View Full Version : Sulky on WB..How steep can you go??

10-23-2002, 09:42 AM
I tried out a 52" WB belt drive on my yard the other day. It did a GREAT job on my "moderately" sloped hillside without the 2 wheel sulky. When I attached the sulky I had some real problems.

When I tried to mow across the hill it seemed like I had to fight the (lower) brake so much to keep it straight that I would keep losing traction and spin out. I tried to mow across, diagonal, up&down. Had the same problem in all cases.

This hillside is NOT that steep and the ground was dry. Nothing the ole Crapsman wouldn't mow anyway you wanted.

Do all sulky/velkies take so much weight off the rear tires they would spin out like this?

Would a different sulky work better?


Is my lazy ***** just gonna have to walk that hill?

scott's turf
10-23-2002, 10:28 AM
my sulkies transfer all the perpendicular weight onto the sulky wheels and not cantilever it to the mower which causes it to reduce the weight on the mower rear wheels. I take it your sulkies are the later?

10-23-2002, 12:02 PM
yep just jump off the sulky and walk it then jump back on when not on hill . sulkys and ZTR's will make you lazy for sure ;)

10-23-2002, 01:24 PM
The single wheel sulkys are better for keeping weight on the mower wheels and not causing the mower direction changes. I had a set of jungle wheels that gave me the same problems you described, not to mention if I did step off and try to walk along side, the sulky always ran over my leg. I have a single wheel velke now, and it's like night and day. ;)

10-23-2002, 01:45 PM
put some weights on the front.some of these vac companies make weights for the Z riders that u can use.see when your going up a hill the front of the mower will come off the ground and the rear tires are chasing the front end back down and you standing on a sulky just makes the rear tires dig in and pull that front end up.you have to keep the weight on the front of the mower.see these new stand on mowers? wheres the engine? almost right over the mowers deck. putting more added weight on the back of your walk behind just adds more problems.there not made for velkies.the sit down sulk is the better way to go the weight of u hangs off the back of the sit down sulky and puts down force on the front end of the mower.you can just see by looking at these two sulkys that the velkie pulls the back end down and the sit down puts weight on the back of it self not the rear of the mower.ever go to tractor pulls? the velkie is a one or two wheel sled your mower is the tractor.

scott's turf
10-23-2002, 02:29 PM
Gear drives don't have the torque that tractor pullers have. Plus if the walk behind is a little light in the front it is not going to effect steering, braking, or traction. They are just castors. All mowers have a different balance point but my wb bobcat takes little force to push down the handles causing the front to come off the ground. It is almost balanced when it is tipped all the way back. The acceleration and drag from a properly design sulky should not cause the mower to wheelie.

10-23-2002, 03:42 PM
BG.....I will try the single wheel

Mike........Do they make a weight system for walkbehinds?
How much weight to start(rough idea)?


10-23-2002, 03:57 PM
i usually do not have that problem on steep hills w/ the exmark wb but my toro is another story. run jungle wheels on both. the toro isnot that bad depending on how steep it is try a velke

10-23-2002, 04:00 PM
well i`ve seen some scag riders with these small weights on the front 10 lbs each.my buddy runs those on the front cause he worrys about tipping on hills with the z i have them on my turf tracer hp and my metro hp.i`ve found they are better to control going up hills or across them.it depends on how much weight u got going on the velkie.i found that the one wheel is better than the two wheel plus you can jump off it and walk along side the mower if you need to.i have 25 lbs on the front sometimes i put 30 to 40 lbs.if you plan on ever running a trac vac system the brackets alone add up some good lbs with a full can to.but remember if you add more weight to the front your cutting height may change cause when your not on a hill and just on flat ground the mower may sink into the turf more.so don`t be adding 100 lbs
start off with 10 or 20 lbs. pending on what kind of mower you have you can put a milk crate on the top of the deck with some regular weights u can buy at a sporting goods store

10-24-2002, 05:41 PM
What about adding weight to the tires (loading)? Would this help the mower track better and reduce spin out on the side of hills? What do they use in tires to add weight??

10-24-2002, 07:24 PM
well when i worked for johndeere they use to put ice melter in there tractors and construction equipment.i wouldn`t put that in a commercial mower we use to put at least 100lbs in a johndeere 4200

10-24-2002, 09:48 PM
I have tried a couple of different velkies on my Exmark w/b's. Now I use the sitdown steerable sulky from Exmark. It is by far the most stable on slopes that I have found.

10-24-2002, 11:11 PM
We have been using the sit down steerable sulky on our Exmark wb belt drive for a couple years now and it works great (anyone who says belt drives cannot run a sulky have no idea what they are talking about!).

When I go across or uphill, all I do is kind of lean forward on the seat, and I have no traction problems. That transfers a little more weight to the drive wheels.

I have been mowing a very steep yard with this setup for a couple years now, and if I am not careful the mower can get a bit squirrelly. Try slowing down, and maybe walk the steepest part. Also, it may be just a little more practice will help.

10-24-2002, 11:23 PM
the exmark sit down sulk is designed for the mower.those velkie things are not designed well at all.i have both.never had a prob with the sit down but i had to mess around with the velkies a bit.

Tony Harrell
10-25-2002, 06:42 AM
If you want to add weight to the front end of your walk behind, check out the Lesco replacement castor arms. They are very heavy for that very reason. My little 32" will wheelie going up a small hill if it hits a small bump or I'm not paying attention. I'm using jungle wheels but only on wide open areas. I'll walk the areas that are pita with the wheels first and then attach the jw and zip around in 4th and sometimes 5th gear. PS, if you decide to use 5th gear anytime at all, make sure your grips are on good. I replaced the original grips with those new Bob-Cat grips ($15 each!) and just spit in them to attach and thought they were ok until I was doing a fast turn and pulled one off and went sailing. I know now, hairspray!

10-25-2002, 02:37 PM
I can see where adding weight to the front would help keep the front end down(wheelie), but would it aid in the tracking problem?

10-25-2002, 04:43 PM
I only use walk behinds that are gear driven. I use sulkies on almost all of the properties that I do and never have a problem. With that said I would also add that terrain, equipment used, experience and comfort level all play into this equation. Best of luck to you.