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32" or 36"


LawnSite Member
I'm new to the business and I want to get more production on my mowing - looking to upgrade from a 21" to either a 32" or 36" Exmark Metro. The problem is that I have a couple of acounts that only have a 36" gate. (post to post is 36", out-to-out of metro is approx 37") The plus side to the 36" Metro is it is available with ECS.

What would you guys suggest:
a.) Purchase the 32" and be able to utilize in both front and back yards for all acounts.


b.) Purchase the 36" and use the 21" in the back yards that won't allow the 36" mower through the gate.

Currently have 12 accounts striving for 35-40 by the end of the year.

If things go right I hope to get a 48" or 52" for next season.

Any help is appreciated.


LawnSite Silver Member
I got a 32 metro (used) for that very same reason. I had one gate that was 34" wide with 1/2 acre of grass. The 32" just fit. The get a 48" deck year since the blades are the same size, Saves money when you buy blades.


LawnSite Fanatic
zone 6
My new Exmark tthp specs at a 35.5 incut with a 36 in deck and will fit through a standard 36in gate. IMO you will be much more pleased with the 36in, but I would reccomend a floating deck and Hydro if you can afford it.

Fareway Lawncare

LawnSite Silver Member
A 32" or 36" belt won't save you much time over a 21" if your props are Very Small. With all the turning & backing up the belt will actually make you less productive. When I ran belts my guys allways grabbed the 21" Prolines over the belt drives on res. accounts.

Go Hydro.



LawnSite Gold Member
Mooresville NC
I have a 48" belt drive that I use on smaller lots and I wish I had a hydro. A belt does not go in reverse. It has an assist for reverse. You will spend a lot of time shifting into reverse and PULLING the mower back and than shifting back into drive. I have to agree with Fairway that a 21 could be faster on some of the smaller lots. His photo shows what I think would make a great small lot mower, Exmark Viking 32, which by the way has ECS. Yes, at $4000 it is a lot of money up front , but I think it will pay for itself many times over.
As far as the size, test a 36 and try to "crab" it through the gate. (stick one side of the deck through and than turn in the direction of that side as you move slowly forward). I have gotten my Metro 48 through gates less than 48" that way.
If you are tight on cash, look into the Farris HydroCut- Better Quick 36, Both are hydro, but only single so you have to work to turn them, but they go backwards. $2000 - $2400 range. Make your own decision on the durability.
I find it strange that smaller mowers, the choice for smaller properties and therefore one needing more maneuverability, are the ones most likely to be available only in a belt drive. I dont know of anybody else but Exmark making a duel hydro 32". I think that is a great combo for efficiency on small properties. My belt 48" is OK on many lots but GREAT on none.
If only we could all have 10 different mowers, one for each type of condition, Life would be grand.


LawnSite Bronze Member
I use a 36" Metro/jungle wheels, pistol, the machine is excellent. Those 18" blades give a nicer cut than shorter blades of 32" and 48". Go 36" and next step is a 52". As everyone has said, go Hydro, but if you don't have the dough yet, the belt is fine, you learn your way and make enough money to upgrade, nothing wrong with it.


LawnSite Member
You can get a 37" deck into a 36" gate. Yeah yeah...i'm crazy...can't happen. But depending on the shape of the deck you can squeeze the mower in at an angle. Put on side of the deck in first and then "wrap" the deck around the post and let the other side go in. Using this i get our 48" walkers into 46" gates.