View Full Version : Experience with sulkies needed

Envy Lawn Service
11-05-2002, 03:06 PM
I'd like to hear good/bad experieces. Good/Bad designs. Where they can/can't be used. Sit/stand styles. So on and so forth.


11-05-2002, 04:00 PM
I would do a search first and that should answer all of your questions. There are dozens of pages on sulkies. Personally, I have a single-wheel Velke attached to my Scag 52" Hydro and the only thing I dislike about it is that it leaves an ugly line down my beautiful stripes. :rolleyes: I plan on getting a dual wheel Velke in the spring though. Hope this helps

11-05-2002, 05:51 PM
I have had 1 wheel, 2 wheel and fixed 2 wheel caster models. The one wheel is cheap and works good if you are under 200 lbs. The 2 wheel is good for hiding your tracks and heavier people. Hydro,s are best with sulkys because of the squeeze to back up ability. I have tried a caster wheel unit on a belt drive and it was horrible. On any very slight hill it is very hard to make straight lines impossible even. Maybe with a hydro unit and bigger deck than a 48" it would be better.

11-05-2002, 07:30 PM
I've used a '00 eXmark TTHP 48" (hydro, floating deck) with a 2 wheel Jungle Jim sulky, works good but doing real sharp turns (one wheel rev. with other fwd.) is alittle challenging until your good with it, I agree two wheels definately better than one. I also agree hydro over belt especially with a sulky and on hills. The rig I described above is gonna be mine soon and I am thinking about making, buying, or modifying this sulky to be a castering type, I don't know yet. A TrimmerTrap Bull Rider 2 wheel sulky (switches from caster to trailer mode!) looks great. I may try to make one like that just cause I have time to burn this winter and feel I can do just as good for less money. I can tell you that the Jungle Jim 2 wheeler took some tuff s h i t when i used it, as well as the mower. Having used fixed deck gear drive, no sulky and a floating deck hydro with sulky I can tell you for sure which is gonna be better with a sulky and on hills and for general productivity, etc. The floating deck changes height in just about 15 seconds or so unlike the gear drive (while still maintaining level cut).
Here's some good advice: try to get the equipment before you will be using it (like this winter) so you can practice on it and be upto full productivity next year when you are makin' money.
Good luck,

11-05-2002, 08:54 PM
I have used the Bullrider and it was very nice. Now I use the Exmark sitdown steerable sulky on my TTHP 48" 17 Kawi and it by far the best of the two. It's good on slopes and tucks in tight on turns. I have never used a 1 wheel design so I can't comment.

Envy Lawn Service
11-05-2002, 09:03 PM

Does your sulky turn by casters? Can you stand up on it when your butt gets tired? Do you have any troubles getting stuck with it?

11-05-2002, 11:48 PM
I have a 52inch Scag Hydro, and have a Jungle Jim 2 wheeled velkie and once you get used to how it turns when you turn the machine its actually fun, yeah it will jack knife at times when you need to back up but its not bad, just step off and straighten it out no biggy, otherwise just turn out of it instead of backing up if you can. Wouldnt recomend using one on a hill, can make ruts if you arent careful. But if you had to choose look for a two wheeled one, no tire mark that you get with a one wheeled one.

11-06-2002, 07:15 AM
Originally posted by Envy Lawn Service

Does your sulky turn by casters? Can you stand up on it when your butt gets tired? Do you have any troubles getting stuck with it?

Envy, no it turns with steering rods. The wheels do not turn completely like castor wheels. It's not a standup/sitdown sulky persay but I do stand up when my rear gets tired or if the terrain is really rough. So far I have not been stuck with it. I'm sorry I can't explain better how it works for I'm not real mechanicly inclined. You have to see one to actually understand how it works. Maybe someone else here can explain better, sorry. Good luck.

John Gamba
11-06-2002, 07:42 AM
Do You have a hard time backing up that Sulky?
The sulky follows the mower in turns. a fixed sulky Makes the mower longer but a trailering sulky stays To the side when turning.

11-06-2002, 07:42 AM
I like the 2 wheel Velkie helps the stripes on the Exmark 36" belt drive (12 hp kaw). My machine pulls it fine!

John Gamba
11-06-2002, 07:54 AM
Go into www.trac-vac.com Go into 652 see the first picture with the woman And Look at The wheels how they are turned the opposite From the frount wheels. thats what the Sit Down sulky from exmark does.

