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View Full Version : Two gripes about some stuff here I see over and over


Rons Rightway Lawncare
12-26-2006, 10:08 PM
First thing....

People who try out or use Stihl 4 stroke blowers, why can't they understand that these blowers are NOT going to sound the same as a typical 2 stroke model from Redmax, Echo, or even the older Stihls??? I keep reading posts where people who have used these blowers get the idea that the blowers aren't revving fast enough, or sound slow, etc....

Folks, these blowers fire every OTHER revolution! Two strokes fire EVERY revolution. Because of this, a four stroke SHOULD sound slower than the two stroke, but in fact the crankshaft is turning at nearly the same speed. The fan in the blower is bolted right to the crankshaft, so no matter how fast it sounds like it is revving.... all that matters is how fast that fan is turning.

The four strokes with half as many power pulses, are better on gas and less noise at the same RPM's and this is where most of the benifits to four strokes comes from.

I just can't understand how some people can try these units out and come away with a bias against them due to the fact that they don't sound as "strong" or sound like there "Revving fast enough"



Second gripe....

What is everyones hang up with horsepower on their mowers?

I read comments posted here such as a 36inch walkbehind may not have enough power to mow and pull a velkie.... or just reading the endless comments that you need 27-30+ horsepower on ZTR's with 52 inch decks, etc... etc....

I have never had a engine on a mower that gave me the impression it was not enough power. Sure in tall wet grass, that hasn't been mowed in two months I have had the engine to slow down and bog, but how often do we cut in those conditions?

I have never had a engine bog down a noticeable amount going up a hill, or pulling a velkie, etc....

My first mowers were a 36 and 48 inch walkbehinds, the 36 incher had a 12.5 horse Kawasaki and it never had a problem with mowing and pulling my 200 lbs around yards on a velkie!!! The 48 incher had a 14 horse Kawasaki, again no problems.

My third mower was a 60 inch hydro WB with a velkie and it had a 18 horse vanguard, again.... no problems whatsoever!

My first ZTR was a 61 inch Bobcat and it only had a 20 horse Kohler, again no problems...

Each year the mowers seem to come from the manufactors with more and more standard power... My current 36 inch belt drive has a 15 horse Kohler, and my ZTR has 27 horses, more than either needs in my opinion.

There is a slew of comments from people that jump in discussions and tell people this mower or that mower needs more power. And you read all the hoopla over these 30+ horse engines people are ordering on their big riders. Makes me wonder how many of these people throwing their two cents into the discussion have used the mowers that were popular 10-15 years ago, when Riders only had 18-20 horsepower and that was more than enough...

Anyway, just a gripe, nothing special! :dizzy:

smcunningham
12-26-2006, 10:21 PM
Ron, everything stated makes complete sense to me, I can not be opinionaited on the topic,because I've never had a ztr or w/b w/ more than 24 hp or 18 hp or 22hp.....all the ones I ever owned seemed like they have plenty of power....Of course going threw two /three weeks in the prime growing season is going to bog any mower down...but like you stated how often does that happen...lco's should not get 2/3 weeks behind.....it does happen though i guess......

not enough for me to want to spend extra buchs on more hp

HenryB
12-26-2006, 10:28 PM
First thing....

People who try out or use Stihl 4 stroke blowers, why can't they understand that these blowers are NOT going to sound the same as a typical 2 stroke model from Redmax, Echo, or even the older Stihls??? I keep reading posts where people who have used these blowers get the idea that the blowers aren't revving fast enough, or sound slow, etc....

Folks, these blowers fire every OTHER revolution! Two strokes fire EVERY revolution. Because of this, a four stroke SHOULD sound slower than the two stroke, but in fact the crankshaft is turning at nearly the same speed. The fan in the blower is bolted right to the crankshaft, so no matter how fast it sounds like it is revving.... all that matters is how fast that fan is turning.

The four strokes with half as many power pulses, are better on gas and less noise at the same RPM's and this is where most of the benifits to four strokes comes from.

I just can't understand how some people can try these units out and come away with a bias against them due to the fact that they don't sound as "strong" or sound like there "Revving fast enough"



Second gripe....

What is everyones hang up with horsepower on their mowers?

I read comments posted here such as a 36inch walkbehind may not have enough power to mow and pull a velkie.... or just reading the endless comments that you need 27-30+ horsepower on ZTR's with 52 inch decks, etc... etc....

I have never had a engine on a mower that gave me the impression it was not enough power. Sure in tall wet grass, that hasn't been mowed in two months I have had the engine to slow down and bog, but how often do we cut in those conditions?

I have never had a engine bog down a noticeable amount going up a hill, or pulling a velkie, etc....

My first mowers were a 36 and 48 inch walkbehinds, the 36 incher had a 12.5 horse Kawasaki and it never had a problem with mowing and pulling my 200 lbs around yards on a velkie!!! The 48 incher had a 14 horse Kawasaki, again no problems.

My third mower was a 60 inch hydro WB with a velkie and it had a 18 horse vanguard, again.... no problems whatsoever!

My first ZTR was a 61 inch Bobcat and it only had a 20 horse Kohler, again no problems...

