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Rather Be Fishing
06-13-2003, 05:39 PM
I realize I'm a newbie here on the forum but I'm certainly no newbie to lawncare. That said, if this is the wrong forum...

(and yes, I've been browsing with the SEARCH feature)

Here's my deal. Currently I have 2 nearly antique 36" walk behinds (Kees and Encore, the Encore has been a fantastic unit, the Kees is more a backup/novelty). As it is I'm only mowing on a part-time basis to suppliment my landscape work. Recently I've been getting more and more mowing inquiries, so naturally I've been checking out and pricing new equipment. The properties I'm considering are just too much for a 36" mower to be profitable on.

I'm torn behind a rider or a stand-up unit. I considered a larger walk behind but I'm getting older and to tell the truth I'm flat sick of walking (I despise Velkies, -not even an option!!). The guys I know in the biz swear by their Exmark Lazers, and from a comfort standpoint I can see why.

For those of you using the stand-on mowers, I'm curious how well you like them and what your overall opinions are. I've seen a few folks running them around here, just didn't want to interfere with their work to "talk shop". Salesmen are of no real assistance...Would you recommend these types of mowers for a one man operation? Any specific reason you chose these over riders, and if you had to make the choice again, which would you choose?

I'd appreciate your opinions/recommendations/complaints. :cool:

Have a great weekend!:)

mowerman90
06-13-2003, 06:32 PM
I recently purchased the best of both worlds, the Wright Sentar. You have your choice, either stand or sit. I got the 61" 25HP Kawi. I've got about 40 hours on it now and haven't had any problems or issues with it yet. It's fast and I can mow at top speed with it in normal growth. It's very manuverable because there's no overhang behind the drive wheels to bang into stuff like a regular ZTR. It's stable on what hills we have here in FL. When you put a lever in the neutral position it lets that wheel spin freely, thus making it hard to make divots while turning. It seems to be built like a tank. Everything is heavy duty and has zerk fittings all over the place, which I like. The deck lift mechanism even has sealed bearings supporting it. It gives an excellent cut. I had my dealer fabricate and install a mulching kit for it and it mulches as good as my other mower, a Husky 52" ZTR. Because it is very short I can squeeze it and my Husky on my 12 ft trailer. It's tight, but it does fit. My friend has a 42" Stander and loves his for the same reasons I've mentioned above.

Rather Be Fishing
06-14-2003, 05:15 AM
Mowerman90, thanks for your reply! The Senator is a fine looking piece of equipment. All the stand-ups I've seen are the Great Danes. The seat option looks fantastic for lawns that have trees with low hanging branches, is this exclusive to the Wright mowers? (I've still got a way to go with my "on-line shopping") Also appears it would be great for the comfort option, "best of both world's" sounds just about right--or is that Wright?

Hopefully I can find one of them locally to check out/demo. Here in Central Ohio Scag's and Exmark's dominate, with the Toro's and Great Dane's seemingly right behind. I am interested in the Great Dane Gateway model as it would be perfect for some of my existing accounts--as a one man operation it would save me the trouble and time of breaking out the 36". (unfortunately that would keep me with the WB set-up)

Again, thanks.:cool:

Doc Pete
06-14-2003, 07:27 AM
Originally posted by Rather Be Fishing

For those of you using the stand-on mowers, I'm curious how well you like them and what your overall opinions are.

Since we all realize the need for a True Walk behind, besides a rider/stander and you are leaning toward a stand on machine, a good walk behind coupled with a good velky is a win win combination. Using a WB and velky gives two mowers in one, and saves you a ton of money. I had tried the "standers" and "for me"; they rock fore and aft too much. Also, because they (the controls are so high, I had trouble getting under things. Last, at the current time the Hustler H bar and a velky combo is by far the easiest, least fatiguing, and most precise control system available. The common complaint of having to watch behind you with a velky is ridiculous. With the view on a velky, maneuverability is never a problem. Frankly, Iím more leery on my rider because you just canít see directly behind you. Just my nickel's worth.
Pete

Rather Be Fishing
06-14-2003, 08:19 AM
Switchless, I appreciate your opinion regading the velky set-up, I still haven't ruled out another WB. Being a die-hard walk behind fan, I think they generally leave a better looking cut than some of the riders out there. I've run just about any of the old machines you can think of. (I still have nightmares of being dragged around for 10 hours a day behind a Scag 72" WB! :D ) The jobs I've looked at that have been cut with the Dane's look really nice and the speeds these guys are cutting at have me green with envy!

