PDA

View Full Version : What Happened to the 3 Wheelers?


theheisk
11-22-2009, 10:31 PM
Bought a used 3 wheeler (Scag) the other day for what I thought was a steal. Just wondering why they are not as popular anymore? This will be the 3rd one I have owned and they have always cut great and very easy to use. Also does anyone on here still use them?

Richard Martin
11-23-2009, 03:58 AM
Too big. Too slow.

Roger
11-23-2009, 06:19 AM
I know a homeowner with a large property who has one that is probably 20 years old. It is 60" cut, but is a mile long. It does a good job of cutting, but takes so much area to maneuver, and is so cumbersome over against the Z's being used today. In his case, it works well, but for most LCOs, it would be a monster to haul and use on most properties around here.

Runner
11-23-2009, 09:45 AM
I still have a Gravely that was bought back in '93. It still runs great, and is a beast, however just doesn't get used anymore.

Tharrell
11-23-2009, 05:34 PM
There's a nice diesel magnum for sale on Ebay. I would love to try one and this one looks really nice. Tony

txgrassguy
11-23-2009, 06:24 PM
I am in the process of looking for one for the r.o.w. contracts I seem to attract.
A nice 72" seems to be what I need.
I like the three wheelers as their wheel base is so long you hardly ever spill a beer -

G.M.Landscaping
11-23-2009, 07:18 PM
Never heard of them. Any pics of what your talking about?

Tharrell
11-23-2009, 07:21 PM
Here's a pic of the diesel Magnum. Tony

G.M.Landscaping
11-23-2009, 07:35 PM
Here's a pic of the diesel Magnum. Tony

Thanks. All I could think of was one wheel in the front like an ATV.

Never seen one of those before.

pugs
11-23-2009, 09:56 PM
There's a nice diesel magnum for sale on Ebay. I would love to try one and this one looks really nice. Tony

Wow, never saw one of those....wonder how many of those they didnt sell LOL.

Runner
11-23-2009, 10:41 PM
Actually, they were quite popular machine, but only for a short time. Ferris, Ransomes (Bob-cat), Scag, Gravely, and Exmark all had versions. The first ones were the old Yazoo. Here is the newer version of the Gravely. http://www.gravely.com/Commercial/outfronts/outfront/320hd/Pages/default.aspx

pugs
11-24-2009, 01:21 AM
Actually, they were quite popular machine, but only for a short time. Ferris, Ransomes (Bob-cat), Scag, Gravely, and Exmark all had versions. The first ones were the old Yazoo. Here is the newer version of the Gravely. http://www.gravely.com/Commercial/outfronts/outfront/320hd/Pages/default.aspx

Nah, I meant that particular machine...only Diesel 3 wheeler I have ever seen and had to be absurdly expensive.

You left out Bunton ;)

Tharrell
11-24-2009, 02:03 AM
Those old Yazoo's are still around too. I used one once. It rode smooth as silk. It just looks totally unwieldly. Midmounts spelled their doom for sure. Tony

ACA L&L
11-24-2009, 02:27 AM
they look fun, if i was a homeowner with a large area to mow i would have one, that looks like a trailer full in itself.

theheisk
11-24-2009, 08:18 AM
I have owned 2 Scags and 1 Ferris 3 Wheeler and the Scag I have now is fairly quick, although not quite as quick as my TT, but it's a beast of a machine. My wife cant ride any of the ZTR's I have, but enjoys the 3 wheeler, so I guess I will keep atleast one for my own yard. The Ferris models are extremly slow from what I have seen.

dbear
11-24-2009, 09:07 AM
Nah, I meant that particular machine...only Diesel 3 wheeler I have ever seen and had to be absurdly expensive.

You left out Bunton ;)

I think Yazoo had a diesel model too around the mid 90s(?).

Kutz Lawns
11-24-2009, 12:10 PM
Scag still makes 'em!

http://www.scag.com/sthm.html

pugs
11-24-2009, 03:45 PM
They are weird to ride IMO. I put a new engine on an old Bunton one a few years back...did some other fixing up on it. Its like riding in a school bus behind the rear axle. When you crank the wheel it will really whip you around. Nothing else really like them. Forklifts maybe but you dont sit as far back.

ZTR's kinda came natural to me. I forget what model it was but I was driving a Case mini back when I was 7. Either an 1816 or 1817. Not sure the 1818 was out then or not.

The mayor
11-24-2009, 05:10 PM
How are they riding along hillsides.

theheisk
11-24-2009, 10:26 PM
They actually do good on hill sides. I feel a little safer on it that my ZTR.
Posted via Mobile Device

theheisk
11-24-2009, 10:31 PM
You have to be careful and not center a hole with the single wheel or you spine goes through your skull. I speak from
experience.... it will take your breath!
Posted via Mobile Device

jsmitheman
11-26-2009, 09:52 AM
I love em'. As far the length problem, all you have to do is put the single wheel on the deck of the mower behind it. Really not much longer then a ZTR.

