PDA

View Full Version : Looking at Walk Behinds on a Budget


Hedgemaster
02-20-2012, 03:50 PM
I just stopped at my Toro dealer to see what he has available in used inventory.
I'm looking for a 32" or 36" to help with some larger lawns and/or those "first cuts" that are a bit too overgrown for a 21" push mower.

I'd like to keep my budget close to $1,000 if possible.
My dealer said he would be willing to set up a "payment plan" for me, so that is helpful. You can't do that with a private sale.

I still have a lot of lawns that will be cut with my 21" Toro SuperRecycler, so this will not be a mower used all day/every day. I work alone, so I'm the only person that will be operating it.



The only Toro he had:
32" Toro Proline (fixed deck) with pistol grip control.
It's a 2005 and he wants $1,500 for it - includes a metal bagger. (no warranty)

Looks pretty much like this, but with pistol grip handles...

http://images1.americanlisted.com/nlarge/toro_proline_32_1200_45005_8934299.jpg

I dunno... it's dirty, but otherwise looks in good condition.
That sounds kind of high for a 2005 though.



He also has a Worldlawn (http://www.worldlawnpowerequip.com/html/English/Products/DISTRIBUTOR-NETWORK-ONLY/201101/29-8.html) 33" (fixed deck)for $1,000.
It's last year's model and was a demo - essentially new. Includes a 1 year warranty.
Here's a link (http://www.medinamower.com/Walk%20Behind%20Mowers/WorldLawn%20Walk%20Behind%20Mowers/33%20Inch%20Walk%20Behind%20Mower.htm) from another dealer I found online.

http://www.medinamower.com/images/WB/WorldLawn/33B.jpg

The drawbacks (that I can think of) to the Worldlawn unit are:
It's not going to hold up to the abuse that a Toro will.
That said, it's not going to see heavy use.

It's got the Briggs engine - 10.5 hp concerns me more than the brand though - will it be powerful enough?

No reverse


The "pros" of the Worldlawn:
It's within my budget
I say my budget is $1,000, but I don't have $1,000 CASH handy, so the payment plan makes this "do-able".

It's an "off brand", but my dealer services them - no fears of finding parts/service

It's not as heavy as the Toro - hopefully negating my concern over lack of a reverse.

It has a unique "crank" height adjustment in the rear. Front uses spacers like other brands.

Comes with a 1 year warranty - this is worth noting, as I'm not a big "fix it myself" guy. (yet)

willshome
02-20-2012, 05:32 PM
why are you using a 21" as your main mower? that's a lot of work if your getting a 32". the toro sounds high to me did he just service it and why no warranty at that price he shound give you atleast 30 days. the 33" sounds like a low model but I know someone that has a mower like that one and says its great

Hedgemaster
02-20-2012, 06:50 PM
why are you using a 21" as your main mower? that's a lot of work if your getting a 32". the toro sounds high to me did he just service it and why no warranty at that price he shound give you atleast 30 days. the 33" sounds like a low model but I know someone that has a mower like that one and says its great

Eh, it's still going to be just as easy to mow some of mine with the 21".
No need for a trailer that way (city parking), so on certain days I'd just schedule all the smaller yards together, but I do see what you're getting at.
I guess I was just trying to give info to indicate that I'm not a huge operation that's going to be hammering on my gear brutally 12 hrs a day on huge properties.

I'd rather get a 36" minimum, but it seems that those can be problematic getting through some gates.

In a perfect world, I'd have a mower available for every application.
Right now I have my 21" Toro and a 54" Husqvarna ZTR for anything "big", so I'm hoping to pick up something to take on those "in between" jobs.

I had hoped I could find a good (Toro for example) walk behind in the $1,000 range, but I don't know how realistic that is.
Nobody shows prices on their websites, so I have no idea what anything costs new for comparison.
It's really frustrating trying to shop for equipment when you have no idea what it costs.

HAMPTON ROADS LAWN CARE
02-20-2012, 07:08 PM
Imma help you here for as to what I know thus far!

I went to 2 different toro dealers in this area and they are proud of their mowers.....lol

Just to get started and see if I like the business I just bought this Cub Cadet.

http://www.cubcadet.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/gallery_10051_14101_1210164_33830_600000_-1_image

I got the 760ES which is a bit more for the electric start and its 33 in so I will have no problem with gates got it for 1400 then bought the bagger (just in case) but you can get the pull start for 1200 out the door im sure I know thats 200 more but it has a 3 year (120 hour) warranty on it!

