In the last blog post I mentioned taking a look at Spyker and Masport as VALUE ORIENTED brands when comparing them to other machines. Both are different in the way they stack up against their competition but they share the same DNA of VALUE for the dollar.
Looking at Masport and the three of their mowers that Seago sells.
M800 Utility – A straight forward, 21” wide, side discharge push mower. It has a 190cc commercial grade engine and single handle height of cut adjustment. Nothing special but a relatively bulletproof mower for only $400. The primary competition from Honda is their HRS216PKA that comes in at $389. It has a smaller (160cc), consumer grade engine and multi-wheel height of cut adjustment. I think a bigger stronger engine is worth $11. The Home Depot option is $200 but has a much smaller 140cc engine and the components are just not near what you get with the Masport. Guys tell me that they buy the Big Box store special and hope it lasts a season, and that costs $200. Why not opt for the Masport Utility and get 3-5 seasons out of it for just $200 more. Say the Masport last 4 years for $400 so that is $100 per year – half of what the Big Box Special costs if you do get the full season out of it.
M800ST SP – This is a self-propelled 21” wide 3-N-1 mower with single handle height of cut adjustment with the 190cc commercial grade engine that is on all Seago’s Masport mowers. This is a machine that offers a near full grade commercial machine at far less cost. Let’s take Honda again – their HRR model has a 160cc consumer grade engine (90 day commercial warranty) and similar features to the Masport for $479. Or, take a look at their HRC model witch features their mid-range GSV-160 engine and similar features for $749. The Masport M800ST SP offer a more powerful engine and upgraded engine than the HRR for only $70 more OR an almost identical machine to the HRC for $200 less. There are many options at the big box stores on mower with some of these features but beware of the quality, engine type and warranty. If you go apples to apples on features and engines – Masport wins the taste test.
Masport Rotarola – This is a one of a kind mower, well, actually, two of a kind. There are only two manufactures of this type of machine in the world – Masport and Toro. A quick comparison between the two: Toro ProStripe = 22” wide, split rear roller with internal differential, $1,800+. Masport Rotarola: 21” wide, solid rear roller, $1,250. So the ProStripe is wider by an inch but cost 1/3 more. That is a lot to pay for an inch. Also, the solid rear roller on the Masport requires no maintenance versus the split rear roller that requires regular maintenance. So, you have machines that weight almost the same, are powered by the same engine, feature the same single handle height of cut adjustment and one is almost $600 less.
I was out on the road with one of our dealer’s sales people and he had a sign hanging in his truck that read “The bitter taste of poor quality long outlasts the sweet flavor of a good deal.” That statement is particularly true when it comes to equipment like this that is battered like no other on the golf course. It bounces around the back of work carts or trailers, gets banged into trees, dropped off ledges and is usually asked to mow things that are too risky or rough to take a “nice” reel or rotary ride-on into. Masport is not always the cheapest but it is often the mower that has the most VALUE. So, take a look at what Masport has to offer and compare it to what is in your shop now or what you are considering and see if it doesn’t make more sense to step up in quality and step behind a Masport.
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