Who Makes the Beast From HD

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GrassesGuy, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,711

    another here today-gone tomorrow offering from hd
  2. GordonwJackson

    GordonwJackson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Thank you for your interest in this mower.

    We appreciate feedback from anyone who has tested the mowers...or maybe at least seen one. :)

    GXi Outdoor Power, headquartered in NC designs and manufactures these mowers exclusively for The Home Depot.

    GXi has approximately 500 service centers throughout the USA plus GXi supports several of the service center networks through the mass retailers.

    GXi manufactures all the BEAST products (walk behinds, brush mowers, tow behinds, chipper shredders, ZTRs, snow blowers) and is also the licensee for all STANLEY branded power equipment in the marketplace (pressure washers, mowers, chippers, generators, snow blowers...).

    Parts are available direct from GXi or through service centers and several parts distributors. Please let us know if you are aware of any parts issues. We have over $1 million of mower parts in NC and we ship about 95% of parts orders within 24 hours via FedEx. Effective next month parts like belts, blades, hydros and spindles can be ordered on HomeDepot.com and will be shipped within 48 hours from the time you place the Home Depot order.

    The mowers include a 3 year engine warranty and 2 year mower warranty for commercial duty service.

    The 62" Z-BEAST w/ 31hp Kawasaki, 7 gauge deck and ROPS for $4,999 is the top of the line BEAST model this year. We believe the mower compares very well with regards to cut quality, speed, durability, service and spare parts.

    Clearly there are some savings associated with not going through a distributor-dealer network and these savings are passed on to the consumer by Home Depot. On the other hand you don't have the superior local support some dealers offer. These mowers offer you a choice. If you value the service of your local dealer and it is worth the premium, then that may be the best option for you.

    GXi believes the 62" Z-BEAST at $4,999 leads this industry for a commercial duty mower. It may not be the perfect mower for everyone, but we think it represents an excellent value for many commercial mower users.

    Similarly the 54" Z-BEAST with all the same features and warranty plus a 22 hp Subaru engine is price at $3,799.

    We invite you to check out the entire product line on the BEAST web site or on HomeDepot.com

    We hope you get a chance to try one. We look forward to your feedback. :)

    Again, thank you for your interest.

    I am available on this site to answer any more questions you may have.
  3. GordonwJackson

    GordonwJackson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I certainly hope not! :) GXi has made power equipment for 10 years and has seen a lot of growth at a time when the industry is down. While our competitors were hunkering down due to the economy GXi has expanded its product line, continued with R&D and invested in a lot of new tooling and equipment. We hope these strategic moves position GXi very well for the future.
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,274

    Here's my question. Any other major manufacturer freely admits if a particular model is suited for "estate" or "LIGHT commercial" use. Nobody has a model that they feel comfortable labeling Professional or Commercial use anywhere near that price. What corners have been cut to reach that price point? I don't see a lot of Subaru engines in the commercial world. I hope they build better engines now then when they produced cars. Certain universal items such as pumps, motors, spindle assy are already at a set price regardless of which company bolts them on their frame. That leaves less metal and quality control as the only places to trim the fat. Or have the big manufacturers led us down the marketing path into believing a new ZTR really costs twice as much to produce?
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  5. fier23

    fier23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    The best question ever asked on this site! I am just as curious to your reply Gordon.
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  6. GrassesGuy

    GrassesGuy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :confused:
  7. GordonwJackson

    GordonwJackson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I don't think there is any one single answer to this question. I do not have access to say Toro or John Deere's costs. I can speculate the biggest savings are approximately in the following order:

    - No middle man or distributor
    - Home Depot expects less margin than most local dealers require to operate
    - GXi is a low overhead, lean organization (no corp. jets, marble HQs, million $ marketing budgets or big salary CEOs)
    - The mowers take advantage of being clean sheet designs with no legacy carry-over issues.
    - The mowers were specifically designed to be low cost to manufacture so complexity and cost were engineered out of many parts from the beginning.
    - Components were selected after an aggressive purchasing process. Suppliers that wanted too much money for their parts we engineered out of the mowers in favor of suppliers that were cooperative.
    - GXi is quite vertically integrated, allowing the company to select materials and processes that we know we can accomplish at a low cost (eg. we can galvanize less expensively than paint so all small parts are galvanized, we can cast some parts less expensively than machine them so we designed them to be cast, etc.)
    - The mowers are deigned to be lowest cost possible to ship. Shipping costs are a significant cost driver. For instance the lower half of the roll bar is actually part of the shipping rack...so we can offer a roll bar at no extra charge...etc.
    - GXi is aggressive. We know that to gain market share we must have a superior value proposition. There is no point going head-on with a similar mower to the incumbents, at the same dealers, with an $8,000 mower. There are enough companies competing there already (maybe too many).

    Again, there is no "silver bullet" when it comes to cost. It is the result of a thousand decisions where each time, meeting cost targets was an objective, along with durability and performance.

    The desire was to design a robust, durable line of mowers that cuts grass very well and include features most users desire in a commercial mower at the lowest possible cost. We think we have made some very good choices. We believe the mower is a very good, solid, capable machine. Landscapers are not a bashful group. If we made some bad choices we will surely hear about them on this site...and we will address them.

    There is no such thing as "the perfect mower". Just look at all the lively discussion on this site! People argue all day long about Toro versus John Deere versus Hustler...etc. We hope we have struck a mix of performance / features / cost that appeals to a lot of users. We know we cannot please everybody. Thus feedback must be sorted through for "preferences" versus real "shortcomings". Your assistance with this is helpful.

    We look forward to your feedback.

    I will do my best to answer any other questions you may have.
  8. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,274

    So how many are available to be demo'd in the real world? Don't get me wrong, any company that employs American workers is a step in the right direction. People are resistant to change and you have a large audience here. Blind faith alone will not get these guys to switch brands. Having well versed HD employess will help too. Rapid parts availability and shipping has proven a winning strategy with BOP
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  9. GordonwJackson

    GordonwJackson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    You are fortunate to be in the Tampa area. There are several Home Depot stores in your area that have had the BEAST mowers in stock this spring. I am told several stores sold them within hours of their arrival at the stores. Additionally, about 150 Home Depot lawn and garden employees received some initial training on commercial mowers and were able to test drive the BEAST products in Tampa about 4 weeks ago.

    Your best bet for a demo in the near term is to ask your local Home Depot store to bring one in for you to evaluate. Most Home Depot stores will do this for a customer. Longer term, they will be available at all the bigger / busier Home Depot store locations.
  10. GrassesGuy

    GrassesGuy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    Ok I just deteacted the first problem with this mower. You say components were agressively purchased and manuufactures that want to much money you excluded. Ok well most of the commercial grade mowers in the industry utilize the same components. So now the real question is how well does the mower hold up in real world operation. Not on a test lawn but on hills, ditches, transpoerted on trailers that hit pot holes, and of course hours of operation in all weather elements. THAT MY FRIEND IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION.

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