Just bought a Big Dog R-748 Power Bar mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by doublesharp, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. doublesharp

    doublesharp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    I couldn't pass up a deal so I bought a Big Dog R-748 power bar mower. Paid $3585 out the door for a mower that is still in the crate. 21.5hp Kawasaki FR651 engine, Hydro gear ZT-3100 transmission and mostly the same as a Hustler Fastrac. 3 year, 240 hour warranty.

    The power bar is the same as the steering on the Hustler Trimstar. The power bar was intuitive and this is for a 3/4 acre residential lot so it probably won't see 25 hours use a year.

    Here's a link to the mower and the selling dealer. I pick it up Tuesday.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-BIG-DOG-R-748-POWER-BAR-ZERO-TURN-MOWER-/331016435009
     
  2. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,388

    I didn't know they had that steering design on any of their Z's. That's pretty cool. Let us know how she goes.
     
  3. Outlawn

    Outlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 735

    Lol it looks like a "Scoot-around" with a mower deck. You should totally get an antenna with a raccoon tail on it!
    On a more serious note, are those mowers built by Hustler? I looked at some locally and they look just like Hustlers
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  4. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,388

    Hustler owns Big Dog.
     
  5. doublesharp

    doublesharp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    My devious plan is to put my wife on this. She doesn't like a zero turn but loved a JayZee joystick mower I was trading on. Reminded her of video games. Yes this is made by Hustler, has the same deck as the Fastrak, uses the same hydro 3100 transmission. they cut a few corners on size of gas tank and a couple less scalp wheels but it's pretty much the same mower as the Hustler. Warranty is a bit less, 3 years 240 hours for residential use.

    Since the power bar didn't sell on the rider, Hustler is blowing these out to dealers. My dealer says he can sell the Kawasaki Fr651V engine and the Hydro gear 3100 transmission and come out ahead. His cash price is $3350 + 7 % tax and he's got one left out of last month's shipment of 7. I get mine tomorrow and I'll post a review.
     
  6. doublesharp

    doublesharp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    Picked up my Big Dog R748 today and it suits me. A little tricky getting used to reverse using the powerbar but after a few turns it's easier. Just do opposite of what feels natural. :)

    Runs good, cuts good and feels like quality. It's not my Predator Pro but it's a quality piece of machinery that will be perfect for where it will be used and it's a lot of mower for $3350+tax. Couple pix before it has mowed a blade of grass.

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  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,388

    That's nice. Explain exactly how that drive system works as far as the operator using it.
     
  8. doublesharp

    doublesharp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    Twist the throttle forward to go forward. Right or left hand, it doesn't matter. Easy to use one handed but easier with two. Similar to a motorcycle throttle but either hand works. Twist the throttle backward and you go to reverse. Neutral is in the center.

    I'm in the habit of making 3 point Y turns and this is a bit awkward at first. To me it seems backwards from my natural impulse. It turns in it's own width if you want to spin it but being used to heavy mowers I don't turn that way because it tears too much turf. The ground here is dry and hard but I tore no turf today playing with it.
     
  9. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,388

    So, to make a left turn, you would twist the left rearward and the right forward, or do you twist them both forwards still, but twist the handle left or right?
     
  10. doublesharp

    doublesharp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    The left and right handles are opposite ends of the same steering bar and they do not turn independently. Not like a zero turn at all. That's why it is so easy to drive with one hand. To back left, you push/point your front wheels left gently, while rolling/twisting the power bar to the rear. Kinda like backing a trailer, your moves are exaggerated so don't cut too deep and practice being smooth. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to back this down a driveway in a reasonably straight line while blowing clippings to the side but I expect I will with practice. The transmission feels smooth and not jerky but it is sensitive so movement needs to be smooth and deliberate.

    It turns in it's width so if you just cut hard left or right you'll turn sharp and be able to make time mowing. I just normally make Y turns at a slower speed to avoid tearing turf as my heavy Bobcat pred pro will divot it up if you spin on a wheel with out keeping it moving.
     

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