What speed can you still get a good cut?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Doc Pete, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Hey Guy's,
    I find myself getting the impression everyone with a rider is mower over 7/8 mph. Unless the world has changed I find it hard to believe this. I'm mowing, with a very good cut at basically 7 mph. I'm running a 54" Hustler WB at 3,800 rpm and double highlift blades. Furthermore, the other riders I see actually don't seem to be mowing as fast as I am. 60" riders are just too big for the lawns in my area, and/or will not give the quality of cut because of uneven ground.
    The faster we mow the larger overlap is needed to make sure we don't goof up. I'm not looking to cause problems, I'm just really trying to understand what doesn't make sense. In other words, how can a 52"/54" rider at "basically" the limit of good cutting speed 6/7 mph seem to be cutting much faster than what I am. One thing for sure is, I can out turn a "zero turn" without any turf damage.
    However, if everyone is using a 60"/72" machine and flying at 10mph and "accepting" a marginally good cut, I can see that. But still, I've already tried a lazer/Hustler Z and they still bounce on the ground a cut, so it's impossible to go faster than 6 mph. Is it possible the fantasitic times for mowing are open fields and don't include any trimming.
    Finally, if this is true, then "walkers" that can't do much over 5 mph, should be out of business. After all, everyone is raving over the great bagging with the Scag/Toro/Exmarks, so there's no need for a Walker, within reason.
    Please respond,
  2. ADMowing

    ADMowing LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 175

    61" Bunton Twister 25HP - 11 mph

    It totally depends on the condition of the turf what speed I mow at. If it is wet, I mow slower so I don't make scuff marks. If the bahia seeds are tall and mowing fast will not cut them all off, I'll mow slower. If I'm mowing a nice St. Augustine grass straight out without many turns, I'll mow faster.

    Don't know if that's what you're looking for. We mow and go at a nursery that has weeds and grass and the man doesn't care about it, he just wants it mowed. We mow full speed! :D :waving:
  3. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    well, with the metro 36" i will only get in 4th, can't run behind it in 5th that fast and control it.

    with the 48" encore, i can run it wide open and cut fine, guessing 6 mph?

    i've used 65hoss's lazer wide open with the mulch kit, side discharging and the ultravac and at 9.5 mph it looks as good as half speed.

    of course all of this also relates directly to the conditions you are in.
  4. Shawn Burns

    Shawn Burns LawnSite Member
    from N.C.
    Posts: 181

    I know what you're saying. I have found that i can't mow at full speed almost all of the time on my Hustler z . I think there are alot of factors involved though. Some of which include grass type, moisture content, how thick the turf is, how much you are cutting off, smoothness of terrain, sharpness of blades, and many more variables i'm sure. Once you get several of these variables in your favor you can cut alot faster.
    So, with all that being said, i think that in order to compare speed on mowers you would have to do so on the same property with all the factors being the same. That would be relativly hard to do seeing how alot of factors change from day to day.
    I don't know if this helps at all, just my thoughts on the subject.
  5. BladeRunner Rep

    BladeRunner Rep Banned
    Posts: 65

    In the last 10 years all ztr manufactures have really advanced the mower decks to allow cutting at high speeds, this is done alot with how it is baffled and every manufacture has there own special way of doing this. Basically any commercial ztr manufacture today can mow on good groud at that machines full speed in ideal conditions! If it is not Ideal than naturally you will have to slow that machine down.
  6. 13-15-17mph, if it will do it, the lawn will allow me to do it, I will run it that fast...................
  7. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    OK, I'll believe you, but you've got a lot of "ifs" in there. I can see doing 17 on a putting green smooth lawn and taking off 1/2" of firm grass, but I'd still/really like to talk about the average 3/4 acre lawn, that's got small bumps/humps, trees, flowers, shrubs, maybe a swingset, or picnic table.
    Actually, I didn't know there is a machine out there that can mow grass at 13mph and give a good cut. Is this really true??? I know right now, I can't mow at 7mph and still cut flowering clover without missing half the flowers.
  8. longviewlawncare

    longviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 298

    John Deere 1445 outfront will cut great at 13 mph. it leaves an even cut and the decks floats good. depends on the mower, the conditions, and the operator.
  9. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937


    The time savings come in when a WB is topped out at 6-8MPH, and the Z's are capable of 10-15 mph. As soon as I hit an area thats already been cut, or a driveway, or transporting, BOOM up to full speed, slow down when its back to mowing. That there is where a WB would just put along in whatever gear/Hydro setting your in. The larger tires also help with the speed issue. They roll over most of the bumps we feel on the same lawn with a WB.

    I cut as fast as the lawn will allow. A lot depends on the grass type, amount your taking off, and of course, the smootheness.

    Remember, I'm the guy that cant get his SCAG WB to get out of 2nd gear and give a decent cut! My Lazer will cut at double that speed and give a BETTER cut!

  10. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,261

    Pete, You worry too much. You can only cram so much #### in a five pound bag. Ideal conditions? Yea thats going to happen a lot. I average about 5-6 mph on open yards with 61" ferris. Have speedo. Yea I have cut at 9 but just short bursts, hard to see obsticles, oh I forgot Ideal conditions. I saw this guy flying back and forth on a 20 foot side yard full speed. He made 7 passes, how many times did he cut that? Hp is important, tip speed sure and maybe they actually design a deck? I belive top speed is basicly one-upmanship to sell more mowers. Besides we should always worry about what we are doing and not what someone else is doing. Right? ( I have to remind myself that once a week or so)


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