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Philfromflorida
09-12-2008, 02:07 AM
Thanks again to all who offered me advice on choosing a WB mower (or holding off and just using what I had). I originally posted to "commercial lawn mowing" because I wanted the advice of people who used "commercial" mowers and had a knowledge of their use and quality. The last thread I posted eventually got moved to the residental lawn section :cry: Anyway, I chose the Scag SW belt drive 48" with 16 HP Kaw motor. It was delivered Wednesday and I plan on using it today (Friday) I lowered the deck to the lowest cutting position. It was set on the highest level(3rd hole). It wasn't exactly a pleasant experience to do that, but I did it (my wife helped me) QUESTION: I moved all wheel spacers under the front caster wheels to above the wheels after I lowered the deck per instructions I saw on the deck. Was this the right thing to do? I measured the deck from the floor and it's the same all the way around. I'm just trying to get the right set up. Should I have left one spacer below? I don't need to mess with the blades do I? I also moved the anti-scalp buffer to the upper position. It seemed a little low after I lowered the deck. I got the scag because I just couldn't justify the cost of a hydro for my own personal use. The final price with tax was about $3,650 including tax, delivery and setup. I was very impressed with the whole experience. I delt with a professional and everything was as it should be. Another QUESTION: Should I always run the mower at full throttle or 3/4? The manuel says not to engage the clutch at full load (full throttle) but do it at 3/4. My grass will never get so high and thick that I'll need full power when mowing. What do you guys think? Anyway, I'm happy with my choice and again thanks for the advice you all gave me. I'm sure I'll have more questions for you later. Phil.

brucec32
09-12-2008, 09:36 AM
Mow at full throttle only.

Your manual should have a chart or something telling you which caster spacer, blade spacer, and wheel axle settings to use. If not, Scag's website might have a downloadable version. It's unlikely that zero spacers below the mounting bracket is a recommended position, but that can vary by brand.

I would avoid changing blade spacer positions, assuming they came all under the blade itself. This positions the blade lower in the deck and gives the deck the most effective "depth" which you want usually.

Your manual should also mention where to put the anti-scalps at various height settings. My mowers have that on a label on the mower itself.

I'm not sure measuring the deck is accurate. They make special tools for measuring actual blade height (they reach under the deck edge to the blade but display the height outside the deck) but it's probably not necessary on a unit used at home. You can also use a short block of wood and reach under and press it against the blade then measure the mark on the block. But really just use the chart.

If you do measure the blades, turn them front-back and measure the front tip and the back tips. The front tip will be at its lowest point, hence the height it's cutting the grass at. The "blade pitch" is the difference between front to rear. The rear should be slightly higher or the same. Changing caster spacers and axle positions can change the blade pitch and may affect cut somewhat.

Make sure you are not mowing too low. The tendency of most home owners is to shave that stuff way down. Your local LCO's can tell you what height to go for at various times of year.

Next time you need to move the axle, use a floor jack to take the weight off. It's easy then.

Pistol grips will take some time to get used to. I woulda gone T-bar. But the good news is you'll have stronger forearms.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-12-2008, 12:20 PM
Phil - hope your scag works out for you:)

Not sure if you considered the Quick line or not....they have a dual hydro for about as much $$ as you paid and the machine is lighter and more compact. Not trying to turn you off by what you bought...maybe good info for a future buy:)

Ronniecoleman
09-12-2008, 01:07 PM
Just curious what type of grass are you cutting at the lowest setting this time of year.

Philfromflorida
09-12-2008, 09:08 PM
The mower worked fine although the lowest deck setting was just a little too low. The deck height was actually 1.25 inches off the ground and the blade height was 2.5 inches off the ground. The cut is perfect for my lawn (bahia in the front and St. augustine in the back) So, I guess I need to raise the deck to the second position and lower the blades. The deck was gouging the lawn a little because the lawn isn't perfectly flat. If it was, the deck height wouldn't have been a problem. Should the blades be level with the bottom of the deck or up in the deck a little? I cut the back lawn in record time and went to the sides and front. When I got to the front I ran out of gas. I assumed the shop gave me at least 1/2 tank of gas but they didn't. I did initially look but not with a flashlight. The tank is black so it looked like it had gas to me. Anyway, I pulled it from the far corner of the front yard and parked it in the garage (that thing is heavy to drag on the grass...in neutral) So I went to the gas station and got some premium and filled it half way up. I finished the lawn with my push mower. I'll readjust the deck and blades on Sunday and test it out on my neighbor's yard. Overall I'm very happy with the mower. It isn't difficult to use and as others have stated I didn't need to use reverse at all. A MAJOR QUESTION: Should the mower blades be level with the bottom of the deck or just above the bottom of the deck....something to do with vacuum? Phil.

