Can I put a commercial motor in a consumer mower?

Entrepreneurs are creative thinkers and problem solvers by nature, so it is no wonder they would be thinking about creative ways to save money on lawn mower upgrades. From a discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum we see a great question on whether it would be worthwhile to put a commercial grade motor on a consumer grade mower.

One entrepreneur wrote “has anyone tried replacing a consumer grade lawn mower motor with a commercial grade lawn mower motor when the latter dies out? I wasn’t sure if it’s even possible but for those of us who don’t have money to invest in commercial grade lawn mowers, is this a viable option?”

A second lawn care business owner wrote “consumer grade means just that. It’s consumer quality. I personally would not spend money on a new motor for an older consumer grade lawn mower. If the mower is brand new, perhaps, maybe then but still probably not.

Something to keep in mind with lawn care equipment and their consumer/commercial classifications is that the engine is manufactured to run X amount of hours. The rest of the machine is designed to last a similar amount of hours. Though this may not be a situation where the designers say ‘the engine should run for 1,000 hours so lets build the mower to last 950 hours’ but they don’t intend for the mower to last 2,000 hours. Heck, if they are making a consumer (read “cheap”) machine, most likely they want you to buy a brand new machine in 5 years rather than fixing your current one.

The engine manufacturer sells a new engine and the mower company sells a new mower. The mower and engine will likely both need repairs before their estimated life is up so you will probably need to buy parts for it. Now keep in mind that maintenance is going to be needed no matter if you buy a consumer or commercial grade unit.

So generally speaking, lawn care equipment whether it is consumer or commercial, is designed within certain limitations to the power being supplied. If we were to put a commercial engine in a residential piece of equipment, it will more than likely work but for how long and when something gives, is it going to cause a safety issue.

The consumer grade engine USUALLY isn’t what’s holding you back. You can go to big box store and get yourself a $2,000 riding lawn tractor that has a 20hp engine.. That is sufficient horse power tor the 48 inch desk, but the problem is that the engine runs the transmission and mower deck of belts.. So you could put a 50hp engine in the tractor (assuming it fit) and you’d still a consumer grade mower.

The problem is more about getting the power to the ground, being able to add attachments, mower deck design, etc…

For the money, I’d list my consumer mower for sale locally, and upgrade to a better tractor rather than spending $1,000+ on a commercial grade engine. Then don;t forget including the hours trying to figure out how to get it to fit, and poor end results.

Commercial grade lawn care equipment is always going to be far superior to consumer grade units. So keep this in mind the next time you are considering spending money on your next upgrade.”

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