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Old 07-02-2010, 01:13 AM   #1
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Default Landscapers or grounds keepers

Hey my wife has a friend that runs a handyman/landscaping business. She needs someone to subconract lawn mowing services for her clients, mostly elderly ladies with old homes. My question is what used lawn mower and trimmer should I be looking for if I were to be the guy to take on that task?

Are Snapper 6.0 hp decent? Should I be looking for a different brand?

Thanks all
Todd

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Old 07-02-2010, 02:41 AM   #2
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Paid by the hour? Scissors for sure.

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Old 07-02-2010, 02:50 AM   #3
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Yeah I wish. This damn hobby is taking a lot of time and money and I gotta start paying some bills.

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Old 07-02-2010, 12:56 PM   #4
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http://www.consumersearch.com/lawn-mower-reviews

a little google can be your friend - here are the top rated for each category -
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:13 PM   #5
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definitely a zero turn if you're doing it for payment. The more jobs you can get done in a day, the more you make.

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Old 07-02-2010, 03:44 PM   #6
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I made a living doing lawn care for several years.

Mowers

Snapper steel deck mowers with Robin or Briggs and Stratton engines is where its at. Honda engines are also very good but I don't think they come standard on any Snapper. Tecumseh sucks. The exhaust port covers blow off and not me or anyone else I know ever got a replacement to hold for more than a week.

The Robin (formerly Wisconsin Robin) were two cycle and a lot of Briggs are 4 cycle. I got the same reliability either way. 5-6.75 horse power is what you want.

For commercial use, you want a self propel mower that is belt and pulley driven. Those that use a belt to a gear or a gear to turn a gear that's made into the hub of the wheel wear out really fast. Snapper has always been real good about replacement part availability. They're also fairly easy to work on.

I see a lot of guys using Toro now. My buddy does and he likes them. They cost less than Snapper.

If you get a rider, again, Snapper. I had a Snapper and a Husqvarna. The Husq was big, heavy and a pain to work on. Dixie is supposed to be real good and so is Cub Cadet.

Other small engine equipment

There are two camps here. Buy the best and it lasts. Buy the second best and replace it as needed.

The best is Stihl and Echo. I used Echo. They ain't cheap but they last. They make the best damn weed whackers (string line trimmers), blowers and hedge trimmers. Troy Built isn't bad. Homelite is for home use. They're fine for that. I tried them for commercial use because they were the least expensive and I replaced two Homelite weed whackers sooner than I would have replaced one Echo.

Go with two cycle. Four cycle is too damn heavy to lug around.

Hand tools

Get fiberglass handles. Wood rots out and breaks. The cheapest rake and shovel heads will bend and snap off. It's better to spend more for quality. Screw plastic heads. Get steel.

Gas and oil

87 octane. That is all. My grandpa used 20w50 motor oil instead of two cycle oil. It worked for him. I used two cycle where it was called for and it worked for me. Never mind those high priced super special lawn equipment oils. Go to your local auto parts store and get a name brand oil.

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Old 07-02-2010, 03:50 PM   #7
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Hire an illegal immigrant?

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Old 07-02-2010, 03:50 PM   #8
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Snapper seems to be the most robustly built with the professional in mind. All steel construction on their commercial line self propelled.

Honda has the most reliable engines but, the tranny on my last self propelled Honda was aluminum and lasted a scant 3 years of homeowner use before it tanked. No repairing that. Could only be replaced for 2/3rds of the cost of a new mower.

So, I stripped it out! Best push mower I have ever owned.

Zero turn, castor wheel, walk behinds seem nice at first. Then you realize it leaves a 2 foot swath of grass at the nose end that has to be line trimmed. Not worth it in my opinion. Modding it to a fixed wheel was easy tho.

whatever you do. Don;t get consumer grade John Deere. It's just rebranded MTD.

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Old 07-02-2010, 09:03 PM   #9
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Thanks everybody! I am talkin' used equipment. Checking Craigslist and looking at trailers. I'll only be doing this a couple days a week but I don't like using cheap crap. Couple of snappers -6 hp - fir $20 (non running) and $35 (running-like new according to the ad). I thinking line trimmer and leaf blower as well. All has to be on the cheap. This is supposed to make cash not suck cash.

thanks
Todd

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