mowisme
09-12-2008, 09:43 PM
Phil..don't quote me on this but I think you want the deck slightly tilted down in front. Niot sure the pitch but I'm quite sure deck isn't to be perfectly level. Hopewfully a service guy here will clarify that. I would think the Pitch is already set-up..but may not be. I think it has something to do with cut..and of getting most out of engine power by not hitting grass on backside of cut? chime in please..Gene

Philfromflorida
09-14-2008, 06:38 PM
Hey Guys, just to let you know I raised the deck to the middle hole and then tipped the machine up and supported it with truck jacks and adjusted the blades. It's easy to adjust the blades for anyone who has never done it. Just use an impact gun and remove the bolts (gently tap it out from above if it doesn't fall by itself) then simply adjust the height with the washers. My settings for a 2.5 inch cut is second hole for the deck, 2 washers below and 2 above for the front caster wheels and a total of 4 washers below blade spindle and 1 above. Perfect cut, perfect performance. I'm very satisfied with the machine. After my adjustments today I cut the front yards of two of my neighbors (after getting permission). My son went around with the push mower to trim while I did the big stuff. . Thanks again for all the advice from this forum. Phil. I'm sure as I get to know my Scag better I'll have more questions. (the manual isn't the greatest). Phil.

ed2hess
09-14-2008, 07:45 PM
Hey Guys, just to let you know I raised the deck to the middle hole and then tipped the machine up and supported it with truck jacks and adjusted the blades. It's easy to adjust the blades for anyone who has never done it. Just use an impact gun and remove the bolts (gently tap it out from above if it doesn't fall by itself) then simply adjust the height with the washers. My settings for a 2.5 inch cut is second hole for the deck, 2 washers below and 2 above for the front caster wheels and a total of 4 washers below blade spindle and 1 above. Perfect cut, perfect performance. I'm very satisfied with the machine. After my adjustments today I cut the front yards of two of my neighbors (after getting permission). My son went around with the push mower to trim while I did the big stuff. . Thanks again for all the advice from this forum. Phil. I'm sure as I get to know my Scag better I'll have more questions. (the manual isn't the greatest). Phil.

Maybe you could help this dillon guy sounds like he has almost the same unit and is having problems.....comment his thread.

W.L.M.
09-16-2008, 09:10 PM
Nice choice Phil, the scag sw or exmark metro are the only belt drive mowers I would ever use or reccomend. I prefer hydro but if I was forced to use a belt drive the scag sw would be my #1 choice. Enjoy your new mower.

Philfromflorida
09-17-2008, 03:12 PM
Another little update: While mowing my neighbor's yards I became a little confused with the hand controls. I was nearing the curb and I wanted to turn right but turned left instead. I was just inches from going over the curb with the blades. Lucky for me I panicked and squeezed both brakes at the same time. I then hit the blade disengagement button to turn off the blades (just in case) and then put it in reverse and gently pulled it back and continued on with my mowing. Reverse really isn't all that bad and I rarely have to use it as was mentioned by one or two of you. The Scag is a well built, tough machine. It saves me time and energy. Well worth the money for any of you who want one for personal use (the 48 inch deck is perfect for me but the 36 inch deck would be fine too). Phil.

MileHigh
09-17-2008, 06:38 PM
Another little update: While mowing my neighbor's yards I became a little confused with the hand controls. I was nearing the curb and I wanted to turn right but turned left instead. I was just inches from going over the curb with the blades. Lucky for me I panicked and squeezed both brakes at the same time. I then hit the blade disengagement button to turn off the blades (just in case) and then put it in reverse and gently pulled it back and continued on with my mowing. Reverse really isn't all that bad and I rarely have to use it as was mentioned by one or two of you. The Scag is a well built, tough machine. It saves me time and energy. Well worth the money for any of you who want one for personal use (the 48 inch deck is perfect for me but the 36 inch deck would be fine too). Phil.

If you rarely use reverse...your most likely not cutting like a professional.

I know your just a homeowner.

sweetz
09-17-2008, 10:12 PM
If you rarely use reverse...your most likely not cutting like a professional.

Please explain.

lawnprosteveo
09-18-2008, 12:29 PM
Phil..congrats on your new mower.. Can you get us some pics? I had a Scag wb 48" when I first started. Great mower, heavy built and cut really nice. I think youll be happy with it.

