W/B - Fixed or Floating; Hydro or Gear

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by greenscapeman, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. greenscapeman

    greenscapeman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I've been trying to educate myself on the ins and outs of this business. I want to buy a w/b to get started with. But I need some advice on the pro's and con's of all the options that I have to choose from. For a beginner, is it worth the extra money to buy a floating deck with a Hydro, or can I do ok with the cheaper models?
  2. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    Both of my local dealers to me that unless I am going to be mowing a wetland or swampy type area, a belt drive machine will be fine. I started out with just a fixed deck walk behind but I think that my next walkbehind (hopefully a 52") will probably be a floating deck. JMO

    What brands do your loac dealers sell? How do their service and parts departments rank as far as price and turn-around time are concerned?
  3. greenscapeman

    greenscapeman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I have several choices, as far as local dealers. One guy sells Exmark and Great Dane. I have a John Deere dealership, as well as a Cub Cadet dealer in town. Just judging from talking to these guys, the Exmark dealer seems to stand behind his stuff the best. He quoted me over the phone an Exmark 17/48 - hydro for $4,300. How does that compare?
  4. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 850

    I'd go hydro, and floating deck. just my preference, but it might not be right to you. look at each model, demo em, and see which you feel happiest with. what feels right to one person may not be right to another.
  5. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,656

    Hydro for sure...
  6. jcthorne

    jcthorne LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    I know SLE equipment in Nashville has 48" or 52" Great Dane walk behinds for $2800. They are 2005 models but are brand new. The bought all of the left over stock for 2005 at a lot price. Very good mower at a great price. Why not get the Hydro for the same price as a decent belt drive. I believe they ship nationwide.
  7. greenscapeman

    greenscapeman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    How does the Great Dane compare to the Exmark? Obviously they are a little cheaper, but is there a big difference in features and quality?
  8. chopsticks33

    chopsticks33 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    i would have to say hydro, but i don't know much about floating versus fixed decks
  9. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I have a 48" Exmark Metro belt drive with a fixed deck. I have all kinds of properties - close to lakes, slopes, hills, flat, etc. I orginally wanted a hydro but all three of my local dealers told me I'd be wasting my money. They were right, the belt drive works great, never a problem.

    One thing I would do differently is get a floating deck. It is a pain to change the length you want to mow with a fixed deck. Orginally I told myself that I am cutting 3" everywhere, no questions asked, but when you have 50+ customers that all want different lengths, would you really throw them away?

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