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View Full Version : What is the Best Mower for me? Your Opinions Please


SouthernYankee
12-15-2004, 11:03 AM
Well some of you know that I was about to move to Atlanta this summer, but my girlfriend has decided to move back to Houston to be closer to her father, so it looks like I am Texas bound. I have found very little info about Houston since there seems to be more people here for Ga than Houston, so I would like your input. I have been to Houston but that was last year for the Super Bowl so I wasnt focused on landscaping.

From what I take it there are a lot of small , gated yards so I need something that will fit through small fences, but I really dont want to get a hydro 36", I would rather a ztr or maybe a stander. I guess some guys in Florida can relate to Houston since there are a lot of smaller size lawns with Gates also. Will be cutting a lot of st.augustine grass. Any input is welcome. thanks everyone I dont know what I would do with out this site sometimes and all of your help is appreicated. thanks

44" exmark hp
36" wright stander
36" gravely ztr
36" dixie chopper ztr
48" Cub Cadet ztr with the z wing that folds

work_it
12-15-2004, 11:36 AM
The best option I can see for you (from your list) is the 36" Wright stander. I would rather use the 36" Exmark hydro with a proslide in case you run into 32" gates since you can always lift up a side and muscle it through. Can't do that with the heavier machines.

Itsgottobegreen
12-15-2004, 11:48 AM
32", 36" or 42" stander is your best choices.

ztoro
12-15-2004, 12:11 PM
I would say a stander as well. When you are working in tight areas with a Z you need to be careful not to take a fence out with the back of the z...

A stander would be nice since you can easily manuever and see right behind your feet...

Even a sulky can sometime get in the way when trying to turn in the corner of a fence....

I would assume you can step off a stander and walk behind it on hills if they were to steep but maybe not...

leafitalawn
12-15-2004, 12:49 PM
I am in North Houston and I find that a 36" won't fit most med/small residentials where I am. I just got a 32" stander and it's great. It fits the gates of all my accounts except for 2 of them.

TClawn
12-15-2004, 02:18 PM
32" or 36" stander.

SouthernYankee
12-15-2004, 03:03 PM
who makes a 32" stander???

GreenMonster
12-15-2004, 03:14 PM
who makes a 32" stander???


Wright, I believe.

Fareway Lawncare
12-15-2004, 03:31 PM
i Can't Believe Guys are Recommending the 32" Stander w/out ever Using One...It's a New Model...Wait for some Feedback. No one has Ever Cut a Blade of Grass w/them. They Could Be and Likely Will be a Rutting Nightmare.

On Very Small Gated Lawns a Quality 21" is Usually your Best Option.

After that 36" Hydro Walk Floaters.....mabe the New Wright 36" w/Wider tires but Stay Away from Tiny Riders.

SouthernYankee
12-15-2004, 07:08 PM
what about rutting problems with the standers that are 36"?


I was thinking about that cub cadet z wing that fits in gates

ztoro
12-15-2004, 07:11 PM
I think there is a Wright 36 on ebay.. seems like a good deal...

ed2hess
12-15-2004, 07:25 PM
We do small yards with 36" hydro units in central Texas. Last year we got a stander for demo........was absolutely not satisfied! Small width tires on 36" made ruts! Most of last year we had a lot rain and even when it was not raining the irrigation caused a problem. Just because it is a little wet we don't want to come back to yard and try to guess when it will be dry. I also think that when it gets real dry in summer that you will see more damage from this unit also.... And low hanging limbs was a BIG problem. Everybody has at least 4 trees on these small lots. We talked with a lawn business that had a stander on trailer but broke out a big JD to do a little lawn. His answer to why use the JD....the customer complained about ruts when he used stander!

SouthernYankee
12-15-2004, 10:33 PM
From what I take it I shouldnt really bother looking at 36" standers....too much rutting?

SouthernYankee
12-15-2004, 10:45 PM
I saw a wright 32" stander on ebay, it was a good price, but from what I have heard from a bunch of people that have owned them or tried them out that they rutted far too much.

If it didnt rut that mower would be perfect for me

leafitalawn
12-16-2004, 01:43 AM
I have the 32" Wright stander and have used it all week and it works fine for the St Augustine grass here in my area (North Houston). The people that complain about rutting probably aren't from this area. If it did rut, it would only be on a wet/saturated lawn where the mower could sink... Basically what I am saying is that it ruts less than any 32" mower that I have used. I have used this on 58 accounts and only rutted on the first three (while I was still learning to use it).

brucec32
12-29-2004, 04:18 AM
Well some of you know that I was about to move to Atlanta this summer, but my girlfriend has decided to move back to Houston to be closer to her father, so it looks like I am Texas bound. I have found very little info about Houston since there seems to be more people here for Ga than Houston, so I would like your input. I have been to Houston but that was last year for the Super Bowl so I wasnt focused on landscaping.

From what I take it there are a lot of small , gated yards so I need something that will fit through small fences, but I really dont want to get a hydro 36", I would rather a ztr or maybe a stander. I guess some guys in Florida can relate to Houston since there are a lot of smaller size lawns with Gates also. Will be cutting a lot of st.augustine grass. Any input is welcome. thanks everyone I dont know what I would do with out this site sometimes and all of your help is appreicated. thanks

44" exmark hp
36" wright stander
36" gravely ztr
36" dixie chopper ztr
48" Cub Cadet ztr with the z wing that folds


I just moved from Atlanta last year but am headed back thankfully. I cut some in S. Florida and have some Floratam St. Aug experience. The good news is it seemed to cut very nicely with any of my three mowers (toro and exmark). yes, it grew fast in the summer but I still found it a piece of cake compared to Fescue in the Spring or Bermuda in the summer back in Atlanta. It would mulch well most of the time and its coarse nature means it will hide clippings well so you can discharge. I would advise getting an OCDC if discharging, though, I got one this year and can't believe I mowed w/o one.

I am a big fan of the 44" deck size for smaller properties. I like that it will get through more gates than a 48", and also that its lack of overhang is balanced by the smooth cut having the wheel width nearly match the deck gives you. No scalping on Bermuda, which really shows those dips the deck can take on uneven lawns. Of course the 44" won't go as many places as the smaller decks, but the Exmark 44 is a "real" mower and will produce ok on bigger lots.

The Cub with the folding wing is a innovative idea, but no idea how it works or holds up.

Have heard mixed things on the stander, with some complaints of rutting due to small tires on 36" deck and some complaints that it doesn't clear clippings out well. Also unproven when mulching. Not clear how it does.

The gravely is a 34" deck actually. Read many good comments, a few that complain of its hill holding and also some rutting, but I'd have known that going in with a narrow ztr.

Not a fan of the Dixies, popular for mowing bahia here on rough lots and handles st. aug well. But that is a very forgiving turf. What else do they grow there?

Oldtimer
12-29-2004, 09:29 PM
Learn Spanish!

Itsgottobegreen
12-30-2004, 02:16 PM
The new 36" has wider tires to prevent the rutting. I have never had a discharge problem with my standers.

J.Gordon
12-30-2004, 02:59 PM
If I were in your shoes I would demo all the brands and types that you have posted. Then you will have first hand knowledge on each piece of equipment and exactly what it is capable of. Then you wont be kicking yourself in the butt for listening to someone with a biased opinion about a product that may work for him and not you. Use the search feature for each machine and you will find the good and bad points and most importantly! the people that are blowing smoke.
Just my .02
Jeff

splatz100
12-30-2004, 03:08 PM
you are also need to go to each dealer and try to get a feel of which one you like and then narrow the mower choices down to that dealer

TGIB
01-02-2005, 02:52 AM
The 34Z Gravely is a very good mower for the conditions you will find in Houston.

It has 21 inch rear tires - a bit smaller than the 23 inch tires on the bigger Z's, but a lot larger than most walk behinds and small standers.

It's 34 inch mower will zip right through a true 36 inch gate opening.

Since it is a sit down machine, you will get it[and you] under low tree limbs easier than if you are on a stander - and they have lots more trees in Houston than they have hills.

The mower is only 34 in. wide - but it is 5 1/2 inches deep ! A deep deck like this works really well with a mulcher kit. This will keep you from throwing clippings all over in those small tight back yards, and eliminates the need for a bagger or even a chute over the discharge side of the mower. This will really get you in and out of tight areas or gates, and less worry about thrown objects from the mower.

Although you will see people comment that the 34Z is not good on hillsides, this is all relative. Any narrow frame machine with close set tires [to stay inside the smaller mower] will be less stable going across a steep bank than a full width machine would be. They are still better on hills than something like a Walker, or a Grasshopper is on a hill, since they don't have the higher center of gravity that the catcher tanks cause. If you do find a hill that is too steep to go across comfortably, just mow it up and down, not across. The rear tires [21 inch] with your weight, and the engine, gas tanks, drive system and all concentrated over these tires give the 34Z plenty of traction to go up a hill like any other full size Z can do.

broken leg
01-02-2005, 07:21 AM
The very frist thing to do is feel out your dealers then demo the mowers. The mower is know better than the dealer who services it. I run Toro and Walker for speed and durabilty I like my Toro for the best cut, ride, and bad to the bone know one drives but me mower my 48 26EFI Walker can not be beat. But check out your DEALER. :cool2:

SouthernYankee
01-02-2005, 11:28 AM
I was also thinking about the exmark 44 hp zrt, but I guess I will have to see how many gates there are out in houston, before I think about getting a larger machine.

SouthernYankee
01-05-2005, 01:23 PM
TG

If I go to a small size mower, 34 and under, I think it will be between the gravely and the wright stander that is 32". But I want to hear more feed back on that mower.


Also does anyone know anything about the new small scag ztr that is suppose to come out soon????