which WAM!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hobbsd, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. hobbsd

    hobbsd LawnSite Senior Member
    from west wi
    Messages: 448

    I am looking into buying a used WAM (wide area mower). This kindo of equipment is new territory for me and I am not sure how to decide on what to get.

    The two models that I have looked at, are a 1994 jacobson 5111 and a 1998Toro 455D. Are these good models?

    both have alot of hours(3000) but look like they are in good shape.

    What should i look for on them, what is important concerning features, how many hours can a WAM get, how much will maintenance be, etc.....

    Thank You,:usflag:
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Where in western WI are you??
  3. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    Toro between those two. Not that I have used one though.
  4. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    How many acres are you maintaining?

    What is the length of the contract?

    They aren't cheap (even used), and there is a LOT to go wrong.

    Usually when they're up for sale used, there is SOMETHING prompting its sale. Could be something simple, but may be something not worth fixing. Sometimes on older units, parts are just no longer available.

    Proceed with caution.

    But most of all, make sure you NEED one.
  5. hobbsd

    hobbsd LawnSite Senior Member
    from west wi
    Messages: 448

    The contract that I would be looking to get it for is around 70 acres of mowing. If I bought a WAM then I would be looking to pick up some other big contracts.

    Anyone have a general maintenance p/hour figure?

  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    I just hear of people buying big WAM's and then loosing the contract the next season for whatever reason. Then they're stuck with a $30-$60K mower that they cant find work for.

    For 70 acres, buy 2 72" ZTR's and put two guys on them for 8hrs. You'll have a LOT less of an investment, plus you can use those mowers for other jobs.
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    hobbsd -

    The reason I asked where in western WI are you, is because within the next 2 weeks I"ll know if I've got one for sale.

    I bought one last fall, a 2001 Toro 455-d, 11' with the whole deck out front, no side wing mowers.

    Anyways, I haven't lost my big contracts, but I'm about to lose some mid sized contracts, enough where I wouldn't need the Toro to save time on the big contract.

    It would be considerably less than $30-60k even less than $20k.

    It's only got 312 hours on it.

    I found it on the internet, a city had it for 3 years, used it for 5 hours / week, and then it sat at the John Deere dealer for a year.

    It's basically brand new, other than it's sat.

    Anyways, like I said, I'll know here within 2 weeks. One Wal-Mart that I've done for 6 years, they've got the 5th manager in that 6 years, and her husband does lawn mowing, so that's a $2k / month account that is pretty much gone, and I've got another strip mall in an area where no one's ever bid against me, so naturally the price is fairly decent. Well this year I've got another Wal-Mart right next to that strip mall, and both have said that there's 5 new companies that have bid against me, and 4 are considerably lower.

    That's what happens when you branch out into farm country I guess.

    Anyways, I'm about 30 miles north of St. Paul, and if you're interested, I'll let you know if I decide to bail on this mower or not....

    Here's a picture of it....

  8. brookviewlawncare

    brookviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    they are both good machines. We had a toro 455 kept it to about 4000hrs with no major problems. ck the wings make sure the go up and down with no help. the wing hinge is a weak point. we now have a pair of ransomes 951d which is a textron product great machine parts can be a little hard to come by. we have demoed the 5111 and loved it but the 951 was little more compact. the 951 is now labeled a 6010.
  9. MysticLandscape

    MysticLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    I use an HR5111 at a golf course i work at, i like the machine but it is a little bit of a rought ride. The HR will last you about 6000 hrs, i have seen a couple machines with 8000. The HR is rated at 10+ acres an hr so it will do that 70 acre plot in less than a day so if i were you i would go get some more contracts for it, its too expensice and good of a machine to let sit around the other six days of the week. If you have anymore question about it feel free to PM me.

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