Just some food 4 thought!

bruces
02-20-2012, 07:14 PM
I am not positive,but I think that worldlawn is the same as the redhawk you were asking about on another thread .I think the toro is priced too high for such a" modern " machine ,I cant think its worth more than $1000.00 ,but its early spring so its worth more now than in 6 months .

dpld
02-20-2012, 07:51 PM
good quality machines hold their value today and based on what they go for new the toro is priced for about what they go for used in this area.

as far as warranty goes if it is a belt driven machine and it is in good working order and the motor runs good and does not smoke the warranty is not really going to hurt you too much.

if it were a hydro model then you are talking about a whole different animal and you would never find a warranty on a used machine over a year or two.

Hedgemaster
02-20-2012, 08:02 PM
I am not positive,but I think that worldlawn is the same as the redhawk you were asking about on another thread .I think the toro is priced too high for such a" modern " machine ,I cant think its worth more than $1000.00 ,but its early spring so its worth more now than in 6 months .

I don't believe it's the same, but it's in the same league.

The owner was on his way out, so I didn't have much time to talk, or I'd have inquired about that one.
It's a really small dealer that only has about 5-8 Toro models in stock (well, at least out and visible) at one time and they don't have any other brands in stock, but can order them and service them.

I THINK he said a NEW Toro 32" would be about $2,500, so that's why I'm thinking $1,500 sounds high for a six year old machine. No idea what kind of usage it has seen though.

Hedgemaster
02-20-2012, 08:08 PM
good quality machines hold their value today and based on what they go for new the toro is priced for about what they go for used in this area.

as far as warranty goes if it is a belt driven machine and it is in good working order and the motor runs good and does not smoke the warranty is not really going to hurt you too much.

if it were a hydro model then you are talking about a whole different animal and you would never find a warranty on a used machine over a year or two.


Noted. Aside from the lower price, one of the reasons I was leaning toward a belt drive was ability to "fix it myself". I'm not a great mechanic, but I can do basic stuff and I'm willing to learn.

Here's a question for someone...

What's the difference between the gear drive and a hydro drive?

Aside from mechanical difference and "hydro is better", what does hydro do that a gear drive doesn't? This seems to be assumed knowledge, as none of the literature explains the difference.

Does the hydro make it easier to operate, or is it just more reliable?

wandfsmall
02-20-2012, 08:12 PM
I am not positive,but I think that worldlawn is the same as the redhawk you were asking about on another thread .I think the toro is priced too high for such a" modern " machine ,I cant think its worth more than $1000.00 ,but its early spring so its worth more now than in 6 months .

Yes Redhawk is World Lawn, and made in china. They now also own Encore here in the states, so I do not expect them to be gone soon however any import changes could affect prices and availability of parts quickly.

wandfsmall
02-20-2012, 08:16 PM
I don't believe it's the same, but it's in the same league.

The owner was on his way out, so I didn't have much time to talk, or I'd have inquired about that one.
It's a really small dealer that only has about 5-8 Toro models in stock (well, at least out and visible) at one time and they don't have any other brands in stock, but can order them and service them.

I THINK he said a NEW Toro 32" would be about $2,500, so that's why I'm thinking $1,500 sounds high for a six year old machine. No idea what kind of usage it has seen though.

I am not sure how a small dealer can just order other brands of mowers... is he getting them from other dealers and reselling them somehow? For me to carry a brand of equipment it cost over $50,000 per line for parts and equipment to start up. It is not something you just order one or two in. I would check this out a little before buying as this does not sound legit.

wandfsmall
02-20-2012, 08:21 PM
Does the hydro make it easier to operate, or is it just more reliable?

Hydro is smoother, and easier to operate as you have no gears in the unit. It is based on the flow of oil and a valve similar to a water faucet controlling the speed. I know this is a simplistic view on a hydro system but in effect is is how they work the pump pumps oil that pushes the wheel motor.

I feel they are more reliable if taken care of correctly. But as for repair you have to have a good shop as a lot of mechanics do not know how to fix them.

Hedgemaster
02-20-2012, 08:27 PM
Good to know.
I knew the Worldlawns were Chinese, and have already read most of what I could find about them online, including finding a few places that actually listed prices. Seems they run about $1,400 new, so the price he gave me of $1,000 for the demo seems fair, although I'd ask if he can do better, or throw in a bagger or extra blades.

The Cub Cadet linked in the post by HAMPTON ROADS LAWN CARE has me thinking, as it's about the same price as the Worldlawn and has the same 10.5 hp engine. The thing I like about the Cub is the adjustable deck. The thing I don't like is that I couldn't just take it to my dealer for repair. (Tractor Supply near here carries the Cubs)

Another thing that I'd have to check into is the "steering".

I'm reading that the Cub has to be manhandled to turn it, but I can't confirm it.
I'm not sure how the Worldlawn works - I THINK it has independent controls for each side, so I ASSUME that means you can "steer" it.

I've never operated a walk behind, so I'm not sure how they operate, or if there are different types.