Since I've focused more and more on landscapes and maintenance I've managed to get by just fine with the old belt-driven 36er's. The newest stuff I've had the opportunty to spend a little time on was a a Scag 52" Hydro with a Velky and the Lazer. I didn't really have time to acclimate myself with the Exmark. The Scag was a nice machine but I looked and felt like a fool trying to get used to it, it beat me to death at the knees but that might have been due to the handle position.

I've been a bit under the weather with a case of pneumonia that's just now clearing up, but I spent a good bit of time reading through the older threads trying to pull as much info as possible out of them.(-what a Spring! cold, wet and sick...)

I appreciate the time you guys have taken to reply, there's no advice like a pro's. Most salesmen I've dealt with over the years could care less if you're getting the right piece of equipment for the right price as long as they make a sale. Well, I'm off to another dealer that's closer to home than my "primary" dealer, curious what they've got.

Thanks again!

Doc Pete
06-14-2003, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by Rather Be Fishing
Switchless, I appreciate your opinion regading the velky set-up, I still haven't ruled out another WB. Being a die-hard walk behind fan, I think they generally leave a better looking cut than some of the riders out there.

You really need to do what's best for you. FWIW, I have a rider (part of what a LCO has to have):dizzy: , and I'm still faster on my WB/velky. Also, try as I may, for the lawns I do, the rider is just more uncomfortable. Some guy's actually admit that;) . I'm 53, and want to stay in good shape, and I think some of these 20 to 40 years olds will be sorry as time goes on that there back will suffer staying on a rider all the time. In my opinion, if the lawn is bad enough to bother your knees/legs with velky, then you back will be bothered on a rider. Also, if your knees/legs bother you on a "good two-wheeled velkyĒ, then you will still be bothered on a stander. I know my back bothered me using the velky, but that was because I was using a pistol grip machine and all the gripping/pulling and stuff radiated into my bad. Once, I changed mower brands, Iíve had no problems.
Take a look at the H bar concept. It's a "ridged" bar to hold to stablize you, there are no safety levers to hold or dig into your hands, it's motorcycle style steering, automatically re-centering and stopping at zero, plus with the pumps tied together, all the guess work about how much of "each control to give" in order to zero turn is removed, just turn the bar in the direction you want to spin and it spins around and around.:p Maybe that's the problem, it's too easy and guy's need a challange:blush: :blush:

wissel_landscaping
06-14-2003, 10:40 AM
where at in ohio are you located? emmit mowers on rt303 & i77
in richfield carry wright. i have the wright stander 61" and a 52" sentar, the sentar is a awesome machine i could go on and on about how great the sentar is, its definatly my favorite mower.

1stclasslawns
06-14-2003, 11:19 AM
RBF welcome to lawnsite.

Right now on my trailer I have a 52" 17hp GreatDane Super Surfer demo unit. with just a few hours on it. I also have a 61" 25 hp kohler powered Chariot LX with 5.1 hours on it. The reason I have the stander is my 1999 chariot 61" is at the shop and they said take the demo.

I have put 5 days worth of mowing behind me with the super surfer and when I ordered a mower on monday the 9th I ordered a Z rider.

I have lots of hills and rough yards and several nice lawns to boot. I have used the SS on every one of them. They don't handel the hills as well as I would like, I'll keep the old w/b for those 3 hours a week because I will make up the time with the rider.

The cut from the LX is great! The improved deck design is awsome, mowing in wet conditions it only puked once yesterday my other one would have done it several times.

I myself would rather ride then stand. One thing for sure be sure and get a suspension seat for whichever unit you choose.


Jim

Rather Be Fishing
06-14-2003, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by wissel_landscaping
where at in ohio are you located? emmit mowers on rt303 & i77
in richfield carry wright.