Each year the mowers seem to come from the manufactors with more and more standard power... My current 36 inch belt drive has a 15 horse Kohler, and my ZTR has 27 horses, more than either needs in my opinion.

There is a slew of comments from people that jump in discussions and tell people this mower or that mower needs more power. And you read all the hoopla over these 30+ horse engines people are ordering on their big riders. Makes me wonder how many of these people throwing their two cents into the discussion have used the mowers that were popular 10-15 years ago, when Riders only had 18-20 horsepower and that was more than enough...

Anyway, just a gripe, nothing special! :dizzy:
For me the Stihl 4mix just lacked power compared to the RM 8000. I really liked the quieter sound and also a great little blower. As far as the horsepower issue you are right on the money. It's just like people demanding an 8 cyl. gas guzzler in there compact car. It makes feel tougher, more powerful, I don't know? Our avg car today gets less fuel economy than 20 yrs ago. Two word are needed: Research and Design. Not just more horsepower.

nobagger
12-26-2006, 10:37 PM
I dont know anything about the Sthil blower but your second "gripe" about hp on mowers, I have a 48" w/b with a 14hp Kawi and this thing is grossly under powered! My buddy's 48" Exmark Lazer is powered by a 19hp Kawi and it also is under powered IMO. It boggs down in taller dry grass all the time. You figure a hydro mower robbs a few ponies right there so if you have a 19hp, you only end up with a 15 or 16hp mower.

HenryB
12-26-2006, 10:50 PM
I dont know anything about the Sthil blower but your second "gripe" about hp on mowers, I have a 48" w/b with a 14hp Kawi and this thing is grossly under powered! My buddy's 48" Exmark Lazer is powered by a 19hp Kawi and it also is under powered IMO. It boggs down in taller dry grass all the time. You figure a hydro mower robbs a few ponies right there so if you have a 19hp, you only end up with a 15 or 16hp mower.
Tall grass and slamming the sticks forward will bog down even a 40hp motor. Slowing down in tall thick grass and gently steering is the way to go. I had a coworker who would slam the sticks forward on a Lazer Z like the machine took his first born son. What an idiot I was glad to see him get canned. I think there should be a class "How to Operate Commercial Mowers" I really think it's needed.

Richard Martin
12-27-2006, 05:04 AM
Folks, these blowers fire every OTHER revolution! Two strokes fire EVERY revolution.

Actually the Stihl 4 Mix uses a ignition system type called "Wasted Spark". It does fire on every crank rotation. Most small single cylinder 4 stroke engines use this type of ignition because it's simple and easy to service. It does have a "Power" stroke on every other rotation where 2 strokes have one on every rotation.

I'm not being critical, just clarifying for the record.

TURFLORD
12-27-2006, 07:08 AM
Horsepower=speed. Speed=money.:)

nobagger
12-27-2006, 07:33 AM
Tall grass and slamming the sticks forward will bog down even a 40hp motor. Slowing down in tall thick grass and gently steering is the way to go. I had a coworker who would slam the sticks forward on a Lazer Z like the machine took his first born son. What an idiot I was glad to see him get canned. I think there should be a class "How to Operate Commercial Mowers" I really think it's needed.

Oh I agree with ya Henry, There should be a class. But unfortunately its our responsibility to teach these guys/girls on the "how to's". When we demoed a mower last year the dealer went over this thing with a fine tooth comb so -to -speak and made sure I had a clue as to what I was doing with their 15k mower. Glad he did'nt come along to mow with us:laugh:

MSS Mow
12-27-2006, 09:07 AM
First thing....

People who try out or use Stihl 4 stroke blowers, why can't they understand that these blowers are NOT going to sound the same as a typical 2 stroke model from Redmax, Echo, or even the older Stihls??? I keep reading posts where people who have used these blowers get the idea that the blowers aren't revving fast enough, or sound slow, etc....

Folks, these blowers fire every OTHER revolution! Two strokes fire EVERY revolution. Because of this, a four stroke SHOULD sound slower than the two stroke, but in fact the crankshaft is turning at nearly the same speed. The fan in the blower is bolted right to the crankshaft, so no matter how fast it sounds like it is revving.... all that matters is how fast that fan is turning.

The four strokes with half as many power pulses, are better on gas and less noise at the same RPM's and this is where most of the benifits to four strokes comes from.

I just can't understand how some people can try these units out and come away with a bias against them due to the fact that they don't sound as "strong" or sound like there "Revving fast enough"



Second gripe....

What is everyones hang up with horsepower on their mowers?

I read comments posted here such as a 36inch walkbehind may not have enough power to mow and pull a velkie.... or just reading the endless comments that you need 27-30+ horsepower on ZTR's with 52 inch decks, etc... etc....

I have never had a engine on a mower that gave me the impression it was not enough power. Sure in tall wet grass, that hasn't been mowed in two months I have had the engine to slow down and bog, but how often do we cut in those conditions?

I have never had a engine bog down a noticeable amount going up a hill, or pulling a velkie, etc....

My first mowers were a 36 and 48 inch walkbehinds, the 36 incher had a 12.5 horse Kawasaki and it never had a problem with mowing and pulling my 200 lbs around yards on a velkie!!! The 48 incher had a 14 horse Kawasaki, again no problems.