Hedgemaster
02-20-2012, 08:31 PM
I am not sure how a small dealer can just order other brands of mowers... is he getting them from other dealers and reselling them somehow? For me to carry a brand of equipment it cost over $50,000 per line for parts and equipment to start up. It is not something you just order one or two in. I would check this out a little before buying as this does not sound legit.

Well, not "any" brand. Just the ones he "carries". It's just that "carries" is a bit of a misnomer since he doesn't seem to STOCK much of anything.

I picked up brochures for Exmark, Bob Cat, Ferris, Toro (his main line), Worldlawn, and there were a few others.

dpld
02-21-2012, 08:34 AM
Noted. Aside from the lower price, one of the reasons I was leaning toward a belt drive was ability to "fix it myself". I'm not a great mechanic, but I can do basic stuff and I'm willing to learn.

Here's a question for someone...

What's the difference between the gear drive and a hydro drive?

Aside from mechanical difference and "hydro is better", what does hydro do that a gear drive doesn't? This seems to be assumed knowledge, as none of the literature explains the difference.

Does the hydro make it easier to operate, or is it just more reliable?


the hydro has no belts to contend with as well as far more power in the event you use a sulky and they are not affected in wet weather being there is no belts to slip and best of all you squeeze the handles all the way and you have reverse.

hydro is far easier to operate and the only draw back that i can think of is the initial cost of ownership.
after i bought my first hydro years ago i would never buy a belt driven machine again.

thegroundscrew
02-21-2012, 11:05 AM
Hydro is a lot more expensive initially and in the long run. It is hard to maintain those yourself if you are not a some what experienced mechanic. Belt drives are excellent when it is not raining but when it does it can be a pain. But a trick my dad and I use is rub a bar of dove soap all over the belt for a good 20 minutes and that will work like a charm in the rain. It sounds wierd but give it a try it works. But other than that if you have the mone get a hydro and SCAG all the way. Those commercial SCAGS are expensive but they last for at least six years no problem. Make sure when you are buying the mower you look for the t of metal used, sturdiness, and the mower. Those are one of the most important parts for picking out a mower for longevity.

Hedgemaster
02-21-2012, 05:29 PM
I'm not sure what I'll do yet.

I spent some time on ebay looking at mowers just to get a feel for what tings are selling for. I saw some Toros that were around $1,000, but they looked like they should be in a scrap yard.

I was doing some research on non-commercial mowers too and the only one's I saw that appear to be available around here are the Cub Cadet, the Troy Built, and the Sears "Professional" - all of which are the EXACT same unit. (except that the Craftsman has a 12.5 hp engine as opposed to the 10.5 hp on the other two - it also has a headlight and runs about $50 more than the others)
The biggest "plus" with these are that I could finance them for 12-18 months.
The trouble with buying used is that you can't do that. (except for my dealer's offer to allow me to make payments - but that doesn't help if he has nothing in stock)

I guess it's going to boil down to whether I decide I can live with a homeowner mower for a season or two, or if I happen upon an unusually good deal on a Toro.

I'd rather buy from my regular dealer, but maybe I'll check out some other dealers to see what they have available in used mowers.

Perhaps if I wait, more used mowers will become available as guys buy new units for the upcoming season?

Hedgemaster
02-21-2012, 10:34 PM
I think I've decided - sort of.

I happened across the Airens walk behind from Home Depot (http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202691274/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=911413&storeId=10051) and was reading through the reviews.

There was something that I read that concerns me. A few people mentioned difficulty on hills - going across, the front wants to roll downhill and they have to fight to keep it straight.
A few of the larger lawns I have are sloped. They are also the larger lawns that I thought a walk behind would help me cut more quickly.

I think I'll scrap the "homeowner model" idea entirely. It would probably be OK if I were only mowing flat lots, but there isn't a property in this area that doesn't have at least a portion of the lawn on a hill.



I think I have three options:

Buy used.
HOPE something becomes available that is around $1,000 and isn't beat to hell.

Buy new.
HOPE I can get 0% (or near it) financing for 24-36 months.
MAYBE I can do this - depending on cost of unit.

Wait until next season.



ETA: I haven't completely ruled out the Worldlawn unit. I still have some things to look into regarding the Toros and I need to find out how the Worldlawn operates - are the wheels powered independently? I THINK that's part of the issue with the lower quality mowers as far as steering ease and operation on hills are concerned.

Hedgemaster
02-22-2012, 11:20 AM
What's the difference between a fixed deck and a floating deck?
Aside from the obvious that a floating deck isn't "fixed in place."

Keeping in mind that I'm looking at either a 32" or 36" unit:

Would I regret a fixed deck?

Does a floating deck improve the cut?

Pros and cons of each would be helpful.