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Demo 36 cuts worse than 48??? Why...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TROTTMAN, May 27, 2004.


    TROTTMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Last week, I demoed a Husqvarna WHF 4818 with the floating deck and dual hydros. It was equiped with a mulching kit and it cut really well. It left the lawn a whole really smooth and flat.

    I picked up a 36" eXmark turf tracer HP and it also had the floating deck and dual hydros. However, the cut didn't look so great. It had more obvious lines and it where the edges of the deck cut weren't as even at the sides.

    I had always thought that the smaller decks had a better cut. Is this not correct? It fit through all my gates great, where the 48 would have no chance, but man, the Husqvarna (for about the same price) cut much, much better. I don't know why either...
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I have found it that the smaller mowers, like a 32" stripe better, but do not cut better than larger ones. that is my opinion
  3. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Messages: 1,878

    Probably the blades or something simple. My 36" cuts beautifully.
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Could have been improperly set up? Pins in the right holes? Proper type blades (mulch, high lift, med lift, etc) ?

    It's hard to describe a cut quality in words, of course, but we'd probably have to see the results to tell what it was.

    I cut with that Exmark deck once on a very demanding lawn last year and was VERY impressed. Blew awaymy 32" toro, which uses the fixed Exmark deck design. But that was on Bermuda, and every grass type has its quirks.
  5. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 5,890

    My 36 TTHP cuts excellent. They have to be set up correctly, and the impression I am getting is that Exmark is having a little QC problem.
  6. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    TTHP is great but the manufacturer is resting on its laurel... the 04 model line up is something else, especially WB. I will switch to different brand when upgrading time comes. I can't afford to run back and forth between my accounts and the shop trying to figure out what wrong with my machine...blah, blah. Time is money.
  7. Rather Be Fishing

    Rather Be Fishing LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 109

    Trottman, were you "running doubles"? (just kiddin'...)

    Guess it depends on the turf and climate, as well as the mower's set-up and possibly blade type. I've always found 36" machines to be the most efficient of walk-behinds with (on average) a better cut. My favorites for production are 52's because even with a heavy overlap you still get a 4' cut. Perhaps not the prettiest stripes, but from the mods I've seen folks on this site try and/or perfect they're not out of the question. JMHO, but most of the 36er's I've used had far superior discharge to larger decks. Again, that's only my personal experience/observation. Most of the 32's I've run were old single belt/worm gear tranny models but I would assume the new higher hp 32's with peerless transmissions or hydros should be awesome. Cool thing about 32's is blade interchangeability with your 48's. Another thing, 48's will fit through skinny gates with finesse,. Ya gotta work 'em, and it won't work with every gate.... I'm sure it's more of a challenge with the heavier floating deck models though.

    Try a couple more brands if you can is the best I can offer. No need to be hasty. I wanted a Wright Stander but $$ held me back. I'm happy with my newest choice so far, seems it will do for now I'll try to do a picture post/ field test/ evaluation sometime soon.
  8. Rather Be Fishing

    Rather Be Fishing LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 109

    Mr. Trotter, did you check to see whether both brands/sizes of mowers were set up with the same frame/clearance settings and cutting height? (most have a frame height adjustment, folks who know the commercial biz usually set the mower up for curb-hopping. The others just assemble the mowers as easy as they can and go to lunch...)

    Any difference could be the difference between apples and oranges. I've never played with the 36" Turf Tracer h/p but if we were to bet on paper I'd lean towards it over most 48's that I've run. I'd think with the success of the TT and Lazer, eXmarks floating deck w/b's should be very nice.

    TROTTMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    It was like its narrower stance caused it to lean on the hills more than the 48 did (which had a really wide stance and held the hills a lot better). The TTHP also had a tendancy to take off on a wheel stand or wheelie if you went from reverse to forward really fast, but this is easily fixed, but still annoying. I think the lack of weight over the front kind of makes it want to bounce around a little. I guess it could be fixed to work better though.

    I have heard people talk about getting 48" mowers through smaller gates, but have had no luck with it myself. And this is with my fixed deck too. I can't imagine getting the 48 Husqvarna demo in. With all my body weight on it, it still won't lift the deck (its a great mower though, my favorite so far).
  10. Rather Be Fishing

    Rather Be Fishing LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 109

    Bam! Didn't even think to ask in the other thread, are you running these critters with the discharge chute attached/functional?

    LOL, you'll never squeeze one through a gate with the discharge chute hanging off. Risk or not I've always gotten a better discharge from commercial w/b's without the chute. You can always use a bungee cord to hold them in the up and open position while still retaining their functionality...

    Just a thought that hadn't occured to me.:p

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