Walk behind scalping

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Turf Dancer, Sep 2, 2002.

  1. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    I am in a serious hunt for a new larger machine with a 36" cut. I have tested a Great dane 36" Super Surfer and a Dane 36" Scamper which at this point has a fixed deck which on the lawns I tested it on scalped a couple of places. I curious if the floating deck in a 36" cut will eliminate the scalping ? If so I am in the market for a new Walkbehind or Stand On Mower in a 36" cut. My Other question : Is the ECS system easy to stay on a straqit line because the other walks I have seen are somewhat dificult to keep on a strait line . The lawns I have seen cut with them look like the operator was under the influence of alcohol.
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Turf Dancer,

    Truthfully any deck can and will scalp sooner or later. It is however much less likely with a floating deck. The floating deck on a 36" cut can at times compensate for taking the wrong approach to a hill or uneven area of a lawn.

    If I recall correctly the two machines you've tested are a push to go drive system (not sure however). This simply means that you much push forward on the controls to get forward motion. Push to go works great in an application where the operator is sitting and on a stable platform such as a Lazer Z or Lazer HP. The problem with push to go becomes more apparent on machines where you are walking behind them or standing on a riding platform. As the machine bounces and runs over bumps and hole or is on a side hill your body no longer remains stationary and can be jostled from side to side. You are also forced to use your arms to maintain your balance. This can cause an effect upon the way the controls are managed and can cause you to no mow as straight as you would with a passive or release to go systems such as a pistol grip or ECS controls system. It just works better for me in these applications. My recommendation would be for you to try one yourself and see what you think.

    I think you'll be surprised at how easy it is to make nice, clean straight passes.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  3. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469


    Terry brings up a good point. I hope this doesn't cause a problem, but terry's analysis is exactly the problem I found with most WB’s. However, it is also the exact reason why after 3 months of testing and 5 different brands of machine, I settled on the Hustler WB.
    The Hustler WB has a fixed bar (motorcycle style) to hold on to stabilize the operator. Forward and reverse are controlled by twisting the bar fore and aft. Therefore, unless you twist your wrist while you are going forward, you can hold onto the bar for stabilization and the machine tracks straight, Actually, as you become more comfortable with the machine, the bar can and “should” be held loosely, since all control of the machine is accomplished strictly through moving the bar left or right, or twisting it forward or back, rather than using “brute force” on the bar. Turning is done by pushing/turning the bar in the direction you want to go. The bar is spring loaded to always return direction to straight ahead once you finish with turning left or right. Also, with a spring loaded detent at “zero speed”, a zero turn is done simple by detenting to zero, then pulling the bar in the direction of the turn. This performs a perfect zero turn, with each wheel moving equally in opposite directions and leaving a non grass marring turn.
    Finally, all control inputs can be done with only one hand, including stopping the machine at will to “instantly” bend down, with the free hand, to pick up or move debris from the mower’s path. The Hustler does come in 36 size, or actually 37”.
    Pete
     
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    The thing I can't get used to about the "release to go" type pistol grip/ecs systems is that I feel like I'm controlling a bucking bronco in the short tests I've done.(pistols on belt drives only) . what happens when you need to stop for a bit? You have to engage the thumb locks? Sounds tiring, overall.

    Does this also mean that you can't truly do a counter-rotating turn with an Exmark hydro wb? The scamper type controls seem to have an advantage here since you just pull back on one handle and forward on the other.
     
  5. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    brucec32,

    You have it reversed. The hydro will do a zero turn where the belt has a hard time. On the belt drive you would have to let the one side drive and pull back on the other side.

    Thanks, Fred.
     
  6. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Oh, I realize a hydro will zero turn and reverse better than a belt drive, any brand.

    I meant that with a T bar system, when I stop pushing, the mower stops. When I start, the mower starts. With the ECS, the way it's been explained to me, you have the added step of setting the speed control while in neutral lock, then you unlock and mow. When you need to stop, you have to again set the thumb neutral locks. Not terrible, but a little more technical. I also sometimes get in situations where the ability to steer with one hand is nice.

    That said, my Exmark salesman (just picked up another Lazer Z hp yesterday) offered to drive a unit over to my house (20 miles!) and demo a unit for me when the grass is growing. The cut and reliablity are hard to beat, so if I can get the hang of it, it may be my next wb.
     
  7. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    :alien: :alien:

    I see now what was meant. I kind of like the T-bar or push to go myself for that same reason. Here is how Exmark looks at it.

    Our "thing" is you only grip to turn. A lot of guys like it because they can do 1-handed turns.

    The thumb latches can be used at different times and in different ways. I personally hardly ever use the neutral locks. The only time I would use it is if I wanted to for so reason shut off the blades or throttle down while I were still it gear. At that time I only use 1 of them to free up that hand. That is how I use them.

    To each his own.

    Thanks, Fred.
     
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Ok, I'm beginning to get a better understanding of how the Exmark system works. Thanks.
     
  9. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Fred, are really asking the rest of us to believe you can one hand turn an exmark WB hydro, while making professional lines, and also not divoting the grass. If so, please explain how that's possible. Furthermore, you need to "grip" much more than to turn, unless you are mowing a totally open lawn without anything obstacles, which is unusual, isn't it?? Also, with uneven ground you need to correct to keep the machine going straight, or does your hydro "center correct" for any type of terrain??? sorry, if I sound like a pain, but I believe you are misleading the customer.
    Pete
     
  10. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    I am the one who started this thread and Now I am wondering about this ECS sytem since I have only seen the pictures in the brochure , What is the Big lever in between the handle bars ? it appears to be like a gear shift ? I thought these were hydros ?
     

Share This Page