Hustler with 72" deck

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bjw, Oct 2, 2002.

  1. bjw

    bjw LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 9

    Hey guys, any of you actually have any real seat time with a new Hustler z or super z with the 72" deck. I like everything about the mower except a little worried about the power level of a 25hp Kaw. on the 72" (actually 69" cut) deck. I cut bahia grass here in Florida, and during the summer it can get pretty thick in just a few days with all the rain. All open space cutting, so if the 72" will hold up and not bog down, it is what I want. Have been told by Hustler that the unit is not underpowered and I really want to believe them. However, some experiencd users insight would be appreciated. I know other companies offer higher powered units, but not Hustler at this point.
    Thanks guys for any info...
  2. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    I cant tell you whether or not the 25 has enought to push the 72, but there was one at the barbeque, i believe with the 24 honda. Im sure someone ran it alittle.

    As far as more powerfull engines, Hustler is going to have a 27 L/C Kaw next year, and i have a hunch that there will be bigger and better options too. They have hinted at a 26 EFI koh too. I think they will rock next year.
  3. Equipguy

    Equipguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Your thinking is correct about the size of the deck relative to the current engines hp. I saw first hand a demo with the Hustler 72", ExMark 72 and Scagg 72 done for the City of Orlando. It was in an uncut lot the city was upgrading to a park. I will say the Hustler 23/60 did fine but the Hustler with the 72 just didn't compare with the ExMark or Scagg. It needs more hp. By the way, the City ended up buying Scagg mowers.
  4. sdwally

    sdwally LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    We are running the Scag Saber Tooth Tiger with 31hp turbo diesel engines. They to don't hardly slow down in heavy grass even with mulching kits added. When demoed the units the 31hp gas engines bogged down on hill sides with moderately heavy grass. Some units with smaller engines even stalled the motor.
    If you are not mulching 25hp might be ok. If you are going to add mulching kits on a 72 deck, the horsepower is too low.
    We currently have 3 Scags that mow at a cemetery(about 150 acres) and are in the process of buying 2 more for use else where.
  5. captdevo

    captdevo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    i ran the 72" at the barbq, it was sweet, i put it in some heavy stuff and never had a problem......

    and it came in2nd in the drag race....

    BladeRunner 32hp Diesel 72" 1st

    Hustler Super Z 72" 2nd......

    and the "world's fastest lawn mower" Dixie Chopper w/ 30hp generac 60" 3rd.......

    i wouldn't hesitate putting the hustler super z 72" at the top of my shopping list!
  6. Farmboy

    Farmboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    Do you guys think that dixie chopper needs to change there slogan about being the worlds fastest lawnmower? Especially if hustler and bladerunner outran the dixie.
  7. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    I have the 25 kaw on my 54" Hustler WB with velkee. When the grass is long I need all the power it has. IMO, if you mow in the spring when many of the "Chemlawns" need cutting twice a week and you get behind, you "won't" be mowing at high speed with the 72" deck, unless they offer more horsepower.
    HOWEVER............. this is when using doubles on my 54. If you use only one set of blades, things won't be so bad, BUT, the without the doubles, you'll be cutting the lawn twice anyway because it will look so poor...... I guess the bottom line is running doubles to make the lawn look good that's long, you'll need "more" HP...............

  8. So how did the 25hp engine end up on a WB that it is not offered on.

    For the thread, a 25hp will do just fine unless it get's real thick, tall, and wet.

    25hp on a 60" deck sometimes could use more HP.
  9. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Well Mikey, the 17hp Kaw that was the stock motor, didn't "always" have the oomph in the tall grass. So, to answer your question, I first asked Hustler about putting the 25 on the WB. They said it wouldn't fit. OK.... not what I wanted to hear. Then I went to Kawasaki and talked to them. I found out that all the motors from 15 to 25 hp (air cooled) have the same bottom end, and the only difference is the size of the top end. So, that meant at least the motor would “bolt up” to the machine.
    Next, I did some measuring and realized the only problem was the exhaust header would hit the front of the floating deck housing. Since, I knew I could solve that problem with the help of a good welder I know, I bought the motor.
    As soon as I got the motor I took a day off from work and starting removing the old Kaw and installing the new 25 HP Kaw. Once I got the new motor on the machine, I found the only thing that needed to be done was cut the 20 degree bent off the end of the exhaust header, which was pointing frontward, and re-weld it pointing backward. This gave me the clearance to install the muffler without hitting anything.
    Of course I had to buy and wire up a new key switch, add a battery and solenoid and find room for everything, since the new motor was electric start and old motor was pull start. But, I was able to do the whole job in one day, and now I have the type of machine that can handle any task I need.
    Thanks for asking how to do it. It was worth the effort. FWIW, my dealer gave me a good trade-in on my old motor so by doing the work myself, the conversion was under $1,200 complete.
  10. lee b

    lee b LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,147

    As a fellow southerner, who knows bahia grass all too well, I don't think you'll be the least bit happy with only 25hp. on a 72" deck. 25hp. is the minimum you need for a 60" deck in heavy bahia. Northern grass is totally different, you might better ask some folks with experience in cutting bahia grass. Get as much horsepower for that 72" deck as you can afford.

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