Commercial grade?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mikeklein, May 28, 2002.

  1. mikeklein

    mikeklein LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I have bought a Swisher 42" walk-behind with an 8.5hp B/S.I needed a bigger mower with a warranty,and got this one for $1200.I realize it is not comparable to say an Exmark,but being laid off from my other job I could not afford much more.I have had it for about 2 weeks and when I started it up today it put out a cloud of white smoke,and when I disengaged the blades it idled very sporatically.I should mention it has stalled on me a few times when mowing grades in a couple of my yards.I am seriously thinking about trying to get my money back on it and getting a 36" gravely for around $1900.Has anyone had experience with the swisher?The dealer told me it could handle commercial work,but I am begining to wonder.
  2. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,093

    8.5 horspower on a 48" walkbehind...I bet you did have problems going up hills. It will take all the 8.5 HP to power the blades, and that dosen't leave any extra for the drive wheels.

    In my opinion I would not use less than a 14HP motor for 48" mower.

    Remember that most push mowers today are upwards of 6HP and that is on 22" push only mowers. Take it back if you can and buy a unit with a bigger engine!

    Good Luck!

    P.S. Most mowers I have used (good commercial ones) will idle rough when the blades are disengaged. I think this is because they are tuned for use under load.
  3. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Jimbo- he said 42" deck. 8.5hp is not much these days, but it will pull it fine if you're not going too fast. It probably didn't have pressure lube, and probably didn't have a good gas tank setup and that is why you are having hillside problems. Unless it has pressure lube you will experience a lack of oil on the bearings and will burn them out, plus you'll really score the cylinder walls if they get dry. For hillsides you NEED pressure lubrication. 6hp on a 22" pusher is more than you need but it is always good to have extra ponies.
    Jimbo is right about it being tuned for heavy load and that's why it will tend to run rough at no load.
    I have heard only one bad comment about the Gravely and the rest are all A+ grades. I can't remember what the bad one was but it musta been a fluke machine or a bad operator, or both. Supposed to be pretty good. Any machine like Swisher or whatever that is not heard of much but has been around a little while is obviously not a good thing to get because as the saying goes "the road less traveled is usually that way for a reason". Sometimes taking a less traveled road is a good thing but not usually with equipment purchases.
    Good luck!
  4. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,093

    Thanks for correcting me Bushhogboy. I was thinking 42" but wrote 48" because that is what I am used to.

    However I think that 8.5 HP is still too small for even a 42" cut. I have a 12.5 Kawi on my 36" Scag and it runs fine even in heavy grass, but I wouldn't want anything less than 12HP for a 36", so obviously 8.5 HP on a 42" would be asking for problems.

    BushHogboy is correct about the oil sump pick-up vs a positive pressure system. If it has an oil filter it is most likely a positive pressure system, and will be fine on hills.

  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i once had a kees w what ammounted to 5 hp kaw. 36 inc. sharp blades an u could cut hay with it..

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