Used Commercial Lawn Mowers: Buyer’s Guide on What to Check for

Buying used commercial lawn mowers can be tricky. A good paint job with new decals can conceal a real piece of crap mower. Avoid buying a headache by checking for these 10 things…

  1. When you first arrive to look at the mower, put your hand on the muffler to see if it was warmed up before you got there. It is easier to detect mechanical problems on a cold motor when it first starts up. After it is already warmed up, you may miss these clues.
  2. Run the engine long enough to see if there are any problems once the engine gets hot.
  3. Make sure the spindles and bearings are tight. They are located all over the machine. If they are loose, you may end up replacing them down the road.
  4. Look for cracks in the frame or deck. This would have to be welded by you or a machine shop.
  5. Make sure the mower cuts straight and even.
  6. Is the mower blowing smoke? That is a sign that the engine has problems.
  7. Check if routine maintenance has been done:
    • Grease near grease fittings?
    • Air filter clean?
    • Oil clean or look black?
  8. Check condition of belts and pulleys.
  9. How does the mower sound? Listen for ticks or knocks. If it doesn’t sound right, then get ready for repairs.
  10. Look for leaks--oil or gas.

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