My third mower was a 60 inch hydro WB with a velkie and it had a 18 horse vanguard, again.... no problems whatsoever!

My first ZTR was a 61 inch Bobcat and it only had a 20 horse Kohler, again no problems...

Each year the mowers seem to come from the manufactors with more and more standard power... My current 36 inch belt drive has a 15 horse Kohler, and my ZTR has 27 horses, more than either needs in my opinion.

There is a slew of comments from people that jump in discussions and tell people this mower or that mower needs more power. And you read all the hoopla over these 30+ horse engines people are ordering on their big riders. Makes me wonder how many of these people throwing their two cents into the discussion have used the mowers that were popular 10-15 years ago, when Riders only had 18-20 horsepower and that was more than enough...

Anyway, just a gripe, nothing special! :dizzy:

I'm not familiar with the Stihl blowers, but mowers being underpowered is a very real problem.

Does a small horsepowered mower get the job done?? Absolutely. But, how efficient is that underpowered mower? Turflord said it well: "Horsepower=speed. Speed=money." When running any business, a successful business is always trying to become more efficient to keep the bottom line profitable.
These larger horsepowered machines allow for more efficient mowing, thereby, more opportunity for earning profit. And, yes, many people do mow a significant amount of taller and/or wet grass where the extra horsepower is essential. So, I guess what I'm saying is, I disagree with your opinion.

steve45
12-27-2006, 09:12 AM
At my elevation (2800 feet) on a 100 degree summer day, my 21 HP Kawasaki is actually putting out about 15 HP. Driving my 48" deck and a blower for the grass catcher, it is NOT adequate in the tall grass over my septic system. I have to raise the deck up all the way and go slow, then lower the deck and make a second pass.

I'm glad my mower has the 'big' engine!

Rons Rightway Lawncare
12-27-2006, 09:59 AM
I disagree with the horsepower equals more speed comments. To make my point, say Scag or Exmark or whoever you think makes the best mowers, decided to install a 100 horsepower engine and redesign the hydros to allow 50 mph top speed...... Do you think you will cut the average lawn any faster than before?

NO.

Blade speed is blade speed, and it is limited on how fast it can go by OSHA. Without faster blader speed a mower can only go so fast over a lawn and still have a clean cut.

Also you are certain to tear up the turf mowing at 10-15 or more MPH trying to stop and turn than you do at 6 or 7 mph.

You guys are brainwashed if you think bolting a 30 or more horsepower engine to a 52 inch deck ZTR is going to help you cut faster.

On a 61 inch deck ZTR, 25 horsepower is more than enough.

Now maybe high up in the mountains, on a hot summer day, with a towbehind grass catcher and a blade driven fan, with a operator that thinks it is okay to mow with the control sticks jammed full forwards.... well in that case, the extra power of a 35 or so horse engine may be helpful.

Heck my last mower was a 61 inch Scag with a 25 horse Kawasaki, and I would be mowing with it, towing a 48 inch wide blue bird aerator with 300 lbs on top of it while aerating, and up and down hills etc... with little to no bogging.

Look I have no problem with you horsepower junkies wanting big gas guzzling engines on your mowers. My gripe is your beliefs are spread through out this forum like a disease.... All too often when mowers and engines come up for discussion, if the mower doesn't have a huge engine on it, there is always a group of posters who jump in to say it is underpowered or worthless cause it doesn't have a big enough engine. Again, I wonder how many of these posters have even used a mower with a lower horsepower engine.

Why do you not see 30cc or 40cc or even 50cc being the size string trimmer most popular in our industry? Why is it that 26-27cc is about the size most of us choose to use? Is it possible that a good 26-27cc trimmer produces enough power to do the job and anymore power is just wasted money.... excess weight.... and a gas guzzler?

And same could be said of backpack blowers.... With the comments from people here on the Redmax 8001, it would seem people wouldn't care how much the blower weights, how bad it vibrates, or how loud it is, etc.... Just that it blows harder than anything else is all the reason they need to buy it. Why not go ahead and come out with a 150cc twin cylinder Redmax 10,001? It could weight 40 pounds and these power junkies wouldn't care. Heck, my friend here who is now running three crews says he is going to stick with the old BR420's for as long as he can buy them.... He said he knows there are more powerful blowers on the market, but the BR420 has enough power to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time, and it has good fuel economy, light weight, durable, etc.... It seems he knows that at some point you have to draw a line at what is enough and what is excessive.

Trucks is another thing that because of consumer demand, in the race to have the most power, trucks today have twice the horsepower of trucks from 20 years ago. And todays trucks use almost twice the fuel of those trucks, and cost far more to buy. The average buyer of a truck does not need a 300+ Hemi, or a 600+ pounds of torque Diesel engine. Yet due to us WANTING more and more power, each year the manufactors find a way for a few more ponys.... and guess what, it is still a truck and there is still a speed limit on how fast you can go!

HOOLIE
12-27-2006, 10:10 AM
I hear ya with the trucks...used to be most guys pulled a trailer with a half-ton...now many on here will claim anything less than a 3/4 ton is useless. Just to pull an average trailer with a few mowers???

