Aug 23

If you have been shopping for a commercial lawn mower, new or used, you have probably found there are at least 20-30 brands to investigate. It is important to shop carefully and thoroughly because prices of commercial mowers can be more than your car is worth.

If you have not read the How to Make Big Money Mowing Small Lawns book, I recommend doing so before you go lawn mower shopping. Don’t get ripped off.

I did a considerable number of online searches for the following phrases: “most popular”+”commercial lawn mower brands”, “commercial lawn mower brands”, “commercial lawn mowers”, “commercial mowers”+most popular, and “commercial mowers”.

When online searching did not give me all the information I wanted I went to my trusty phone book and looked up lawn care and lawn mowers. This search narrowed the number of mower brands in the running to 13. I am going to hazard a guess that if you can purchase a brand locally it is a more widely used brand than if you cannot buy it locally.

The phone book did not satisfy my curiosity completely either, so I put a note pad in the car and started writing down the brands of commercial mowers I saw while driving around the city. When I saw a brand more than once, I put a tick mark next to the brand name so I could easily keep count.

Between the online searches, the Yellow Pages, and keeping count whenever I saw a commercial lawn mower out on a job, the most popular brands of mowers seem to be:

  1. Scag – manufactured by Scag Power Equipment, includes the very popular Turf Tiger, Tiger Cub, Saber Tooth Tiger and Wildcat models
  2. John Deere – manufactured by Deere and Company, includes the Z-Trak models
  3. EverRide – manufactured by Ariens Corporation (Auburn Operations), includes the Warrior, Hornet, YJ, Wasp HP, Scorpion FX, and Scorpion models
  4. Toro – manufactured by The Toro Company, includes the Z-Master models
  5. Exmark – manufactured by Exmark Manufacturing Company, Inc., includes the LazerZ models
  6. Ferris – manufactured by Ferris Industries, includes the IS models and they highlight their suspension as superior to other brands
  7. Cub Cadet – manufactured by Cub Cadet, includes the Z-Force, Enforcer and RZT models
  8. Hustler – manufactured by Excel Hustler, includes the Super Mini Z, Fastrak, and Super Z models
  9. Ariens – manufactured by Ariens Corporation and includes the ZOOM models, smaller than most commercial mowers and priced between $360 and $800 new

I took Grasshopper, Gravely, Echo and Reel out of the list. They are commercial mowers but they are targeted to types of mowing most small lawn care business owners do not do. Grasshopper and Gravely are made for really big mowing jobs like those for a city or county or keeping up Golf courses. Echo is more for brushcutting and would compete with the DR brand. Reel is for turf manicuring and these machines are used after the mowing to height is finished.

  • Grasshopper – manufactured by Moridge Manufacturing, models just have numbers, there are a large number of models and cut widths, and prices range from $6,000 to $19,000 new
  • Gravely – manufactured by Auburn Consolidated Industries Inc., owned by Ariens Corporation, include the ZT and XTZ models and are priced between $3200 and $18,000 new
  • Echo – manufactured by Allpower Industries Pty Ltd. of Australia, targeted at the brushcutting market
  • Reel – manufactured by Locke Turf Corporation, includes the CL models and are finishing mowers targeted at Golf courses, and baseball, football and soccer fields for manicuring turf

Other commercial brands I know of but are not available locally and I did not see around are:

  • Simplicity
  • Husqvarna
  • Walker
  • Encore
  • Yazoo
  • Jacobsen
  • Wheel Horse
  • World
  • Snapper commercial
  • Murray commercial
  • Lawn Boy commercial
  • Troy-Bilt commercial
  • Craftsman commercial (you can order one from Sears but they do not have any in the store here)

I also excluded the various mower attachments for John Deere and Kubota tractors. Those are available but are targeted more to farming equipment than lawn care businesses.

Are you in the market for a commercial mower? How is your search going? What brands are you considering? Are you planning to buy new or used? Please leave your responses in the comments. Thanks!

