View Full Version : 36" vs. 48" WB

11-05-2001, 06:54 PM
What are the reasons that you would buy a 36" WB when a 48" WB is twice as productive? Please list in order of importance and thanks in advance for the help.


11-05-2001, 07:05 PM
1 gates
2. more space on trailer or in gargage
I got the 36 i wish i got the 48

Albemarle Lawn
11-05-2001, 07:17 PM
If you are a small operator, get the 48" I started seven years ago with the 48". You can just decline the gated yards or sweat them out with a push mower.

When the 48 got worn out, I replaced it with a new JD HD75 54" hydro and a "cheap" JD GS30 36 belt drive. The 54" goes everywhere the 48 did and is way more productive than the 48. And, the 36 is great on gated yards and a few other areas.

Result: that was 3 years ago. Today, the 54" has about 700 hours and the 36" has about 150 hours. The 36 is still like new, and is very rugged. I feel I made the right decision.

Now, we have no 48's. In order from smallest to biggest: Push mower, 36" WB, 54" WB, 60" ZTR, 72" ZTR.


11-05-2001, 07:25 PM
48" is the way to go, very few gates would not permit one through. 36" waste of money. I operate an Exmark Hydro ECS 48" and have yet to be kept out of a back yard. Take our advice on this one!

11-05-2001, 08:48 PM
I own both. i find that my 36 and a buddy's 32 cut better than my 48. the cut is cleaner due to the twin blade design i feel. i think that it is easier for one person to take off the blades on a 36 rather than on a 48. the 48 will scalp in some places that the 36 will not. i also find due to having 3 blades there is much more blowout from the front of the mower. this makes mulching and leaf work more difficult while mowing. my 36 has about 275 hrs on it now and it has doubleson it and still has less blowout. my lesco 48(which may not be the best 48 which would result in my negativity of the 48 inch mowers) has less than 25 hours on it. the 36 fits in some gates the 48 wont and weighs less which is easier on soft grass and wet lawns. i like my toro 36 fixed better than my 48.

mdb landscaping
11-05-2001, 09:04 PM
i think gates are the major factor. you can either turn down the ones with gates, or buy the 36 incher and be a little less productive. i say go with the 48 inch.

11-05-2001, 10:04 PM
I appreciate your input. If it was possible to get a 48" WB through a 36" gate are there any other reasons that a 36" WB would be necessary?

Double D
11-05-2001, 10:18 PM
36" mowers have their place. Almost every trailer in Memphis has a 36" or 37" mower on them. Wonder why? If you are just getting started you can not afford to have to turn away business because your mower won't fit in the yard. Get started with the 36" and get yourself a bigger wb or ztr as you expand.
My 2 cents anyway. Luck to You

11-05-2001, 10:30 PM
I own a 36" Exmark Viking hydro and a 48" Viking hydro. The 48" is my main mower and my 36" is used only as a backup. It sits in my gated backyard until it is needed. Probally not the best choice but I bought the 36" in new condition with very low hrs for $2300.00 and at the time it seemed like a good idea. I think my next mower will be a 52" Turf Tracer.

11-05-2001, 11:08 PM
I have been quite happy withmy 52" deck. But I use a 21" LB on areas with gates. Someday I might add a 36, but my mix of yards favors a 52". Better productivity.

11-06-2001, 12:40 AM
I'm with double D, but also think of your potential customers. If your going to be turning down 10% of the work you have to bid on who cares, go for the largest you can afford. If the # is 30%, start concidering the smaller unit. the idea is to have them both. You get the idea.

11-06-2001, 02:35 AM
I have a 36", 48", and 52". The 36" and 52" stay on the trailer all the time. The 48" is just a backup. If I could use it over the 36" I would, but for gated areas, the 48" just can't do it.

11-06-2001, 06:41 PM
I run a 36" gear drive and a 52" hydro. This is my 2nd year in the buisness and being in Memphis also these fence builders will not build a gate wide enough for most mowers that are 44 inches or wider on smaller res yards. At least One 36" decked mower is a must. My hired help HATES to run the 22" push.

Just my .02 worth.

11-06-2001, 10:22 PM
I think everyone has hit the important points of having a 36" wb, but how do you conclude that a 48" wb is twice as productive? I would think 25% would be more realistic.

11-06-2001, 11:42 PM
No gates at all, go 60". Lots of gates, go 32" AND a 60". 36" gates are too popular to warrant a mower that may or may not "squeeze" through.

11-06-2001, 11:48 PM
dlandscaping said all that needs to be said -- period! And he's right on the $.

a 21", 36" and a Z is all you need. or better yet, a 21" and a walker.

48's are for suckers!

11-07-2001, 12:07 AM
Purchase the machine dependingon job size(s). Like most of the rest I place at least one 36" and one 48" on each trailer. Boh have their pros & cons. 36's are for tighter areas and gated areas (although, I believe Dane Scag of Great Dane came out w/ a machine called a "gateway" ovr 48" cut fitting through a 38" gate). Th 36's are consderable lighter and a ittle safer on some extrem steeps. I disagree thatthe cut and/or bagging is any better or worse though.

11-07-2001, 02:07 AM
VLM - Good question on the twice as productive. I arrived at that conclusion by dividing 36 into 48 which = 33.3 %. On top of that you take fewer passes so you have less overlap losses. If you add both of these together you might hit 40% and from there I just rounded up.:)

I appreciate all of the responses. We have some ideas on how to get a 48 or wider WB through a 34" gate and wanted to see if we were missing any other reasons why a 36" would have to be used.

Hustler Turf Equipment

11-07-2001, 09:37 AM

I'd be very interested in how you "squeeze" a 48" into a 34" gate. If it doesn't involve two BIG guys with heavy gloves just lifting it over!

I can squeeze my 48 through a 42" gate by sidestepping it.

11-07-2001, 10:44 AM
TLS - When we finish the development and are sure the concept is marketable I would be happy to share the "how" with you. I will tell you it won't take to BIG guys with gloves. :)