Originally Posted by herler
You guys are shooting yourselves in the foot dumbing yourselves down trying to stay small in the deck size department, the size of the job is where you need to start small and work your way up but not when it comes to deck size, here the bigger the better, no f'ing around in this department. Dang three foot decks are a joke, maybe as a specialty machine for certain odd jobs but never for a main line mower.
It's obvious from your comment you don't service many gated lawns.
I would never buy a Wb with anything smaller than a 40" deck, that's the absolute smallest Walk Behind I would ever throw thousands of hard-earned dollars at and I'd really prefer a 44" to 48" or so, what are we trying to do here, they hardly cost more, want to waste money or get the job done?
I didn't want to waste money by having a machine sit on the trailer. A 36 will fit on 100% of the lawns I service. If I had a 48 21 combo I would be losing all the minutes gained on open properties by having to drag the 21 off the trailer for gated ones. If you were using a 48 and you used it on a job for 20 minutes, it would take me 25 to cut the same area. Now come to a gated lawn. It takes me 20min to cut with my 36 and it will take you 28 minutes. So the 5 minutes you gained are lost immediately and replaced by a 3 minute deficit.
As for Ztr's the same thing applies, you want to get the job done, I wouldn't get nothing smaller than a 52" and I'd really prefer a 60"
You're spending 8 or 10 thousand dollars and you want a "small" deck?
Don't kid yourself, for that kind of money I'd get a mower that can tackle some GRASS!
Don't kid yourself and think you know how best to run anyone's business but your own. You have found the best setup for you. The OP was asking about a 36 due to gated lawns and wanting to upgrade from a 21. Since he does not want to use the 21 anymore he needs a machine that will fit through gates. Your setup will not work for him.
To the OP:
You have to get what works best for you. If you have lots of gates and are tired of using the 21 then a 32 or 36 are going to be your options. Think about the direction you want to take your business. I did and came to the conclusion that, while it would be very nice to a 48WB and a 60ZTR it was not what I needed. The 36 is my main mower. It fit for me because I do not have lots of wide open areas to mow. Most of mine are gated city lots. I do have one very large property but that is it. Actual mow time there is 60 minutes. If I had a 60 ZTR I would be done in about 36 minutes. Those 24 lost minutes are more than made up for in my ability to use the 36 in gated areas that require others to use a 21.