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Craig T
11-08-2002, 03:38 PM
I'm looking to purchase my 1st wb gear driven mower I will be demoing a Gravely this Saturday with the new style controls it has the 13 Kaw $2600. Also looking at the SCAG 15Kaw $2400
and the Lesco. The Metro is I think around $2400. I will be mowing residence and a few small commercial accounts. Also mulching only. What brand of 36' belt mowers seem to be working the best for everyone else??
Thanks

bubble boy
11-08-2002, 03:46 PM
consider hydro. the reasons are many and can be found in a search.

if price is an issue look at the ferris 36 SD- is half way in $ between belt and dual drive hydro. still have infinate speeds, instant reverse. and built tough. just won't zero turn

Scotlawncare
11-08-2002, 04:57 PM
Craig,
Hydro is always better but if cost is an issue stick with belt drive. I use an Exmark and run my mulch kit all the time. It does wonders on bermuda and on leaves. Exmark makes, IMHO, the best mulching deck on the market. First thing i would do would be to talk to some local LCO's about dealer service. Then look what brands those dealers sell. I don't care if you buy the best mower on the planet, if you don't have good dealer support for warr issues you are screwed.

If you can find a good dealer for exmark, Look at the 36" metro with ECS controls. Very nice. If you can afford the few extra $$ get the metro HP with floating deck. Floating deck is always a plus over rough yards. Oh on the engines, get the 15hp twin Kaw. Kohler is ok but the Kaw has more torque which means more power to run the blades in heavy grass with the mulch kit.


Scot

wmsland
11-08-2002, 08:18 PM
Take a look at a Bunton. I have had a 36" belt drive for nine years and it is still running like a champ, even though it has been made into the official back up mower.

goodbeus
11-09-2002, 04:59 AM
on a 36" deck, don't worry about the floating deck, it's a waste of money...the deck has no overhang past the wheels...anything bigger, it would be a good idea for a floating deck...

TJLC
11-09-2002, 05:59 AM
I would not buy another 36" because of the lack of overhang. After owning hydro's I will never buy another belt drive either. I understand if price is an issue but a hydro drive is WELL worth the extra cost, IMHO. I think a 48" 17 Kawi e/s would be an excellent choice, again, IMHO. Whatever you decide, demo all the machines you can get you hands on and good luck.

Flex-Deck
11-09-2002, 10:31 AM
Craig T. - Wheather you get the belt drive or hydro is up to you - but you would never regret the hydro if you can squeeze it into your budget -

TJLC is right about the overhang, but we can correct that immediately- Thanks, Bradhttp://36X

Rhett
11-09-2002, 10:32 AM
Love my 36 Exmark Metro. Nice cut and even with the 12.5 Kaw it has enough power. The only down fall is on the rare ocasion that I need reverse it is basically non exsitent. With the prices Lesco has going on thier WBs I would have to give them a serious look.

odin
11-09-2002, 10:35 AM
scag built like a tank and cuts and stripes great.

goodbeus
11-10-2002, 07:10 AM
Originally posted by TJLC
I would not buy another 36" because of the lack of overhang. After owning hydro's I will never buy another belt drive either. I understand if price is an issue but a hydro drive is WELL worth the extra cost, IMHO. I think a 48" 17 Kawi e/s would be an excellent choice, again, IMHO. Whatever you decide, demo all the machines you can get you hands on and good luck.

kinda hard to get a 48" deck through a standard gate, most of which are 36"-40"...but if you don't have clients with fences, I would go with a 52"...

ULTIMATE LAWN
11-10-2002, 10:55 AM
The 36" is the ultimate gate mower. There are very few gates I can't get my 36" through.

Get the floating deck if only for the ease of height changes. Don't waste your $$$ on a belt drive. The time & effort you save with a hydro will easily cover the difference in price.

EDWARDS LAWN CARE
11-14-2002, 12:11 AM
i would not trade my 36" toro wb w/ floating deck for nothing.

great for gated back yards

IBGreen
11-14-2002, 12:15 AM
greenman has the exmark metro and its a gear drive. I got to demo one and they are awesome! I love the ecs controls, when you combine that mower with a set of jungle wheels you've got a good setup. And inexpensive too, around $2,700 I think.

greenman
11-14-2002, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by IBGreen
greenman has the exmark metro and its a gear drive. I got to demo one and they are awesome! I love the ecs controls, when you combine that mower with a set of jungle wheels you've got a good setup. And inexpensive too, around $2,700 I think.

Glad you liked it:D

Craig T
11-14-2002, 01:51 AM
I did demo a Lesco 36" hydro Monday. Did not have the mulch kit on so was unable to tell how well it would mulch. I think for a few more bills I will get a hydro instead.

rkbrown
11-14-2002, 08:28 AM
My reading of a lot of the threads on gear vs hydro is the main reason that I have not bought a larger mower (I currently use Toro proline 21's and my yards are 5-8k sq ft). In July, I had the money to buy the Metro 32" that I wanted (many gates in my area are 35"), but have heard over and over again "If it is going to be your main mower, go hydro if at all possible". So, instead of getting the gear drive, I am saving my pennies for a hydro as this will be my main mower for a while.

Presently, I am a part timer with 5 regular accounts, so rather than spending the $$ for a hydro machine now, I will see what my marketing plan for the spring yields. Plus, I would rather pay cash for it instead of going into debt.

Bill Davis
11-14-2002, 01:22 PM
i have the 36" gravely in the belt drive and it is nice and once you get some strong forearms it gets easy. Hope the demo goes good. Be sure and tell us which one ya get.

Gravely_Man
11-14-2002, 02:37 PM
Demo them all and checking into the dealer support. Who has the best reputation, best hours, been in business the longest, will they give you a loaner etc. This is not something to rush into but I hope my name gives my opinion!


Gravely_Man

Tvov
11-14-2002, 06:05 PM
We have an old JD 36" (basically a Bunton) belt drive with a 12.5Kaw. If anything, it is over powered with the 12.5. We got the 12.5 in order to match the engines on some of our other machines at the time (makes maintenance easier). I guess if you got a hydro 36", you might need a bigger engine, but with belt drive you have a lot of extra horsepower.

This is just our experience...we have never even come close to overloading our 12.5 36", wet grass, high grass, etc. We've used it to cut down small fields (like a brush hog) because of its' power.

If you think you are going to continue to grow as a company, you may want to get the less expensive belt drive and save your money for when you look to buy 48"+ mowers down the road. Once you get the larger mowers, the 36" will most likely be relegated to "back-up" status (and/or used just for those gated yards).

Good luck! It is always fun to buy new toys...I mean, business equipment.



;)

Flex-Deck
11-14-2002, 06:29 PM
Craig T - If you are going to go with a flex-deck on a 36" to make a 54" cut you do need the 15 HP offered by the Walk Behind companies - see my earlier post

Thanks, Brad