I started mowing in 1989 so a lot of what you said rings true...maybe some of the mowers then were a bit underpowered but I don't recall it being that bad :laugh:

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
12-27-2006, 10:25 AM
I bought a 220 grasshopper very under powered so for what it's worth the big engines here.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
12-27-2006, 10:39 AM
I bought a 220 grasshopper very under powered so for what it's worth the big engines here.


Define underpowered please. Give us details such as what speed your cutting at, hills? Thickness of grass?

Are your blades sharp?

Are you mulching or side discharge?

Running two blades per spindle?

running extreme high lift blades?

Have you replaced airfilter, sparkplugs, fuel filter recently?

Are you sure the engines governer is adjusted to 3600 rpms or close to that?


your underpowered mower may just be being misused, or in need of a tune up.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
12-27-2006, 10:49 AM
I hear ya with the trucks...used to be most guys pulled a trailer with a half-ton...now many on here will claim anything less than a 3/4 ton is useless. Just to pull an average trailer with a few mowers???

I started mowing in 1989 so a lot of what you said rings true...maybe some of the mowers then were a bit underpowered but I don't recall it being that bad :laugh:

Exactly... That was going to be Gripe number three, but I was saving that for later. It is this same more power is better mentality that if your going to throw anything in the back of a truck, or tow anykind of trailer, you must have a F-250 or Chevy 3500 Dually or maybe even a Small Kenworth or Peterbuilt... It is ridculous really.

A Ford F-150 or Chevy 1500, Dodge 1500, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, etc... All are more than capable of safely towing a 6000 pound trailer, day in and day out. Unless you have a enclosed trailer, or a excessively heavy trailer, your towed weight will be under 6000 pounds.

Some people on the Jetski forum think I am nuts, but I was towing a double ski trailer with two skis on it behind my Toyota Echo and it had no trouble pulling the trailer up hills, down the highway at 70 mph, or stopping. I have a hitch on my wifes camry as well and use it often to pull the skis around or even our 2000-3000 pound 14 foot popup camper.

Sure maybe for some people the bigger trucks are needed, but for most of us they are not. But god forbid if someone comes on here and asks advise for a truck purchase and it is not a 3/4 ton or higher truck he is looking at!!!! He might as well be planning on towing his stuff behind a bicycle if you took all the comments on " Will not work ".... " too small of a truck "...... " will be underpowered" ..... "OH MY GAWD!!!, your truck will sag a little in the back! "

Yeap, maybe I am just in a sour mood, who knows, but I really like this forum, but question some of what I read here that seems to be popular opinion here.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
12-27-2006, 11:39 AM
Blades get sharpend every day,side discharging,a 20 horse on a 52 inch z with a 200lbs man will not cut it,i am running a 26 horse on a 52 inch cut and it will bog down some.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
12-27-2006, 11:52 AM
I cut for 3 years with a Toro 52 inch ZTR, it had a 21 horsepower liquid cooled Kawasaki, and I am usually a little over 215 pounds dressed with shoes on. Had no problems whatsoever with it. It was great on gas too, could cut almost all week long on one fill up. Either your engine is not tuned properly, or your using it improperly is my only guess.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
12-27-2006, 12:03 PM
I have to add, that some of this underpowered stuff may be engine/mower/ way it is used related.

I demo'ed a Husquverna large frame 61 inch ZTR before buying my newest Scag. It had a 30 horsepower Kohler on it. For some reason it would bog down quite easily whenever you asked alot out of it with the speed control levers..... Going up a steep hill dam near bogged it down to the point of killing the engine. Just pushing the levers forwards aggressively would bog it down. I have no explaination for it, as it was a brand new mower that seemed to be in perfect shape otherwise. I have never had a unit bog down like that one did.

I have had and used the following

36'' WB belt drive, 12.5 hp

36'' WB hydro, 14 hp - Encore

48'' WB belt drive, 14 hp - Encore

48'' WB Hydro, 14 hp - Encore

60'' WB Hydro, 18 hp - Encore

61'' ZTR, 20 hp - Bobcat

52'' ZTR, 20 hp - Bobcat

61" ZTR, 22 hp - Bobcat

52'' ZTR, 21 hp - Toro

61'' ZTR, 25 hp - scag

36'' WB, belt drive, 15 hp - scag

36'' WB, Hydro, 12.5 hp - Lesco

61'' ZTR, 27 hp - Scag

I have also used several other mowers as demos or loaners over the years, none I can remember were notably underpowered, only the Husky I demo'ed with the 30 horse Kohler bogged.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
12-27-2006, 12:03 PM
Running 3800 rpm on the 20 horse moter,i am here for a few more minutes tell me how to use a z improperly.

FIRESCOOBY
12-27-2006, 12:07 PM
My Mini-Z with 52" and 19hp is not enough mower for me, and I generally stay on schedule. I have alot of thick irrigated and maintained Bermuda yards which really make it work hard somtimes. Hope to upgrade to a Super Z with a 25hp Kaw within 18 months.

cush
12-27-2006, 12:42 PM
I would say horsepower needed varies greatly due to climate and grass types. In my area we have mostly blue/rye mix and in our climate it grows very fast and thick in the summer. I have a 60" Toro with a 27 hp kohler and I still only run about 1/3 speed when mulching. My walker 26efi bogs down in the thick stuff also. A few of the lawns here are fescue a much wider blade grass and need probably half the power to cut.

