Which WB is the "bang for the buck"?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dlomb72, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. dlomb72

    dlomb72 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    I am concerned about making the wrong decision on what I should buy for a 48" machine. My company is small but growing and I definitely want a hydro. A Walker is my dream but I do not generate the type of revenue to justify spending 10-12K on a machine. I am skeptical about buying a used one and therefore I am leaning towards a walk behind w/ sulky or a Great Dane super surfer. The only problem w/ purchasing a Great Dane is that the nearest dealer is out of the way in case of emergency. My options for a WB are Ferris, Lesco, Scag, Gravely, and Encore. Please express opinions about the used walker situation and "red flags" to look for when examining these machines.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    Hey, stop for just a minute.

    Think about this, you said your company is small BUT growing.

    The Walker may be alot of an investment for you right now, but here it is late October. It's the perfect time for leaf cleanup. The Walker will make that a snap, and it does a better job at it than any W/B with bagger or vac. system I've used.

    Customers will see the difference in the quality of cut and the groomed finish the Walker leaves behind. You will get more work JUST because you run a Walker, I know I have.

    Get ahead of the curve, sacrafice a little now and get the Walker. What better way to grow a company, than on satisfied customers talking to neighbors and friends about the quality job you do.

    Check out the other "Walker" posts here on this site. Just this week, the neighbor of a couple I have been mowing with Toro products (and they do a great job BTW, nobody was unhappy with the job Toro was doing) anyway, this lady comes out, flags me down and asks me the price to do her lawn with the Walker. I gave her a high price and she hired me on the spot. She specifically said she noticed the difference from the red mowers to the "little yellow mower". You cant beat people chasing you down to hire you. :D


    BOTURF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    imho Scag or ferris is the way to go, i dont have a clue about lesco or gravely as no one around here runs them , we all run scag or ferris with a few exmarks mixed in , exmark dealer around here is terrible . Scag dealer here is far away better for example more than once has fixed my mower right on trailer while i wait . Dealer support is very important also so take that in to consideration just my 2 cents
  4. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    Ill second the vote for the walker. Get new if you can. I believe that if you mow the hoods that demand a great finish, you need a walker. Not to mention the attachments. Aerator, bed shaper, dethatcher, etc. Dont screw yourself because you buy the wrong machine now and end up outgrowing it down the road.
  5. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    I'd say consider the Walker, it will really make your company grow. People will be flagging you down wanting your biz because you have the Walker.

    Is there no Exmark dealer in your area?:D
    I know for a fact that Gravely is a good mower and leaves a quality cut.
  6. rross

    rross LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I'm unfamiliar with the walkers, I understand they bag with the GHS deck but where to dump when the walkers back end is full??? or will it bag it up for you,, that would be nice???
  7. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    really consider the Walker now. I started real small and was using a garden tractor for 10 customers. After I smoked the hydro on the tractor, I demo'ed a Walker.
    Traded the tractor on a Walker in the fall/winter of 98. In 99 spring, I just about paid for the Walker with spring clean/dethatching customers. I doubled my customer base that year and completed the 16 jobs in the time it took me to do 8 with a tractor.
    Fall cleans are actually fun to do with the machine. The versatility of the interchangable decks are a great moneymaker. I use a 52SD in the cutting season and a 42GHS in the spring and fall.

    Don't let the cost of the machine scare you. You will make the money to pay for it and you also have to remember that you are a business so a portion of the cost is a write off. There is a great resale value for the machine also.
    I upgraded to a 26EFI in 2000 its paid for also. Take the money that you would spend for a walkbehind and then finance the rest for a Walker if you can't swing it all at once. You won't be sorry and your ability to grow and expand will only be limited by you getting customers. Good Luck.
  8. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    If you scalp during the spring, bag during the summer, or do leaf clean-up in the fall, I would definetely consider the Walker. I bought mine at the end of my first year because I knew I was going to be in this for awhile. Buy the best equipment and make NO short cuts. You might not have the money now, but there are a lot of financing options out there. Exmarks has one going on now. Take a new mower home now and don't make payments until April (when the machine is making you money). Interest doesn't start accumulating until March. I have heard good things about all those models you mentioned, except for Encore (but I have no opinion of my own).

    Good luck
  9. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    I agree with these guys about the walker. I don't have one, I've got one of those "red" mowers. But I was in your shoes struggling with justifying the cost of a bigger faster machine. Bigger, faster, better cut = more time for more cutomers = MORE MONEY:D payup :D If you think you can swing it, you won't be disapointed. These guys on here aren't pulling your leg. And as far as a WB, as long as it is a good commercial, its 80% dealer and just demo demo demo. :) Goodluck Marc
  10. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    your question was about a hydro WB.

    let me suggest that you consider the lesco 52 hydro with the 17 kaw for under $3500. the 19 hp kaw is about $3900.


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