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Advice on new WB

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by chuskey, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. chuskey

    chuskey LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 40

    I'm planning to get into the mowing buisness on my own next year and I'm looking to get a walkbehind. I've been working for someone for the past two years and what I've lived on is an exmark turf tracer. It's a 48in deck w/mulch kit, it has the ecs handles, and uses a pro slide.

    I like the size of the deck and the mulching option. I don't like the squeeze controls, so I'm looking at a Hustler 48 w/mulch kit. I still have a couple of questions if anyone can help me out.

    1. How does the Hustler mulch. This is important because I'll probably mulch 80% of the time.

    2. What sulky would be recomended? I like the proslide, but I realize that there is more maintanace with it. Also you have to walk anytime you're not in the yard. However it's nice that it retracts out of the way when you need it to. With the wheeled sulky's like the bull rider, how hard is it to get up and down curbs? I'm used to backing up them, but I guess you'd have to go forward up curbs with a wheeled sulky right? Which leads to another question, does the bull rider pivot where it connects, or would it actually keep the front end from lifting up by adding length? Which would make it that much harder to climb curbs if you can't lift the front of the mower. Forgive my ignorance I've only used the proslide before.

    3. What are the differences between the 15 and 17 horse motor, and don't say 2hp :D Meaning is there a noticiable difference? Also, I think I read on here that with a carb adjustment/mod you could up it to 17. Is that true?

    4. I also read the possibility of a newer more compact walkbehind with a liftable deck. Does anyone from Hustler have any comment on this. It might make a difference of whether I buy now or wait until later in the season.

    A dealer new where I live has the 48" hydro w/15 hp for around $3900. This seems like a pretty good deal to me, but if there's a new WB coming out I'd like to wait and see what it is first.

    Any feedback is appreciated and I'm sure there be more questions before it's all over with.

  2. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Messages: 9,769

    1. The Hustler WB's mulch very well, the baffling and the mulch kit with a set of Gator blades make a excellent combination, there are several members here on LS that are set up this way, I am sure someone will chime in.

    2. The proslide is a excellent choice, my personal preference is the Bull Rider by Trimmer Trap, it has 2 modes, trailing and fixed are mode, I prefer the fixed arm mode, it turns the Hustler WB into a very productive unit.
    There is a sulky setting on the control linkages, it allows you to have a higher ground speed when you change the linkage for use with the sulky.

    3. 2 hp.....lol...lol.....
    The torque is where the difference is the 15 has a torque rating of 25.5 ft lbs and the 17 has a rating of 27.3 ft lbs both are at the highest rating @ 2400 RPM's.
    I have heard about the ability to change some engine components to make the 15 a 17, but I have not done one myself and would be surprised if it didn't cost more after trying to convert the 15hp unit.

    4. Yes we are going to be introducing a new line of WB's in the fall sometime, we have been in testing and design for a while now, and there has been a pic or 2 floating around here on LS of the GateStar a 48" unit that the whole deck flips up on so you can drive it through a 32" to 36" gate.
    At the same time we will release 36 and 48 floating deck compact WB's, I will provide more info on these when I can.

    $3900.00 for the unit your looking at is a good price that unit retails for $5335.00

    Hope this helps answer your questions, I am sure some other LS members will post with there personal experiences also.

  3. chuskey

    chuskey LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 40

    Thanks so much for the response. That's the kind of info I'm looking for. Since I'm not really going out on my own until next spring, I think I'll wait to see what you guys have this fall. I'm pretty sold on your line though. Thanks again.
  4. chuskey

    chuskey LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 40

    Just want to make sure I'm reading this correctly. The whole deck will flip up vertically like the decks on Walker mowers? Or does it mean that the sides of the deck flip up to make it more narrow? I'm thinking you mean the first one, but I just want to make sure. Also, will the cut quality be the same as with the current walk behinds. Will they have the same ground speed, etc. I know the length of the current mowers are longer and claim to give a smoother "ride", how will the newer more compact walk behinds compare in this area?

    Thanks again.
  5. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Messages: 9,769

    The new units will be shorter more compact units.
    This pic should explain a lot for you, this pic is of a original prototype, it has changed in design in the upper handlebar frame and been streamlined a bit, but the general design is the same.

    gm 3_4 u.jpg
  6. chuskey

    chuskey LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 40

    WOW!! I don't know what to say about that. It's really cool! I'll definatly wait till this fall and have a good look at that one. I like the fact that Hustler is innovating with their walk behinds. Most other brands, while good mowers, aren't really stepping out and trying different things. Everybody kinda makes the same thing. As always, thanks for the help!

    OSDOTF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I saw a Gatestar prototype when it was still being called the "Gatemaster" at Hustler's summer dealer meeting during the 2003 Louisville show. Very cool! You released a lever, took hold of a handle and rotated the deck along a fore-aft axis into an upright transport position. The deck had four blades which kept the length of the 48" deck to a minimum. This prototype had a very finished look even then and appeared ready for production. Obviously the elves in Hesston were not thoroughly satisfied . . .

    PJ should confirm this, but it's my understanding that the new wb's will utilize Hydrogear IZT's similar to those on the FasTrak. The Gatestar and Trimstar are also intended to supplement the current line of hydro wb mowers by offering lower price points. They will not replace the current hydros!

    If one of the existing hydro models fits your immediate needs, that's the one to buy!
  8. chuskey

    chuskey LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 40

    Is that meaning that it wouldn't be a good mower to be a main "workhorse"? I'll only be buying one mower and probalby won't add another for at least a couple of seasons, so would the gatestar be a good choice for that, or would the regular WB's be more heavy duty and better suited as a "main" mower? Thanks.
  9. j_loppy

    j_loppy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    One for r&d @ Hustler; Looks kinda' top heavy in the raised position. (Of course, I know it won't be in this cofiguration long).

    I can just see someone going through a gate in a backyard that has some slope to it, initiating a turn, and WHOAH! the mower flips over...

    Just a thought.

    I am glad someone is "reinventing the wheel" in ways that can help the situation. Ya'll must have some eccentric good ole' boy on your team, because the flip-up idea is awesome!

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