Commercial WB for residential?

Gregsfc

LawnSite Member
This one will be hard for anyone to not inject his or her own biases, but I've narrowed choices down to either a Husqvarna TS series 48" garden tractor; 60% positive reviews for around $3400 delivered; or a Bradley Commercial WB dual pump hydro fixed deck 48" with wheeled or sliding sulky for $3,700 conservative maximum price estimate, delivered, 80% positive reviews with the concept that I prefer a walk behind all things being equal.

Prerequisite is that I absolutely must have the ability to ocassionally load/unloadhaul whatever machine I choose in a pickup; plan to purchase foldable, arched 88", 2000 lb capacity ramps to load either. Please! No get a trailer comments. A trailer means that I must first get my pickup prepped to tow (never intended or wanted to tow anything so my truck does not have tow equipment); then a trailer and then a shed or garage to store it in, as I don't want to chain a trailer out in my yard. And then train myself on trailer safety and trailer backing. And yes, I understand that people with trailers love their trailers and can't imagine their lives without them. I don't begrudge them or how much trailers help them as a tool, but I'm 55 and have gotten by my whole life w/o using or backing a trailer; trailers are cool, I get it. So are shotguns rifles and 4wds, but I have none of those either and very happy without them. I'm southern; live in a rural area, but believe or not, as much as I like the song and HWJR, I can survive with a 2wd and a 6'7" bed attached to the frame of a pickup; have no guns; or I have survived so far without any of those country boy necessities.

Background: I own a Toro TimeMaster 30 and a 1/2 acre lot with lots of landscaping and trimming. The compact wide cut mower is perfect and super fast for my current lot, but I'm moving to a 1.3 acre lot and will not have nearly as many flower beds, etc to mow around but will have a fenced in back yard. There is a Bradley dealer 100 miles from my soon-to -be new home and a local dealer that will work on anything. Bradley will pay them to fix any warranty issues according to many reviews I've read. And the dealer is willing.

The reason I've narrowed the lawn tractor down to a Husq TS series garden tractor is that all the big box store lawn tractors have Tough Torque K46 or below level quality transmissions and reviews are pretty pathetic for all brands at this level; next level transmissions are in these Husq TS series but are $5K in JD and Simpicity brands. I don't want a ZTR; use a Hustler Super Z HD 72" at work, and I also use a 60" JD X738 full time 4wd at work; I know how much more productive the ZTR is at mowing grass than pretty much any other machine except maybe a stander in some applications, but I still do not want a ZTR for personal use. I'm on them so much at work; my back hurts at times from riding. Same is true for the tractor style, but we use it for only slopes; so not on it as much.

So anyway, other than the fact that I'd have a home town dealer for a Husqvarna TS348, it might be a couple hundred cheaper; that it would be a much more traditional herd mentality choice for a personal lawn, and that my wife would more likely use it than a WB with a sulky, and it has a much easier and efficient deck adjustment, I can find very little reason not to go with a preferred walk behind with all commercial quality components even though I've found only one person on the web who has gone this route. I think that a 7 mph WB may be, in fact, more productive; aka faster. I guess that the fixed deck feature is the biggest thing holding me back from a commercial wb for the price of a garden tractor, but I usually cut a little lower in the Spring and then again late Fall, and use the same height throughout the rest of the season, so I'm not sure how big a deal the difficulty of adjusting would be; but keep in mind, competing commercial brands with floating decks are double the price of the Bradley models; even their belt drives are much higher; would not be in my budget; yet have many of the exact same components as the Bradleys

What do y'all think? What am I not considering in my selection? I've owned only residential walk behinds throughout my life, and the Toro TimeMaster is three times the machine of anything else I've owned.
 
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hal

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Kansas
For about what you would pay for the Bradley wb you can get the stander. Be easier to learn and would allow more room on the truck bed.
 
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Gregsfc

LawnSite Member
Thanks for the reply. I've considered them; looked at both very hard. The Bradley standers have even higher rated reviews (I guess due to the floating deck and ability to upgrade to a Vanguard engine for another $400), and maybe commercial users just like stand ons much better than wbs, because it keeps getting recommended to me; even more speed; same warranty, 3yr residential, but professionals still buy wbs up to $7K for an Exmark, so I'm a little lost in all of it.

