Originally Posted by Ridin' Green
I've watched them laying drain tile on many farms about 30-60 miles from us. One of which I used to deer hunt on every year. It is an interesting process, and you are right- many farms really need the draining help or they never dry enough to allow the crops to grow, or for the large machines to be able to even get out on them to plant in the first place. Where I live, the water table is only about 12'-16' down at the most, and the soil is a sandy/loamy mix that drains easily- almost too easily. 30 miles in one direction from us though, is the lowest and wettest area in the state. It is solid clay that goes down for a long way. We need rain here at least once a week or the lawns and crops start drying out quick, yet out there they much prefer to have no rain for most of the summer months, so I understand your dynamics pretty well.
Why is it that your newer SZ looks much higher in the front end than you old one? It looks like quite a difference in angle front to rear. It seems that with the rearward rake to the frame (which would make the front end lighter and skip over rough ground easier), and the flex forks and added length, that is what contributes to your ride quality.
This is a perfect example of how photos can be really deceiving. There are contributing factors, for one thing the concrete is at it highest point where the front of the newer mower is sitting with downward fall towards the rear of the new mower. You will notice it is just the opposite where the older mower is sitting, with the rear sitting on the upward slope of the concrete, and the front sitting on the down-slope.
You will also notice the front tires of the older machine are pneumatic with low air pressure, whereas the new mower has no lowering from tire pressure due to the run-flat tires.
You can see there is a huge difference in the flex forks as well, the older machine has the first flex forks Hustler brought into existence, whereas the new machine has flex forks using a much stronger torsion rubber composition.
The weight of the machine has everything to do with how flex forks perform, torsion rubber too weak with a heavier machine and the front will move up and down too easily. With torsion rubber to strong a lighter machine cannot benefit in ride quality because of allowing too little movement. This is a very fine line, and if the truth be known, different front end weight machines should be of varied rubber composition, not too stiff, but not too relaxed.
There is also another part of this equation that must be taken into consideration, the flex forks on the older machine will be more fatigued from moving up and down thousands of times, whereas the new machine only has 90 hrs. reducing the mowing up and down movement times tremendously.
The thing most don't think about is this, to cut the same amount of grass with the older machine that was cut with the new machine in 90 hrs., you would need probably 125 hrs. of cut time.