Newbie.....My Dilemma....Want Your Opinions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Cathman, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. Cathman

    Cathman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Ok, here is my dilemma....i have the Gravely it when i can use it. Cuts very nice...buttttttttt, we have been having a ton of rain here and i mow as long as it is not raining at the time...i do this part time. Anyway, the problem i have been running into is the fact that when it is still slightly wet, it will leave track lines. It has to be a nice dry yard with solid ground for me to use it and feel good about my results, so i have been using the 21 a lot more lately.

    With that being said i have thought about getting a 32-36" walk behind instead. I do all smaller residential yards, but in order to make any money around here, speed is key. So the 21 works fine, but time is money and with the Gravely 34 i can get it done in a hurry, but this rainy weather has been killing me. Would something like a Better Outdoor 36" WB leave tracking lines in a yard being it only weighs 350 or so vs. the Gravely at 700+ and my big butt on it putting it a little over 900 total i think.

    Also, i started out wanting to get 10 yards about a month ago....well i have that now and never in my mind would i have thought i would have gotten them so quickly. I have one 2 acre lot and think i would like to start attacking more of these size and even a couple of commercial accounts in the coming year. The 34 works but takes me almost 2 hours on the 2 acre lot....a bit bumpy with several obstacles scattered throughout.

    I can get a new 06 model Hustler Fasttrack 44" with 18 Kohler for 3750 or one with a Kawi for 400 more or i can get a 54" Hustler Fasttrack for 5000.00.

    I have the 34z which i love when its dry, but if i want to go bigger i am thinking a bigger Z and a 32-36 WB might be my best combo. Get my residentials done with the WB and have the Z for the commercials and larger acreage lots. Thoughts from you experienced folks??
  2. ChadA

    ChadA LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 521

    We have been getting alot of rain to in the last month or so. It seems like it will never stop. Anyway some of my yards are so wet even when you walk on it you can see your footprints in the mud. What I have found that works really well is to get the water hose out and just rinse the mud off the grass. I did one earlier this week where my tracks where so dark I almost didn't cut but they were already 5 days overdue because of rain. Hosed it off when I was done and you couldn't even tell they were there. It only takes about five minutes or so. Try it sometime.
  3. georgiagrass

    georgiagrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 971

    I have the Gravely 34Z also. Great mower for getting through gates. I've also had problems with it marking lawns, which I attribute largely to the relatively narrow rear tires (8.5"). Other than that, it's a very useful piece of equipment.
  4. Cathman

    Cathman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Understand the water hose thing, but what i am having a problem with more is it is actually compacting the area where the tires have been...due to the softness of the ground and the weight of the mower...i also think it is due partly to the narrow tire size putting more weight over a smaller area. Works great when dry though and it cuts very nicely. Thought about getting some wider tires if possible, but then that defeats the small size for the gates.....i have not found one yet that i could not get into. I have also done several one time mows and and a few maintenance for a real estate company work with here and have been able to fit through them all.

    So my decision/choice would be, go with a bigger ZTR and start taking more of these large properties...mostly wide open space to mow but 2 acres or more and then get a Quick 36 for my residentials or stick with what i have and use the 21 when i have to as i have been.
  5. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,522

    I have a 36 Scag Z Cat which has wider rear tires than your Gravely. With all the rain that we have had here, it hasn't seen as much use over the last 6 weeks as it normally would because of tracking up yards. My WB doesn't track them up nearly as bad although I have some yards that are so wet I've had to use the 21 on them. If you are going to invest in a WB, get a hydro instead of a belt drive. I bought a new Exmark Metro earlier this year and wished that I had spent the extra $$$ for a hydro.
  6. lonnie

    lonnie LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 317

    I have been going through a similar decision in my head also. I have noticed the ground compacting more since all this rain started also. I was considering selling my 34z and going with a larger stander. I just don't know if I would regret getting rid of the 34z because it cuts so good.
  7. brucec

    brucec LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 469

    This is the exact reason I bought my quick 44. I really didn't want to have a 700# mower on some of my yards. And even with the single hydro the compact design and light weight makes it very easy to get in tight areas. Its hard to believe that this thing is the same length as a 21". I have yet to leave ruts in any of my yards and some of my customers have commented on how much better their yards look and how they really don't like the larger machines on their yard. Just my 2 cents.
  8. bahamamills

    bahamamills LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    Don't own one but can not find a bad thing about them. You have two issues one being moisture and the other being weight. If you need a light WB I would definetly consider the quick 36 or 44.

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