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Upgrading to a 48" Walk Behind Questions

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Freeon, May 15, 2005.

  1. Freeon

    Freeon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I am looking for some advice on what equipment to use on my lawn.

    Right now I have ~1.5 acres to mow. A good portion of that is a hill that runs along the side of the house, it's ~30 degree incline. I mulch the clipping so I'm mowing 1-2 times a week using a John Deere L130.

    I'm thinking of trading this in for a 48" walk behind. My main reasons for trading up is the current tractor has an awful time on the hill (gets stuck going straight up), love to get a sharper turn radius and would love to save a little time.

    I visited nearby dealer and thy recommended a Deere 7G18 and a Scag SW48A-15KA.

    Do I really need a floating deck to cut down on scalping? Is the hydro really important for a homeowner? Will a machine like this really save me time? It takes me ~2.5 hrs now.

    I would really like to keep the price under $4000 recommendations for other brands would also be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for all the help.
  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    OK I've looked at the 0 post long enough, A floating deck is always better to reduce scalping especially on uneven ground and hillsides. The hydro units are the choice for mowing hillsides over geardrive because of drive belt slippage. And lastly will you save time ? I believe you will by not fighting that tractor up the hill.
    As you see I'm a Service Technician and my opion is based on the amount of belts I've replaced and feedback from my commerical users,My self personally if I can't ride I don't mow.
  3. Eddie B

    Eddie B LawnSite Senior Member
    from gone
    Posts: 859

    You might be better off with a Cub Cadet zero-turn rider for homeowners use, they start at $2,300
  4. deerslayer

    deerslayer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    I bought an Exmark 48" Metro walkbehind and cut my mowing time in half vs. my 42" tractor. I would definately recommend a floating deck if you can afford it. My budget was very tight and I didn't have time to shop around much due to the transmission in my old mower going out. The majority of my mowing is on a hillside. Some places, I have to walk behind the mower and the rest of it I can ride on the sulky I have on it. I think the hydro would be the best if you can afford it. The belt drive hasn't given my any problems, but I can see how I could mow faster if I didn't have to stop to change gears.
  5. bobcat175

    bobcat175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 377

    If you want to keep the price down you should consider used. You should be able to get a good deal on a 48 hydro easily < $2500 (depends on condition/hours). I have a hill as well and am fine with a fixed deck. No scalping at the top of the hill. A little when going sideways where the hill flattens out but nothing major to make me run out and get a floating deck. I would say that primarily you should look at hydro before picking on the deck type.
  6. Freeon

    Freeon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Great advice. Reading your replies and a few other threads it sounds like a 48" fixed deck hydro is the way to go. I'm going to get the much kit and would love a machine outfitted with a proslide.

    Since my lawn is less than two acres I'm good with walking it. With this type of machine how would I mow my 30 degree hill? Can I go straight across or would I have to go diagonally.

    Bobcat, I like the idea of getting a used one to help out on price. I'll have to look for a while and figure out what a good price is.
  7. bobcat175

    bobcat175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 377

    Check out the following post
    contact NOV141992. He got a decent deal on a 52" floating hydro near you. I think the guy that sold it might still have another one.

    As far as the hill.. Mine is probably the same and I am able to cut it up/down and side/side. I do get off the velke when going up and side to side on the steep parts. Never had a situation where I was worried about tipping over. You can see part of the hill in my avitar. Doesn't give a good perspective, though. I can send you some better pics if you're interested.
  8. Freeon

    Freeon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Bobcat, I read that one and the one where he initially asked for advice. All good stuff. Helped my get a better idea of what I was looking to buy.

    I looked in the paper and found a guys with two, walk behind, 60" Exmark Turf Tracer, hydrostatic, 23hp Kohler, electric start, both at 1000 hrs, $2500 each.

    Now I have to get off my duff and go check out some mowers.

    Glad to hear you can go straight across the hill. Yours looks pretty similar to mine. It goes the entire length of my yard on one side of the house. The rest is pretty flat.

    Now BaileysLawnServices you recommended a ZTR for homeowners. The walk behind would handle significantly better on the hill, right?
  9. bobcat175

    bobcat175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 377

    I don't think I would buy a ZTR with a steep hill. Ask around at what the steepest hill people have done with them. Also much more expensive. If you can try it on your yard first that would be the only way I would feel comfortable with a ZTR. Also I might consider a Wright Stander. I think they are decent on the hills. Really depends on your budget and what quality you are looking for.
  10. Freeon

    Freeon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Roger that. My understanding is that I'm on the right track with Walk behind for my hill.

    Is there anywhere I can get prices on several brands scag, deere, exmark, bobcat prices for similar models. I'm still thinking the 48" fixed, hydro is my target mower.

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