View Full Version : A good walk-behind

12-28-2001, 12:22 AM
I was wondoring what would be a good decision for a walk-behind.. Our average lawnsize is a 1.25 acre, Would a Viking Hydro 32" with 17hp kaw be ok? Im going down to the lawn dealers this coming monday and going to purchase something under 4-5 grand.. I want lots of horsepower and reasonable cutting deck, also a stand on or seat for the back (Florida is hott).

I would appreciate any input, Thanks.

12-28-2001, 12:37 AM
usually a 32 is for small yards with tight areas.If your average yard is over an acre ,than you want at least a 48 inch cut.Most guys start with a 48, then get a smaller mower when money is available.In some cases a 48 is cheaper then your 32 or 36 because of the demand.

12-28-2001, 12:40 AM
Do you reccomend a good brand? Hydro is a good choice for FL i have heard, Also what about unwanted tracks with those seats in the back.. What do u suggest?

12-28-2001, 12:52 AM
I would go with a 48 or 52 hydro. I have a 32 scag my average lawn is 1/2 acre and I am in need of a bigger mower, also if you do end up getting a 32" I wouldnt see why you would ever need 17hp on a 32" I have a 12.5 kaw and it has plenty of power for my mower waste of cash if you ask me

12-28-2001, 12:52 AM
Being young and starting out(i presume is your case)poss. search out the classified ads for used w/b's.Secondly PLEASE stay away from a rider seat,get a stand up sulky.Most commercial mowers are all in the same boat as quality etc.Your top of the line are scag,exmark.It's all in what you want if going new, you need to demo diff. machines,and find what you like.

Richard Martin
12-28-2001, 12:53 AM
In your price range I would either look at the Exmark Turf Tracer or Turf Tracer HP 48 inch models. I don't think that 32 inches is large enough for the size lots that you are doing. You can also get the eXmark Self-Steering Sulky Model No. RS52SSW sit down sulky to go with the mower.

12-28-2001, 10:11 AM
I agree, go with a 48" cut. I have a 36" that sits around and is used only as a backup. (I plan to possibly trade it in on an Exmark Z in 2002.) They are both hydro Exmarks. I also purchased the Exmark steerable sulky for my 48" Viking (kinda pricey) but to me, worth every penny. I've owned the Bullrider velkie (very solid, well built) but it doesn't compare to the Exmark steerable sulky as far as cutting on slopes and getting into tight spots. I have also owned a belt drive mower and would never buy another. Hydro is the ONLY way to go, in my opinion. Good luck to you.

12-28-2001, 01:24 PM
I have some 48" mowers and a 32" as well. In my experience, I think the 32" is really suited to gated yards that a 21" mower would take too long to cut. I have a 1 acre prop. I cut once with my 32. I had a sulky on it and ran wide open at 6.5 mph and I thought I would never finish it! I would go 44" or above for the size lawns you are cutting.

12-28-2001, 02:52 PM
I agree with the advise to get a 48 or bigger

Scag exmark and gravely have good one's choose the one that the dealer gives good support.
Good dealer support is almost as important as the machine you buy.

Eng Mwr Guy
12-28-2001, 04:49 PM
**Good dealer support is almost as important as the machine you buy.**

I, a product guy, will even admit maybe more important that the product.

A hydro 48" float would be my choice. Check out the New Gravely walks if you have a decent dealer near by....you never know you might like it.

17hp on a 32 is overkill.

Gravely/Ariens Guy

Ariens: since 1933
Gravely: since 1915

12-28-2001, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by Phat-MiKe
Would a Viking Hydro 32" with 17hp kaw be ok?

I believe the new Viking hydro 32" comes only with a 15hp Kohler.

12-28-2001, 06:25 PM
Also consider steering systems. If you have a lot of turning to do, the TORO's T bar makes it much easier. If you are doing large, wide open lawns and the heat really gets to you, the you should get a Z. You can pick up a few more lawns to make up the payment difference and still maintain the same mowing hours.

12-28-2001, 06:33 PM
I am stuck between a 48" WB or a ZTR.. I sort of want to just get a WB and a 36" for smaller lawns for now and expand to a ZTR later, Right now sinse were just starting it might be a better idea to save a little money considering whatever i spend i have to pay back.. (That includes trailor and other equipment). Thanks for the help guys, Were going Monday to buy.. I will probably get a 48" WB. Thanks!

12-29-2001, 08:18 PM
I'm very happy with the performance of my Snapper 36 ". Will be getting a Wright Stander very soon but have had no complaints on the Snapper. It did what it was supposed to do- dependably.


