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Self propelled mower recommendations please

Evening Juicers!

I need to get a self propelled mower as I have several clients with very large gardens.  One takes 4 hours to do and she insists on diamond patterning too! Ive got around 350 -400 in terms of budget. Im 6ft 2inch high so I need something which isnt gonna do my back in and also has a wide cutting width. I dont need side discharge or electric start just a solid machine.

Anybody have any recomendations at all.

Thanks all.

Tom.

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Replies

  • PRO

    Wheeled or roller?

    If roller a (secondhand) Honda/Kaaz/Lawnflite/Kubota Pro.

    Wheeled - much the same.

    Thats not a long of money to play with in the commercial mower market I will be honest when a new Pro roller is around £1200.....

    • PRO

      You could mulch the 4 hour job which will save you lots of time not having to box the grass  off with something like a toro recycler . As long as they dont want stripes .

      Today i cut Three large wet overgrown lawns with a Viking 545 roller mower which cost me £150 .  It didnt drop a single blade of grass or clog the chute and left excellent stripes . 

      If you cant find a used pro mower you are happy with within your budget the above have served me well . 

      I would try dealers they sometimes have some reasonable refurbished machines and they usually come with some guarantee and a sharp blade .

      My height is 6 ft i dont find myself having stoop with the viking .

  • Agree with Adam re the budget that you have available, £350-400 isn't enough  to purchase a 'wide cutting' model.  Toro produce a 30" Time Master for just over £1k. You may be able to get a good second hand machine for around half of that.  

  • PRO

    I used one of these when starting out - good performance for a budget machine, mulches, collects or side discharge. Good speed and not too heavy. Not as good as the pro machines, but almost 1/3rd of the price. As a lone user I would expect to get around 4 seasons out of it.

    https://www.gardencaredirect.com/shop/garden-machinery/lawn-mowers/...

    This would be similar from Cobra:

    https://www.cobragarden.co.uk/M56SPB_Lawnmower.html

    We've used a smaller cobra, again good domestic model.

    Gardencare LMX56SP 56cm lawn mower
  • PRO

    if you could stretch the budget to around £600, then 53-56cm Toro Recyclers or Honda Izy come into play. Toro are the machines we've had least problems with so I rate those. Many on here have mentioned the Honda Izy as being very good.

  • The 21" Kaaz/Danarm/Lawnflite roller mowers are pretty good and there are always secondhand ones coming up on Ebay for under £400.  Gearboxes can be a problem with them so make sure they engage properly and that the mower doesn't need a "nudge" to get moving.  I've had one for 15 years and still going strong............ had to overhaul the gearbox a few times though if you are mechanically minded, you can sort it out reasonably cheaply. 

  • If you are mowing 4 hours at a go you should be thinking of using some kind of ride on. Are your large gardens pay per visit or hourly? If per visit you can get through more work, earn more money and be able to buy a decent bit of kit whatever route you go down.

  • I recommend the 2nd hand Honda/Lawnflite/Kazz etc route too. Both of my daily mowers (wheeled and roller) are Honda HR194s from the 80s! These are the mowers that the other brands are based on. I have upgraded the engines and handles on mine, just to give them a new lease of life, but they're pretty much indestructible. Mine are on original gearboxes, but I do split them every couple of years to renew the oil.

  • Many thanks for all your input guys I really appreciate it. There's some really good pointers there. I'm torn now between an older Honda or a new cobra. I'm relatively new to the business so cash flow is a real issue at the moment. Interesting point with the ride on idea. I had considered that too but I'd still need a smaller machine for other clients. In answer to your question I never do an hourly rate. I only offer full or half days or price jobs for building pergolas/ planters etc. Everyone seems pretty happy with that so far. 
    mmmn time to mulch over all your ideas I will report back on the purchase 

    have a great weekend juicers!

    tom

  • One of the best bits of advice  read on here was to aim at £1 per minute of mowing. A four 4hr straight job would be a cracker. If she wants a diamond pattern, that's a lot of concentration for 4!hrs £££££

    £350 no where near enough for me either.

    i've just bought a new 19" Honda roller. Soooo much nicer than the same machine I bought 5 yrs ago!

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