MattsMowing3535
12-27-2006, 01:28 PM
I think the only downside of a huge engine is the gas milage. If they can make a 30hp that gets 1 gph then i would buy it in second! I just got a exmark wb with a 48" and 15hp I want to mulch with it constantly next season. I am a little worried about it in the spring but I figure it should do fine with 15hp. I have to admit 18 or 20 would be nice though!

Elite Lawn Care
12-27-2006, 02:25 PM
Good post. There are products that are better than others in different areas. One company makes a machine that will do better than others in certain areas. with the horsepower verse deck size we are often lead to think more hp is better, well not true, just like with trucks and cars, Torque is what does the work. How many of us have had a 5 hp 21" that seems to do better than a 6.5 hp 21"? the only major difference is that the 5hp had more torque?
also how many people change their blades 3x's a day? I do. when my blades are "dull" are about what most new blades are out of the box.
How many machines are NOT matched to the jobs that they are used for? or Just the operator does not understand the machine? i.e. a hover mower... how many of us use them? what are they best for? How many of us use a $1000 21" WB to cut step hills and drain ditches that have to fight the mower? a hover mower would cut the work stress by better than half and reduce equipment damages by rocks and bottles. how about a string trimmer for more than twenty feet of edging?...

MSS Mow
12-27-2006, 07:21 PM
I disagree with the horsepower equals more speed comments. To make my point, say Scag or Exmark or whoever you think makes the best mowers, decided to install a 100 horsepower engine and redesign the hydros to allow 50 mph top speed...... Do you think you will cut the average lawn any faster than before?

NO.

Blade speed is blade speed, and it is limited on how fast it can go by OSHA. Without faster blader speed a mower can only go so fast over a lawn and still have a clean cut.

Also you are certain to tear up the turf mowing at 10-15 or more MPH trying to stop and turn than you do at 6 or 7 mph.

You guys are brainwashed if you think bolting a 30 or more horsepower engine to a 52 inch deck ZTR is going to help you cut faster.

On a 61 inch deck ZTR, 25 horsepower is more than enough.

Now maybe high up in the mountains, on a hot summer day, with a towbehind grass catcher and a blade driven fan, with a operator that thinks it is okay to mow with the control sticks jammed full forwards.... well in that case, the extra power of a 35 or so horse engine may be helpful.

Heck my last mower was a 61 inch Scag with a 25 horse Kawasaki, and I would be mowing with it, towing a 48 inch wide blue bird aerator with 300 lbs on top of it while aerating, and up and down hills etc... with little to no bogging.

Look I have no problem with you horsepower junkies wanting big gas guzzling engines on your mowers. My gripe is your beliefs are spread through out this forum like a disease.... All too often when mowers and engines come up for discussion, if the mower doesn't have a huge engine on it, there is always a group of posters who jump in to say it is underpowered or worthless cause it doesn't have a big enough engine. Again, I wonder how many of these posters have even used a mower with a lower horsepower engine.

Why do you not see 30cc or 40cc or even 50cc being the size string trimmer most popular in our industry? Why is it that 26-27cc is about the size most of us choose to use? Is it possible that a good 26-27cc trimmer produces enough power to do the job and anymore power is just wasted money.... excess weight.... and a gas guzzler?

And same could be said of backpack blowers.... With the comments from people here on the Redmax 8001, it would seem people wouldn't care how much the blower weights, how bad it vibrates, or how loud it is, etc.... Just that it blows harder than anything else is all the reason they need to buy it. Why not go ahead and come out with a 150cc twin cylinder Redmax 10,001? It could weight 40 pounds and these power junkies wouldn't care. Heck, my friend here who is now running three crews says he is going to stick with the old BR420's for as long as he can buy them.... He said he knows there are more powerful blowers on the market, but the BR420 has enough power to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time, and it has good fuel economy, light weight, durable, etc.... It seems he knows that at some point you have to draw a line at what is enough and what is excessive.

Trucks is another thing that because of consumer demand, in the race to have the most power, trucks today have twice the horsepower of trucks from 20 years ago. And todays trucks use almost twice the fuel of those trucks, and cost far more to buy. The average buyer of a truck does not need a 300+ Hemi, or a 600+ pounds of torque Diesel engine. Yet due to us WANTING more and more power, each year the manufactors find a way for a few more ponys.... and guess what, it is still a truck and there is still a speed limit on how fast you can go!


Now you're just being stupid. You had a valid point that some of us just disagreed with. Now, you are using insane examples that are so unreasonable, you sound stupid. Are you stupid, I doubt it. But, your point is no better made using a 100hp, 50mph mower example.

Your point on blade speed is well taken, however, a mower with enough horsepower is still more efficient if it can maintain it's normal operating speed vs a mower that has to slow down because it can't power through it.

