So why is Briggs and Stratton the last choice for a commercial mower engine.

txzrider

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Threads
9
Messages
392
Ok so I am over 50 years old... I grew up fixing hand me down mowers with B&S engines, so much so that later in life I never had an issue with buying one on a new mower. Needless to say I am not a professional mower and never will be. It just bothers me that what seems like a deeply ingrained American brand(which may no longer make things in America for all I know) like B&S cannot make a commercial engine. I know there are B&S trained mechanics on this site, as well at what appeared to me to be at least 1 guy that works for B&S...

Dont get me wrong I love pretty much all things Honda and have had every type of engine from yanmar diesels to 2 cycle suzuki's... I would just like to hear about a B&S engine that got good press!

the 20 hp B&S on my old mower had a terrible air filter arrangement that caused dust to be sucked into the motor causing premature wear... so that seems fixable! (and seems to be redesigned on my new mower with pretty much the same engine.)

I have a 6hp Briggs on my late 90's Snapper walk behind, at the time the dealer tried to talk me into the Kawasaki engined version but at almost $200 more I said no way. Now 12 years later all I have done to it is replace a carb ($38) after not using it for 3 years. It runs now as well as it ever did. Mulches any kind of grass I am willing to try!!

Is it just that Briggs caters to a lower cost crowd? I read a post the other day where one of the guys recommended a Chinese Briggs knockoff on a toro deck instead of a honda!! Wow. He had very compelling reasons so it got me thinking about this topic.

In any case I just wondered what kind of comments I would get. Have a good day.
 

Rivets

Lawn Royalty
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Threads
47
Messages
11,696
Briggs still makes a good engine. All manufacturers have cheapened up their engines for the walk behind mower area, to keep the prices down. If I could get the Briggs engine on the Toro mower, compared to the new Toro engineered engine, ( it is not a Chinese Briggs clone, but yes made in China) I would pick the Briggs. I have worked on the new Toro engines and they seem to be well built, but they are new and time will tell if they last like the Briggs. I really have not seen where Briggs has cheapened their engines except in the use of plastics inside. i.e. plastic cam gears. FYI, yes I do work for a Toro dealer, but have worked on engines for the last forty years, everything from a Briggs model A to Wisconsin VG-4D on equipment from mini cultivators to BobCats.
 

Ric

Lawn Pro
Joined
May 7, 2010
Threads
142
Messages
5,765
Ok so I am over 50 years old... I grew up fixing hand me down mowers with B&S engines, so much so that later in life I never had an issue with buying one on a new mower. Needless to say I am not a professional mower and never will be. It just bothers me that what seems like a deeply ingrained American brand(which may no longer make things in America for all I know) like B&S cannot make a commercial engine. I know there are B&S trained mechanics on this site, as well at what appeared to me to be at least 1 guy that works for B&S...

Dont get me wrong I love pretty much all things Honda and have had every type of engine from yanmar diesels to 2 cycle suzuki's... I would just like to hear about a B&S engine that got good press!

the 20 hp B&S on my old mower had a terrible air filter arrangement that caused dust to be sucked into the motor causing premature wear... so that seems fixable! (and seems to be redesigned on my new mower with pretty much the same engine.)

I have a 6hp Briggs on my late 90's Snapper walk behind, at the time the dealer tried to talk me into the Kawasaki engined version but at almost $200 more I said no way. Now 12 years later all I have done to it is replace a carb ($38) after not using it for 3 years. It runs now as well as it ever did. Mulches any kind of grass I am willing to try!!

Is it just that Briggs caters to a lower cost crowd? I read a post the other day where one of the guys recommended a Chinese Briggs knockoff on a toro deck instead of a honda!! Wow. He had very compelling reasons so it got me thinking about this topic.

In any case I just wondered what kind of comments I would get. Have a good day.


