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Building a mower, like some help!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Hermanator, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. Hermanator

    Hermanator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

    Hey all you guys out there, i'm in the process of building a new walk behind mower. I have a very extensive manufacturing background, so that part is not a problem..... I just cannot find a mower that will do what we want it to do. Everything else is to big and bulky and is a side bagger, I want a rear bagger. So here goes.

    1. What is better do you think, a single spindle 30" deck or a 2 spindle deck? The 2 spindle deck would be both rotating to the center and discharging to the rear. I already have the timed drive system figured out. My plan is to use 2 blades on the 30" deck and 4 blades on the 2 spindle deck (2 on each spindle). This should mulch really well. Might even try 3 blades (6 cutting edges on the 30" and 12 on the 2 spindle deck).

    2. The 2 spindle deck will be more compact at it is only 18 inches wide front to back, where as the 30" deck is 30" front to back.

    3. Both decks will have swivel wheels in front.

    4. Both deck will be hydrostatic drive, but with a differential, so we don't need 2 axle drive pumps and motors. Just steer it kind like a car, as the rear wheel will slip to the direction your are going.

    5. I am planning on setting this up like the toro personal pace mowers we use in our operation. You just push on the handle and it goes forward, you stop pushing and the mower stops, but I will add a reverse. You pull back on the handle and it will back up. If you need to go a little slow, just push a little, you want to go fast, just push harder.

    6. It will have a blade clutch on both.

    7. I am looking at putting a 13 hp engine at least, but might go up to a 16 hp so as not have to slow down in wet or taller grass.

    8. Will have a bag like the 26" ex-mark that just came on the market this last year.

    Any idea's? Any helpful criticisms?

    Thanx a lot!!!
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Yeah, I think I can offer you some good input here.... Personally, I think it depends on how you plan to do the collection process and how compact you want the machine to be.

    I understand your desire for the rear collection and I can think of a few ways it can be done with a single blade mower or a two blade mower. The simple way would be to go with the single blade setup, no doubt. But me personally, I would probably build a 2 blade setup.

    I'd use an ordinary commercial walk behind setup as opposed to the push mower look. I'd build a good deck, use good spindles and design it to use very common 5/8" center hole blades. I would set to cutting width to use popular length blades, like two blades that fit a 3-blade 48" or 44" deck. This way, a pair of them gives you something around a 32" cut or smaller depending on which you use.

    My other 2 blade deck idea builds further on this but gets more complicated...
  3. Hermanator

    Hermanator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

    I agree on the 2 spindle dick I think and I was planning on using 18" blades as the width of the deck is 18 plus". I think a 3" over lap should be enough. I really want rear bagging like you said, but i am thinking of going with the push mower look to keep it very light and compact. This year was our first year and one of the reasons we did so well, as from what our customers said was our small mowers. They don't like the bigger walkers that a lot of the lco's are using on their lawns. My goal is to keep this under 250 lbs and I'll use a short, but wide profile tire. with this weight and width of tire, we should have less of an imprint then our current walkers (walk behinds).

    Thanx a lot
  4. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,045

    If you are using a timed drive system on a double spindle design, you would not need to have much overlap (3" is too much).
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Yep, half inch up to inch and a half is the normal range of overlap.
  6. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    if possible, I would make the blades counter rotating, like on the walkers. that way, it would rear bag very well, and mulch well. you could not side discharge though.

    I would not go with a frame like the metro 26. I would go with something more commercial walkbehindish.

    if this is a mulch/bag only deck. you should be able to get away with a flat top deck. possibly even getting deeper in the back.
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I'm excited about your new mower, How pathetic is that? Anyway I think your instincts about the homeowner/21" style handle is right on. It will be much easier to market to homeowners they will not be so intimidated by the thing. Great idea when can I buy one?
  8. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    In my opinion, on a 30" deck, the best mowing job is done by the single blade mowers. If you go to two blades, you deck becomes too short front to back, and the grass does not have time to get stood up to be mowed well. Also you have the narrower light dark stripes caused by the forward side and the rear move side of the blades doubled by two blades.

    If you go double or triple blade per spindle go 16HP

    Also - One 30 blade gives you the opportunity to scatter the clippings on a rear discharge when the bagger is not on, whereas double counter rotating blades would be centering all the clippings, and they would probably come out in a very narrow pattern. Just my opinion. Thanks Brad

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    sound neat what if u put the bagger on the front of the mower like a greene mower set up kinda that way it wont be at your feet and u could make it a little bigger to hold more then take it off to discharge in the lawn
  10. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    With the bagger in front you can't get up to anything - you would be leaving 3 foot areas to string trim. Probably would run it into enough fences and inside corners of houses and airconditers, you could in theory have it smashed to nothing in one day

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