11-06-2002, 08:53 AM
We run all 1-wheel type models on our walk behinds.

No complaints other then when the tire starts to get worn out, you have to be careful cause you can get whipped around on wet grass and thrown off the thing.

11-06-2002, 09:27 AM
I have a Velke brand two wheel. I love it. I can't imagine cutting without it. Certain times you have to take it off to cut a hill or when you have a lot of items to trim around.

I got mine for 100 bucks used and spent 30 for new bushings. I plan on painting it orange to match my Scag 48 belt drive with 14 Kawa.

11-06-2002, 10:16 AM

The Pro-Slide should not be used over concrete and that is the drawback that I see. My operation does not include traversing many areas with pure concrete.
I need to optimize trailer space and the Pro-Slide folds up tight to the Toro WB so I can get the Walkers deck under and close. The Pro-Slide lays a great stripe and you really get the looks from people when you are zipping along on it.

That is my 2cents. I will admit that I edited my response after the one from Bill was posted. He reminded me that I have to explain my response a little better than posting one word. ;)

The Pro-Slide isn't for everyone but it works for me.

Bill Davis
11-06-2002, 10:23 AM
I also have the Jungle wheels. They have been great to me over the last two years. I decided against the proslide because you will tear it up easily on parking lots. Transport time from one side of a building to the other a great time saver and having to stop and put the pro-slide up and then having to put it back down is just annoying. So, I dont think you could go wrong with the two-wheeled Sulky. I decided against the one wheel because a friend of mine said that he has almost broken his ankle on his and that is you have on boots it can be squeezy. I also dont like to wheel mark right down the middle of my pretty stripes:D

Green Pastures
11-06-2002, 01:18 PM
I run a single wheeled Velke brand on my gear drive Toro 44" W/B, BUT I'm 150 lbs soaking wet! :D The double wheeled models are available are for the heavier guys.

On my Hydro 36" Toro W/B I use the Tru-Trac sulky ($$$$) from Toro. I was surprised at the price...like $400 BUT, I'm pleased with the performance. It does NOT jacknife when going from forward to reverse, independent suspension, and it's built like a tank. Folds up and out of the way for tpansportation.

Pics of both to follow for your viewing pleasure. It's raining here AGAIN, so I'm stuck inside again.

Green Pastures
11-06-2002, 01:19 PM
IN the go mode............

Green Pastures
11-06-2002, 01:21 PM
Folded up........

Green Pastures
11-06-2002, 01:22 PM
In the go mode...........

Green Pastures
11-06-2002, 01:25 PM

I don't know if somebody has mentioned this before as I did not read every post, but since you seem to be into striping, you might want to look into the Proslide brand of velke's.

Envy Lawn Service
11-06-2002, 01:56 PM
I want to say thanks to everyone. You have all been helpful.

Exmarks sulky I think I understand better now. I'll get back about that later.

Toro's TruTrak looks like a great design too. $400 is awfull steep though when you still have to stand. (Do Toro's leave a nice cut?)

As far as the proslide. Ever had any problems tearing up grass? Or is it super slick like some sort of plastic sled?

What is that dang jungle wheels site again? I've been there before but I can't find it now.

11-06-2002, 02:19 PM
Thy this site:


I have the Safari Series Jungle Wheels sulky. I really like it alot. It comes off very easy by pulling 1 pin, so you can get those crazy places that a Sulky would make you misirable. I have a Toro 32" WB. I think that it cuts great.


11-06-2002, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Envy Lawn Service

As far as the proslide. Ever had any problems tearing up grass? Or is it super slick like some sort of plastic sled?

I've been using the ProSlide on my 52" Scag hydro for the past 3 seasons. Never had a problem with tearing up turf. The bottom is plastic with beveled edges. Check them out at http://www.novaecorp.com

11-06-2002, 02:32 PM
No Problems with mine either.

Easy to use and maintain. Does a great job.

Envy Lawn Service
11-06-2002, 08:10 PM
:( Scraper - that link don't work. Cn you check it out for me?

:) Clewsew - that was the site I was looking for, thanks

11-06-2002, 08:19 PM
Try Havner.... They have a very good dual swivel wheel sulky.


Envy Lawn Service
11-06-2002, 08:25 PM
Thanks Nebraska! I like that castor set up!

