Which mower?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GrayM, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. GrayM

    GrayM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    Hey y'all. I'm new to this forum, and thinking about starting a lawn maintenance company in near future. I plan on being 100% legit with proper insurance, business license etc., so no worries there. I plan on buying either new, or slightly used equipment to start out. I was wondering what manufactures I should choose from...or more specifically are there any commercial mower companies I should stay away from?

    Here are some makers I can think of off the top of my head. Any more I should check into? Any I should scrap from the list?

    Snapper pro

    I'm specifically interested in Snapper Pros right now. There's a 36" W/B listed on a Raleigh Craigslist for $1000. Any reason I shouldn't pick it up if it's in good shape? Thanks for your help in advance.

  2. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    There are plenty of commercial brand mowers out there....John Deere, Exmark, Toro, Scag, Bobcat, Hustler, Ferris, Wright, Husqvarna, Snapper Pro, Dixie Chopper, Grasshopper, Walker, etc. I'm sure I'm missing a couple in there, but as long as it is a "brand name" commercial mower, you should be just fine.

    If you are just starting out, buying slightly used is a pretty smart decision, it keeps your initial cost to start up down while still providing a quality mower built for what you will be doing.

    When buying used, there are alot of things to look into and consider (it helps if you are mechanically inclined). When looking at a used mower, take a look at the overall appearance of it...Does it look well taken care of? Does it look like paint is peeling off? Do any tires look flat? Once you get up to the mower, check over a few things before starting it....check oil level and how clean the oil is, check the air filter to see how clean it is, check spark plugs, check hydro fluid levels (if it is a hydraulic drive mower), inspect blades and spingles, go over the deck to check for cracks or dents, make sure everything feels "solid" on it. Once you start the mower, note how easily it starts, if it smokes on start up, how well it idles, how smooth the engine sounds at full throttle, drive it around a little bit to see how responsive the controls are, start and stop the PTO a little to see how that works. If you get the chance to actually cut with the mower, jump on the opportunity, see how it does. And once you park it, let it sit for a bit and see if anything leaks from the mower....remember to park it in a clean area so you can tell if something is leaking or not.

    When you are looking at used equipment, look at ones with 500 hours or less, those mowers are still fairly new and don't have too much use on them (in relation to how long they should last). You can expect to get 2000 hours or more out of a mower with proper care and maintenance. If the mower doesn't have an hour meter on it, be very cautionous....look to see if the mower has been completely repainted or if certain components look newer than others...really anything that would give away that the mower is actually older than the seller states.

    If you stick with a brand name commercial mower, you shouldn't be dissappointed. Just take good care of it and do all the maintenance required (ie, oil changes, greasing, etc.). Also, just because something is cheap, doesn't mean that it is the best buy for you.
  3. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    This is the best advice !!

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