Oh, and don’t forget to get your copy of How to Make Big Money Mowing Small Lawns.

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    34 Responses to “Most Popular Commercial Lawn Mower Brands”

    1. 1. Jean Says:

      You really need to do a lot more research. You really don’t have a clue what you are talking about. If you are looking for a commercial mower talk to a real commercial cutter.

    2. 2. admin Says:

      Jean,

      I’m just starting out and I’m still schlepping my residential push mower around with me. I’m not buying anything until I have the cash, so I don’t have a lot of experience yet. I am learning quickly why you don’t want to use a push mower.

      I do talk to professional cutters, but they are usually small, one-man businesses and they only own one commercial-grade mower. I called Scag’s mowers the most popular make because those are the ones my friends own and the ones I see the most in my area. It may not be a generally true statement. All I can go on is my own experience and my own discussions with the people I meet here that mow for a living.

      I can also only put so much into a blog post. If you want a lot more information on each mower, I could write a post for each model of each make that I have researched. Is that more what you had in mind?

      If you have different opinions, please feel free to write your thoughts here, but a general comment about “I don’t have a clue” just doesn’t help me improve this blog. What exactly do you believe I don’t have a clue about? Do I not have some facts right? What?

    3. 3. ferris mower Says:

      My vote
      Comerical – Ferris
      Home Use – Murray

    4. 4. Hank Says:

      I found a good site that reviews and recommend lawn mowers. They have a lot of good insight. http://www.bestratedlawnmowers.com

    5. 5. admin Says:

      Hank, thanks for the link. I’ll check it out.

    6. 6. Patrick Mele Says:

      You’re doing the right things. There are plenty of good commercial mowers out there…Scag is the best in my opinion, although Hustler is a very good machine, depending on what kind of yards you are cutting. Another thing to consider is your dealer. What is your down time if you break down? Does he put commercial cutters first? Does he carry plenty of parts or will he have to order whatever you need? Ask around. Commercial guys will not hesitate to tell you what you need to know to find a good dealer in your area. And stay away from the big box stores. Buy from a dealer.

    7. 7. John Says:

      I am going thru much the same issues trying to pick out a zero turn mower for heavy estate mowing. There is a really good website if you haven’t found it: lawncafe.com. Very well represented with commercial lawncare guys and willing to give advice to homeowners. The advice I see over and over is that the dealer is as important as the brand. Pick any of the good mowers and find the good dealer locally. I suggest going first with what the commercial guys in YOUR area use and learning why and which dealer they frequent. Probably they pick the mower as much for the local dealer as anything else. Good luck.

    8. 8. sftd lawn service Says:

      I think writing about all of them would be great! there is a site that lets consumers rate there mowers called http://www.compacttractorreview.com/
      there isnt much there though. Alot of these mowers you have listed including grasshopper and gravely are all good and cut almost the same. a big deal when buying a mower is dealer support and how far away they are. in my case i live 5 houses or half mile away from a exmark dealer. it would be stupid for me to go somewear else his support is fantastic, will lend out a demo while yours is being fixed. so if he sold any brand i would still use him no matter how it was rated. im in the north eastern new york we have ferris gravely scag kubota johndeere toro and exmark all with in a 15 mile radius of eachother they are all big dealers with good support, i cant say a bad thing about any company, or brand or how much better any of them are. I can tell you that alot to do with the cut is the person taking care of the blades and the deck, and the operator of the mower if he has experience will make any lawn look better than the next guy who doesnt have the know how. my mom has been doing our 3 acre fully landscaped yard for 17 years now, it looks better than the biggest lco arround who does the doctors across the street and he has 3 brands of the best you described above ferris dixiechopper and deere, experience means alot.

    9. 9. john wright Says:

      Our hybrid remote control lawn mowers have slope mowing capabilities of up to 70 degrees. The rubber track drive combined with its ultra low c.o.g. allows these mowers to “stick” to the hills. Let your men make you money instead of wasting time using a weed eater as a lawn mower!

      We also offer residential units perfect for elderly and/or disabled.

    10. 10. Bob Wilson Says:

      You guys should really check out http://www.wingfieldag.com. They have the best prices and can get practically any part you need. They didn’t have some of my parts on their site, but I called them and they got it for me. They are very nice too!

    11. 11. Milton Jarvis Says:

      A nice first attempt. You did not include Bunton lawn mowers or the Wright Stander lawn mowers. I am looking for a commercial grade lawn mower, myself. When I pull up next to a lawn maintenance company, I will look in their trailer to see which brand of equipment they use. The Bunton and the Wright are very common brands in my part of the USA. Great Dane is another brand. Many of the brands on your list are really not used by the professionals in my part of thye country. I see Wright and Bunton very frequently. Just calling a lawn mower “commercial” does not make it so. You must analyze and evaluate the quality and construction of the unit.

    12. 12. Remotte Control Mowers Says:

      SCAG is the most popular mower around my neck of the woods, and we have remote control mowers for steep hills and ditches instead of the traditional method of a bunch of men with weed eaters, now one man does what used to take 6. But Scag is very popular around here for wide open areas, I have even seen ball field guys using Scag,,,and they were haulin’ tail!!

    13. 13. McKinney Landscaping Says:

      I stumbled on your story and thought it was to be very news worthy. I aprrecitated your story and I look forward to reading more from your site in the future. How can I know when there is more stories that are posted here on your blog?

    14. 14. phishy Says:

      I just bought a small horse farm although I don’t know why not going to do the horse thing. I have around 10 acres of pasture and lawn to mow.
      It has a lot of fenced in pastures thousands of feet of fence. I am trying to decide between a 72″ Deere 997 yanmar diesel and a 61″ scag with a Kawasaki 26 hp. Both are about 2 years old dealer maintained the dear has 175 hours and the scag has 625 hours. The scag was used commercially but looks new. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

      Check maintenance records and have a compression test done. If the mower has been well maintained, compression will be good and you’ll get a lot of good service out of it. Get maintenance records in writing with receipts to back them up.

      You also need to weigh the cost of diesel v gasoline fuel. Diesel from petroleum oil is usually more expensive and burns dirtier, unless you can make your own biodiesel or get it made for you cheaply. Used restaurant frying oil is the best source of nearly free biodiesel. You can make it in your garage or barn pretty easily with filtered used cooking oil, a plastic stirring tank, a pH meter and sodium hydroxide. It will smell like what was cooked in it when you burn it, so be sure it comes from a source that you can stand the smell of.

      Diesel engine maintenance may cost more, unless there are a lot of similar model/brand mowers locally to provide parts and choice of service providers.

    15. 15. toro lawn mowers Says:

      Every few years, every mower on the market will have to have some replacement parts. You could be the most pricey and standard brand, but the fact ruins that eventually they will malfunction since of use. Lawn mower parts are generally in required in two instances. One of them life simple use of the machine, the additional is the result of hurt.

    16. 16. Grass_Assassin's Says:

      I think your list is fine. The fact is depending on where you go, “the best” seems to change. I’ve owned a few of the brands listed above and I too fell for opinions when making purchases. Out of eight brands Ive owned in your top list, Exmark is by far the best Ive had. I now have five lazer z’s in a couple configurations. Tons of people will yell about Dixie Chopper as well but the only thing I can say about that is they make good brush cutters. Finish cut mowers are about the deck, I have yet to see one match that of Exmark! Ferris comes close.

      phishy,

      Scag wins that battle hands down in my OPINION. I have never had any luck with Deere for reliability reasons and I surely would not trust a used one at all. Good Luck !

    17. 17. ld Says:

      need belt assy. dia. forr tass force mower…anybody help me

      If the company can’t help you, try eBay and Amazon.

    18. 18. phishy Says:

      Sorry, not very good at blogging. Any way my scag came with a full factory warranty looks almost new and has the most comfortable seat I have ever had on any mower or tractor. It runs great has all the power I need and am happy with my purchase. My lawn and pastures had not been maintained at all for almost 3 years and within less than 2 months is starting to look like a golf course already. This thing cuts knee high grass if you need it to and does an awesome job. Glad I found your site and bought a scag. Driving this thing makes me feel like Tim Allen, uhr, uhr, uhr!!!

    19. 19. Robomow Review Says:

      Believe it or not choosing the appropriate lawn mower can make your life a great deal simpler and cut your lawn chores at least in half, no pun intended. Really the sort of lawn mower you select will all depend on your lawn and the amount of jobs that you want to do to that lawn.

    20. 20. josh Says:

      alright, if you are looking for a good mower, get a toro. very great design with the amazingly simple personal pace rear drive system that isnt impossible to roll backwards. i have a 4 year old 6.5hp tecumseh one that still has lots of power and is going strong, especially for all its been through:
      buried in three feet of snow
      hit a bunch of branches
      tropical storm
      stored on incline for long period of time
      sat in a flood
      o, and did i mention it still runs GREAT!!
      my grandfather has the same mower and has never had a problem with it
      THIS IS A NEARLY INVINCIBLE MOWER if your looking for great quality
      GET A TORO!!

    21. 21. mountfieldlawnmower Says:

      Buy lawnmowers, lawn tractors and garden equipment Direct from Mountfield Lawnmowers for next day delivery.

    22. 22. Nickole Sausedo Says:

      I can see your level

    23. 23. RyRo, Inc. Says:

      One thing all commercial mowers have in common is they all love “Mower Bait” If you have been in the lawn business, you know that is most often Sprinkler Heads. I’m the lawn care professional that invented the Sprinkler Buddy. It custom fits to rotors and spray heads, preventing grass from growing between the guard and sprinkler head. Keeping them visible to miss with the mower tires, etc… See demo video @ http://www.sprinklerbuddy.com
      As far as what the best commercial mower is, “Most guys will tell you whatever it is They Have at the time” I love my Hustler’s for Now! It was Ex-Mart. Before that Scag’s Happy Shopping!

    24. 24. Mel Hughes Says:

      Allen makes a professional grade hand mower that hovers and makes mowing steep hills and slopes (stream and pond edging) a piece of cake!
      This mower could be the answer for many professionals who are looking for the right answer for difficult terrain that can’t be handled by regular mowers with wheels. I found some pros don’t know anything about this mower. Check it out, it may be just the answer you are looking for (http://hubpages.com/hub/hovermower)

    25. 25. Hover Mower Says:

      Good list! Now, some people are having a hard time deciding which of them they must purchase. :D

      Michael

    26. 26. Paul Says:

      Hi, do not give up, you will be ok.

    27. 27. dixon lawn mower parts Says:

      Excellent publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite experts of this sector don’t realize this. You must continue your writing. I am confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!|What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & aid other users like its helped me. Great job.

    28. 28. Dennis Says:

      I think you’re on track with your analysis. I was in the excavating business for over 40 years and each and every piece of equipment has it’s own specific features. The key is finding the piece that will be most universal for a small company who doesn’t have millions to play around with.
      I stuck with Cat and John Deere for reliability, parts, and service when needed although I’m very mechanically enclined and did 95% of my own repairs.
      I might make one suggestion and that being many of these homeowner models are manufactured by one company………MTD and quality has become an issue for many! Personally, I would stick with a commercial (not industrial) model that has a local dealer for parts and service and also QUALITY within the machine…………….like drive shafts vs belts, industrial engines vs basic run of the mill homeowner series, pumps………they come from many manufactures, some good some junk! Also, operators comfort…………the seat and controls, you’re going to live on the machine if you have payments!!!
      I think from my perspective and investigation, SCAGG has the optimum machine…………but that’s just my personal opinion. I’ve heard that Hustler and Swisher also build a decent machine but again, Scagg has drive shaft vs Hustler and Swisher using belts!
      I guess what I’m getting at is the machine needs to be universal for both small and large jobs, local dealer for parts and servive if required, optimal comfort for the live-on operator, and last but not least, a unit that fits your wallet!

