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Need some walk behind expert advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tlvoskamp, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. Tlvoskamp

    Tlvoskamp LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    I am currently looking to upgrade into a midsize walk behind. I am looking at the Toro 32" belt drive walk behind. My question for you all is what are your opinions on the fixed deck vs the floating deck. I cannot decide which deck to go with. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Also do you think the Kawasaki or the Kohler would be a better engine choice on this mower. Finally what sulky/velke would you recommend for this mower. The Toro version is pretty pricy so i was wanting to go for a more reasonable aftermarket brand. Any specific advice on the sulky/velke question would also be greatly appreciated.

  2. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 821

    With a 32" mower, a fixed deck mower will be absolutely fine with concerns of scalping. Any reason why you aren't looking at a 36"?? It comes with the Turboforce deck, which is supposed to be pretty good. I have a 52" fixed deck, and hardly ever scalp. I have only had Kawasaki engines, and have been more than happy with them.
    I have never used a sulky on a belt drive. But on a hydro, I LOVE the Proslide. Saves so much time.
  3. Tlvoskamp

    Tlvoskamp LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48


    I am not ruling out a 36" deck, I was trying to keep my options open so as to fit in most all back yards. If I currently have about 50% of my desired yards and I look to double my current workload. DO you think it would be worth the time savings to go ahead with the 36 " deck and just make sure all future business can accomodate that mower or should I go with the 32" and remain flexible. Most all my current yards can accomodate a 36" deck no problem. Also why don't you use a sulky with a belt drive.


  4. Ron's Lawncare

    Ron's Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 266

    i don't like a sulky on a belt drive either. plus i never tried a sulky on anything smaller than a 48'' deck. i really don't know how a lighter beltdrive machine would tow a sulky.
  5. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 821

    I don't have any belt drive mowers. Some on here have used sulkys with belts and as long as you aren't too heavy, they work ok.
  6. barnard

    barnard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 618

    Go with the 36 . And yes it'll pull a Velke fine. I recommend the Velke brand . www.russopower sells them for $209.
  7. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    I've got a 32 Bob-Cat with a 12hp Briggs and a set of Jungle Wheels. It pulls my big a$$ just fine. I've also got a 36 Bob-Cat with a 15 Kohler and a set of Jungle Wheels too.
    As far as fixed or floating. I don't see the need for a floater on such a small mower. Besides, it will add a lot more weight. Think of that as you try to manhandle it out of a bad situation. As far as changing the cut height, it takes a total of about 10 seconds to change either of my fixed decks.
    The only problem is I get a little grease on my hands, big deal.
  8. Lovingreen

    Lovingreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    The best decision I have made in this industry was my first mower purchase. I too was going to start with small belt drive, but ended up going with a 48" Floating Deck Hydro and Velke. If you can find a way to swing a little more $$, you will NEVER regret going with a larger unit. the Hydro units are much quicker and more agile especially on hills, also the floating deck makes deck height changes a snap on the fly for different turfgrasses.

    If you cannot do a 48 or 42", a Floating deck on a 36" is not crucial as far as scalping goes, but as far as height adjustments between stops, it makes a huge difference.

    I wouldn't mess with a belt drive unless it was a backup machine that didn't get used daily, you will just be much more efficient and happier with the hydro drive on any sized walk behind.

    As far as brand goes, everyone will tell you that the brand they run is the best. I have run Scag, John Deere, and Exmark Walk behinds and have become rather loyal to Exmark. Whatever you consider, be sure to ask about demoing the different machines before you decide which one.

    If you are looking at long term, look to buy the very best you can. you will spend less over the long haul and make much more!
  9. Lynden-Jeff

    Lynden-Jeff LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,405

    I have a 48" fixed deck and no scalping issues. I am also in the middle of selling my 32" belt drive w.b (not a sales pitch since your WAY far away) just because I HATE belt drive. It was a good little mower but I used it for less then 10 hours. I think a floating deck is rediculous on anything small then
    54". I have never scalped with my 48.

  10. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654

    I have a exmark 36" floating deck belt drive.....IMO I would go with a floating deck because I have had scalping issues with a fixed deck and I will never have another. Changing deck height is so much faster on a floating deck and I also run a sulky....The issue I have with a sulky is ...if you are heavy(200+) the front end will lift on you going up slight inclines and give an uneven cut unless you put weights on it.
    My mower is also a belt drive and it does become a small problem when the belts get wet cuz they will slip ....you just have to push a little kinda like ridin a skate board.

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