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jcloss
01-23-2010, 07:44 PM
I am planning to purchase the following two pieces of equipment for my lawn care business. I would like to get equipment that performs well and then get most for my money. Please advise.

1) Core Aerator

2) Trimmer (Looking at Echo, Any Thoughts?)

Steve
01-24-2010, 03:57 PM
Hi jcloss,

Welcome to our forum!

I think a lot of members use echo trimmers, but as far as the aerator. Why are you looking to buy one now?

Do you have the customers lined up to use it? If you are just getting started offering aeration, many tend to try and get a whole bunch of customers together and rent one for a day or two to complete all the jobs. Would doing something like this help you?

jcloss
01-25-2010, 06:16 PM
Steve,

Thank you for your reply. I do have a few customers that have requested to have their lawn aerated. I am looking to purchase a pull behind aerator and need some advise as to what to look for and the best brand. What size Echo trimmer do you recommend to get good performance and be economical?

SuperiorPower
01-25-2010, 06:32 PM
I would recommend a trimmer that is in the 18-20 cc size and make sure to get a straight shaft trimmer vs a curve shaft trimmer. With that in mind, go to the dealer and look at the models available and talk to them about them. They may have other suggestions as well. Sure, they are there to sell you a machine, but they are also there to sell you a machine that works best for you.

As far as aerating, check out Aerify which several of the users here absolutely love. I am seriously considering getting into spraying purely for this reason. I understand it is far more affective than core aerating and is better for your soil for several reasons. Check it out...


I hope this helps.
Eli

Steve
01-25-2010, 06:54 PM
make sure to get a straight shaft trimmer vs a curve shaft trimmer.

What is your view why one style is better than the other?

SuperiorPower
01-25-2010, 08:06 PM
What is your view why one style is better than the other?

The curve shaft is typically less expensive to manufacture and thus is cheaper to buy. For example, typically the straight shaft option of the exact same trimmer is about $40-$50 higher than the curve shaft model. The curve shaft tends to be slightly shorter from end to end but otherwise is bigger (requires less length but more height to store).

The reason I recommend a straight shaft trimmer vs the curve shaft model:


Curve shaft trimmers have a flexible shaft that can become unraveled (seldom), out of balance, etc.
Curve shaft trimmers tend to have a lighter duty bearing at the trimmer head end.
By design, the curve shafts tend to wear out the liner or bushings that hold the shaft in place.
Many straight shaft trimmers have a solid machined steel shaft.
Straight shaft trimmers tend to have a lifetime warranty on their shaft (check with manufacturer).


Another advantage to straight shaft trimmers is that they can reach underneath decks and other structures/obstructions much better than curve shaft trimmers.

The bottom line is, a straight shaft trimmer is much more durable. They also tend to have less vibration, especially once the curve shaft trimmer gets some age and wear on it. Simply put, curve shaft trimmers are designed cheaper and lighter than a straight shaft trimmer. Curve shaft trimmers are always considered consumer grade or at best pro-sumer. Straight shaft trimmers are typically considered professional grade.

Steve
01-25-2010, 11:14 PM
Oh that is very interesting!

What would you say are your top 3 favorite models right now when it comes to trimmers?

SuperiorPower
01-26-2010, 01:13 AM
Steve,

Thats a good question. I am still partial to the Shindaiwa models but am really liking what I see out of some of the Kawasaki models as well.

If you were to ask about top 3 brands I would probably go with Shindaiwa, Echo and Redmax, though not necessarily in that order. Like said, I like what I am seeing out of the Kawasaki trimmers but I am not excited about Stihl or Husqvarna trimmers what so ever.

I think you have to look at what you will do with the trimmer and then decide what size you need. Armed with this info, you would then be able to go and narrow down further. Example, if you are only trimming grass, then there is no need for a 27cc trimmer. But if you are trimming larger weeds and using it as an occasional brushcutter then you probably don't want a 18-23 cc and need to look at the 27cc or bigger.

Steve
01-26-2010, 05:19 PM
What about the Kawasaki models are standing out for you now?

I am not excited about Stihl or Husqvarna trimmers what so ever.

What is it about these manufacturers that you are not liking?

jcloss
01-30-2010, 02:16 PM
Steve & SuperiorPower,

Thank you for your advice. I will probably go with an Echo with a straight shaft. You say a dealer is the better option. Are dealers able to offer a competitive price or is it just more convenient when you need your trimmer repaired. Thank you for your help.

Fresh Cut
01-30-2010, 03:47 PM
I suggest you look into Redmax!!!

They are light, the power to weight ratio is great, and they last with very little maintenance.

I was sliding mine in the back of my truck for a while then I got a box truck and installed a trimmer trap so now it's racked and out of harms way.

I bought mine new in 2008 from a dealer that has since closed down, I paid around $360, but its SSSOOOO WORTH IT!

I then found out about Redmax blowers being the top of the line and found one in a pawn shop for $265, EBZ8000.

All my lawn service buddies swear by redmax as well. Echos just don't measure up?

SuperiorPower
01-30-2010, 04:25 PM
jcloss,

Reasons to buy from a servicing dealer are manifold but here are a few.

-The servicing dealer CARES ABOUT YOU and selling you the RIGHT machine. -The box store only cares about selling units. The more the merrier.
-With certain brands, the models are not created equal. The unit you will buy at the box store is of a lesser quality than the servicing dealer model, though they may carry the exact same model designation. Things like cheaper quality materials, etc. The so called "professional" in their lawn and garden dept will deny this, but I know from experience of servicing these machines.
-The servicing dealer wants to create a business relationship with you that is beneficial to both of you.
-Many times box stores definitely only carry consumer models or "pro-sumer" models. Though they will tell you their models are Commercial, they are very likely not. They stock their models for "price point", rather than quality and durability.

As with anything else, compare, compare, compare. Compare the power to weight, the balance, availability of parts and service, warranty, etc. As I recall, Echo has a rather healthy warranty at this time.

Steve,

As far as what I like about Kawasaki, they seem to have a "no fluff" attitude with a track record of high quality products. They even manufacture products for several other brands, including trimmer models.

Stihl and Husqvarna seem to have a decent chain saws (though some of their models are little better than the box store junk). Recently I have seen some Stihl Trimmers that I had to work on and was VERY disappointed in their design. Among other issues was the way things are put together making it hard to take apart. Serviceability of a machine means a lot to me. There are some trimmers where you can have the carburetor off in just a few minutes. This specific model of Stihl Trimmer you have to disassemble almost the entire trimmer just to get to it. All the new Stihl Blowers are the same way, including the BR500, and BR600 that everyone just LOVE.... It is ridiculous.

Fresh Cut,
Now regarding Echo vs Redmax, I can't help but wonder why you don't like the Echo models? I know Redmax is good, I am not certain though that I would put Echo down to that level. Most manufacturers have a consumer model line and Professional or Commercial model line. For anything more than trimming your own lawn you need the Commercial models. None the less, Redmax is a great machine.

And you are so right, it is so worth your time and money to buy the best quality machine the first time. I could go into great depth on the benefits of buying the right machine the first time but I am sure we can all get the idea. One reason that comes to mind is that you get to spend that money only once so you better make sure you spend it the best way you possibly can!!

Good luck all!
Eli