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View Full Version : when do I go for the sulky?


Smitty58
05-05-2003, 07:55 PM
Ok I bought the Exmark 36" w/b and I love it. I no longer need the tread mill thats collecting dust ,but.... how long did you guys go before hooking up a sulky. I've been told the sulky is rough on an older guy (a salesman told me that ,and no I didn't buy anything from him). How long did you all take to get used to the mower before going to the sulky ,and is it easier with or without. I see some guys zooming around and they make it look easy. I'm sure it isn't as easy as it looks. Is there a brand that's better than the rest? Thanks for the help, this forum is great.

Gr grass n Hi tides
05-05-2003, 09:25 PM
Go get it as soon as you can. You'll be glad. It will keep your fatigue level down. I've been using mine just a short while and already can see that not having one would be a mistake. You'll get different opinions on what sytle is best, but I think any of them would serve you well after your on it for a while logging hours. I've got the caster type on my 48 hydro wb. It stays in-line all of the time, which is nice but I have to be aware of being "swung out" when making turns. Just a little adapting, no problem. It is great for backing up - no jack knifing.

Smitty58
05-05-2003, 09:48 PM
Thanks Gr Grass, so are you saying your sulky is fixed so that it doesn't hinge? I haven't seen this type ,the only one I've seen is one that hinges both directions. I don't recall the brand ,but it looks like a good one. They are a little pricey (229-279). Do you remember how much the one you have cost and what the brand is? I can see where a fixed one would be easier to back up.

Gr grass n Hi tides
05-05-2003, 10:00 PM
I paid $300 for mine at my Lesco dealer. It is a nice sulky. Yup, no hinge. It's got two caster wheels & the base bolts onto both sides of the mower. There's a pin on each side, so it's easy to take off and put on if you want too.

The dealer gave me a great idea - he said a lot of guys were drilling a hole in the center of the place where you stand (between the casters) so the sulky could be raised with a chain attached to the back of the mower to save trailer space.

Smitty58
05-05-2003, 10:07 PM
Sounds like a pretty simple design. Do you think a guy could build one? I like the idea of being able to chain it up for extra trailer space. I just picked up a new trailer today. It's a 5x14 with gate. The 6x12 or 6x16 would have been nice ,but I'm planning on leaving it loaded and just backing it into the garage each night. The 5 footer still lets me get the bosses car in the garage.

Gr grass n Hi tides
05-05-2003, 10:25 PM
Yeah, you probably could build one. I don't have a shop for such things.....wish I did. If I had a scanner for this computer I'd post a photo for you. You might try www.lesco.com or some other sites to get a feel for the design if you're thinking of fabricating one.

Some other guys on this site might be able to help you with fabricating ideas. Or, call your local lesco or other dealer & ask about used ones. I needed mine fast so I didn't wait out a used one.

Smitty58
05-05-2003, 10:33 PM
Thanks Shawn, that Lesco site has a bunch of good stuff. I'd love to hear from others who have fabricated their own sulkys or any ideas about doing one. I might as well try to make one ,what could possibly be the downside of making one that doesn't quite work? Famous last words....it wouldn't be the first time I built something that didn't work out like I thought.

LAWNGODFATHER
05-05-2003, 11:22 PM
Velke

www.wrightmfg.com

$250

Auroris
05-14-2003, 02:44 AM
Smitty,

If you're looking to save some space, a ProSlide might be a good idea. It also stays inline like a castoring sulky, automatically retracts when you don't need it... AND helps a good mower like the eXmark make even better stripes.

Ok, no, I don't have one yet - but have done tons of research over the past months and it's what I'll be putting behind my eXmark w/b.

John Gamba has pictures posted of his ProSlide behind his eXmark here on the site if you do a search. Novae is the maker:
http://www.novaecorp.com/frame.htm

Doc Pete
05-14-2003, 06:53 AM
Originally posted by Smitty58
Ok I bought the Exmark 36" w/b and I love it. I no longer need the tread mill thats collecting dust ,but.... how long did you guys go before hooking up a sulky. I've been told the sulky is rough on an older guy

I'm 53 and love mine. I switch between walking with my trim mower and jumping on the sulky machine. However, I'm assuming by "sulky" you mean "stand on velky". For an older guy, sitting on a real sulky is worse for your "back" than standing on a velky is for your knees. Actually, as you strengthen your legs and stand on your toes instead of flat footing the velky, the ride is fairly smooth and won't bother your knees at all.
Pete

Smitty58
05-15-2003, 02:06 PM
Auroris, thanks for the info on the proslide and the link. That really looks like the ticket. It's a little more money than other sulkies but it may be worth it. I would like to hear from someone who has tried one of these. Do they work as good as their video shows?

