A Question Of Power...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ursushorribilus, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Ursushorribilus

    Ursushorribilus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Greetings! Being new to Lawnsite, I'm astounded at the depth and breadth of cumulative knowledge - a virtual degree program!

    To business...I KNOW NOTHING OF LAWNCARE (besides what I've read here in the last month, which gives me a theoretical base), so bear with what may seem like ignorant or redundant questions

    I weigh 300+ lbs. Many of the threads I've followed decribe concerns of horsepower...how much is needed for various sized decks, blade configurations, grass conditions, hills, etc. Will the mowers I've researched (dealers within my area) handle my weight as well as the aforementioned issues? Specifically, Exmark Lazer Z, Gravely ZTR, Hustler Super Z, all around 27 to 28 hp with a 60" deck. Will these horses be sufficient? Will I need to drive and extra hour for the Dixie Chopper 50 hp ZTR?

    Now the hp question with two walk behinds, one of which I may very well start with because of price and an actual desire to be as physical as possible (lifestyle choice). The Exmark TT 52" at 23 hp (dealer 10 miles away) or the Hustler Super Walkbehind 54" at 25 hp (about 50 miles). Does Hustler's extra 2 hp and H-bar steering justify driving an extra 40 miles to the dealer? Look forward to experienced advice. Thanks...Tony
  2. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    First off Welcome to Lawnsite. This site gives everyone an advantage.
    You have good questions about mowers but let me tell you that you can rest easy because any mower that you have picked will be more than adequate to cut grass with you on the machine. As all things go, Horsepower is good but excessive horsepower(a 50HP lawnmower) is wasteful. A top of the line choice is a 26 or better yet 28EFI engine.
    Torque is your friend and these engines have torque. I would have to say that you would be a bit disappointed with the amount of fuel you would be going thru with a 50HP Dixie when a 28 Lazer or Hustler would do the same job with power to spare.
    The walkbehinds are a not very different except for weight distribution. If you plan on using a sulky or ProSlide then you may want a higher HP engine for the extra reserve. I have a Toro 15Hp with a 44"deck and it cuts well in most all conditions but I do wish I had 3 to 5 more HP at times of thick growth or heavy leaf mulchings.
    Bottom line in all of this is DEMO, DEMO, DEMO all of your choices. You have narrowed it down and have very good perameters for what you want but it is like buying a car (10K pricetag aint cheap on a Z) You may like the way one mower feels over another. It is something only you can know when you finally put your butt to the seat and mow with it. There are about 14,000 + opinions on mowers here but only one counts (mine lol) YOURS. Any dealer worth his salt will arrange for you to demo a mower. You have to cut with it, not just drive it around a parking lot. That is true for the walk behinds also. I know you are trying to narrow the field with your questions. You are in the ballpark with the 25-29HP engines, there are pros and cons to both LC vs AC engines for a rider Z.
    A 20-25HP is usually more than enough power for a hydro WB mower of any deck size. The H bar steering is supposed to be easy to operate. I cannot comment on that since I never used it. I do have a Toro with the T-bar and can tell you that my wife learned how to use it in 15 minutes. I will tell you to try a pistol grip mower to see that you really don't want that. Good Luck, your next step is to start contacting dealers to set up spring demos. At the same time you have to get some customers to pay for the stuff.
  3. cush

    cush LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352


    Welcome! You should'nt have a problem with power just because of your weight. Most operators are 200+, the extra 100 won't make a difference as long as the machine is not underpowered to start with.

    Best of luck cush
  4. BigEd

    BigEd LawnSite Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 299

    I weigh 330 and have no problems at all on my Lazers. I purchased the first one in March of 2001 and the second one in August of 2001.I run the 26 efi with 60 inch decks no power problems at all never had a problem with the mowers drivetrain either. I also run a Turf Tracer Hp 17 horsepower 48 inch deck with mulch kit, I put a castering lesco sulky on it that I got cheap just to see what would happen and it pulled me good.I cut my whole yard with it, but I dont use it that much.
  5. OP

    Ursushorribilus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Thanks MOW ED, cush, Big Ed, for your insight - it's reassuring to hear the voices of experience.

    You know, I'm going to go with the walkbehind to start with, get the ZTR down the road. I won't be getting a sulky to start with, I actually want to walk (the 300 lb thing) So now it's a matter of choosing Hustler or Exmark, the Super Walkbehind 54" at 25hp, or the Turf Tracer 52" at 23hp. I will demo both. The Exmark dealer is 10 miles away, and he also sells Stihl, Husqvarna, and I think some Toro stuff. I really like the looks of that Super Walkbehind, but the Hustler dealer is about 50 miles away. So if I demo both and like the Hustler a little better than the Exmark, do you think I should travel an extra 80 miles round trip for parts and service? And if I do how often, barring any disasters or buying a lemon, will I be making trips to the dealer. I almost hope I like the Turf Tracer better... By the way, Big Ed, it's nice to know I'm not the only big guy here...Tony
  6. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    Betwen the two walkbehinds you mentioned. Exmark and Hustler

    The horsepower may not justify the extra drive , but the controls and rest of the mahcine do. I chose to go 60 miles to a hustler dealer instead of an exmark dealer 1/2 mile from my shop. The hustler had all of the features I wanted and has the easiest controls to learn and use.

    Drive both, cut grass with both then make you own choice, But for me Ihavn't regreted choosing hustler one bit.

    I added a bullrider sulky, and accelerator bagger to mine
  7. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,224

    DO NOT USE A RIDER! walk everything! you will save money by not paying to go to the gym, you will save money because you will eat less because of walking so much. and you will sleep like a baby! BUT if you ever start riding youll never get off!,,,,,,,,well that was my experiance anyway!
  8. OP

    Ursushorribilus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Yes, eating less and walking more - maybe I can get rid of some of this 300 lbs.:) my thoughts exactly...thanks Norm Al
  9. OP

    Ursushorribilus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Paul, I think you're talking me into the Hustler...I like the idea of easy to learn controls...do you have to make that 60 mile drive to the dealer very often? Tony
  10. JohnK

    JohnK LawnSite Member
    from Seattle
    Messages: 53

    I wouldn't worry about having enough power Ursushorribilus. Last summer I was 300+ (down to 295 now :)) and had no problems with power using an old 8hp John Deere riding mower while also towing a trailer with 900-1000lbs of rock in it. You'll almost surely have traction problems before you have power problems.

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