As for fuel economy, I'd put any high powered diesel ZTR up against your underpowered gas mowers. ANYDAY!!

"Now maybe high up in the mountains, on a hot summer day, with a towbehind grass catcher and a blade driven fan, with a operator that thinks it is okay to mow with the control sticks jammed full forwards.... well in that case, the extra power of a 35 or so horse engine may be helpful."

There are many instances where the extra power of a 30+hp engine comes in handy. And, it has nothing to do with an operator that "jams" the control sticks forward. Many of us are solo owners who operate our equipment to last.

Each person's situation is different and requires different equipment to operate efficiently.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
12-27-2006, 07:32 PM
Good post you know in the dead of summer the heat will rob horse power and pushing a mower for all it's worth.

Elite Lawn Care
12-28-2006, 12:24 AM
I work at 6900 feet, at 5000 you are at 35% less o2 than that of sea level and you lose 35 % of that every 1000 feet after that. so if I remeber right 100% - 35 = 65 then 65 x .35 = 23.4 so 65 - 23.4= 41.6 power loss at 6000 feet and so on. so at my elevation I am lossing about 43% of my power on a normaly asperated engine. even on my 19 Hp wb I have no trouble cutting grass that is up to 8 inches if i do not run full speed ahead. same on the 16's and others- oh without bagging and not double cutting either and grass is nice afterwards, simply bc of blades and knowing what the mower can do. I should tune all my carbs to this altitude but I can get lazy.
Now bring in the Torque and the guys who run the Diesel's full foward and it is full speed ahead baby! same thing as trucks. my High HP 383 put out almost 390 hp but only 300 ftlbs of Torque and could not pull nine tonns of rock up this one pass at 10000 foot. now my buds new ford 350 that puts out nearly 400 in torque passes with ease pulling the same load. my new chevy 1\2 ton I would not try (my 78 chevy is now dead because of this hill engine and tranny could not handle stress like that, next is a 454 BB in a 55 3\4 next year or so).

Buckeye Lawncare
12-28-2006, 12:58 AM
My grandpa once said, "Opinions are like a$$holes, and everybody is one"

Everyone has their own opinion, LET IT BE, who cares, you are spending your time writing about your opinion and what everyone else should and shouldn't do. WHO CARES!
Yes, you do have a valid point, well somewhat. If someone wants to spend the extra money and get a bigger enigne let them do it. IT IS THEIR MONEY. They run THEIR business the way they want to, not the way YOU want them to.

A bigger engine is better in some cases. Where you are located at, a bigger engine may not be needed. However, YOU are not located in every part of the country. I live in Central Ohio, around here a 25 or 27 hp engine is common for several reasons. I do not really want to go into that right now, but I think you might get my point. Or atleast I hope so!

Jay Ray
12-28-2006, 01:17 AM
Steve45 mentioned septic (drain) fields in a post above. The grass there is always much taller, thicker, and healthier than the rest of the property and I always wish I had more hp.

The worst: a country acreage lawn that was once a cow pasture and now has a huge septic field to boot, in late July with good rainfall.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
12-28-2006, 01:46 AM
The saying goes, opinions are like @zz holes everybody has one.

LawnMower
12-28-2006, 10:09 AM
I have the 25 horse Kohler on my bob Cat. The power is fine until I run doubles in wet grass. Or if I have the bagger system on in high grass. I have to go real slow and that means I'm making less money. But the job does get done.

I have the 17 horse Kawasaki on my 54 inch Bob Cat, and its under powered for me, but it does the job.

More power is a luxury.

Iv made a lot of money with both mowers so cant complain to much.

Elite Lawn Care
12-28-2006, 02:13 PM
Buckeye... I am not sure if your post was aimed directly at me or in general. If it was a at me no where am I trying to tell a person how to run there company, or anyone else here at that point. The whole point of this board is connecting with others, sharing experience and opinions, there was a guy here that used to do that, but I have not seen his posts in a few months. I gave info on where I am at, the types of areas I have to do, and what works for those areas. I have had troubles in the past and others "opinions" have solved them. Listed in my previous post is how to figure out how much power is lost at altitudes over 5000 ft and an application, which I am wrong on the 350's Hp and Torque it is considerbly more. I understand that I am a minority as far as my elevation and how I run my company, after nine years I think I'm getting a handle on it.

In my personal opinion, I think a mower should have 6 hp per blade and at least 5 for the wheels. It would be nice if we could turbo our mowers too.

Buckeye Lawncare
12-28-2006, 03:50 PM
Buckeye... I am not sure if your post was aimed directly at me or in general. If it was a at me no where am I trying to tell a person how to run there company, or anyone else here at that point. The whole point of this board is connecting with others, sharing experience and opinions, there was a guy here that used to do that, but I have not seen his posts in a few months. I gave info on where I am at, the types of areas I have to do, and what works for those areas. I have had troubles in the past and others "opinions" have solved them. Listed in my previous post is how to figure out how much power is lost at altitudes over 5000 ft and an application, which I am wrong on the 350's Hp and Torque it is considerbly more. I understand that I am a minority as far as my elevation and how I run my company, after nine years I think I'm getting a handle on it.

