Originally Posted by Mark Oomkes
Depends on which WAM. A 455, you are correct, underpowered for 16 cuts. If the OP was going for a 580 (Or whatever their new designation is) no problem at all. HP to spare. Possibly even a 4000\4100.
I haven't noticed the 455 being underpowered. Maybe 65hp and that's on only a 10.5' deck. I've had a couple of 580-D's and they had 80 or so hp on a 16' deck. So the deck width to hp ratio is similar.
The problem comes with the type of decks on WAM's which are rear discharge drop decks. They can't handle lots of growth like a side discharge deck that shoots the clippings out of the way.
I used to have a 12' 3deck batwing mower made by Alamo to mow roadside ditches. It had no baffeling under the deck, and the back was straight, not dropped down like a lawn mowing WAM. It gave a lousey cut and I finally welded baffeling under the deck which improved it somewhat. I don't mow with it anymore and use the tractor portion of it to pull my core aerator.
BTW the new model of the Toro 580-D is the 5900-D. I checked one aut at my dealer. It has an air ride seat! Fantastic mower! I wish I needed one.