hydrolic or manual deck lift?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dogdad, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. dogdad

    dogdad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    looking for a new mower and decided not to get any thing with a hydrolic deck lift. Personally i don't think there is a need for that. i think most of us only use two or three settings max. If it breaks down and your stuck on that one heighth........umm . What do you guys think?
  2. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    Never had a problem in 4 years and over 3000 hours.

    Hydraulic is GREAT!

    1) It is a super productivity enhancer that lets you mow more and trim less since you can transition over gulleys, etc. Also for props with different types of grass.

    2) When you are mowing up and down slopes, you can toggle the deck as you transition from slope to flat or flat to slope. It prevents scalp and leaving tall grass at the bottom transition.

    3) IMPORTANT: If you come up on something like a tree stump that surprises you, you can PICK UP THE DECK FASTER THAN YOU CAN STOP. Or, if you are headed downhill and can't stop, or if you lose control you can pick up to minimize damage.

    4) Curb hopping is easy.

    5) BLOWING: You can lower your deck to blow off driveways, etc and if you lower the deck and go in reverse, you can blow way better and faster than the best backpack blower.

  3. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    dogdad I was thinking the same thing when I set out for a new Z. I tested everything I could get my hands on... Anyways, I'm pretty sure the gravely is the only hydraulic lift midmount around.

    Anyways I found the gravely was the most bang for buck.. I too was worried about the hydraulic lift... While I've just started to get it worn in with 60 hours, I quickly learned the advantages of it. All the hydraulic system consists of is a hydraulic cylinder and two hoses that run to the left pump. It's a very simple mechanism, and the hydraulic cylinder is overkill. :) I think the system would fail just about as often as a regular deck lift.

    You won't realize the applications it can be used in until you actually use one in the field for awhile... I do an apartment complex with lots of sidewalks, etc... Evertime I cross one, bump it up, bump it down, in 3 secs while crossing, saves teh anti-scalp wheels from damage... When on slopes, you can raise the deck without shifting your bodyweight, preventing losing your balance.. Also you hate hitting things, but the deck can be lifted fast and first sound of "clatter"...

    In conclusion, don't count out a mower (gravely) for having hydraulic lift... It should be an asset. Even though the top commercial mowers are basically equal, many people that have seen mine think it's the best you can get, mostly from the hydraulic lift...
  4. PerfectCut

    PerfectCut LawnSite Member
    from WI
    Messages: 4

    Grashopper has hydraulic as an option, but I have never seen a reason for it, they use a very easy foot lever as standard, and the way I look at, the less pumps and motors and hoses on a machine the better, it gives .5 and .25 increments for cutting 1" to 5.5"
    Maybe when I get old and lazy, I will get rid of the manual, but like I said I would almost be willing to bet the effort is not much more then pushing a button....
  5. Alan Bechard

    Alan Bechard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    My Wife mows and has another lady that works with her full time and usually the part timers are ladies as well.

    We just sold the Gravely with the hyd lift after 6 yrs service, never had a problem with the lift.

    The one thing my wife was unhappy about on all the new mowers was that they did not have the HYD lift.

    Gravely dealer is not close so it was not considered.

    Ask my wife what she would change on any of the mowers

    Exmark 60 lazer Z

    Dixon 60 mid mount Z

    Cub Cadet pro M48 tank Z

    and she would want the hyd deck lift.

    Al B
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    On the sticks, or off to the side.

    If off to the side, you must remove a hand to operate it.

    How does it come back to the exact height?

    Can you go lower than you set height, and then back up to the set height, then above your set height?

    With the foot lift on the Lazer, a slight tap on the foot lift for high spots, or crossing over stone driveway is all it takes.

    Much easier than my old DC.

    I had hydraulic lift on my JD's, but they were different setups, and weren't ZTR's. I'm totally happy with everything on my LC Lazer. How many people can honestly say that about their mower?

    HOWARD JONES LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    I can understand all the advantages Albemarle mentioned, however most of that can be done with the foot deck lift assist available on most Toro and Exmark mowers - I would be lost without that pedal.
  8. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    never thought of that as something
    that would help me. after reading what albemarle gets out of it. seems like it
    could be a worth while thing.
  9. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Try To Use the Lever To Lift The deck When Both Hand's Are Useing The Lever's To Steer?
    It's easy when You Can Use your foot. Exmark!
    Johnny G.:cool: :cool:

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