12.5hp on 36"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fairways, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. fairways

    fairways LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    I am looking at buying a 36" metro with a 12.5hp kaw, is that underpowered for a backup mower? Also I can get it for 1700 and it has less than 10 hours, give your thoughts on this, good buy or bad???
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,354

    If you are going to do mulching it may be underpowered. We use 15HP engines and was considering going up to 18HP.
  3. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    Have a 12.5 Kawi on a Proline 44 and it does well except in very high grass. But I always discharge with it, never mulch/recycle, and keep very sharp blades on it. Guess it depends how hard you are going to push the machine.
  4. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,656

    Yes, it's underpowered. I think 36" mowers need 17 HP, or at least that should be an option. Today's LCO's are wanting more HP on their equipment, including me. However, you said yours will be a back up, where I don't think it will matter as much.
  5. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    Used one for years. Plenty or torque and one of the best cutting mowers I have had.
  6. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 922

    12.5 on a 36 belt drive is fine. 15? 17? 18? Can us guys afford to run that big an engine when gas is $3.00?
  7. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,656

    The extra $0.50 a day it might cost to run a machine that isn't underpowered is completely worth it to me. Besides, the bigger engine might use more fuel per hour but overall it might be more fuel efficient. You can cut more grass with it and when you do go through thick, tall grass, it doesn't bog and suck even more gas. At the end of the day I doubt that the difference between the two is very much, but that is just a guess with no hard numbers to back it up.
  8. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    It is okay to cut medium height or growth grass turf, but when St. Augustine getting thick and long, 12.5 on 36" don't do good job, it leaves so many coarse clipping as indicating underpowered. I think if you want one pass and never bog down, you need 23 hp and up nothing less than that, then again 23 hp on 36" is impossible.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It's a little bit bottom of the line, but it is enough.

    When I blew the Kohler on my old 52" sfs, all I had money for is a 13hp Briggs and Stratton. It runs just fine, does have some problems in really tall grass but you got to get into some thick stuff before it acts stupid... Even then, just go slower.

    I don't have this mower today but as a backup, if 13hp B&S is good enough for a 52" float, I'd say 12.5hp is dandy for a 36" as well. She may not run like a Formula on race day, but run she will.

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