93Chevy
11-26-2009, 10:00 AM
Actually, they were quite popular machine, but only for a short time. Ferris, Ransomes (Bob-cat), Scag, Gravely, and Exmark all had versions. The first ones were the old Yazoo. Here is the newer version of the Gravely. http://www.gravely.com/Commercial/outfronts/outfront/320hd/Pages/default.aspx

I lived across from a guy that ran a landscape operation across from my house for a number a years before he grew and moved on. Anyway, I remember, probably of the memories that interested me in grass cutting and landscaping, his guys riding around on those monsters in the shop. His were green, so they had to be Bob-cats. Seems like they would take up a lot of trailer space. I'm sure they have their place.

theheisk
11-26-2009, 03:25 PM
My neighboor just bought one of the new ferris 3 wheelers. Said he couldn't pass up the deal the dealer offered. It looks like a very nice mower. He said his sons ride it as they are only 8&9 years old and said he felt they were safer on it than a ztr. I watched him run it the other day doing some leaf cleanup and it looked pretty slow, but I guess slower is safer?
Posted via Mobile Device

Tharrell
11-26-2009, 03:59 PM
You probably wouldn't flip one of those, for you guys who like to ride on hills.

LouisianaLawnboy
11-26-2009, 04:05 PM
My church uses one and I ocassionally see them around.
Posted via Mobile Device

jkilov
11-26-2009, 05:49 PM
I had an STHM 20horse-kohler for a month or so. Bought it used then sold it to a friend fairly quick. My observations:

+ cuts great, fast enough, rarely bogs
+ good visibility, may be used for trimming under bushes
+ great for slow people, may be used by idiots
+ low center of gravity, stable on hills, though tough to steer
+ low surface pressure, never gets stuck, crank up deck and you're free
+ service friendly, very easy to work on
+ extremely reliable hydrostatic drive
+ faster to hop off when removing debris
+ low profile, duck and you can pass under tree branches
+ better access to blades or mulch kit installation/removal
+ comfortable operator position, I removed 1 seat leaf spring for a softer ride
+ less noise, heat & vibration perception

- biggest downfall: about 20-50% slower than a ZTR at residential work
- tight turns force the operator outwards into obstacles, really annoying
- can't "truly" zero turn, needs time and space to do so <--slow
- wants to throw you off when turning fast
- jaw-breaker when the 3rd wheel hits a hole
- needs a lot of trailer space
- can't bag
- most are fixed deck and scalp a bit, but surprisingly not that much
- dusty areas: riding position ensures you ride in a dust cloud not in front of it


The way I see it, it's good for private use on large open areas, since there's less turning and no need for trailer transport.

demhustler
11-27-2009, 12:04 AM
riding position feels like sulky with the seat on hydro w/b - you can used to it but gets anoing after ztr - who uses front-mount or mid mount with sticking bagger on the back once in a while - knows what i mean (watch where your beck gonna be! : ))))))
(would be better if rear section could swing a little - like old loose a bit sulky)

not zero turn - single hydro, can make kinda zero turn but bit tricky - like on belt-drive w/b; separate right/left wheel break could help

so far the best weight distribution, best balance on slopes, up/down, side; steering, ability to step-off on risky spots - helps
no differential lock - but seems it doesn't stucking more then other mowers
what i don't like - single rear wheel - leaves trail velke-like;
could use two wheels axel like on Grasshopper or some Walkers

with such design would be perfect for high speed - can stop on the dime; without it - just long and bulky, hard to compete with mid-mount ztr or even front-mount...

p.s. with all weight, horsepowers, and Prices just going up and up stupidly - may be just take front engine with automatic transmission from small car and put it on such front mower - wold be cheaper ... : )))
(it almost the same already : )

The Mowerdude
12-17-2009, 08:20 PM
I had one of those Scags. It was my first riding mower I bought in 1992. My folks have it now and it's still running strong after keeping my business in the black all through the early 90s.

What I REALLY like about it is that someone who had NEVER operated a commercial riding mower could be striping yards like an expert in 10 minutes. That's why my 76 year old mom won't ever let it go. She says even now, it's like mowing on a Cadillac.

One other thing that I do sorta miss. I loved being able to shove that cutting deck up under low hanging branches and bushes without having to duck away. Sometimes its loss of speed over a ZTR could be compensated with not having to do as much work with the string trimmers.

djagusch
12-17-2009, 09:51 PM
A guy around here runs 5 of the Scags. They just keep going and going. Great for under pine trees and such. The Scags new run around 10K but they have a dedicated following in certain areas.

topsites
12-18-2009, 02:24 AM
What some whacked out looking contraption wth is that thing omg omg Whhaaaa!!!!
As one might gather on the other hand it almost makes me want to laugh.
There, that's why.

I also wonder how they would do riding through a ditch, not alongside but across...
Seems to me the two center tires would come off the ground and you'd
be stuck with that there thing beast hanging in mid-air like.

And, they look so 1980.

what i don't like - single rear wheel - leaves trail velke-like;

Only on LS.