New 48" hydro walkbehind, newbie operator too!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jason Rose, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    First off, for you guys that run these type of machines day in and day out, I don't know HOW you do it! :dizzy: I found out fast that there's a LOT more skill to running one of these than that needed to run a zero turn mower!

    You can see the pics...

    I picked it up just west of Omaha, fun filled 575 mile round trip! Got to see a lot of Nebraska... Yep, corn corn corn, and more center pivot irrigation than Iv'e ever seen in my life. Gave $1,600 for it, came with the Lesco sulky. I had to spend a couple hours going through it and making adjustments. Not one thing on it was properly adjusted! Neutral locks would send it spinning, heck it even creep with the drive handle pulled all the way back. It's basically new, only has maybe 100 hours on it.

    I spent some time learning how to run it comfortably. Found out that this machine really dosn't have enough weight to it to use the castering type sulkey. I put a single wheel velke I had on it and it drives better, less tire slippage. Downside to the single wheel is that I almost broke my leg 2 times! Dosn't take a blink of an eye to accidently overpower the inside (reverse) wheel while turning 180 degrees and end up all twisted and a little scuffed up! I survived... and know that I'd rather have a 2 wheel velke in the future.

    I don't plan on running this full time, just mainly as a back-up machine, or perhaps for when the ground is really soft from rain. I need to find a catcher for it! I'd prefer an aluminium one... The lesco sulkey is more than likely going to be for sale, if anyone has a catcher that will fit this, I may be willing to trade!

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  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Had another question about walkbehind mowers... Do they typically travel slower when going up a grade? Not talking a steep hill, just a "typical" slope. I set the speed for level ground, then when I turn up the hill it looses speed by what feels like half. The engine is not struggling at all, and I don't hear or feel anything slipping or working hard. I just wasn't sure if this was "normal" or not? Oh, it didn't seem to go much better if I was on the velke or not when going up the grade... Tried both ways.
     
  3. Greenery

    Greenery LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    I'm not sure how the great danes are setup but you may want to check your hydro belt and make sure its properly tensioned. I see this happening on our lesco walkbehinds constantly along with the tension pulley wearing out.
     
  4. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 731

    Hydro's do feel different then belt drive mowers but it just takes time to get use to it. Take it slow and you will be fine, also I think it's easier to learn a hydro without a sulky. You can tear up grass faster in turns on a hydro if your not use to it. Personally I feel strange using my belt drive after I don't use it after a while. After you get use to it you will wonder why you didn't buy one sooner. Good luck with your new mower.
     
  5. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    I guess I should mention, I don't run walkbehinds at all. I had a belt drive 36" lesco 6 or 7 years ago and sold it because I hated it! The Hydro is a LOT easier to operate than that for sure. I also felt more comfortable "learning" with the sulkey, at least when on the castering one. Can't run over one's self while on it!

    I need to check that belt tension. I know it can't be worn out already, but if it's an adjustable tensioner and not a spring type it may just need adjustment.
     
  6. greengiant9963

    greengiant9963 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 761

    I helped a friend out about 2 years ago when 3 of his workers never showed up and he was behind on lawns. All he runs are walk behinds. All belt drives. Well just have to say it was a headache 5 times over than a ZTR. The man handling the mower in reverse and just the steering in general. I give guys alot of credit that run them all day. It does take a few lawns to get use to that is for sure. It is nice to have a walkbehind as back up for those lawns in the spring that are on soft soil.
     
  7. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    I had a belt drive WB with pistol grips for about 3 or 4 months and hated it ... needless to say, I sold it. Luckily, the way I figure the depreciation on it, I only lost about $80.00 on the machine when I sold it.
     
  8. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 731

    You might want to check the release valve lever on the pumps. If it comes loose alittle the pumps aren't getting all the preasure and it feels like the mower isn't pulling good when the engine is fine.
     
  9. SNAPPER MAN

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    Greengiant- I run my belt drive all day and its really easy once you get used to it. Ill admit though you have to have some muscle to use one effectively. I wouldnt buy a hydro walkbehind because I just cannot see spending $4-5k for a walkbehind. Belt drives are what most people around here use since we dont have lots of hills. Some people like me use belt drives because of the price.
     

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