wam or 72 mower

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by RoyalTree, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. RoyalTree

    RoyalTree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 156

    I am looking for some advice from some of you guys that are doing very large properties. We are bidding on 70 huge places and am trying to figure out some productivity numbers on a wide area mower. Is it worth the investment or should we stick with the 72s? The biggest places is about 250 acres and the average is about 15-20. They will only get cut 16 times per year.

    Each site is bid individually and not as a package.
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  2. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,742

    What about a tractor w/ batwing? How far apart are the sites?
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  3. RoyalTree

    RoyalTree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 156

    They are all over town, pretty far apart for the most part. I am not sure if a tractor will be allowed or not. I would think the wam would be easier to get around the sites and cause less damage.

    Does anybody know any realistic productivity estimates or 15 ft wams or batwing tractors.
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  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,302

    Dedicated mowers--wams-- are going to be more productive, especially if there are any obstacles.

    Being in Florida, I'd think a wam would be better. (year round mowing, almost)

    Most of the wams have a 2 speed tranny anyways, for roading from site to site.
     
  5. Toro 455

    Toro 455 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    It's kind of hard to justify a WAM for an annual contract. Then there's the problem with operator abuse of expensive equipment. Here in Ohio 16 cuts per year would be bush-hogging, because with only mowing a couple times per month WAMs get bogged down with that much growth.

    But to answer your question WAMs are more productive or they couldn't sell them. They only have a road speed of about 25 mph.

    I've been using WAMs for years. They have advantages but not in every situation.
     
  6. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,742

    good point. same thing down here in Louisiana. a WAM wouldnt be able to handle the rapid growth during the spring and summer. it shows the OP is located in Florida, so i think he would be in the same boat.
     
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,302

    Depends on which WAM. A 455, you are correct, underpowered for 16 cuts. If the OP was going for a 580 (Or whatever their new designation is) no problem at all. HP to spare. Possibly even a 4000\4100.
     
  8. Toro 455

    Toro 455 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    I haven't noticed the 455 being underpowered. Maybe 65hp and that's on only a 10.5' deck. I've had a couple of 580-D's and they had 80 or so hp on a 16' deck. So the deck width to hp ratio is similar.

    The problem comes with the type of decks on WAM's which are rear discharge drop decks. They can't handle lots of growth like a side discharge deck that shoots the clippings out of the way.

    I used to have a 12' 3deck batwing mower made by Alamo to mow roadside ditches. It had no baffeling under the deck, and the back was straight, not dropped down like a lawn mowing WAM. It gave a lousey cut and I finally welded baffeling under the deck which improved it somewhat. I don't mow with it anymore and use the tractor portion of it to pull my core aerator.

    BTW the new model of the Toro 580-D is the 5900-D. I checked one aut at my dealer. It has an air ride seat! Fantastic mower! I wish I needed one.
     
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,302

    My 455's were the 55 HP and were underpowered, too low tip speed, "4WD" sucked, etc.

    The big thing the 580's have is not being naturally aspirated.

    Always wanted one, never could justify it.
     
  10. TXLWN

    TXLWN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    I prefer 72" mower due to the fact that its easy to replace operators and machines if somebody quits or a machine breaks. Bid it with 72's and when it makes sense then possibly go for the wam.
     

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