in-law who sell commercial equipment. He has refused to take on toro and grasshopper and scag. He has taken the underdog so to speak and built there line to be the dominate line. He only will take product he has the exclusive on! Now the reason he does this is because most of these companies have a quota you have to meet every year, and if you have a drought like we had this year suddenly there is another dealer or two dealers selling the product you have spent so long into building. As he puts it you are about to reep what you have sown and the manufacture or distribator wants more numbers so screw the guy who built my product line and lets sell machines. This just happend to him with encore a company that he had built for 10 years. and now there is a dealer three blocks away from him. True his average of 35 machines has been down the last two years with encore but as he said walk sales are down and the encore ztr is well not a competitor yet. I would take this in consideration if I were you, and get something in writing about your territory. I do agree that if you need a line that has both homeowner and commercial than toro or simplicty would probably be good choices. If you are looking for commercial only then you might look at some of the less nown lines and build a customer base with repeat commercial buisness.
  4. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    I cannot understand this statement. Hustler especially is working on both sides now. They offer to us the commercial cutter, and the homeowner stuff as well. I would think if you cut them off you are shooting yourself in the foot. Customer service and being able to talk with the president down I think makes them stand out in front.

    Now with that being said, if you are looking primarily into the homeowner market, then you have to sell something cheap. But Home Depot and Lowes already has much of the cheaper market right now. And remember, as a dealer you will service the stuff you sell.

    Why not try and develop a market for the other MFG. Instead of following with Toro?......I am not saying Toro is bad. I would go a different direction, but you do what you need to.

    This is my opinion. I am not trying to offend anyone with any of these statements
  5. Toro has good 21inch mowers ,their 21's are in the top 3 best commercial 21's.
    Their ztr's quite frankly suck,we bought two in the spring and by fall we took the lose and got rid of both.The stamped sfs deck does not chop the clippings worth nothin.
    Toro's would be the better brand if you want both homeowner and commercial lines.
    A lot of homeowners are going to buy 21 inch mowers.And toro also has a lot of homeowner and commercial equipment that the others dont sell.
    Around here you use to see a lot of the big commcial toro walkbehinds .Every year we are starting to see less and less of em .
  6. excel25

    excel25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    DITTO what crazygator said. I have a toro 21" would not buy any other mower they make.
  7. Fvstringpicker

    Fvstringpicker LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,670

    I have a Toro Z-master and have gotten excellent service out of it. When the good service stops, I'll trade. My neighbor has Exmark Lazer he picked up at an auction I'll probably end up with. For what its worth, I am a mechanical engineer and a CPA. Much to the chagrin of a lot of folks, other than the deck, the Toro and the Exmark appear to be as similar as Chevy and GMC trucks. However, I admit that I haven't done any testing but I believe the hydros are buit by the same manufacturer. Due to the marketing and the welded, as opposed to stamped deck, the Exmark is the better seller.
  8. lbmd1

    lbmd1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    Having the Toro line will bring you not only a large name brand following, but commercial cutters that only will buy Toro products exclusively. We currently own 4 Toro Zmaster 255Z's and continue to lease a brand new one each and every year. Our Toro dealer offers us both internet pricing as well as the best service one can ever get as a cutter. Free loaners, demos, and in return he gets extreme loyalty from alot of LCO's. From our walk behind units to our riders, we are extremely happy with the Toro line and it's quality of cut, performance and dealer support. Yeah the parts for them can be a little pricey, but we lease all of them and turn them over so often, that we never get into repair costs or downtime which can curb productivity. Our dealer also sells Exmark (not as popular up here as Toro or Bobcat), Ferris and Husky ( don't bother with the latter if you want to target serious LCO's ), but says his mix of sales is almost 90% homeowner buying the 21"'s and snowblowers, the remaining 10% commercial. My take would be to go with the Toro and Hustler lineup for a choice and name brand perception. Round that out with Stihl and Echo and you'd have a great start.

  9. MONTE

    MONTE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 793

    Question? Is there any commercial cutters using toro in your area now? If not then why mess with them. In the area I am they being toro has a factory store. No one or at least I would say less than 5% of the commercial cutters here use them! Toro in my opinion really does not have much of an offering to the commercial cutter. I did have a 36" hydor t-bar at one time but I got rid of it because I just never used it. The ztr machines just do not have any appeal to me personally except they are pretty, but not a productive machine, and I just do not care for the attitude of the factory store here. It has also been my experience that the smaller companies seem to build commercial machines better than the big guys and the big guys just try to buy out the little guys. The smaller manufactures listen to us the end user, the big guys just do not care because they have other more important things than to listen to us! Just my opinion!
  10. A dealer here in Wilmington called the Equipment Superstore is so big they've carried eleven brands of mowers.
    From what I've seen the stuff that sells is Exmark and Kubota.
    They'd have a unique perspective on what customers choose when doing side by side comparisons. Why don't you call them?

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