1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Bull Rider experiences

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Roger, May 5, 2003.

  1. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I have posted before on the topic of single wheeled sulkies leaving a wheel mark that is objectionable. During the Winter, I scanned posts and got some good feedback from one of you (sorry, a disk crash and I lost your address) on Bull Rider.

    I have a Exmark 36" Viking (hydro) and work solo. I used my single-wheeled Velke only on scrappy yards, walking on the better quality turfs because I didn't want the wheel mark down the middle of my mowing pass. I wanted a two-wheeled sulky that tracked exactly behind my Exmark drive wheels. The center-to-center dimension on the sulky wheels was very important to me.

    After getting some good info, I learned the Bull Rider should fit the job, using it in "caster" mode, not "trailer" mode. I bought one, but quickly uncovered that the A-frame was improperly manufactured. The axis of the holes in the two stub ends were not parallel to the frame of my mower.

    After some pounding and attempts at bending, I realized my tools were too small to make the changes necessary to fit. A call to TrimmerTrap offered me an opportunity to send it back for a replacement. I opted not to do that because of shipping and the time element.

    I did find an auto repair shop with heat and larger tools to get the A-frame bent properly. I did get the Bull Rider successfully mounted to my mower. Apparently, TT had some quality control problems with some of the units.

    My first experiences with the BR were not good. My intent was to use it in "caster" mode and that is how I set it up. I soon realized that the control of my mower was lost. With the BR firmly fixed to the mower, they respond together, so I had no manual control to "fine tune" the direction of travel. I had no leverage against the ground, such as I had when walking, or when riding the single-wheeled Velke.

    After struggling with the combination of mower/BR for a few yards, I was very frustsrated. As a desparate measure before taking it off and tossing it into the dumpster, I made the change to "trailer" mode. Ah, ha .... much more useful. Again, I had control of my mower. Yes, I lost the Zero-turn function, but at least I was riding, the wheels were tracking with no extra marks, etc.

    I learned to make turns differently. I realized that in some cases, the loss of productivity due to extra time turning was not worth the ability to ride. So, in the three weeks of use I now learn: (1) When to leave the BR on the trailer and walk for greater productivity, (2) When to mount it, compromise productivity for riding rather than walking, (3) When I can gain greater productivity and not walk. In short, it is useful, but not as useful as I was expecting.

    Why take all this time and use all these words? If somebody else got a similar A-frame that was wrongly manufactured, take some time to get it straightened (or they may ship you a replacement). Also, be aware that "caster" mode for smaller mowers probably will not work. I have sloping terrain on most of my yards that makes handling difficult anyway, and the fixed position of the BR would not work.

    I know that many of you speak highly of Bull Rider, but I suspect that in most (all?) cases, you are using 48", or wider, mowers. I don't recall anybody speaking about use of a BR on a 36" mower. Perhaps my experience will help others make a better decision.

    BTW, the product is very well designed, very well built, uses heavy stock, etc. My only issue was with the manufacturing process that left the stub ends improperly aligned.

    Thanks to you who corresponded with me last Winter about this product. Your input was valuable.
  2. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Glad to hear that it all finally worked out for you. That is a shame that you had that alignment issue. Hopefully this post will help someone else who is tired of walking.

  3. Smitty58

    Smitty58 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    Roger, I have a 36" w/b Exmark as well. (metro) I'm just starting in the biz and have about 10 hrs walking behind this thing. I traded my Cub Cadet tractor for the Exmark. I love the w/b but my feet and legs are dying. I want a sulky but I don't know much about them. Do they all work the same? I've seen some listed as "trailoring" ,does this mean they don't pivot? How much of a problem does that create? Is one brand better than the rest? Glad you worked yours out. I've only had my w/b in 3rd gear for a short time ,can you mow faster with the sulky? This seems logicalbut I don't really have a clue.
  4. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    I had a Bullrider mounted to my Exmark 48" hydro w/b's and it worked pretty well. A couple of things I didn't care for though were I had problems with it in tight spots and on slopes. I seem to have better luck with my Exmark sitdown steerable sulky in these situations. I must say the Bullrider was heavy duty.
  5. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Having the Bully rider on my 700 lb. 54" Hustler WB, I don't have a clue what you are trying to say, since I've never run in any problems. One thing though, IMO, the whole idea of the velky is productivity, so putting it on a small mower just doesn't make any sense to me.

Share This Page