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View Full Version : New 21" Commercial Mower or Used Mid Size Walk Behind


Big Al
07-18-2012, 07:57 PM
Simple truth is that I'm on a budget. Sadly I'm selling one of my most prized possessions, my motorcycle, to fund a new lawn mower.
Right now I'm using a Troy-Bilt residential self-propelled mower and a Craftsman trimmer. I need commercial equipment and I'm wondering if it would be better to buy a new 21" commercial mower(Toro, Snapper, etc.) or wait to find a used 32", 36" or larger walk behind a mower.
My concerns are:
•Time efficiency vs. Ease of use
•Being able to get the mower though gates
•Maintenance and reliability

I know a walk behind will get the job done quicker but a 21" will be easier to handle and maneuver... Right?
Also a 21" is sure to be able to get into every gate and narrow space I need it to.
A new 21" will also likely come with some sort of warranty and being new I know it doesn't have any issues.

I know it sounds like I'm more interested in buying the 21" but that's why I'm asking.

The ideal thing to do would be to buy a brand new walk behind mower but that's just not in the cards right now.

I would appreciate any kind of feedback, opinions, or personal experience.

Also I suppose I should add that I only do residential jobs and none that are to big, but next year I am hoping on getting bigger jobs.

SECTLANDSCAPING
07-18-2012, 08:00 PM
I would shop around I bought 3 honda commercial walk behinds for $60-$100. I havent had problems with any of them.

I would look for a big walk behind also. You can buy both and you probably need both.

willshome
07-18-2012, 08:21 PM
I would not spend a lot on a 21" you will out grow it fast
I use a 33" zero turn rider 99.99% of the time. I only use a 21" on two yards for under a min. each.

Godslapper
07-18-2012, 08:54 PM
First, if you sell your motorcycle to buy a lawn mower I will find you and kick yer azz. What the F are you thinking ! Second, there is no such thing as a 21" commercial lawn mower !

You need to get your mind right man. Even when I had zero money and starting a lawn mowing biz was just a thought it never included a 21" anything as my main work horse. Really man I'm at a loss for words. Dude I wish you the best but you need to think bigger.

Don't sell yer bike! Sell yer wife first!

Hedgemaster
07-18-2012, 09:08 PM
Most of the advice you get will be based on the use of the person giving said advice and not based on YOUR needs/usage.

Take all advice with a grain of salt.


I started last season. I purchased a new Toro Super Recycler (SR4) and it's still running just fine. It's lighter and easier to operate than a commercial Toro and cost me one thousand dollars less than a 21" commercial Toro. I could think of half a dozen good uses for that thousand dollars.

The problem with starting out with a small mower is that you must limit yourself to lawns you can cut and make a profit - smaller lawns.

This spring I bought a 36" Ferris walk behind (new - I couldn't afford used) and I find myself with little use for it on my current client's lawns because they are better suited for a 21" mower. Now I'm trying to only take new clients with lawns I can use the walk behind on.

Also, I don't know if it's just me, but I don't find a HUGE savings in time by using the 36" mower. It IS faster and WAY more powerful (think overgrown lawns), but if you don't need to worry about gates, I'd consider something larger than a 36".

Back to the Toro - I like mine so much I bought another one last week!
Generally speaking, I agree with the "buy commercial" line of thought, but in this case, I did some research and factored in my experience with my current Toro and decided a commercial 21" mower was just not something I needed, OR wanted.
Here's my thread about my Toro (both the original and the newer one)
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13790


Here's my thread about my walk behind.
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=15943&highlight=ferris+walk



If you're just starting out, I'd be more concerned with the reliability of big ticket items than something like a 21" mower that can be replaced with relative ease.

You are the only one who can decide what equipment will be best suited for you.
A 21" mower has it's uses. A walk behind is suited for other uses. A ZTR is suited for yet other uses. It all depends on what sort of lawns you have/plan on cutting.

SECTLANDSCAPING
07-18-2012, 09:25 PM
Offer this guy $100
http://houston.craigslist.org/grd/3125489489.html

This is just below a commercial mower. I think it retails for $699 or $799. I have one of these and two with aluminum decks.

Or better yet this is only $750
http://houston.craigslist.org/grd/3148146755.html
its not commercial but 48'' deck ztr for under a grand.

willshome
07-18-2012, 09:29 PM
A 21" mower has it's uses. A walk behind is suited for other uses. A ZTR is suited for yet other uses. It all depends on what sort of lawns you have/plan on cutting.

I would say this is right but a small ZTR is great for most of the time (just not hills). walk-behinds of any size are slower and do not backup well.

Godslapper
07-18-2012, 09:30 PM
I have 21" mowers on my trucks. There toros and come to think of it the last time I bought one was two or three seasons ago. The only time we use them is when there is a spot that the big mower can't get and it's more than you want to weed wack.

They do come in handy when people have a fence around their pool. Their might be a little grass in there.

For the most part I will not take on a customer if I can't get my 52" in the back yard. It's just not worth the time and BS.

Think big and grow big.

Johnny_boy02
07-18-2012, 09:54 PM
Second, there is no such thing as a 21" commercial lawn mower !

You need to get your mind right man. Even when I had zero money and starting a lawn mowing biz was just a thought it never included a 21" anything as my main work horse. Really man I'm at a loss for words. Dude I wish you the best but you need to think bigger.



You really should make sure you know what you are talking about before running your mouth.

It will really depend on his area and the type of yards. Around me most lots are 10,000sf or less with the majority averaging around 7000-8000. Most of the gates to backyards are 32" wide or less. And then you have to think about whatever junk the homeowner has put on the walk way. I cant fit my small walk behind through my own gate and my backyard has maybe 200sf of grass.

He may not need a larger mower and a reliable commercial 21" mower may work perfectly for his needs.

Godslapper
07-18-2012, 10:14 PM
You really should make sure you know what you are talking about before running your mouth.

It will really depend on his area and the type of yards. Around me most lots are 10,000sf or less with the majority averaging around 7000-8000. Most of the gates to backyards are 32" wide or less. And then you have to think about whatever junk the homeowner has put on the walk way. I cant fit my small walk behind through my own gate and my backyard has maybe 200sf of grass.

He may not need a larger mower and a reliable commercial 21" mower may work perfectly for his needs.

lol. Think small stay small. I'm sure the wife and kids will respect you all the same.lol.

Big Al
07-19-2012, 03:56 PM
Great craigslist find! I emailed the guy about the Honda mower, I was gong to call him but there was no number there.
Anyways, I appreciate everyone's input on this subject, except for the guy that insulted me and told me there was no such thing as a commercial 21" mower.
I hope that guy emails me back soon but if not I think I'll keep an eye out for other Honda's or other 21" commercial mowers. If I can really find them this cheap then that would be the best bet.
And whenever I'm ready to step up(financially) to an actual walk behind mower I will.
I guess I'm keeping my bike, unless I just happen to find a great deal on equipment, then I'll consider selling.
Hedgemaster-Thanks alot for the advice, your threads were very helpful, and I can't believe you waxed your Toro(whoa, that doesn't sound right...).

Hedgemaster
07-19-2012, 04:21 PM
Great craigslist find! I emailed the guy about the Honda mower, I was gong to call him but there was no number there.
Anyways, I appreciate everyone's input on this subject, except for the guy that insulted me and told me there was no such thing as a commercial 21" mower.
I hope that guy emails me back soon but if not I think I'll keep an eye out for other Honda's or other 21" commercial mowers. If I can really find them this cheap then that would be the best bet.
And whenever I'm ready to step up(financially) to an actual walk behind mower I will.
I guess I'm keeping my bike, unless I just happen to find a great deal on equipment, then I'll consider selling.
Hedgemaster-Thanks alot for the advice, your threads were very helpful, and I can't believe you waxed your Toro(whoa, that doesn't sound right...).


LOL! (Gonna start calling my Johnson my "Toro" Hahahaha!)

Hey, around here, if it has a painted surface, it gets waxed. :cool:


Glad some of it was useful. It's been a learning experience and I don't mind sharing what I've learned.