I'm near Columbus, Richfield is a bit of a drive but I am heading up to Canton for a machinegun shoot at the end of the month so if I can't find one to check out locally that might be an option. According to Wright's website there's a dealer in Pataskala which is nearby. (I'm in the midst of changing out a set of spindle bearings and a belt or I'd head over today)

I wanted to try out a Dane today but when I went to pick up parts the place was a madhouse, guess I'll blame it on the rain...:D Thanks for the replies and welcomes, this is definitely not something I want to jump into without weighing all the variables. There certainly appears to be quite a number of knowledgable folks here on Lawnsite, glad I found it!:cool:

Shady Brook
06-14-2003, 11:49 PM
I really don't think you can compare a Stander to a Rider. I think a Stander should be compared to other walkbehind type of units. You will sacrifice hill stability on a Stander (in my opinion), and you will be limited to the cutting performance of that unit. I have a Wright Stander, and it cuts very nice, but the deck clogs very quickly, and blows wadds of grass if conditions are damp. I believe that this occurs because of the deck design, as I did not experience this type of clotting with exmark, Hustler, Scag Cub, or a variety of other mower brands. A Wright, and a Dane will have one type of deck, and if you are happy with that great.

A rider is an awsome tool, and with the speed, power, stabiltiy, and abilty to lift the deck with your foot when needed, nothing can compare unless your lawns are small, and very flat.

Don't plan on doing much standing on a Sentar either, you can stand, but will not do so for long. I have spent quite a few hours on a Sentar, and would not buy one if one of the big name company riders was an option.

Test out as many machines as you can, test them during the most brutal growth conditions... lots of growth, wet, and anything else you may encounter. You may secure lawns in the future that are rougher, have more hills, or a variety of other conditions that you do not now encounter. Find a machine that can deal with them all satisfactorily, and buy from a good dealer who is there for you.

Have fun shopping.

Jay

Grass Master
06-14-2003, 11:55 PM
Rather...

who is your local dealer that carries Great Dane?

brucec32
06-18-2003, 01:28 AM
For SOME lawns, a wb and velke is faster than a ZTR, I think. I have recently had to mow with the wb more lately because of rain and breakdowns, and I have really zipped through some lawns with the wb. I think the key is fast turns w/o tearing turf. I also find the cut a little better on some types of grass where the huge ZTR tires tend to lay it down a little too much.(thin and tall grass)

I will, however, make the bold and probably unique observation that I prefer belt drives to hydro wbs, at least the ones I've used or tried. I like the lighter weight for soggy turf. I tore the heck out of a hill with my hydro wb, and though my toro may not be a great steering hydro, my mechanic agreed that they all seem to be ON or OFF in terms of power unless you really watch it. I found myself much more tense on lawns with the hydro than with my belt drives, but that may be that I'm much more experienced with the belts.

On many types of lawns, generally medium sized, the belt drive does great and now that ground speeds have been upped on them, I really am pleased in situations where I don't have to manhandle it.

The big negative for wb/sulky combinations for me is the wear on the body from standing and bouncing along rather than riding. Done all day, every day, it's too much. But for certain situations, I'm really pleased at how it performs.

The stander/sentar seems to be a great idea for lawns where you make a lot of turns. I find my ZTR to be too slow in turns w/o tearing turf. On wide areas, it's great, but even medium lawns require lots of turns relative to the size of the lawn.

There is no "best" for all situations. I'm set with mowers for Georgia, but I am really looking hard at stand ons or something smaller than a ZTR if I move down to Florida and start handling some small/medium very flat lawns down in Boca.. So far, Stander, Sentar, and super surfer are what comes to mind.

I worry about Sentar's weight causing problems in turns vs. a lighter mower. If it's the same in terms of tearing turf as a ZTR then it's no particular improvement. If I could find a hydro wb that steers as smooth and easily as my belt drives I'd buy one. The Hustler seems to be the closest match for my needs in that regard, but I'd have to actually find one to try. But like all wb's, the long length worries me when I am making turns on tight small lawns. The stander seems hard to beat in turns with its tiny "square" outline. I can't walk mow lawns anymore.


End of rambling.

Bluesteel
06-18-2003, 02:00 AM
A Stander is a ZTR Rider. The operator orientation seems to be a hang-up for some people, but theyíre a ZTR Rider. One of their main strengths is a short wheelbase. Since they donít have to accommodate someone sitting with their legs out in front, this allows Standers to be very short and highly maneuverable. Manufacturers could put taller tires on them and make them as fast as many Sit-Down ZTRís, but theyíd be VERY unstable at high speeds (> 10mph) with that short wheelbase.

Standers are a low-cost ZTR designed for smallish lots where you make a lot of turns. If youíre wanting large-lot production with long runs, a conventional ZTR will make you more money. I find Standers to be highly stable on slopes, low on ground-pressure (for a ZTR), and about 4 times more productive than a belt-drive Walk-Behind (with or without a sulky).