In my personal opinion, I think a mower should have 6 hp per blade and at least 5 for the wheels. It would be nice if we could turbo our mowers too.


My post was directed to the overall. I realize everyone has opinions and that sharing opinions helps the industry grow. Your are correct that many things go into deciding how much horsepower one would need on a mower. I am just tired of everyone thinking that there should only be one type of mower and that everyone should run THEIR business one way or another. Realistically speaking, almost every region needs a different mower. However, mower manufactures do not produce a certain mower for one region and another for another region. They would not make any money if they did that. That is why WE settle on the mower that is best suited to our needs. Yes, my mower might have two more horsepower than I actually need, but I am not going to go spend a bunch of money having a custom mower built when I can get one at a decent price that is just alittle overpowered. I might not need the extra two or three horsepower everyday, but if helps me to mow a yard alittle faster or go up a steeper hill or mow through taller grass without slowing down to a crawl then I am going to buy it. I personally think that Time=Money. To me my time is very valuable, because usually there is not enough hours in a day to get everything done.

I am sorry to all of those that I may have offended. "My momma told me I could be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up,

so I decided to be an a$$hole" :laugh: :laugh:

Richard Martin
12-28-2006, 05:26 PM
"My momma told me I could be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up,

so I decided to be an a$$hole" :laugh: :laugh:

At least you're honest.;)

ed2hess
12-28-2006, 06:02 PM
I wonder if something changed in the hp measurements? The new 15hp Kohler units I am putting on don't seem as powerful as the 5 years old ones. And the hp on 21" units are up over 5 hp, and we used to run 3hp motors and that seem adequate?

Buckeye Lawncare
12-28-2006, 06:55 PM
I wonder if something changed in the hp measurements? The new 15hp Kohler units I am putting on don't seem as powerful as the 5 years old ones. And the hp on 21" units are up over 5 hp, and we used to run 3hp motors and that seem adequate?


I never thought about that, but it could be true. I remember the little 3 hp push mowers that ran forever, now we have the 6.5 and 7 hp push mowers that run for a few years and then you get a new one or rebuild it.

Richard Martin- I try to be honest!

Rons Rightway Lawncare
12-28-2006, 09:22 PM
My gripe here was not that YOU should have a underpowered mower, or a brand X mower with X number of horsepower. No, my gripe is the general way people jump into discussions about mowers and just down a mower because they don't think it has enough power - when chances are this poster hasn't even used a lessor powered mower, nor that brand of mower, nor on those turf conditions.

I have yet to own a piece of power equipment I thought was underpowered with the exception of a few 21cc trimmers and edgers. All the mowers I have used seemed to have plenty of power to do the job and I can not remember mowing grass that Should have been mowed - in otherwords using the ZTR as a bushhog is another matter powerwise, in those conditions I would love to have 50 hp! - where I can remember the engine slowing down to the point of me wishing I had more power.

Look everyone have fun with what you got, this is just a open discussion, nothing to get upset over!

lifetree
12-28-2006, 10:28 PM
I think I agree with Ron on the HP issue ... and Ed2Hess has a very valid point as well. I remember when a riding mower had a 7 or 8 HP engine and that was considered to be the most anyone would ever need for anything. Now, it's all just a matter having to have to the biggest and best. I have a "small" commercial ZTR (i.e.-50" with a Kohler 20 V-Twin) and it works just fine for what I do ... that includes a property that I did in May, 2006, that hadn't been mowed since the previous year, and the ZTR held up just fine with the engine not even slowing down a bit ... the grass was about 2 1/2 feet high and very thick and Oh, by the way, did I mention that it had just rained the night before. Ron has it nailed when he says we're just on a HP high !!!

HenryB
12-28-2006, 10:32 PM
The reality is: it's a lot easier to just keep slapping on bigger engines than to make some real technological advances in these machines. Research and development is expensive and challenging. Slapping on five more horsepower is not. We are paying a lot for ZTR's we should demand more than just HP.

byoung
03-29-2007, 08:46 AM
I agree with what's been said about blowers here. A LOT of the posts I read seem to equate loud with good... I use some of the quietest blowers made and they out perform my BR600 and my biggest one is certainly a match for the RM8000 or any other I've used... So what? Some guys just feel more confident if their equipment is heavy and makes a ton of noise. And, for them, that's fine

Personally, I think it's really dumb to search only for the 'biggest hp' on blowers anyway, or just the cfm's or something. It's the combination that gets the job done for you personally. I sort of get off on having well made equipment that maybe doesn't 'sound' all that bad-#&&, but is in fact out-working the competition!

And as for the original post, absolutely I agree that once you have a piece of equip. that does the job you need it to reliably, why keep on about the 'biggest and baddest' sort of thing? Funny, but my day to day blower is also not the strongest one that I own. The one I use 95% of the time is simple, quiet, and really comfortable... So shoot me!

Ford Guy
03-29-2007, 08:55 AM
Horsepower=speed. Speed=money.:)

Speed = Poor quality cut

J&R Landscaping
03-29-2007, 10:27 AM
I remember when the 28" Snapper RER mower only had 6-8hp engines on them. I still see many 48" wb's with the 12.5 kawasaki or the 14 hp kawasaki. I think 15hp is good for most of your deck sizes. (36", 48") If your stepping up to a 52" deck, I'd want 16 or 17hp.

