As an LCO trying to provide high quality commercial work it is important that you have the best equipment available in order to get the job done right. I have done commercial work with your basic home depot ZTRs as well as with high end commercial zero turn mowers and I can tell you that there is an enormous difference between the two. Used Scag mowers will cost about what the “top of the line” rider mowers will cost from home depot of Lowes . . . $3,000 – $6,000.
When purchasing used Scag mowers there are a couple of things that you want to look for to insure that you are getting a good mower:
Hours: how many hours does the original engine have one it. Preferably you want a ZTR that has below 2,000 hours. A lot of guys will sell off their commercial riders once they hit 500 hours as this is when the warranty expires.
Tire Tred: New tires will be costly with a rider.
Transmission Filter Maintenance: transmission filters should be maintained every 500 hours. Not doing so can result in serious engine failure that will cost you a ton in the end.
Blades and belts: are the blades sharp and the belts free of wear and tear? These two things will many times show you how well the actual mower was cared for during the life with the previous owner.
Don’t worry about minor scuffs and dings or tears in seats etc . . . on a good commercial ZTR mower this is actually your last concern. All you are really looking for is a machine with a strong and healthy engine that will do the work day in a and day out.
Where to purchase used Scag mowers
There are several places to look when purchasing used lawn care and landscape equipment. If you are patient and search smart you will surely be able to find a great deal.
Craigslist: If you search daily on craigslist you will be able to find many ZTRs for sale at great prices. Try using some of the following search terms to find a mower.
- John Deere
- Zero Turn
- Commercial Rider Mower
Ebay: Believe it or not you can actually find some great landscape machines on Ebay. Use the same search terms listed above and you might even be able to find someone willing to ship to you.
Search Tempest: This is one of my favorite internet tools. It allows you to search many cities on Craigslist all at once. So you can find what you need in a nearby town without having to re search.
You Local Dealer: call the local lawn mower shops within your city and ask if they have any used gear. I have found that generally the dealers in smaller towns outside of the city often have used Scag mowers, they will generally cost more than buying straight from the owner online, but they also are more likely to be well maintained and kept up. These riders are usually trade ins that LCOs bring in to get a discount on their new fleet.
To sum up you have many options for purchasing used ZTRs and you can often find great machines and great deals if you take your time and check every day for several weeks. I have stumbled on amazing deals by simply being patient and researching prior to simply jumping into a deal because I HAD to have the mowers today!