The Convertable Mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WESLEY BROWN, Sep 9, 2003.


    WESLEY BROWN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    Hey Guys I am back with another question. I want to know if anybody uses a mower called the convertable mower? It is a mower that is a zero turn and then it turns into a walk behind. Also I would like to know if anyone uses STEINER mowers?
  2. Try using the words Rich Convertable in the search feature. I came up with three threads one which had more links to other threads. What I found was not favorable.
  3. dmc456

    dmc456 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 384

    I bought a used 2000 model last years. I mow 20+ lawns with it and have never had a lick of trouble. I bought it with 200 hrs and have put 160 additional hrs on it.

    It is great for what I use it for. Several of the lawns I service have steep slopes and it is really nice to only use 1 mower. I do 80% of my mowing in the ZTR mode, but being able to switch to a walk behind in 5 seconds is very nice. Not to mention it is probably the nicest walkbehind on the market.

    Its not the fastest mower (8mph) out there but it is plenty fast for 1/4 - 1/3 acre lawns. I have tried others and have yet to find on more productive for my situation.

    Short comings: they don't go over curbs very well, but I don't go over any curbs so it's not an issue. It will go over curbs but it takes some practice.

    The only mower that I would consider getting for the work that I do is a Wright Stander. I demod one, very nice. It didn't cut as good, but I suspect it was due to the factory blades. I use double blades (high lift and gators). Even with a Stander I would still need a walk behind for several of my clients.

    If you have any specific questions, send them my way.
  4. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Never used the convertible mower but our local country hardware has one and it looks cheap compare to other mowers. The metal looked thin. The mower was directly under the seat and it looked like cheap metal chair legs to hold the flat no springs seat above the engine. The walk-behind setup may be okay but I sure wouldn't want to use is as a ztr for long since it looked so uncomfortable. I also noticed the tall gas tank behind the engine would obstruct your view when using it as walk-behind.
  5. The Lawn Boy Pro

    The Lawn Boy Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    I saw one of thems once. is their website. I think they were overall built for larger homeowner use/light commercial use. Most of the mowers with 7 guage metal on everything (its thick) are generally built that way for added durability and employees that dont care about their owners equipment. Now, if you're the only one using it, you wouldnt be so hard on the machine becasue you payed for it, therefore its more of a concern when it breaks down to you.

    WESLEY BROWN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    Thanks for the info guys
  7. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Hello dmc456

    How do you like the convertible mower in ride mode? It looks uncomfortable where you put your hands and arms on the controls.

    What engine size and deck size do you have. If you have a 52 is it offset?.

    I see you run double blades, How does the mowers power handle it? Do you get alot of blow out in front of the deck?

    thank's john
  8. Jusmowin

    Jusmowin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 727

    I tried one a few years back for 2 days and was not very impressed with it, meaning it was not put together very well and the walk behind position was insane to operate from on a hill much less from flat lawns. I instead bought a Toro walk behind and like it just fine.
  9. dmc456

    dmc456 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 384

    John Gamba

    I have a 48" with 20HP Kohler. Plenty of power. I wish I had the 52" because my deck is a little small for trimming. The rear tires are around 46" wide (basically the same width as my deck). Not the best for going around small trees.

    I get a little blow in the front when going over lots of leaves but thats about it. I love the double blades for the mulching and the suction power when trimming. It pulls grass along fences, sidewalks, flower beds, etc.. under the deck just by getting close. It saves time on trimming.

    Where do I put my arms? There is a black bar that is used kinda like a cruise control. You set it all the way forward went riding and all the way back when walking so it doesn't go too fast or anywhere in the middle. It gives you something to rest your finger tips on then you steer with your thumbs or palms. It also keeps you from jerking the controls when going over rough terrain. Then controls are centered with springs but there are no dampers. It is very similar to the Wright products. My arms have never been tired from mowing.

    I'm always looking at upgrading to something "Bigger and Better", but I have yet to find anything that would give me more return / profitability for my money. Again this is based on doing small to med residential jobs with hills only. I would not recommend one of these for large jobs.

    It takes me about 5-10 minutes to mow most of my clients assuming I don't have to walk lots of hills. With hills it takes about twice as long so I'm looking at fabricating a folding sulky where I can just leave it on the back of the unit when it's needed. It will hinge upward and clip to the back during the ZTR mode and fold down for steep hills. I'll post pictures once it's complete.

    I read comments about not being heavy duty. Well, it's not a tank. It only weighs 750lbs which compared to some is pretty light. It is very easy on the grass which allows me to make quick 180 deg turns. I don't have to waste time making 3 point turns. Of course it will tear grass with the best if both tires are not moving at all times. I get most of my clients from word of mouth or people just driving by when mower a lawn. They like how the lawn looks and hire me. Then they tell their friends. I started in the middle of the summer (mid May) and I don't advertise. I have 20+ clients in one small (198 homes) subdivision. I usually knock out about 4 lawns an hour by my self. I'm using this first year to learn the business and looking to use aeration to expand during the fall and spring.

    Just purchased a Gator-Rator and used it this weekend. I did 4 clients plus my self in 2 hours. Not bad for the first time using it. Pulls nice plugs and very quick on open areas. It is a little teadeous with lots of landscaping to go around. But the fact that I didn't have to get off my unit, didn't break sweat, and made $200/hr is pretty nice. I am going to start advertising this week for Aerations. Wish me luck! If you read this and want to get a Gator-Rator for your Convertible, I did have to make some minor modification (minor only if you have the tools / welding) to make it compatible. It only took me about 15-20 minutes.

    This is getting too long.
  10. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Thank you dmc
    That sounds very good, it is 48" wide a 52 would of been better. iI think it the 52 had a great offset i hope you can see it in the pic. I have a chance to look at one later on this week. Thanks again and good luck with your business. if you need anything just yell!!!!!!.

    652-2 tracvac.jpg

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