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36" riders worth having?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by brucec32, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I know Walker makes an outfront with 36" deck capability, and Encore has a 34" somewhat unstable model. But I'm curious if anyone would have a use for a lighter weight, lower cost, 36" deck ztr.

    It could fit through gates, handle smaller lawns, possibly do less turf damage and be more acceptable to picky customers, be useable in rainy conditions heavy full size units might not handle, and maybe replace wb's in some applications.

    Keep weight around maybe 700 lbs, narrow frame at rear wheels to allow wide tires (the big problem with some small deck riders) to keep ground pressure low and grip high. Hp requirements and wheel motor specs would be less than bigger mowers, keeping price down. Basically just pare down a "real" ztr a little here and there. Given the choice of a $4500 hydro wb with $300 sulky, and a $5000 ztr, I would be tempted to go with the small ztr.

    I know I'd like to see manufacturers go just one size smaller rather than offer 32 versions of 60" plus mowers. They're not very useful here on the mostly small residential lots.
  2. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    36" is the most perfect deck size for WB/sulky or Stander type cause it is very quick and verstile in any aspect, running around everywhere while getting things done.
    Anything bigger than that 36"should be a Z, and 48" Z is probably the smallest deck acceptable in regard to its usefulness and potential to get things done. I won't take a Z with deck less than 48", neither 48" WB over 48" Z.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Well..I think you have answered your on question to a point. Here is what I mean....

    Yazoo Kees makes a full on commercial Z just like mine, coupled with a 3 blade 42" deck. Also there is the option of pin deck height adjustment to cut costs.

    Now the problem with this mower is traction and lack of trim ability. Although it has the same 20x10-10 tires as mine, it just lacks enough weight to provide the required traction needed to opertate a zero turn. Plus with the needed 10" tires x 2 = 20" that leaves a very small area to put the hydros and stuff. No room to move in there and needing 10" wide tires, there is just no trim left. 42" rear track width and 42" deck.

    Going smaller = a compromise somewhere

    If I wanted compact and that small......prolly 36" or 42" Wright Stander.

    If I wanted to sit and that small....prolly Exmark w/b & Exmark sulky

    Or Exmark and custom built sulky
  4. I had the same needs, and met them with a 36" Wright Stander.

    Obviously you're dancing around that. Why?
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    1. Bad knees, prefer to sit as much as possible
    2. Want ease of height adjust like on my lazer. Very helpful when topping rises and cutting odd spots where a fixed deck might scalp. Operator can raise deck as needed on the fly to avoid obstacles or high spots. Comes in handy.
    3. Need height of cut range to be wide like lazer w/ floating deck
    4. Want better mulching commitment than Wright currently has. I want to mulch 90% in the future, so I need more than an afterthought given to the design. Very pleased with Lazer's mulching on both tall and short grass.
    5. Odds are I'm moving to a place that is totally flat (Palm Beach), so a stander's hillside ability isn't a plus.

    I almost bought a Stander this winter, but it's not quite what I need. Although if I had to have a 36" deck I might choose it over a walk behind if a suitable rider wasn't available.
  6. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    There are a few guys around me that use the 36 Walker as their main mower
  7. r.eckley

    r.eckley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    I have a 4515 DIXON With a 42" deck never really liked it but used it on some small yards it beat walking. This year i have afairly large cemetary and have found the dixon worth its weight in gold. Practically elimated string triming really works well among
    stones. dont sell Dixons short. Compact, light weight & cuts pretty good. I will prob. trade this winter for 36" to go between
    stones better.
  8. Jusmowin

    Jusmowin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 727

    I looked at a 36 inch Swisher Z at northern the other day, It looked OK but more or less it probley would not hold up well to commercial use. I myself will go with a 36 stander for my next gate mower as my poor old 36 metro is starting to some age. I sure wish Hustler, Toro or Exmark would come out with a 36 Z as in the area I live in (big suburban area) a 36 Z is much more efficent than the fastest 21 inch mower any day of the week
  9. The Lawn Barber

    The Lawn Barber Banned
    from CND
    Messages: 2

    A 36" Walker would be a poor choice IMO as the tractor is wider than the deck.

    In the 36" you are better of with a WalkBehind.
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Does it have to be a 36" or would a 42" work?

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