Help me decide on motor?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jstew33, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. jstew33

    jstew33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I kind of touched on this in another post, but it was more directed at whether or not the Vanguard was a decent motor. My dilemma is that I am going with a Bad Boy pup 60". The two engine choices are a 23hp Vanguard or a 30hp Kohler. I'm a homeowner mowing 4 acres as well as a baseball field. Is the 23hp Vanguard enough for a 60" deck? The dealer continues to tell me that it is and I feel like he is trying to get me in a mower that best suits my needs. I just want to be sure that the Vanguard will suit my needs. There is a substantial price difference of $500-600 so that is obviously influencing my decision also. I sure don't want to get into a mower either that just doesn't cut it (literally). You guys have way more experience with this stuff than I and hope that you help shed some much needed light. Oh yeah, I won't be mulching if this makes a difference.

  2. riches139

    riches139 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    Go with the Kohler.
    you'll be glad you spent the extra dollars. :clapping:
  3. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    Ditto the kohler. Worked for a guy that had a 27kohler on a 60'' exmark and it was underpowered in heavy spring growth.
  4. Distorted

    Distorted LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,982

    There will be times when weather or vacations will leave the grass high. I doubt you would be happy with a 23hp engine when you had a real job to do. Plan for the extremes is my thought.
  5. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    Go with the kohler. If you do a little research your will find that the B&S engines lack the torqe vs another engine of the same hp. That will make a big difference in heavy mowing conditions.
    BTW if you are looking at the dealer in Spfld., he does'nt know much.
    Botton the kohler. 27 hp would be plenty. 30 is a new model, maybe some problems?
  6. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,646

    Get the 30 hp Kohler. The 31 hp Vanguard on the Exmark XS I've used is awesome and is just about the right amount of power I want. I wouldn't want anything less.
  7. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    You can never have enough power so if in doubt go with the larger engine. On the other hand I mowed with a 23 hp 60" Lazer for over a year with few poblems. You may have to go a bit slower in heavy growth and keep your blades sharp but it will do the job if its fairly level ground and you don't let the grass get out of control. A 25 hp 60" cut was a standard for years.
  8. Green King

    Green King LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    Be carefull with the dealer you are talking to in Springfield. You are a howeowner so it might be ok. but as a cutter I would go some other route.
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    No... I wouldn't want a 23hp 60" mower.

    It kinda defeats the purpose of a ZTR.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    You're somewhat in between, 4 acres and a baseball field, that's quite a bit of grass there.
    As a homeowner, the 23hp is enough.
    For commercial, everyday use, you'd want the Kohler.
    A 50-50 split, so tell me, how is your patience?

    See because as far as tall grass, this isn't the same machine but I put a 12.5 hp Briggs and Stratton (who also makes the vanguard) on my 52" Walk-behind with a velke, and it had enough power to pull me and cut grass you just sometimes have to go a little slower in the real thick stuff to allow the engine to keep up, but the 12.5hp 52" is in use with a homeowner today. Normal engine for the 52" is a 15hp Kohler and they come with 18hp Kawis sometime, but I'm telling you if you're not overly impatient, then a lower hp can make the money saved worth the while.

    You pay for it either way, you either pay more money for power, or you tolerate the passing of some extra time well.
    How much time depends somewhat on the thickness and height of the grass, but overall 10-20 percent maybe.
    So instead of 3 hours it might take you 3.25 - 3.5 as an example but don't let it get too tall lol

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