I think you'll probably get a lot of different answers to your question and all will be opinion based. People who work on the Briggs & Stratton motors are most likely going to be bias toward the engine in the same way a Ford mechanic would be toward there motor over another make or auto manufacturer. I personally have my own reasons I'd never own or run a B&S, but I too would like to here some reasons pro or con from some commercial operators.
 

pugaltitude

Lawn Addict
Joined
Jan 11, 2012
Threads
7
Messages
1,141
Briggs vanguard engine is best air cooled engine ever made..
Briggs intek is prob the worst.
The model 9,10 sprint is a cracking little engine as is the Quantum.
Briggs problems years ago was that they let OEMs dictate what engine due to price to be fitted instead of Briggs saying this is the engine that will be fitted.
They usually make between 10 and 15 million engines a year.
If briggs were to disappear now, this trade wouldnt survive.
I wouldnt sell anything other than briggs as more reliability in my opinion.
Honda gx series engine is best for honda.
The horizontal gx was based on good old british engineering from the bsa sloper.
Honda gc series is the worst engine ever made which i think was made in France or Spain.
 

benski

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Threads
11
Messages
881
The Briggs Vanguard engines are a favorite of mine, too. Manufactured by Daihatsu, a subsidiary of Toyota, I've got over 1600 hrs. on mine, a 16hp in my Cub Cadet 2164. I guess if rebadging an engine is what it takes to stay competitive, well, that's what it takes.:frown: As for the rest of them, they are indeed made to a price point lower than they can keep their longevity. Some old Briggs and Kohlers are amazingly long lived; part of it I'm sure is maintenance, part obviously is design.:wink::biggrin: Just my $.02.
 

BobbyR

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Threads
3
Messages
22
I'm running a Murray with a 12.5 B&S that I bought brand new in 2000. After 13 years of good service, it still cranks, and runs like new and uses no oil. I've done the maintenance on it, and when I compare my mower to another similar size mower, I find that if my mower blows up today, I've still gotten excellent service from it over 13 years, at a much cheaper price than other similar mowers I hear and know about. So I guess I'm just a B&S man lock, stock, and barrell.
 

txzrider

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Threads
9
Messages
392
And that pretty much matches my experience with the exception of an issue I have with a 20hp B&S recently. But mostly the topic was about the many professionals we have on this site and most other sites that refuse to ever consider a B&S. It seems the Vangard is an exception (with the caveate that it is an outsourced Daihatsu...(if that is true)). I have seen comments where the poster would state it would be better to spend much more for the "xyz" commercial quality engine than a briggs! If that really is so, then I think Briggs is leaving money on the table and maybe should ramp up their R&D to go after that market. I have compared my hours to the hours posted by many of them and what I do in a year, they do in a month or less. so I certainly understand why they spend the money to get reliability. Maybe the answer is Briggs does not care to compete because they do well enough with the low end stuff.
 

Ric

Lawn Pro
Joined
May 7, 2010
Threads
142
Messages
5,765
I said before I think you'll probably get a lot of different answers to your question and all will be opinion based. I think the many professionals here on this site and most other sites refuse to ever consider a B&S because they just don't consider them to be a reliable engine for day in day out use.

Basically when a commercial operator buys any mower, they buy proven reputation and reliability whether they buy a ZTR, WB, or push and as of yet Briggs & Statton just doesn't have that reputation in the commercial end.
 

pugaltitude

Lawn Addict
Joined
Jan 11, 2012
Threads
7
Messages
1,141
Basically when a commercial operator buys any mower, they buy proven reputation and reliability whether they buy a ZTR, WB, or push and as of yet Briggs & Statton just doesn't have that reputation in the commercial end.

No 9 times out of 10 they buy on price.

The Briggs vanguard is more expensive than most other engines which hikes the price up.

OEMs want to sell machines so go for the cheapest options.

Iv got customers that have scag walk behinds and know that the kawasaki will throw a conrod and so budget for a replacement engine within the 1st year.
Guess what gets fitted??? :thumbsup: :laughing:
 

Ric

Lawn Pro
Joined
May 7, 2010
Threads
142
Messages
5,765
No 9 times out of 10 they buy on price.

The Briggs vanguard is more expensive than most other engines which hikes the price up.

OEMs want to sell machines so go for the cheapest options.

Iv got customers that have scag walk behinds and know that the kawasaki will throw a conrod and so budget for a replacement engine within the 1st year.
Guess what gets fitted??? :thumbsup: :laughing:

I don't doubt that the Vanguard is more expensive but that doesn't make it a better engine, if we used expensive as being the best and that were the case Kawasaki would be the best on the market.

You say The Briggs vanguard is more expensive than most other engines which hikes the price up and that statement is probably true but the price difference between different makes motors really doesn't make any difference to the commercial operator who's spending between 8 and 12k on a mower.
 
Top