11-06-2002, 09:32 PM
Originally posted by John Gamba
Do You have a hard time backing up that Sulky?
The sulky follows the mower in turns. a fixed sulky Makes the mower longer but a trailering sulky stays To the side when turning.

John, it took a little bit to get used to the sitdown steerable sulky because I was used to the Bullrider after using it for about a year. Now it works great. I have a friend who has a property with fairly steep canal banks that he calls me to do. He has a Dixie Chopper that he won't put on these banks. The sitdown works well considering how steep these banks are. I'm not saying the sitdown steerable sulky from Exmark is a replacement for a Z but, it's a nice alternative. I think what I like the best about the sulky/w/b combo is I have ONE machine that will do all I need it to do.

Envy Lawn Service
11-06-2002, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by TJLC
The sitdown works well considering how steep these banks are. I'm not saying the sitdown steerable sulky from Exmark is a replacement for a Z but, it's a nice alternative. I think what I like the best about the sulky/w/b combo is I have ONE machine that will do all I need it to do.

Hummmm........now that's something for me to think about seriously!!!

03-08-2003, 12:56 AM
I need suggestions on the best type of sulky for the following mowers:

1. 32" fixed deck 12.5hp belt drive:

2. wb 48" 17hp hydro

3. Best compromise sulky that works well with both types.

I have lots of one wheel velke time and except for center stripe and gouging wet turf, I was pleased with it.

03-08-2003, 01:04 AM
when we use our w/bs,(i really hate to get off that walker-you know how it is) we use jungle wheels. nothing bad to say about them at all.

Darryl G
03-08-2003, 01:05 AM
I like my Bullrider. Large foot platform. You can switch between caster and trailer modes.

Envy Lawn Service
03-08-2003, 02:38 AM

Since the sulky Darryl suggested is a dual mode, it is probably the best choice if you intend to use it on both walk behinds. Plus if you find you liked the trailering better like some do, it trailers, if you find you like to caster, it casters.


My one question about it is can you hang it up out of the way or do you have to disconnect it? Switchless has one on his hustler that's modified. He said his had to be disconnected. I never asked rather it was because of the modifications, the rear design of the hustler or if the sulky just wasn't designed to hang.


PS - how does the ride treat the body?

Darryl G
03-08-2003, 03:02 AM
Forgot to mention that I always use the Bullrider in caster mode. I like that the controls stay right in front of you that way rather than having to twist.

As far as can you hang it out of the way, yes and no. You can chain it up, but it's really too heavy and in the way. The only time I do that is when I store it, the 21 incher fits under it nicely that way. It comes off by pulling one pin, easy enough, and then the mounting bracket get's chained up out of the way. Expect to get a little grease on your hands when connecting/disconnecting. You can walk behind it or beside it for short periods. I've also gotten pretty good at ducking down on it to go under trees...if the handles clear the trees, so can I.

The ride is good, but I've always spent a lot of time on my feet. Bend at the knees a bit to absorb the shock.

03-08-2003, 03:07 AM
Envy that is my one concern abou the Bullrider, that it can't be chained up, but to tell the truth, I"ve used wb's so rarely recently that I forget if I ever mow with my velke chained up. Probably not. But I'm using a 32" wb instead of 21" on all small properties now, so I will be using it some more than in the past.

With a T bar mower or other wb capable of ocassional one-handed operation, is the Bullrider capable of being used intermittently, for example stepping off over a really marshy wet area after rain, then back on for the rest of the lawn? I could walk beside the velke for short stints when required.

OOPs....someone already answered that. Good.


03-08-2003, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by TJLC
I have a friend who has a property with fairly steep canal banks that he calls me to do. He has a Dixie Chopper that he won't put on these banks. The sitdown works well considering how steep these banks are. .

One note about doing steep banks with sulkies (and you may already know this), make sure the tires are fully inflated! It can be tempting to deflate the sulky tires a little bit to improve the ride, but when you are going sideways on a hill, the deflated tire on the down-hill side can and will come off the rim! We do a steep hill using a sulky, and have had this happen.

By the way, the "steerable wheels sulky" from Exmark works great for us!

