Hi all. So i have been doing a few small lawn rounds for a bit and now have my first grounds maintainance contract with some other large potential jobs. so now im on the hunt for a ride on mower. I see most contractors seem to multch the clippings but what if the grass gets quite long?. what mower would you guys recommend going for? a triple? rotary? zero turn? and i have 2 weeks to get one. The area i'll be maintianing is a bit rocky so mabye a triple mower is out of the question. my budget is around 3k
as i said before on the bahia you also have the option of a snow plough meaning you can make a little money in the winter time as we are due much more snow from now on and with the tow bar you could pull the gritter/sprader behind at the same time.
pluss the other thing i said is this is a simple mower spec if you start going up in size for any brand you will see that there is much much more that makes up the mower and also means much more which could possibly go wrong and a much bigger repair cost.
i mentiond the bahia over all our other machines not just because of the cost but because its in my mind the perfect machine to have as a first ride on,
and as for commercial areas i pinched our demo last year to top our stable yard fields (10 acre's) and did it no problem over sat and sun while stopping to fix fencing and tea stops, as i was cutting with side discharge and pulling the multi trayler behind with my tools in,
before dismissing the idea it might be worth a demo and even do it on a bigger garden you would normaly use the walkbehind on but could get a bahia in up the side because you might find that you can get loads more use out of it right now compaird to a much bigger mower.
I was going to suggest to you the Etesia Hydro 80 mower, which is similar to the Bahia. About eleven years ago I purchased an Etesia Bahia mower, which replaced a couple of Hayter Harrier mowers, can I suggest that you go for a Etesia Hydro80, I replaced my Bahia with a Hydro80 mower about seven years ago.
The principle of these mowers is excellent, they are extremely manoverable, very good in wet grass and have the option of having the optional roller fitted, leaving you with a striped finish. (See photograph of the Hydro80, with roller attachment.)
The reason I am suggesting the Hydro80 is that it has a much better build quality, the front axle is cast, the front wheels are larger, I believe the blade clutch is of a stronger build. Unfortuanatly the Bahia did not stand up to contracting very well, I had problems with the front axle, blade clutch wearing out within a few months, hydrostatic pump replacement and some pulley problems. However, with the Hydro 80 I had about 800 hours on the clock with no problems whatsoever.
Please remember I am not trying to undermine the Bahia, if you were using this machine in your own garden it would last you many years. I do believe the Hydro80 was introduced due to the weak spots on the Bahia, when used for contracting.
So to conclude, these machine are a great principle and would probably be ideal for you, just try and go for the Hydro80 with the Kawasaki twin engine, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me for anymore info.
Neal Barker @ Etesia uk said:
im of corse going to premot an etesia machine but only because its one that would do every thing you would need be close to you budget and is a machine i love myself.
its a bahia mbhe2 (80cm cut with briggs engine) £3.700.00 + vat
this machine can collect / cut with a deflector fitted and mulch, it's a small light waight machine which fits trough 90% of rear gates to gardens and with very little ever needing doing in the way of repair because its kept to a very simple build spec its a very cheep mower to keep going.
you can also get a front snow plough for it and tow a self powerd gritter, so come winter your buisness can still get use out of the mower and you will have another form of income when the grass cutting slows and stops.
im unsure about any second hand ones out there because people tend to hold onto these because they are a good mower.
and last point is that because its an etesia mower im on here all the time (from now as my internet is now all sorted at home) so if you have any questions from a technical point of view and need help with the mower you can get intouch with me direct
sorry all to plug etesia in here but there wasnt realy any deffinat suggestions so i thought i would put the first one up
Benji's Gardening Service said:My situation is that im 18 with virtually no other financial commitments so it makes sense to invest in equipment at this early stage does it not? and i hope to keep expanding as a business and move more into grounds maintenance as well.
Andy Kenney said:
Agree with Rowlys chicken/egg thing here - as the boys earlier have said, investing big without genuine work to come in the book is a gamble weighted more against your current situation. On the other hand if you did the 'do nothing' option, would you be content to carry on as you are (at least for now) and not take the larger contracts? These are both 'gambles' in different ways. The other choice of buying second hand seems optimum although you will need to put extra aside to fully service your machine before taking on tasks. Rowly is right, the ideal opportunity to do a bit of concurrent tasking and whilst procuring a second hand like the JD you linked, you can drum up some confirmed work for it. Worst case scenario is if you dont get work for it, you have a second hand asset which you can always resell and it won't depreciate as a newer model would do - good luck mate.
Agree with you that the Hydro 80 is a better, more commercially equipped version of the Bahai, with stronger axles, wheels and gearbox and some styling/athestic changes.
Your points are valid, however the only issues we've had using them regularly is the front axle/joints going (up and down kerbs I suspect)...We now carry a piece of 3*2 behind your feet to chuck down in front of the kerb to allow an easier transition up a kerb (easy to place and pick up without leaving your seat ;-)
Ours have the Kwacker engine and I would say that's best engine choice.
If I'm right, all options are interchangable ?
The only other comment is that Hydro 80 are not typically available 2nd hand, as opposed to the Bahia.
i would say that yes a h80 is a reinforced version of the bahia (mainly done for coucil contractors) but it is also £4.950.00 +vat new and there is less second hand mowers around in this form than the bahia
also it really depends on the areas you are cutting if its formal areas and light commercial stuff the bahia is fine with this, its when you get into the very rough turrain or complex car park areas were you are going up and down big curbs every 10 min day in and day out.
i have one like this i messaged you about , but as a triple blade mulching 'rear discharge' so doesn't clog up.
3 cylinder diesel. 21hp
I guess the choice is really done to how much other work Benji can pick up but with one contract in the bag for 3000 m2 which if my maths is correct is about .7 of an acre. Etesia would be more than capable of knocking this out quickly and at a very respectful finish and so useful for other large gardens particularly where access may be an issue.
If Benji is looking to more larger and demanding commercial work then perhaps a rethink on choice of machine would be required.
If I was in Benji's shoes, I would opt for a decent second hand or demo Bahia and savethe difference towards another machine as and when the contracts are signed.
Interesting post, we to are getting some larger jobs and have started the look for a ride-on, we ideally want one that can be driven into a large tranny van, so the Etesia Bahia or Hydro 80 suits, our clients are quite fussy and all want stripes, do these mowers come with rollers? or can they be added?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Thats a big bit of kit, bit too big for us which is why I was interested in the small Etesia Bahia mower if it did stripes it would suit us I think.