What 21″ lawn mower features should you be looking for?

The right equipment can make or break your lawn care business. If you think it can’t, ask yourself, how long will your customers put up with you not showing up because your mower broke down and died again? Most likely not very long. Furthermore, the amount of time and money you can waste by using consumer grade mowers will make you wish you started with a quality commercial grade 21″ mower. Here a member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum was interested in hearing what features he should be looking for with his first 21″ mower purchase.

He wrote “I am just getting my lawn care business started and I am looking for some guidance on what kind of 21″ mower I should be looking to get. I currently have a consumer grade 6.5hp 21″ mulcher. It cuts nice, is real basic, but I need something stronger than this light duty machine.

Some of things I would like in a 21in is:

  • Around the $500 and under range
  • Mulches
  • Possible self-propelled
  • Durable, somewhat commercial or even commercial quality
  • Reliable

Does anyone have any advice for me? Am I missing anything?”

A second lawn care business owner said “as a matter of personal preference, I will not consider using a push mower that does not have large rear wheels. Large rear wheels help with turning the mower. They are also less affected by divots in the ground than can cause scalping with a lawn mower using small wheels all around.

Plus, big wheels push easier when you are pushing it yourself. They also make it easier to lift it up over a curb, etc. I would also recommend if you can afford it, buy a commercial grade self propel walk behind mower. And the mowers you see in the big box stores do not fall into the commercial category.

To get a commercial lawn mower, you have to buy it from a local dealer, not from big box retailer. Big box stores will not have or even have access to true commercial mowers, no matter what their inexperienced and knowledge-less employees may tell you. They only care about selling you another mower, and another one once this one breaks down, etc.

If you have to start out with a consumer grade until you can afford a commercial, so be it, but don’t expect it to hold up the same way as a commercial unit. Commercial grade mowers will last at least 10 times longer plus, than a consumer grade mower. I have gone down the consumer grade path in the past and found myself very disappointed with them and their self propelled systems. The inner workings of them are absolute crap. For example, in the transmission, part of it has a plastic casing! How long do you expect anything to last with a plastic casing? Not long!

So to sum it all up, get a commercial grade, self propelled, large rear wheeled 21″ mower and you will be glad you did.”

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