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TLC7
08-19-2000, 01:31 PM
I need some input to help me pick a 36 walkbehind. It will only be used as a gated back yard mower, so I don't know if I need a hydro. The options I have to choose from are: Toro belt-drive $1999, Scag belt-drive $2500, Exmark Belt-drive $2150, Exmark Hydro $3250, and an Encore Hydro $3899.
Things I'm looking for in this mower are durability and quality of cut(It MUST stripe well!!).

Thanks for your help!

TLC7

accuratelawn
08-19-2000, 01:46 PM
I would not spend the money for a hydro on a 36 inch. In my opinion it's not needed. You will only be using it for backyards, save your money. Buy a used gear drive.
I have used a JD 36 with 121/2 kaw for for years w/o any problems. Good luck

Eric ELM
08-19-2000, 01:52 PM
The only help I can give you is after the guys that own these types of mowers respond, evaluate that and then demo all of the ones you think you will like. That is the best way to decide what is best for you. The hydro drive is much nicer in wet conditions and hills. I have only used 2 belt drive W/B's and I didn't like either one, because I couldn't ride on them. :)

greenflag
08-19-2000, 01:59 PM
TLC7-
You might look into a Great Dane Champ 32" hydro for about $1900-$2300. We were going to get a 36" wb and were talked into a 32" instead. We were glad because some of our lawns we picked up have chain link fencing and a 36" mower would not have fit, so we would have done the bulk of the mowing with a 21". The only drawback is the Briggs engine, but for the price we figure we can make money until the engine wears out, replace it with a Kawasaki, and still come out ahead. The cut is great, striping I haven' played with yet. I can e-mail a picture of my yard if you like.
Great Dane also makes a 52" with a flip-up side deck that narrows to a 36" for gate access.
Several companies on the web sell commercial mowers with free delivery. For example, we paid $2399 for ours, and found it a month later on the web for $1975. But, just getting started, the expertise and advice of the man we bought it from were worth it. Hope this helps.

David Burrow

TGCummings
08-19-2000, 02:36 PM
Hey Dave,

What's the HP of the Briggs on that 32"? It's a little early yet, but when I buy a second commercial machine it's gotta be a little smaller than my 36" to get through more of the tiny gates we have in California.

Heck, if they made something around 28" that'd be even better...

-TGC

lawrence stone
08-19-2000, 04:42 PM
A two blade 32" toro with a exmark metro deck with a 10.5
hp briggs is the cheapest and best little mower on the
market at this time.

If I had need for one I would install a 4 cube Wright Mfg
metal bagger and make a OCDC to fit around the bagger bracket.

cutntrim
08-19-2000, 05:14 PM
According to the Toro specs on their website, the 32" deck is still 35" wide at the wheels so you're better off with a 36" IMO.

We've got 2 36" Ransomes which get into 90% of our backyards and stripe very nicely with double blades. They're gear-drive and fixed-deck. Reliability has been excellent (we sold our '93 model to a competitor this spring and it still runs like new), and they are extrememly rugged.

Having said that, our next WB's will most likely be hydros since time is money and operating a hydro saves time over a belt drive. But if money is an issue (when isn't it) and it's only to be used occasionally then I'd go belt.

Dave

Toddppm
08-19-2000, 05:38 PM
Check out the troy-bilt 32" wide area mower, looks decent if not going to be used continiuosly,$1100. I bought a used 26" one couple weeks ago just for back yards, screwed up 2 new 21" Murrays this year already, so thought i'd check this out. Works pretty good and has plenty of power at 8hp. Anyone else using these?? There is one guy around here who only uses these mowers doing about 40 yards. I was going to buy the big buck 21" 2 stroke toro but couldn't find a self propelled one anywhere. Think the troy bilt is better anyway, faster and cuts more area with more power if needed for tall grass.

toddman35
08-19-2000, 05:50 PM
i was also wondering about those troy built mowers, i was at the local lowes and saw a 33" with a, um... i cant remeber the hp, but it was $1300, wondering if these were anygood for someone starting out?

TGCummings
08-19-2000, 06:53 PM
26"? Now, that would be in the range I'm looking for to get my small-gate backyards. Anyone besides Troy-bilt putting out mowers in that size range?

