Choosing mower with best cut

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rockstate, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. rockstate

    rockstate LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    I plan on buying a 36 belt in the spring for fenced yards but plan on getting my main mower as either a 48 or 52. I'm not sure whether I should get a ZTR or a walkbehind I am looking at about 30 yards a week and im in highschool also. I want something with a quality cut and somthing that stripes very well also, Thanks Steve
     
  2. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    That certainly is a lot of equipment for that few yards.
    Need to be thinking of capital outlay vs income from that outlay, make the business pay for itself. Think in terms of running a business, not just a way of making money.

    Start with a w/b with a sulky. You can certainly do the number of lawns you're talking about (and more) with that. Won't have such a big outlay of money out front.

    Cut quality depends on who you ask and what mower they're using, plus blade set up.

    My choice, Scag w/b, w/mulching kit & sulky.
     
  3. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Do a SEARCH_______ultracut.

    664res500.jpg
     
  4. rockstate

    rockstate LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    rustic goat, do you recomend hydro or belt?
     
  5. Only you can decide what is best for your pocket book.With the mowers out today.Its not the machine that decides the qualityof cut.It is the operator.I can cut and stripe a property with many differ brands of mowers.At your age take into account price ,dealer and income from your accounts.Dont overspend for equipmentHope this helps you out.Also remember there is no perfect mower
     
  6. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    When it came to my choice, I went belt drive, reason = economics 101. Dang Hydro was SO much more I really didn't even consider it.

    Would I do the same today, I think yes.
    Regardless of many opinions to the contrary, my conclusion is you get one major difference with a Hydro, a real working reverse. If you put a great value on having a reverse, then get your wallet out and go Hydro. If reality and economics rule in your head, go with a belt drive.

    I can already hear the Hydro fanatics banging the keys in response.
    First, we are talking about a relatively small walk behind here, not a rider.

    After a bit of self training on your w/b, you'll get mowing inside corners down. A Hydro may allow you to cut into an inside corner a little more, then back out, but how much is that little bit of cutting actually worth. You're going to be in that corner with your trimmer anyway, and it does not take more than a few seconds to trim the extra amount being left by a Belt drive.

    I absolutely disagree with posts that say Belt drive will slip/slide on inclines and a Hydro won't. I routinely mow fairly serious
    slopes and have not experienced any slippage. Actually quite pleased at being able to point the mower and go across or up and down the inclines.
    Coming straight down an incline takes a time or two to get used to. Belt drives don't have the 'self braking' that Hydro's do, it's a matter of light braking and not trying to get cute zipping down a hill.

    Others have talked about drive belt slippage with a Belt drive, sorry it just doesn't happen for me. At first I thought something was wrong I'd been warned about this so much, kept waiting and watching for the drive belts to slip. But no, my Scag works the way it's suppose to.:)

    Belt drive w/b's do have hand lever activated drum brakes, I don't have a problem with this, some might. They do need occasional adjusting, large whoop . . . . . . . . :sleeping:

    So, long answer getting longer, I ultimately believe Belt drive is the better investment, will outlast Hydro units, if you have to replace a tranny, there's only one and it's far less $ than a Hydro unit.
    Again, this is on walk behind units.

    A sulky is an absolute must regardless of which you choose.

    If I can assist any further, just ask, I'll get wordy some more.;)
     
  7. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    OK, I give up, just what size cut is that banner, and whats that big stick in the ground holding it up????:D
     
  8. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    LOLOLOLOL Thanks Pete!

    Hay did you here exmark will have a STRIPING roller for all FLOATING decks on there walks for 2004 HURRAY!!!!!
    John
     
  9. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Ya know, I just don't where all the hype has come from about striping. Doubles work fine for me, and who cares about stripes anyway...... Just wondering.....
    How good is it mowing backwards??? It's just something else that needs to be maintained. Also, it costs money, and for what??? Pretty soon it will a standard, which will just jack up the price of a mower..........Just thinking............
     
  10. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Its also a GREAT anti scalp roller and you should see how it pushes the leaves down so the deck can take the leaves in instead of plowing the leaves into a pile.
    John
     

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