Then there is the worry of how scary it'd be to load and unload when I need to transport; I don't know if I'd like the feeling of being the meat of a sandwhich between the machine and pavement; not much different than a ZTR but even worse; whereas the wb is supposed to be the king of slopes and hopefully ramps too. I could roll a wb all the way on to the ramps, make sure the machine will hold with the hydro, then proceed. Maybe the same method with a stander but it's harder for me to visualize. I have loaded lawn tractors, and they are no big deal, as they'll climb a tree going forward. Then there is the issue of massive weight, which may or may not matter but the 36 is over 900 pounds and the 48 is 1,100 pounds; the wbs' are more like 570 and 620; with same size decks; plus I don't know if I'd like it, as I've never used one, but do know I like walking behind a mower. I've seen a few reviews of ZTR pros who have tried them, not Bradley's but standers in general but don't like them; how your body is shifted with no support as the terrain changes and you have only the pad to lean on and the controls to hold on to.

But beyond all that, there is a significant price difference. A 36 inch with a 23 hp B&S is $300 more even after a sulky and that's a foot loss in cut width; probably higher shipping due to weight. The 48 is about $800 more after a sulky. I could just use the TimeMaster and save up a little more to make it work for the budget. The budget won't allow it right now though. A 36 stander might be just as quick and perform better near the road ditch line, which is minimal but still hard to get an even cut with a wide mower. It's tempting. I know if I call Bradley, they'll try to talk me in to a stander. I think they are more proud of their standers; more up to date design.
 
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Mac-s Lawn & Snow

LawnSite Bronze Member
I don't know how you can consider anything with a fixed deck. I have always run floating decks and my new machine I can change the deck height on the fly. My customers all want their lawns cut at different heights. If they want their yard cut at 2 inches when there is a lot of mosquitoes I do that for them. Some places have to be cut at 2 different height due to their backyards not being to level.
 
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Gregsfc

LawnSite Member
I don't know how you can consider anything with a fixed deck. I have always run floating decks and my new machine I can change the deck height on the fly. My customers all want their lawns cut at different heights. If they want their yard cut at 2 inches when there is a lot of mosquitoes I do that for them. Some places have to be cut at 2 different height due to their backyards not being to level.
Thanks. This would be used only for my lawn. I'd adjust height lower only early Spring and Fall, but I will take in the advice. Alot of hate on fixed decks; other pros say it's a non issue, but most hate. Still alot if fixed deck commercial units on the market, even some of the more expensive ones. It's hard to gauge it as I've never had one that is as hard to adjust as this one. You have to move washers around on the wheels and mess with the blade under the deck supposedly on this one. Thanks.
 

That Guy Gary

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
SW Idaho
A walk behind or stander can be loaded into a pickup easy but a floating deck is more flexible with what ramps you can use.

Without longer ramps the deck will drag and get hung up at the top. With a floating deck you can raise it to max for loading.

Load it into the bed in reverse so you are above the machine if something goes wrong.
 
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Gregsfc

LawnSite Member
A foldable trailer from harbor freight.
I knew the trailer comment would come. People can't help it. Did I mention that I won't own or use a trailer. I'd feel alot better hauling a 48" mower in my pickup box than a foldable trailer from Harbor Freight; unless I had a foldable lawn mower. But then I could put the folded up lawn mower in the cab next to me.
 
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Gregsfc

LawnSite Member
Yeah thanks. I've watched it done both ways on YouTube. The ramps I'm looking at are curved, 2000 pound rated, so they'd work even for the 1,100 pound 48" stander but I might have to remove the tailgate with that much weight and then space is limited if I'm behind it and also trying to line up the deck to fit squeezed in; plus the 48" stander is $4,100 plus shipping and my original concept was to get a commercial at near the price of a residential and only the Bradley WBs accomplish that feat. The walk behind, as long as it's hydro seemed pretty easy and safe backward or forwar. Backward was sort of a 2 step process. Get ot on the ramps and then get up on the ramps. Some sort of hopped up there while backing it up at the same time. I like the way the mower sits in forward, but it'd only be now and then so it wouldn't matter. The trouble seems to be coming down with the deck catching more often then, but these were only 72" ramps oand a 48" Wright WB. This happens with lawn tractors as well. Sometimes you have to lift up a bit to get the deck over into the bed or rolling back down.
 

tdipaul

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
NE
My vote is for the TS because it'd be easier to load/unload than a WB.

If its its rough, 7 mph on a wheeled sulky could get hairy. They call them ankle snapper's for a reason. I like Proslide sulkies because they are extremely smooth to ride on. They really do float over everything!

A 48" cut deck will fit in between the wheel wells, yes? Deck is around 49" with the chute up
 

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