Doogiegh
05-16-2003, 12:00 AM
Here is a thread with pictures from me with a 32" Exmark Metro belt drive using a Pro-Slide.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=41362&highlight=32+metro+proslide

I bought the 32" Metro last spring. Added the pro-slide to it not more than 2 weeks later.

Love it in every way.

Stripes are awesome, it's like surfing and skateboarding kinda all in one. Very smooth. Turning for me is fine on the pro-slide. Because I have a 32" which has smaller drive tires, I CAN spin the wheels if I'm on the plate and give the wheels full-drive power.. It caused mud-streaks as the tires tear into the turf for traction.. Like a burn-out..

But all I do is get the machine moving forward, and take 1 step forward onto the pro-slide and we're off.

I usually cut in speed 3 for high grass, 4 for easy to cut grass and move around from truck to property, etc in gear 5..

I wore out my pro-slide plate. It's like a tractor-trailer mud flap..

I bought a new one for $22. Goes on real easy with some nuts and bolts..

Gary

Auroris
05-16-2003, 05:51 PM
Hi Gary,

On your 32" Metro, did you have trouble with the front end being too light-weighted using the ProSlide?

Just curious, as a lot of guys (one being John Gamba in the thread-link that you posted above) recommend adding front-end weights.

How was your experience with this using the 32" deck?

Thanks

Cole

Doogiegh
05-16-2003, 06:46 PM
I weigh between 179 an 182 pounds. I've weighed the same since high school and that was 12 years ago. I don't have any problem with the pro-slide pulling me pretty much anywhere I want to go. If I see the front end coming up at all, which I tell you is rare, I squeeze the brakes to immediatly slow down and I "curl" up on the handlebars, there-fore forcing the front end down. (I have pistol grips, not ECS). The physical motion would be like like lifting a suitcase off of a table at waist height.. At the exact moment you have the suitcase suspended off of the table..

So by doing that kind of "curl" it forces the front end down and everything else is fine.

As I mentioned, I "had" worse problems by standing on the plate in wet grass at a dead stop and basically taking the brakes off quickly, which would result in the mowers tires spinning endlessly all the while I move forward 3 inches... Makes a nice smooth "trench" like mark on the grass.

Now that I know that that can happen, as I said, I simply get off the pro-slide, get the mower going maybe all of 2 MPH in front of me and then just step onto the plate as it's in motion.

I know this post is long and wordy but really, the pro-slide is very simple and easy to do. And it stripes awesome. See if your dealer will let you "test" one for even 1 day. My dealer told me if I didn't like it, bring it back. I never did.

You will wear out the "sliding plate" but as I mentioned, they can be bought for like $15 to $20. They will of course wear out much faster depending upon how much you ride across concrete surfaces...

There is a piston-loaded metal doo-dad that makes the pro-slide plate fold up against the frame of the mower when there is no body weight on it.

Mine broke off.

So my plate drags on the floor 100% of the time. I have no problem with that at all as I can walk behind the plate and control the mower fine or to either side of it if I need to.

I could get the piston-thingy replaced or fixed but actually prefer always having the plate down.. this way when I do a u-turn, I step off to say the right side at the end of a run, make the u-turn by swinging the mower around, doing my best to keep the inside wheel turning one way or another so as to not leave a divot mark, and then I get the mower going again maybe 2 feet in front of me and I hop on it.. Just like hopping onto an already moving escalator or those run-way thingys at airports. :)

Good luck.