I have a 12.5 kawasaki on a 36" Exmark gear drive and it bogs down at times. Sometimes I do wish it had 14hp or maybe even 15hp but for most of the time, the 12.5 is fine.
One thing that allows me to rest easily is that I don't mind the "smaller" 25hp kawasaki powering a 61" deck. That engine has been around the block several millon times and it is somewhat of a proven design. The new engines that seem to change every year or two are not as proven. Yes they are tested but they are not beaten to death year after year, day after day like the other "oldschool" engines have been.

MSS Mow
03-29-2007, 10:38 AM
Speed = Poor quality cut

Not necessarily. If your mower has plenty of power, it can handle the higher speeds. Now if you got a rough piece of property, obviously speed becomes a bigger factor, but to say such a blanket statement, it's simply not true.

If you have an underpowered machine, then, yes, faster speeds will result in a poor cut. That's kind of the whole point of more hp, so the mower can handle more grass at higher speeds and still provide a quality cut.

chipk1
03-29-2007, 10:54 AM
I agree with HP=more money. My Exmark has 28 KAI and it sometimes grunts when trying to mulch a couple inches of think grass with wet leaves all over it. I don't think a 18 horse would allow me to keep moving like the 28. I think the difference is higher horse power allows for different gearing in the machine for higher and more consistant blade tip speed at higher ground speeds.

ACutAboveNC
03-29-2007, 11:43 AM
Ok... your mower is not bogging down because of your motor, it is bogging down because of your blade speed. You lose a tremendous amount of rpm's through the belt that drives the pulley that drives your spindle and then your blade. I have a 23 hp 52 wb and I never have a problem with morning dewed crabgrass in the middle of the summer. If you keep your blades sharp and spindles properly maintained and SLOWED DOWN you will see better results. Youu can not expect to go full throttle over a yard with thick grass and not bog down. Just as a turf care professional, I take my time doing a lawn because it is my job and I do take my time. BTW I have a 14hp 36in WB that is 8 years old in immaculate condition with a velkie and it can haul my 250lb around and cut a lawn without tearing and leaving a beautiful strip. Mowers are not underpowered. It is the operator who is not educated about proper maintenance and technique.

MuleCutter
03-29-2007, 04:29 PM
First thing....

People who try out or use Stihl 4 stroke blowers, why can't they understand that these blowers are NOT going to sound the same as a typical 2 stroke model from Redmax, Echo, or even the older Stihls??? I keep reading posts where people who have used these blowers get the idea that the blowers aren't revving fast enough, or sound slow, etc....

Folks, these blowers fire every OTHER revolution! Two strokes fire EVERY revolution. Because of this, a four stroke SHOULD sound slower than the two stroke, but in fact the crankshaft is turning at nearly the same speed. The fan in the blower is bolted right to the crankshaft, so no matter how fast it sounds like it is revving.... all that matters is how fast that fan is turning.

The four strokes with half as many power pulses, are better on gas and less noise at the same RPM's and this is where most of the benifits to four strokes comes from.

I just can't understand how some people can try these units out and come away with a bias against them due to the fact that they don't sound as "strong" or sound like there "Revving fast enough"



Second gripe....

What is everyones hang up with horsepower on their mowers?

I read comments posted here such as a 36inch walkbehind may not have enough power to mow and pull a velkie.... or just reading the endless comments that you need 27-30+ horsepower on ZTR's with 52 inch decks, etc... etc....

I have never had a engine on a mower that gave me the impression it was not enough power. Sure in tall wet grass, that hasn't been mowed in two months I have had the engine to slow down and bog, but how often do we cut in those conditions?

I have never had a engine bog down a noticeable amount going up a hill, or pulling a velkie, etc....

My first mowers were a 36 and 48 inch walkbehinds, the 36 incher had a 12.5 horse Kawasaki and it never had a problem with mowing and pulling my 200 lbs around yards on a velkie!!! The 48 incher had a 14 horse Kawasaki, again no problems.

My third mower was a 60 inch hydro WB with a velkie and it had a 18 horse vanguard, again.... no problems whatsoever!

My first ZTR was a 61 inch Bobcat and it only had a 20 horse Kohler, again no problems...

Each year the mowers seem to come from the manufactors with more and more standard power... My current 36 inch belt drive has a 15 horse Kohler, and my ZTR has 27 horses, more than either needs in my opinion.

There is a slew of comments from people that jump in discussions and tell people this mower or that mower needs more power. And you read all the hoopla over these 30+ horse engines people are ordering on their big riders. Makes me wonder how many of these people throwing their two cents into the discussion have used the mowers that were popular 10-15 years ago, when Riders only had 18-20 horsepower and that was more than enough...

Anyway, just a gripe, nothing special! :dizzy:


THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! I'M TIRED OF HEARING THE SAME THINGS OVER AND OVER ALSO....IF YOU'RE EVER IN MY TOWN LET ME KNOW I'LL BUY YOU A BEER....:drinkup: