Ground Speed - Does it matter who claims to be the fastest?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by davidcalhoun, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,045

    This subject always seems to pop up in various treads. Someone will say that Brand A will "mow" faster than Brand B because Brand A can go 15 mph.

    The question here is: Do you "mow" at the maximum mph rating of your mower? On what type of properties? How often?

    The key aspect here is "quality of cut" while mowing at XX mph. Is the Manufacturers claim legitmate or is it just marketing hype?

    My thoughts are that very few LCOs actually mow at double digits mph. Sure they might be able go all out on some commercial outlots (if the ground isn't to rough). They also could utilize the max speed to get from the trailer to the back yard quicker maybe. But if quality of cut is the measuring stick, then I doubt that Brand A can actually "mow" faster than Brand B.
  2. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    i am one who dosnt care about ground speed-i prefer quality of cut over speed. i also mulch everything so i cant mow as fast . your blade will stay sharp longer if you mow at a reasonable speed instead of your mowers top ground speed
  3. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Can you mow at 15mph? Yes. Will it beat the crap out of you and leave a ugly cut? Yes.

    I'm sure all the dixie guys will jump this and say no they cut at 15mph and have no problems and it looks great. I don't believe it.

    I demo'd a hustler, it went 15mph, the rep wanted me to cut at 15mph really bad. So I did, it was like i figured, I almost flew off the mower and the cut was nice and wavey in height due to bouncing. Now then he made a good point, the 15mph speed is mainly for getting to the lawn from the trailer faster, you cut alittle time there, you cut time riding around getting places. Makes sense but won't save you a bunch of time. Now then he also said that they only urge you to cut at 15mph on huge properties where 100% perfect cut isn't needed (commercial).

    I will go with an exmark that goes 11mph and has a better cut :D
  4. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    We never mow at maximum speed simply because we can't. The ground is either too rough or the grass is too tall.

    I don't think any mower can cut and do a good job at 15 mph even if the conditions are right. I think the extra speed on some mowers is only to get you where your going faster and is not meant to cut grass going that fast.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I have one job that I can mow at full speed on our Ferris Z's with the independent's a couple of polo fields that are moved twice a week. Other than than, nothing that I can think of. You're right about the Dixie boys kc....give em' time.
  6. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,656

    i mow full speed (13) with my Gravely 260 on baseball diamonds, the cut is good for those speeds. also, with an exmark XS i mow at full speed (12) on many wide open areas and the cut is great. yes, it can get bumpy, but when i can, i do go full speed.
  7. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    I recently posted concerning this same topic on my SuperZ.

    My biggest account is an 8 acre church. I've been maintaining these grounds for 5 years and they just extended my contract two more years without putting it up for bid. I know every bump and dip in this yard. Do I cut at 15 mph if conditions allow? You better believe it! Does the quality of cut suffer? Reread the part about two year contract extension without putting it up for bid?

    Considering the groung speed of your mower is just like considering deck size, horsepower, etc. Make the decision based on your accounts and what will suit you best. If I had nothing but small residentials, a 48 or 54 Hustler Z would be perfect. If I cut only fields and large lots, maybe a diesel 72" would be the machine. Cool thing about it is I have a choice. If my SuperZ blew up tomorrow, I'd be at Right-of-Way Equip. Co. that afternoon getting the exact same mower again.
  8. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I still can't believe that the super z is doing a perfect job like it would at lower speeds.

    When I tested out the 3 different hustler's I was at my church. I used to cut the church for 3 years, I was mowing at probably 8-9mph, then i kicked it up and did a few passes all out. You can just tell the deck is bouncing and not cutting that great. I will admit though that I used to cut at full speed the whole time unless there was a big rut with an exmark at 10-11mph, whatever the older lazer's used to do. That was even too fast to do a 100% quality cut.

    A ferris with suspension I would think would do the best, but still doubt its going to cut the exact same at 15mph as it would going slower. The mower is just going to move around too much and the floating deck won't do jack when a mower is bouncing up all over the place.
  9. cborden

    cborden LawnSite Member
    from 46140
    Messages: 181

    I've always been more interested in blade speed, rather than the machines ground speed. I have two SCAG Tigers and we can't really run them at top speed due to ground conditions, and it's not fun to try and stay on the sulkies on the WBs at full speed. Just my opinion.
  10. K c m

    K c m LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,342

    I have never operated a Z stander or anything besides a wb and a velkey. BUt aparently my exmark 36, 48 can travel 6.5mph. A few times i have tried it and its not even worth it the cut sucks. The wheels slide (probably cause its not hydro) diging up the grass and leaving divits :gunsfirin

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