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Best value in walk-behinds?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Howie's Lawn Care, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    What models do you guys recommend as far as 32", 36", 44", and 48" walk-behinds? I need a 32" or 36" for small lawns and a 48" for the bigger ones. I don't have the cash monizle for rizle at this time to purchase a ZTR. Hustler's equipment looks pretty nice, but their walk-behinds seem kind of expensive. Anyways, what would be a good 2 walk-behind combo as far as brand, deck type, cut width, and transmission? List the retail prices if you know them. I'm thinking Toro may be a good brand to go with. Well, let me know what you guys think. Thanks.
  2. newbomb

    newbomb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 391

    I would recomend you get a 32" w/b rather than a 36". A 32" gets through all gates and still can do a decent amount of work. Exmark, JD, Bobcat are all good. I would get a pistol grip for the small machine. I have found the pistol grip to manuever better in tight spaces.

    A 48" w/b makes a good companion to the 32". You will be able to do quite a bit of work with these two. In a year or 2 you can trade the 48" in on a ztr. You may want a tbar for the 48", they can be faster in open areas. You can get a velke or proslide for the 48" machine and minimize your walking.

    I would get at least a 12 hp on the 32" and a 15 hp motor on the 48" and be sure the motor has an oil filter. The filter makes the motor last longer and you can be sure the motor has an oil pump if it has a filter. The oil pump allows you to cut on hills and still have the motor be lubricated. This is essential. I strongly recommend Kohler or Kawasaki engines, of the 2 Kohler is my favorite. A 32" machine will be about $2000 and a 48" machine will be close to $3000, you maybe able to get a better price since we are well into the season. Also I have always used fixed decks and had good results with them.
  3. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,579

    Howie,If you plan on buying hydro look at 4 to 5K. Belt or gear drives as they are called run around 2K to close to 3K. Floating deck gear drives run close to 4K. I know these are not exact but are pretty close to what you will get quoted.

  4. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    better offers a very good value, but it won't perform like a tthp or hustler DD hydro will.

    it's great as a trim mower, or even a main mower, but it is a single hydro, and thus you are not as manueverable with a sulky, and it's not instant at your fingers control. but it also doesn't cost 4k either.

    the hustler walkbehinds also go a lot faster than the exmarks. I think the hustlers get 10mph top speed, while the exmark only gets 6.5 mph.
  5. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    If the fixed deck is alright, then what about the transmission. Is gear driven good enough to use at first?
  6. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    the problems with gear driven mowers, is that you really loose a lot of control that you get with a hydro. that is why the quick 36 works. for tight property's, you have control, for a cheaper price.

    with a gear driven, you will find that you cannot get as close to fences, and other areas as you could with a hydro walk behind. if you have to pick, I would make the smaller mower the hydro one. the big one you will be using on larger property's with a wider layout, requiring less tight turning.

    unfortinatly, it is very hard to get a 32" in a hydro. exmark used to make one, but discontinued it.

    btw, make sure you get a floating deck on all deck sizes larger than 44".
  7. g5cutsgrass

    g5cutsgrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Have a look at a Great Dane Scamper. They use two hydrostatic transmissions (not hydraulic) which produce the advantages of hydro drive without the expense. I bought a 48 for my first commercial rig last year and am quite pleased with it. I think it's a great value for a first "real" machine.

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