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Old 03-31-2014, 12:02 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Originally Posted by redmax fan View Post
imo the ecs handles are total trash because just like has been brought up you cant lean down on them to tilt mower up going over bumps or going up onto trailer . same thing if you have to push mower that isnt running / working , or have to use muscle to make it turn when wheels arent getting good traction . for instance i can run a 48 pistol grip up our trailer ramp with engine off , but the ecs theres no way because i cant get any where to place my hands and get push into it . our most recent purchase was an exmark 48 with ecs and i hate it because of handles and when im occasionally off the whip and mowing i leave it at the yard and take a 15 year old exmark pistol grip because it handles so easily . i walk into our dealer and now adays see all the exmark with nothing but ecs and i roll my eyes , if thats all they make i'll never buy another one .
you CAN get pistol grip you just have to ask for it.

Scags the master when it comes to pistol grip mowers.
But you should try ferris, it's like squeezing a jelly donut, soft and easy, it's almost weird.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:43 PM
echo echo is online now
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Unless one has used the Ferris or SnapperPro pistol grip setup with the cruise bar it would be hard to understand how easy and maneuverable it is to operate. Pushing down to lift the front end is easy. Add in the floating deck and electric start and I've yet to find a better WB.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:53 PM
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redmax fan redmax fan is offline
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thanx 4 info pendagast
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:22 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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I have an Exmark Viking, 36 wide, pistol grips. I posted a thread during the Winter, and this topic was discussed then. My machine has 18 seasons, probably well over 8,000 hours, two engines. It is pretty "tired," with the linkages all pretty loose. I had thought of an off-season replacement. But, I put a new spindle bearings on one side, changed hydro fluid, engine oil/filter, and it is ready to go. I am concerned about one of the hydro pumps. I am looking to get one more season from it.

But, in my search, I have settled on a Ferris 36. If my machine goes belly-up, I will march right to the dealer and get/order one. I've done all the research, just didn't pull the trigger.

I would buy another Exmark Viking, but all new ones come with ECS. I understand there is a conversion kit (thanks to a very helpful LS member), but that is more money, and working with something non-standard. Sorry, don't want to go there. I read many satisfied ESC owners above, but also read some throughts otherwise. I share the "otherwise" position. And, for the same reason, ... a pistol grip machine can be handled. The Viking is very light in the front -- easily picked up with one hand. This means that uphill travels sometimes require lots of up-pull on the pistol grips to keep the front down. Also, with the light front, the deck can easily be raised for roots, rocks, ridges, etc. I see ECS not working for these cases. If one was totally going to manage the machine with the hydro controls, then I can understand the ECS. But, when some portion of the control is through "muscle," ECS just isn't in the cards. The operator has no leverage for those maneuvers mentioned above.

As for the fixed/floating deck, ... a topic that has been beaten to death. There are lots of posts, even in this thread, speaking of the difficulty of changing heights on a fixed deck. In all my 18 seasons, I've only used the caster spacers to manage height. I often change heights several times per day, sometimes twice on the same property. Only in extreme conditions of mowing a badly overgrown area do I move spindle washers. And, I have never moved the bolt-up, deck to frame. In other words, changing the height on a machine when the front can easily be lifted with one hand, is easy and quick -- two latch pins, not four pins holding up the floating deck. And, sorry, ... I don't buy into any assertion about quality of cut because of deck pitch change. It simply is a myth, IMO. I never see a loss of cut quality when moving the caster spacers. There are way too many other factors involved to think that the slight change in deck pitch is going to be noticed by me, or anybody else. I think those who continue to make assertions that "can't do that because the deck pitch is changed," have never tried these machines.

I also agree with comments above -- 36" wide deck is not wide enough to warrant a floating deck. I do more scalping with my floating 48" deck on my ZTR, than my fixed 36" wide deck. The major scalping problem with the 36" fixed deck is front-to-back, not side-to side. These observations are relevant only for 36" wide machines.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:25 PM
Larry57 Larry57 is offline
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I be interested in opinions of the 36" Gravely Pro-Walk Hydro. I'm considering one with the Pro-Steer controls. What is the cut quality like? Will be mostly cutting st. augustine and bermuda.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:44 PM
Pressedun Pressedun is online now
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You most certainly can "lift" the front of the mower with ECS, do it all the time. As for adjusting the front casters on a fixed deck, it's easy... Lift the front of the mower with the caster arm, pull it out, add/subtract a spacer... Done, been using ECS grips for over 10 years now, get used to em and you can do anything.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:52 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
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I have no issues lifting an ecs mower up?
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:27 PM
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Holland Holland is offline
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I love the ecs controls. just like anything to each their own.
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:55 PM
DXN1EL DXN1EL is offline
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Yea.. What about the JD

You can also get it with pistol grips
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:54 PM
jpotter0135 jpotter0135 is offline
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Has anyone used the JD? Right now it comes down to the exmark and the Ferris. I really appreciate all the replies thus far its been helpful.

Plus I just love talking mowers! Almost time for the first cut!
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