Gary

Doc Pete
05-16-2003, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by Doogiegh
Now that I know that that can happen, as I said, I simply get off the pro-slide, get the mower going maybe all of 2 MPH in front of me and then just step onto the plate as it's in motion.
Gary

Gees Garr, that's just too much fiddling for me. Watching for wheelspin, making sure you jump on after it's moving, watching so the front end doesn't come, boy when do watch how your mowing?????
Pete

John Gamba
05-16-2003, 07:01 PM
Once You Have Used a Pro-Slide No Other Sulky Will Do!

Weighted Front Is Necessary On 99% Of The Mowers With Sulky's

John

Doogiegh
05-16-2003, 07:14 PM
The guy's asking questions so I explained in minute detail exactly what I do when cutting the grass..

My point being that I don't stand on the plate when getting going initially from a stand-still. That's all. Thanks,
Gary

Auroris
05-16-2003, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by Doogiegh
The guy's asking questions so I explained in minute detail exactly what I do when cutting the grass..

My point being that I don't stand on the plate when getting going initially from a stand-still. That's all. Thanks,
Gary
I think I can imagine how it works pretty well now. You did an excellent job of explaning how you do it Gary, and I appreciate your time in writing it up. Now I can day-dream about it in more detail! :D

From what John says, I'll probably plan on the weight kit, too.

Best wishes,
Cole

Doc Pete
05-16-2003, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by John Gamba
Once You Have Used a Pro-Slide No Other Sulky Will Do!


I'm realizing why I have so much argument about Hustlers and sulky's. You guy's are still mowing like you did 20 years ago. You can't mow backwards with a proslide......Oh well, I'll have suffer being different.....:D

John Gamba
05-17-2003, 06:49 AM
Pete
If You are Mowing Areas That require Getting Off and On The Sulky Like Small Landscaped, Very hilly yards Then The Pro Is For You.
If You Are doing areas Where You stay On the sulky All The Time Then get a Rider.

Thanks john

Doc Pete
05-17-2003, 07:38 AM
Originally posted by John Gamba
Pete
If You are Mowing Areas That require Getting Off and On The Sulky Like Small Landscaped, Very hilly yards Then The Pro Is For You.
If You Are doing areas Where You stay On the sulky All The Time Then get a Rider.

Thanks john

John,
For me, if I "Was" off and on" the sulky, I'd walk my WB, which I do. And, if I stay on the Sulky, I use the sulky. No need for a rider, it's heavier and less maneuverable than my WB sulky. But, that's just me..........

John Gamba
05-17-2003, 07:46 AM
Pete
Thats My Point, when You Need to walk Behind the mower "It the Pro" Just retracts Up into The Mower withOut Lifting It Up Manually, Then When You Are done Just get On The Pro and ride.

It Is More suited For a Bigger, Heaver Hydro Walk.
John

Doc Pete
05-17-2003, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by John Gamba
Pete
Thats My Point, when You Need to walk Behind the mower "It the Pro" Just retracts Up into The Mower withOut Lifting It Up Manually, Then When It Is More suited For a Bigger, Heaver Hydro Walk.
John

John,
I appreciate you help. I had the proslide. The difference is the mowers. If I had to use a normal hydro, I'd stay with a proslide, but (as you know:p), with the Hustlers, it's just a different story. With backwards and spins my normal routine, the Bullrider just works better. FYI, I'd really be afraid to mow in reverse at 5 mph, which actually can't be done without the proslide stubbing it's backend... and sending on my butt:D
Pete

Smitty58
05-17-2003, 06:59 PM
Switchless@aol.com, you said you had a proslide. What didn't you like about it. I was convinced to buy one until I read a little more (doggie doo ,riding over concrete ,backing up). Since I have not used a proslide or a sulky (1 wheel or 2 wheel) I'm really counting on the experts on this site to help me decide which one to buy. I don't want to buy the wrong one. I have a gear drive 36" w/b 12.5 kaw. What do you like about the Bullrider?
Thanks for all your guys help.

Doc Pete
05-17-2003, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by Smitty58
Switchless@aol.com, you said you had a proslide. What didn't you like about it. I was convinced to buy one until I read a little more (doggie doo ,riding over concrete ,backing up). Since I have not used a proslide or a sulky (1 wheel or 2 wheel) I'm really counting on the experts on this site to help me decide which one to buy. I don't want to buy the wrong one. I have a gear drive 36" w/b 12.5 kaw. What do you like about the Bullrider?
Thanks for all your guys help.