03-08-2003, 05:15 PM
We have a little bit of everything. We got our 1st. velke in about 95'. Put it on a Gravely Pro150 14/Kaw 50" deck. Worked great until the transmission went up. We went to Lesco and they had a similar 5spd. Tranny waiting, it bolted right in. Luckily for us the gearing was different. In fifth gear we could keep up with our riders. Needless to say we never cut that fast, none of us could hold on. The point is, the velke is nice if you don't mind that annoying stripe and wet grass occasionally clogging the wheel housing. We beat the **** out of ours, up and down curbs, you name it. After purchasing a BobCat Hydro WB we upgraded to a Lesco stand-up caster sulky. It is made very well, tracks behind the drive wheels and you never have to get off. The only draw back is the transport position. The unit is very large. We eventually removed it from the mower and installed dual wheel jungle wheels. The jungle wheels are nice and light, but you do have to jump off on occasion. The bottom line is how mulch WB work you do. What are the slopes like? How many hours a day are you mowing? Are you mowing, or is it your guys? Personally a sit down sulky is the way to go if your mower has enough *** to move yours. Many of our competitors who use WB's like the sit down sulkies because of less fatigue. We have gotten out of the WB's, most if not all Z's can tackle the slopes we are doing (with a competent operator of course). If you aren't cutting too much, don't tie your money up. If you are, consider investing in a compact rider.

03-09-2003, 01:57 AM
Based on what I've read and seen, I like the following for the following reasons:

1. Jungle wheels : light, good enough for ocassional use with a belt drive for sure, lower price, adjustable length, two wheels. not castering.

2. two wheel velke: similar to above, except w/o adjustable arm (I'd just get the 15"), but I notice it looks like it can be backed up fully(360 rotation) and sometimes that might come in handy. A little more expensive for something used primarily on a backup mower to my Lazer, but I admit the cost difference is minimal in the big picture.

3. Proslide: Looks cool, good striping, easy step off and can back up with it after stepping off, auto retract, seems better for wet turf, which is mainly when the wb is used more. Negatives: Very unconventional design makes me a little nervous about potential turf damage, not sure what customers would think, and used on a 32" fixed deck mower it might require some more weight up front.

4. Bullrider: dual castering and trailering mode, seems sturdy. Negative is heavy and concerns about getting it to fit on trailer with other mowers.

Probably down to Bullrider and Proslide. Definitely done with one-wheel velke, which clogs in wet weather and leaves center stripe.

Darryl G
03-09-2003, 02:16 AM
Here's an annotated pic of my bullrider.

Envy Lawn Service
03-11-2003, 11:08 PM

Thanks for the detailed picture. That clears up a lot for me. However, I believe that mybest bet would be to make some plans of my own for a custom job and take them to my welder. But at this point I'm not confident enough to feel sure it would be sucessful design.

The eXmark self-steering sulky came as close as any to be just exactly what I feel I need. I thought I might be able to beef up the footrests where I could give my butt a rest here and there. But I believe that would put too much tongue weight on the mower. I say that because it looks to me like my body weight would be between the sulky wheels and the mower.

I guess it's hard to have the perfect sulky for both sitting and standing.

Darryl G
03-12-2003, 12:55 AM
Envy - No problem. As far as the Exmark sulky, don't you have a lot of hills to deal with? I'd think a standing model would be better in that case. You can't stand up on the Exmark one, can you?

Envy Lawn Service
03-12-2003, 01:42 AM

I believe you are right about the standing up part being better for hills. I don't believe standing would work out so well on the eXmark sulky for several reasons....

#1 I think the platform looks too weak
#2 I think it would apply too much tongue weight on the mower
#3 I think you might end up too close to the mower when standing

But I don't know any of this for sure. I did locate the sulky. But that particular dealer didn't even have a walk behind in stock to hook it to for a demo.

Even though I have my reservations, at this point I believe I'm just going to take the plunge and get a mini-z. The thorn in my side is that I have "Syndrome X" diabetes. What that means is that I suffer from both high and low blood sugar. So I have to be careful not to over exert myself and I just don't know that I would be able to take standing all day in the heat of the summer.

I think the best thing to do is just get the Z and spend my efforts making it the best it can be on hills. Maybe a few mods if needed. I'm thinking along the lines of adding fluid to the drive tires, things like that.

What I need right now is production and I think I can get more out of the shorter (72") compact Z and out of myself.

I'll just have to hope and pray I don't loose back on the hills what I gain in the flats. Right now the game plan is to get the Z, a new trailer and keep one of the lawn tractors around to get what I can't with the Z. Then maybe later on I can put the LT out to pasture and replace it with a good hydro walk.