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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by exmarkman11, Dec 17, 2012.
Here's a "very large property mower"!
Hustler should have made 36 or 48 inch pull behinds to go behind the new Super with the hyper drive,that would have made way more sence than the 104.
My dealer has one and it is a demo unit. Saw it yesterday but didnt get on it because kids was with me.
You are in a nice area, I have chased stripers from Oregon Inlet, NC to off Virginia Beach in one days fishing.
The person I talked with at your dealership had no idea as to what the 104 may sell for, all he would say is the MSRP is 28k.
I don't feel this mower is a good fit for the industry, and I definitely know it needs more hp than is offered. I have a 72" Super Z that needs all the power the 35 hp Kawasaki has to offer, so I know it can't handle 8.66' of deck sufficiently, and the Kohler is no stronger. Because of the difference in speed, I can take the 72" Super Z and cut very close to the same amount of grass for a great deal less money.
When people actually see the calculations it blows their mind at how much difference speed makes in cutting productivity. One can say you will need to slow down from a 15 mph cutting speed but it is all relative. I have areas that's no problem to cut as fast as my Super Z will run, and I've acutally seen times I was pushing the sticks trying to get more speed. I also have areas I slow down, but these would be the same areas you would pull back on the 104 as well, I'm not sure how well the wings on the 104 can hold up to bouncing on rough terrain.
I think this is more of a highly manicured sports complex type mower, and in that type cutting, the engines offered would suffice. Put this mower into damp or large grass and one will find out very quickly it is extremely weak.
Toro has built wide open area mowers for a very long time (considered tops in the business), and they calculate 5.5 to 6 diesel hp per foot of cut.
8.5' x 11 mph x 5280' x (70% efficiency) ÷ 43,560 = mowing 7.93 ac per hr
6' x 15 mph x 5280' x (70% efficiency) ÷ 43,560 = mowing 7.63 ac per hr
You have to take into consideration that this mower is a rear discharge and consequently takes much less power than a side discharge mower. Also it is important to realize that Hustler's rear discharge mowers discharge out the whole width of the deck and not just between the wheels like most other brands do. The less processing of the clippings the mower does the less power it will take. Hustler has been having great success with the Super 104 so far.
The mower has its place for a select few, I am only pointing out the differences in productivity. You can buy 2 / 72" Super Z HyperDrives for close to the same money and cut by far much more grass, even for the fact your speed could be reduced to that of the 104, the 72s would still cut 28% more grass in the same time period, and the 104 requiring less power has nothing to do with this scenario.
This all boils down to what a person has a need of, but I will say this, the 104s are not being sold in my area, and I have yet to see one on a trailer, or being used by anyone in the lawn maintenance business. This is with Charlotte, NC and the surrounding area being loaded with many different lawn maintenance companies.
The most expensive part of any business is labor. It takes 2 people to operate those 2 mowers, while only 1 for the 104.
Most companies have 2 people, but like I said, there are a select few (very select) that would have a need of this mower. I am looking at it entirely from money invested and amount of grass cut. You could also use the 72 on smaller properties where more trimming would be required. You can maneuver the 72 around a tree and be gone before you could get the 104 turned and headed back in the needed direction.
With enough larger properties you could generate more than adequate additional income to pay another operator. Say you could generate $800 per day with the 104, 28% higher productivity would equate to $1024 in the same time period. $200 a day would easily pay for another operator, and allow a little to be pocketed. This is totally based on whether you have enough larger properties to keep these mowers busy at least 5 days per week, and with the amount of grass 2 / 72s would cut, you would need a huge number of acres to cut weekly.
For some reason you seem to really be against the Super 104 Puppy. You are always warning people against it everywhere on lawnsite, I wonder why. I know of a city that has at least three of them and they were able to cut one of their employees off of the mowing crew and put him somewhere else because of the time savings. These mowers are designed to replace the large out front mowers which are often waaay more expensive. Because of the greatly increased maneuverability they can mow just as fast as many larger mowers. The bottom line is $$$$ and more and more cities are going with the Super 104 for one reason, it saves them money.
I have no problem with the 104 or any mower that suits the needs of the buyer, and I'm glad to see their share of this particular market picking up. I personally just have not seen this mower in action and it's not a seller in this area at this point in time. I only live a couple miles from a university, meaning I watch them mow a great deal of grass on a very regular basis. They use a few different brands but for the most part buy out-front deck Toros for large area mowing.
Now, that I'm thinking of it, and for whatever reason I have no idea, there is not a Hustler mower of any type in their fleet. I've seen a few Bobcat mowers, but mainly Toros. There is something else while thinking about it that's a little strange, we have a very good Exmark and Scag dealer within 5 miles of their campus, and I've never seen either a Scag or Exmark on their property. I find this a little odd, and believe me it's not like they don't have the money to buy whatever they so desire, they spend money on grass and landscaping like running water, the campus is high maintenance and manicured to perfection. They not only have a tremendous amount of grass to maintain, which is cut on less than a weekly basis, they have a great deal of beautiful beds and plantings to maintain. I could see a 104 definitely fitting into their mowing scheme, but to my knowledge they've never demoed this mower. A demo is kind of hard to come by with a mower in this price range.