Smitty,
Please remember, Iím probably not like any of the other guys, not that it makes incorrect. However, in most posts Iíve usually got a different way of doing things.
As far as the proslide, it just canít do things a ďcastoredĒ sulky can. Which is bad. However, most guys donít mow backwards as I do. So, take your pick. I really had a problem with spinning wheels because the proslide, since it slides on the ground, many times can have a lot of drag. As far as jumping off or jumping on after itís moving, thatís just way too dangerous and too much fussing for. Itís a nice thought but takes too much technique and attention to use. Also, it takes a lot of horsepower to make it go fast, at least it did for me, and Iím only 155 lb. Last, there are times when zero turning, it kinda stuck sideways in the ground if the ground was bumping or hilly. Didnít like that at all. And, zero turning at all (true zero turning Ėpivoting) took big horsepower to do. All this you donít notice until you use a castored velky. Just look at the obvious, the castored velky has big rolling wheels, the proslide just drags along the ground. You do the mathÖÖÖ
I doubt your machine will pull you at speed.
Pete

Gr grass n Hi tides
05-18-2003, 04:46 AM
You should go out and demo a few different styles, get a feel for them, then decide which one best suits your needs.

One more thing I like about mine is that it's roomy. I don't have to "slip" my feet into a couple of slots like some other styles. The "chariot" design makes it nice when I get on and off the sulky for whatever reason (e.g. backing out of a soft area, stopping to pick up trash, etc.).

Like I said though, different strokes for different folks. Put a guy on any one of the many different styles long enough and he'll become proficient.

Smitty58
05-18-2003, 07:33 AM
switchless, thanks a bunch for your help. You really answered a lot of questions I had. The castoring velke you have, can you get that in 2 wheels and does that work good with a gear driven w/b?

gr grass, I would love to demo some of these ,but I've yet to find someone in the Cincinnati to Dayton Ohio area that has them in stock to demo. By chariot design I'm assuming you have a wheeled sulky. What "brand" are you using and is it a castoring style like switchless was talking about.

Thanks again for your help.

Smitty58
05-18-2003, 07:41 AM
Gr Grass, I went back and re read your replies. You already told me you had a castoring type and gave me a link to lesco ,and lo and behold they have 2 dealers in my area. Boy do I feel dumb ,I guess I should have paid more attention. Thanks again, I'm going to give these 2 Lesco dealers a call and see if I can demo one like yours.

Doc Pete
05-18-2003, 08:38 AM
The bullrider velky, IMO, is a best buy because it's build the strongest of any velky. Also, it won't allow the velky to "overturn" and flip if you hit a very large pothole. It has very wide mounting to the machine for stability. And, it's the only velky that allows you to choose "and switch" between fixed and castored mode in a matter of seconds.
Pete

Smitty58
05-18-2003, 04:02 PM
Switchless, you did it again. Answered all my questions ,some before I even asked them. I'll be checking out the Bullrider on your recommendation. I believe the ability to change between castoring and fixed is the way to go.

Doc Pete
05-18-2003, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by Smitty58
Switchless, you did it again. Answered all my questions ,some before I even asked them. I'll be checking out the Bullrider on your recommendation. I believe the ability to change between castoring and fixed is the way to go.

Smitty,
If you have a belt drive, the only way is using the fixed (trailing) mode. Also, if you run a larger machine 54", 61",72" WB even thought it's a hydro, with so much "deck overlap" , and a "small wheel base" you can "in essence" zeroturn while still using the trailing mode. This method let's you make a "very small" turn and not have to truly zero turn the machine, and makes for fast turning. This is what BHB does with his Scag and wonders why his machine seems to turn faster than a Hustler.
However, if you go to the newer type of Hydro WB, like a Hustler or Ferris that has a very wide wheel base you want to run the castored mode, because you must truly zero turn the machine. And, when you change to castored mode, you can then start backing up as far as you want, zero turning and backing around a tree to cut close as you want, and cutting sections that require all the grass to be blown away from a patio, deck or flower bed area. Overall, when you become a better mower with more demands put on your mowing than just "back and forth", the Castored mode with a wide stand mower will give you more productivity and more options.....
Pete