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What a mess!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fiveoboy01, May 30, 2006.

  1. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    My brother and I are starting up right now.

    Last week, I went to several dealers pricing mowers.

    I hit one dealer, and he did not have Ferris' full line catalog, but a "new for 2006" 4 or 5 page brochure. Ok, the new Hydrowalk DD looks nice. Price is good compared to the Turf Tracer HP. Tell him I may buy it.

    Today, I go to another dealer much closer to me. They have one in stock and I've decided this is what I want. So, I do the credit app, get approved, etc, tell them I will take delivery. I get home and start looking at the catalog... WTF, the Hydrowalk DD in the '06 catalog looks NOTHING like the one in this brochure I have. Fixed deck, no electric start available, etc. The one in the brochure has a floating deck, standard electric start, the fuel tank is completely different, and the controls look to be improved.

    I call Ferris up, and the he tells me that the "nicer" one in the brochure is a new line, not available yet, the date was pushed forward, and it'll be available in September(brochure said spring of '06). So, I call the dealer to tell him that I was mistaken, and I don't want this mower. So they have to go through and cancel the credit approval, etc, and he tries to feed me a line of BS on the fixed deck being superior, etc. I know he wants to sell me this one NOW. I wouldn't have it, and ended up telling them to cancel everything until I decide what to do.

    Why can't dealers be informed of what's going on with their products? The first dealership, he looked right at the brochure with me. He should have known, and pointed out, that that model wasn't available yet. Would have saved me a TON of BS.

    Screw it, I'm getting an eXmark TT HP.
  2. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    Look for a hustler super WB while there are still a few available. It has the features you mentioned and many more. the h-bar controls are the best.
  3. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Funny you should say that. I looked at Hustlers(at least their catalogs and website) and I was impressed. The H-bar control looks like a dream come true. But the closest dealer is pretty far from me, and I'd prefer a closer dealer. I ended up buying the exmark today.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Actually, today I have nothing but fixed decks and I find them far superior to the floats I started out with, but...

    The fixed deck is to the float what a straight razor would be to scissors for a barber... It takes time, experience, and a considerable amount of control on the operator's part to be able to operate a fixed deck, because it doesn't tolerate mistakes anywhere near to the forgiveness you'll find in a float.

    Had I started out with a fixed deck (a 4-foot deck at that), I am not sure I would've made it, I had a time learning with the float and even after about a thousand yards under my belt, when I got the fixed deck it took about a month before I got halfway decent with it and for some time I thought I had gotten a raw deal (all these machines were used).

    I would still recommend a float for anyone new, and while you're at it, get a used machine because you will make mistakes that will break things and this will cost you dearly on a new mower. I've never put my '05 in a ditch, but lets not talk about the old ones I started with. The thing is, a used mower is broken in, it's already been put through that so likely it won't need fixing or it's cheaper... Go see the thread about the new guy who didn't know what to do when he sliced his deck open on the new machine because new decks run several hundred (I think 600-700 or more)... See, I know all you need to do is weld it, but on a new machine I know first not to break it because I'll take the old mower into that kind of turf, seeing how I still have my '98 and it would bother me far less to put a welded seam on the '98 than to break the '05 like that.

    Used mowers do break a little more often, this gives you the chance to learn repairs so by the time you can afford the new one, when something breaks it is fixed in a matter of minutes. If you have no experience with these things, the last thing you want to do is bother the dealer every two weeks over minor matters, my '05 hasn't been back for warranty since I got it, which is not to say nothing has gone wrong.

    Also this is a lean, dry year for more than a few of us... I speak from experience when I say taking out credit for any business expenses in the first 2-3 years is a really bad idea. I would recommend taking this time to start saving money, because you'll need the skill of saving later, in times of drought like these, I sometimes have to go 6-8, sometimes 10-12 months and once in a moon a year or three with a bare minimum for an income. Had I not the ability to save money when times are good, I'd never make it through the rough, that is, unless I felt like slaving all the time trying to catch up on the interest that mounts in slow times, no way, not for me.

    Hope that helps, best of luck.
  5. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    just get a walker. you will sooner or later.
  6. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Thanks for the advice, topsites.

    I'm going to be fairly new at this(though this site has helped me learn a LOT about this type of work), and I considered a fixed deck. But I decided that it would be easier for me with the floater, just for the reasons you stated.

    I'm a diesel tech for my full-time job, and have been working on/fixing cars since I was 15. Mechanical problems will be no problem. If it's something major that I can't fix, I'll take it to the dealer. It's under warranty for 2 years anyways, something you can't get with a used machine.

    As for financing it, well I do see your point, and agree with you completely. But we have been saving for quite a while for this venture, and this mower will be paid off within 3 months, even if we didn't have a single account to pay for it. My brother and I both work our butts off many hours every day, and sometimes all weekend. We paid cash for the scag, and the edger, and will pay cash for the trailer, and all the other "smaller" equipment. I believe that paying cash is the best way to do it anyways. Interest is the devil:)

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