    29. 29. marc Says:

      I recently had the same ordeal. Starting a new lawn care business. I looked at Ferris-John Deer-Simplicity Colbalt-Hustler- Grasshooper-Bad-Boy-Kubota-Scag-Huquazarna-Swisher-Cub Cadet-ect.
      the 3 I liked best were the scag-Colbalt-Kubota-zd336. The Kubota was a little pricie.Im Fat and didnt like the colbalts controll handles- I went with the scag cheetah-I liked the dealer best even though he’s an hour drive away/ I have a scag dealer in my home town so who works on your mower is as important to me as the product.Im about 60 years old so comfort was also a very big deal for me.I actually liked the Kubota best the foot brakes/I thought thr colbalt actually cut the best but they all were in the same ball park. I did nt like the 997 deer surprisingly poor ride though I thought the engine might be the strongest.I f money were no object Id own Kubota/ If I lost 50 lbs it would been a tossup for the colbalt. Scag fit me best. For comfort-fuel capacity-price but several most I named would be a good mower for most people. Apples or organges.My best advise is find a dealer you can trust and what you feel good about….

    30. 30. Jody Says:

      I do a little mowing on the side. I have a Craftsman LT5000 Garden tractor I have used a few years. It requires a lot of maintenance to use regularly. Usually once a year the valves have to be adjusted or I end up with it torn up right when I need it most. I would not recommend this type of mower for anything more than your own yard. I bought a Snapper Pro s50x last year and it is by leaps and bounds a better machine. I have cut my mowing times nearly in half. No joke , Nearly half. It is faster cutting , tougher. mowes higher grass easier. And the fact it is a ZERO turn makes such a difference it is unbelievable.
      The drawbacks are mostly related to wet grass and hills. Being you put one tire in reverse for tight turns you will create muddy spots where you turn tight if not very careful. Also the mower does not do well if you get it into a muddy spot or standing water in your yard. It will “dig” in really quick. As far as hills go I have a very steep yard. Probabably 30 percent grade or better in places. Where you can you need to stay as straight up and down as possible. The weight shifts to the lower side like any other ridding mower if you go across the hill side, but you can’t shift your bottom on the seat like on a regular rider so the upper tire wants to spin. It only gets worse from there.
      Overall I would reccomend the Snapper. The construction and quality seem very good and the performance is outstanding. It holds 4 gallons of gas on each side of the mower and you can mow for all day without having to fill up. Or go for weeks at a time if just doing your own at home. I can mow about 18 acres before filling up. It will vary with your mowing style and speed. I love mine.

    31. 31. Jody Says:

      Also Let me add… If you have a ridding mower of any kind you eventually need to clean out the grass under the deck and sharpen the blades. So think MOJACK. I got me one at Lowes. $200.00 for the 300lb EZ model. Worth every penny.

    32. 32. AUSTIN Says:

      dixie choppers are the longest lasting most dependeble commericial mowers on the maket

    33. 33. Pro Cutter Says:

      Actually none of you know what you’re talking about.

      These are the best and most popular commercial mowers the pros use:

      60″ ExMark Lazer X
      61″ Scag Cheetah
      74″ Dixie Chopper Xcaliber
      61″ Wright Stander ZK
      48″ ExMark Vantage
      48″ ExMark Turf Tracer S
      48″ Wright Stander X
      36″ ExMark Viking
      52″ Walker MTL

      Lawnboy makes the best push mowers.

    34. 34. Keith Shelley Says:

      I recently got a reel mower. I know it’s not exactly commercial worthy etc but I love it. New Friskars reel mower. I did a little review on it the other day.

      http://www.menprogress.com/#!Friskars Mower/c1wia

      Keith

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