12-29-2001, 09:08 PM
I am right the opposite. I started & still have a Toro 32" W/B
with Sulky. The best decision I have ever made. It gets threw
all gates & since I am strictly residential " It's Perfect". When
I get more demand I will get his Brother 48", but for know
the 32" is perfect for me. I am a solo operator & there is nothing
like it. It sure beats push mowing a yard w/ a fenced in yard ????
Each one for his own !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:blob4:

12-29-2001, 09:46 PM
If by chance you don't have any gates to worry about, get a 60 or 61 inch. Speed is always the name of the game. You are no different than a factory with the need to maximize production.

I am an extreme case but I never took on residences or even commercial accounts that required me to use small equipment. House with a gate? Forget it. There were always too many big estates and large commercial properties with wide open spaces that paid very well. When I first started, I had an account with a gate that I took a Scag 52' wb and wheelied it up and almost did a cartwheel to get through to the backyard. I wouldn't advise doing that although I never had any wrecks doing it.

Actually, I just noticed that you are in South Florida, a wide deck may not be good for you there but if you have the chance to demo one and it works for you, then you'll know.

Atlantic Lawn
12-29-2001, 09:53 PM
See if you can get a better price on a 2001 model instead of the 02 models. Dealers want the old stock off the floor and cash talks.Some people like belt drives and some prefer hydro's both have their good and bad points. Go where you get the best dealer support as well.Good dealers will give you a demo model to use for a day if yours needs repair.Develope a good relationship with them and you'll both be happy.

12-29-2001, 11:14 PM
Here in Fla. we get 55 inches of rain a year. That rain comes from the second week of June to the Third week of Sept. There is no way around cutting wet grass. Belt drives do not work well in wet grass the belts slip and you just stand there. So do not buy a belt drive if you can afford any thing else. Take this advise from someone who has been there and done that. For sale Lesco 48" belt drive with velk. Also try and buy a floating deck I did not. Hydros are faster than belt drives. AS for deck size the smaller deck will all ways give a better cut but Fla. Lowballer will force you to need a large deck to keep your production level competitive. If you are just starting out try and sell year round contracts and get your customer to sign is a must. One time cut price times 3 equals monthly price on nonirrigated yards or 36 cuts per year. Go 3.4 time one cut for irrigated yard or 42 cuts per year. Each year I see a new group of start ups that are gone in Oct when the grass slows down. The reason for this is the lowball customer who will give you a song a dance about year round cutting then cancel you in Oct. Next year they will find a new sucker to cut there grass in the rainy season. Florida green industry can be a tuff nut to crack for the new guy. You must work smart as well as hard. Yes very hard in June, July and Aug when the temp and humid are both 100. Where are you in south Fla??? Good Luck.

12-30-2001, 12:14 AM
Ric, Thanks for the advice.. Im in West Palm Beach - We will be serving: Loxahatchee, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington and the Acerage. I plan on getting a 48" Hydro .. Also a smaller 32" Puss for gated yards. I just need help writing a contract, I will have somone professionally do it i guess. email me plz xxmikethomasxx@aol.com thx

lawrence stone
12-30-2001, 11:58 AM

Does it not start raining in the summer at about 2-3pm every day?

Can't a belt drive be used from sunrise until the clouds open up?

With the type of soil, turf, and sun angle the ground drys out pretty quick in the morning correct?

12-30-2001, 02:15 PM
1+ acres with a 32!? :eek:

No, thanks. I'd say get a 48"+ WB (or ZTR if you can afford it) and a 32" or 36" if you have gates. You can do an acre with a small mower, but why would you want to?:rolleyes:

12-30-2001, 06:24 PM

Sometimes in the summer rains from morning to night. The ground stays wet and the ditches are lakes for weeks on end. The humid is always above 85% and nothing dries out real quick. However that is the Gulf Coast of Florida. The east coast of Fla. is in fact different because of the Gulf Stream and the Trade winds. They get more rain in the winter and less rain in the summer. They are warmer in winter and cooler in summer. That is why east coast developed first and has more people today.

To answer your question We don't dry out quick enough to run belt drives all year long However some one will call me a lier and tell how good there belt drive works and that is fine, just come and buy mine. TJLC has also posted about how he would not buy another belt drive and he works the same area. I think that if two people in the same area both agree on the fact belt drives are not good here then you can asume that belt drives are not the way to go in our area. Belt drive give us trouble in the rainy season when we need them the most.