Buying a new mowing machine these days can be a little daunting. For this article I’m focusing on commercial machines. There are several makes, models and configurations. You need to consider how the machine will be used. Terrain, mowing conditions, hours of usage, crew size, and transporting the unit. Some features you like on one make and model may not be available on another. You may be partial to one make over another. I started out with Sag and now run Exmark. Both are great machines. For the most part, frames, decks, and engines are all about the same within the commercial arena. However, manufacturers will try and save a little when it comes to the hydro system and blade bearings. Consideration then needs to be given to the availability of parts, service, and warranty. Battery Reconditioning.
One machine is not going to fit every application. It’s all about finding a mower that will accommodate what you’re asking it to do as close as possible. Deck size for instance. A bigger machine may actually limit your production. Engine displacement, gas or diesel, walk behind, stand-on or ZTR. Pistal grip or ESC. They’re designed for production and to make you money. Commercial machines are an investment. Perhaps resale value is a concern. If you’re in business you may chose to lease which may be more advantageous depending on your situation.
This year it came time for me to replace an antiquated walk behind mower. After moving I had to get re-established. Most of my mowing was with a 60″ ZTR. I Picked up a few small lawns to get me started which required a 48″ walk behind. So I found a cheap 48″ belt drive to get me by. I’ll have a short article on belt vs hydro drive. With me purchasing a new machine I wanted to find a mower that would best suit my needs. My requirements: Hydrostatic drive a must. Electric start, Floating deck to adjust mowing height on site, V-twin engine for torque, compact design, and decided to stick with a 48″ deck. I financed the machine through Sheffield at 0%. I have always purchased my machines. Of course I can get ten plus years service out of a machine because I take care of them.
I first looked at Scag. Well built machine. Had them before and was impressed them. I liked the hand lever deck adjustment with roller cam adjustments. I then looked at Exmark. Which is what I purchased. I already have a couple of their ZTR’s. Also had a dealer which I purchased a few parts from that was an Exmark dealer. However I’m sure I would have been just as happy with a Scag. Not to mentioned I would have saved a little too.
In closing, most commercial machines will give you the service and production you need. Most of them are well built and designed to be durable and reliable. I would recommend noting what requirements you’re needing from a machine. Followed by your current and potential future clientele. It often times comes down to what lawn and garden dealership your already doing business with. Cost is another factor. If you’re just starting out It may be best to pay cash for a simple belt drive. In time you’ll learn whether it fits your needs or not. You can then upgrade later to a more suitable machine.