-TGC

RYAN
08-19-2000, 07:14 PM
I would have to go with the exmark belt drive. Since you will only be using once in a while you can save some $ over the hydro. I bought an exmark 48" belt driven this spring and love it. Best belt driven mower I have ever used.

accuratelawn
08-19-2000, 07:23 PM
Snapper makes a 26". Front wheels are caster with a lock for doing hills. 6hp Around $900

Toddppm
08-19-2000, 10:13 PM
I've got a 36" but i have a few lawns where the gates are just under 36" or just under 32". cub cadet and the stealth??some jap. brand has a 32" but i'd still be stuck with the 21" for the real small gates. So 26" works out good. I don't know how old this thing is but i haven't seen another one around just the 32's. It has front swivel casters too, i haven't checked yet on the mulching blades, for now just discharging.

eslawns
08-19-2000, 11:19 PM
I have a Yazoo 26". I looked at the Kee 26" but it has an aluminum deck: not good for what I needed. Only problem w/these is they are slow (1 sp only). BTW, Husqvarna bought Yazoo/Kees; I heard they are discontinuing these mowers. Someone mentioned Snapper. Awesome machine, Robin engine. Great Dane has a 52" stander that part of the deck folds up to 36" to go thru gates. There's also a mower called a Stealth. 3 blades, 33" (I think). Looks to be pretty heavy duty.

Kent Lawns
08-20-2000, 12:05 AM
cutntrim,

That spec sheet musta beean a misprint. The 32" uses "skinnier" rear tires which make the width 31.5".

Acute Cut
08-20-2000, 05:56 AM
depends on the area you are mowing. If it rains moderate to regular then i would absolutly NOT buy a belt drive. They slip CONSTANTLY and are a MAJOR pain in the A$$! I have the exmark 36" belt drive. YOu have to make two cirlces around the perimiter to be able to turn around and not miss any spots. I demod the hydro 36 by exmark and was MAjor impressed. It saved lots of time. The deck is well build and it NEVER slips. It takes me a full 1/3 less time with the hydro than with the belt. PLUS: You can attach a set of junglejims to the hydro. It will pull you around NO PROBLEM, and still stipe well. For endurance and ease go with the hydro. Why buy anything but the best that you can afford? People always complain on here that they wanna save money, then they work till 10PM at night. YUCK! I mow about 90 yards a week and am home usually by 2-4. Granted, most of my lawns are residentials and not airports or anything, but save yourself hassle and time. GO HYDRO!

Good luck.

lja
08-20-2000, 09:53 AM
I AM PICKING UP A STEALTH 33 INCH WB NEXT WEEK ....I WENT TO THE SHOP AND TRIED IT ....3 BLADES AND THE CUT IS PRICELESS ........

RICK

AB Lawn Care
08-20-2000, 11:38 AM
TLC7-Here is my opinion.First buy a dual hydro only!!!!!!!!!Some say you will save money buy buying a belt or gear.You will make alot more money in the long term!I disagree the hydro is a waste of money if you are doing small back yards.If you ask me this is where you need hydro the most becouse of all the back and forth getting in a nd out of tight corners.

Now as far as which machine to choose and deck size.I suggest any of the following Scag Exmark Great Dane Ransomes.There are more but those are my top brands.From personal experince I would buy a scag 14hp dual hydro 36''I bought one 1 year ago.It has changed how we think about cutting lwans.Becouse of that machine we may switch to all walk-behinds for residential work.Our Scag is a real work horse!We cut all of our small jobs with it.We bag when it is too heavy.In the fall we bag the leaves.Then in the winter we slap on a 44'' blade and plow snow,we have not had a snow fall yet that can stop that machine.In powder snow we put on a 44'' power sweeper.And in the spring we use that sweeper for clean-ups.The cut on it is also better than a walker.I know becouse I run Walkers and have been using them for 6 years.No one can tell me that I could save some money if I bought a gear drive!As far as deck size goes most makers only make hydro down to the 36''.But I know that ransomes makes a 32'' dual hydro.The ransomes can also use attachments like the blade and broom.I hope this helped!

Does anyone have a web site for the stelth mower?????