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17 or 21 horse for 52" walkbehind

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JLC, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 467

    I'm looking at a Scag Ultimate hydro walkbehind with the advantage deck. I've heard that the Scag walkbehinds are great it is just the ZTR's that suck. I'm looking at the 52" model and I can get a 17 or 21 horse Kawasaki. I will be mainly using this for really steep hills and small residentials. I wan't to run a Pro-slide as well. I've done some searching and everyone seems quite happy with the 17 horse, but there seem to be no comments on the 21 horse. I like as much horsepower as possible, but is 21 overkill? Is this what I should be looking at given the intended use?
  2. IF you are buying new you should get the biggest engine that comes with that model.

    Why buy a slant six for when a few $$ more you can get a hemi?
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I'm with Larry, I demoed a 17 Kawi on a Gravely and it had no problem cutting grass and pulling me 215lbs on a Proslide but I still like the most you can get because as everything gets older it loses a little snot and if you start bigger you don't notice the motor getting tired as time goes by. Also the bigger motor will lessen the entire effort of running the mower resulting in longer life. Go as big as you can get.
  4. Double D

    Double D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    Definitly go with the 21hp. I have a 52" hydro with a 17hp Kaw., and use a ProSlide (I go about 230#). The mower does fine 98% of the time, but there is that small time frame when the machine needs a little more hp.
  5. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    I say go with the 21. The power will be there if you need it. If you don't need it you can throttle back. Also, I would assume the 21 will not have to work as hard as the 17 which would hopefully prolong its life.

  6. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 467

    Called the guys from Pro-Slide today and discussed the Slide on this mower. He said it would work great with the Scag. He also thought that more horsepower would be better, especially since this will be primarilly a hill mower dragging the sulky. He thought the balance would be really nice on hills with the heavy mower deck.

    On a side note he said go to Lawnsite.com to find out what others think of their slide. The word is out, what a great website!
  7. dhicks

    dhicks Member
    Posts: 771

    Go with the 21 HP you'll not regret the extra $$$ spent down the road.
  8. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,048

    In this case, more is better. Also with the weight issue, it will keep the front end down when on a hill. Of course, I'd like to hear you bought a hustler, but get the best dealer support possible. That always means more than any 1 manufacturer. Hope it works out for you either way.
  9. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 467

    Crazygator, I really liked the Hustler at the expo. The controls worked awesome, very easy to use. As we all know though, the equipment is as good as the dealer and I wasn't that impressed with my closest one. I would like to think that a piece of equipment wouldn't break, but I know better from experience. I'm not sure that the Proslide would work on the Hustler Hydro Walk either. If I could pick though the Hustlers would be all that I run. I was really impressed with them. Maybe the factory will sell them to me direct.:)
  10. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 723

    JLC don't want to make you disappointed, but i demoed the same machine last week for 2days. It had the 17hp Kaw. The cut was a little better than the original deck but i thought it would be much better than it was, I didn't run doubles on it but if you purchase that machine youll be doing alot of double cutting,it clumps very bad,and for hills real steap it just don't seem to want to climb, my 52" Snapper is 3 times the machine that the scag was. I told Jerry my dealers main mechanic and he said he doesn't understand why scag can't seem to get it right. I unloaded my Snapper a let him try the doubles and he was totally amazed at the cut,no one around here uses them except me. One more horror story sorry to sound so mean but you should know the truth.I broke down both days, 1st idler spring broke ,day 2 right motor pump was getting real weak. Like i said don't mean to scare you off your decison but no way would i buy the Scag. Marks Mowing Service

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