Equipement advice...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GRT, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. GRT

    GRT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 116

    Light duty, 75-80 customer a week crew - 3 man. I try to get the most out of my equipment. I am not buying a ZTR for this crew, but I am looking at a 52" wb to be the crew's largest mower. 52" is that limit where Exmark only makes hydro, and Scag makes a belt drive and hydros. Belt drives are $1000 cheaper at least...do you see a major productivity increase WITHOUT a velke by using this size hydro as compared to a belt drive? My normal setup is two mowers, one man on line and hedge trimmer, and the mower men blow when finished. It obviously changes according to the property, but it's usually the same. The second size mower is up in the air...possibly 2 52s and 1 21.

    I suppose the main quesiton is belt drive vs. hydro, a long debated subject ;)
  2. BMFD92

    BMFD92 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 698

    I don't know much on the productivity on belt vs hydro but I demoed a hydro and they are easier to manuvere and the reverse on it makes it easier to get around so im sure you would save time if you got the hydro. I use a gear drive and this season I was running two gear drive mowers but I was only doing 26 lawns. Thats about a little more then a third of what you are doing so I just wanted to say that a hydro looks like a better machine and that a scag or bobcat is a very good mower.
  3. GRT

    GRT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 116

    We run 60" hydro's with velke's (turf tracers). That is the only time I like velkes, becuase the cutting swath is large enough for that third line IMHO. They are very easy to manuver. I haven't run a scag in about 3 years except for a backup we keep. I do like ECS that Exmark offers...I'm shorter so it's more comfortable for me. Reverse is an excellent consideration. Thanks for your post.
  4. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    Productivity..probably not a whole lot of difference as to the time to cut without the Velke you said you wouldn't use also.

    I use only Hydro and agree that the ease of use is probably the main different in the situation that you have layed out.
  5. GRT

    GRT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 116

    I think I agree with you MM, but I'm a cheap bastard :) However, less worker fatigue is a consideration...great point. Thanks!

  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    "Saving" a grand over the life of the machine? Do the math and see what that comes to per hour. I did it 11 years ago when I got into this full time. Currently we run 5 dual hydro WB's (52's and 61's) with single and dual velkes and never looked back.

    BTW, I have some very thankful employees you can talk with anytime you'd like :)
  7. fcl01

    fcl01 LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Posts: 249

    a lot of things come into play when youre talking productivity.
    im not into the mowing near as much as a lot of these guys but i have a little advice on mowers.
    if you go with a belt drive, and have a bunch of backing up to do its a real pain. UNLESS, you buy a light weight mower that you can manhandle easily.
    i have a scag 48 belt and its very easy to back up. with the brakes adjusted right, you take the tension off the drive belts and not actually apply the brakes. then just pull.
    however, on our gravely 44, its so darn heavy that i just be careful not to get in tight spots that ill need to back out of cuz its a milk-strainer to try and pull.
    to make things worse, the gravely with its heavy deck, has no problem holding the nose down going up steep hills. whereas the scag wants to wheelie the whole way up.

    in conclusion, buy a big, heavy hydro. i know i will.
    hope this helps

    rodfather likes this.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Very good points Dan
    fcl01 likes this.

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