MTR999
09-18-2008, 12:41 PM
Paid $ 3650 for a belt walk??? arrr Ha...they got you....good.
belt wb, you can get a decent used one for 1k or around that , not much of production curve but more on pain and sweat. We got 01 52" eXmark TTHP for $2500, twin hydro with only 200hrs, still cut and run like champ today...
If I were you I would shop around longer and get the best deal, not a belt wb.
I think you are homeowner who wants to do some lawn service around neighborhood, and plunged that kind of money for a belt wb. I see it. For us, we can't afford to do that, every dollar counts, it has to be the best deal every time.

lawnprosteveo
09-18-2008, 09:04 PM
Paid $ 3650 for a belt walk??? arrr Ha...they got you....good.
belt wb, you can get a decent used one for 1k or around that , not much of production curve but more on pain and sweat. We got 01 52" eXmark TTHP for $2500, twin hydro with only 200hrs, still cut and run like champ today...
If I were you I would shop around longer and get the best deal, not a belt wb.
I think you are homeowner who wants to do some lawn service around neighborhood, and plunged that kind of money for a belt wb. I see it. For us, we can't afford to do that, every dollar counts, it has to be the best deal every time.I dont think its that high. A new Toro wb is around $3200.

STIHL GUY
09-18-2008, 10:52 PM
i hope you enjoy your new mower

sweetz
09-19-2008, 10:52 AM
That price isn't high. Have fun with your mower!:waving: Just so you know, I do this 5 days a week for a living & I almost never use reverse on my belt w/b. I don't enjoy using it though compared to my ztr just because it's so physical compared to just sitting and moving some levers. lol

brucec32
09-19-2008, 11:25 PM
I know there are some types of St Aug mowed a little lower than floratam I'm used to, but 2.5" is pretty darn low for that grass. I'd check with area locals on what they suggest.

sweetz
09-20-2008, 12:13 AM
I know there are some types of St Aug mowed a little lower than floratam I'm used to, but 2.5" is pretty darn low for that grass. I'd check with area locals on what they suggest.

3.5" - 5" for Floratam, but yes there are some shade varieties that like 2.5" - 3".

Philfromflorida
09-20-2008, 10:38 PM
MTR999: "Paid $ 3650 for a belt walk??? arrr Ha...they got you....good.
belt wb, you can get a decent used one for 1k or around that , not much of production curve but more on pain and sweat. We got 01 52" eXmark TTHP for $2500, twin hydro with only 200hrs, still cut and run like champ today...
If I were you I would shop around longer and get the best deal, not a belt wb.
I think you are homeowner who wants to do some lawn service around neighborhood, and plunged that kind of money for a belt wb. I see it. For us, we can't afford to do that, every dollar counts, it has to be the best deal every time."

The Price was $3499. I offered $3400. Add Tax and delivery of $25 and the price is $3650.00. The Exmark Metro was $3100 before tax. I was offered a used Scag WB with about 250 hours on it (it looked rough) for $2650 but I turned it down. It was still under full warranty but you never know how someone treats their equipment. New = peace of mind in my book. The mower is only for me and my lawn. I have no intention of using it for any type of lawn business and have no need to do so. $3499 is the going price here in the Orlando area. I did check and spent a lot of time researching. I did get the best deal available for a new WB of my choice and liking.

Yes, 2.5 inches is perfect for my lawn and has been since 1977. Every mower I have ever used has been set to about that height. My neighbor cuts his a little higher because he has a nice quality St. Augustine grass.

The only time I used reverse was when I was cutting between two trees and my mower wouldn't fit between them (my neighbor's lawn). I just backed up and my son finished it with the push mower. It was pretty simple and not a hassle at all. I've gotten the hang of the controls and I think I have a handle on my own limitations. I don't think I'll really need to use reverse that much.

In my area the price of the Scag is reasonable. The Craftsman professional 36 inch WB is about $2600 on sale and $3100 full price. The difference in quality between the two isn't even close. The Scag wins. Buying a hydro just for my lawn would have been a mistake and I'm glad I was talked out of it. The WB is perfect for my needs. It has a great cut and it's so quick. I found that 2nd speed is all I need. One of these days I'll try 3rd just to see what it's all about.

Do most of you guys use a mulching kit? It seems like I could get a lot closer on the right side where the chute is if I had the kit and took off the grass chute. Just a thought.

I'll take some pictures tomorrow and post them. Thanks again for the support and advice. I'm glad I came across this site. The Scag is a blast to use and I'm really enjoying it. Phil.

sweetz
09-20-2008, 10:51 PM
Do most of you guys use a mulching kit? It seems like I could get a lot closer on the right side where the chute is if I had the kit and took off the grass chute. Just a thought.

I'll I do is mulch. Unless of course I'm cutting a field that is completely overgrown. Glad you like your new mower.

chathamvahere
12-06-2009, 05:37 PM
Nice machine, you will enjoy it :)

unkownfl
12-06-2009, 05:47 PM
Mulching is the way to go. You will have to slow down if your mowing on 5 in Bahia with a mulch kit. I have never seen a true Augustine grass cut at 2.5 inches and look good unless you like to see all the roots. Just remember to squeeze the brake in which way you want to turn.