Looking at a 36"walk-behind or bigger????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by The Happy Gardner, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. The Happy Gardner

    The Happy Gardner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Looking at buying a larger mower. Will only be used on residential accounts. Am close to getting a 36"hydro but thought I'd ask for some thoughts.
    Biggest problem: 75% ish of my residential accounts have 36"gates. Whatever I get has to do get through the gates.
  2. ElephantNest

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

    My 36" goes through 90% of back gates. If you know that you have many that it will not fit in, consider a 32".
  3. The Happy Gardner

    The Happy Gardner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    I'm pretty sure a 36" will work. Is there anything bigger that will work????
  4. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Wouldn’t go bigger than 36” for your application unless you got a machine that is made to fold up and sneak through gates. Your only options that I know of for this type of machine is:
    Hustler Gatemaster (or Gatestar not sure what the current name is)
    Great Dane Gateway
    Or any walk behind of your choice equipped with a Flex Deck ( www.flex-deck.com )

    Hustler and Great Dane are both sponsors here, click on their links for info. Flex Deck used to sponsor here as well. Do a search for “Flex Deck” or “Flex Deck on walk behind” and you can see some reviews and commonly asked questions.

    If it was me I would be tempted to go with a 32” eXmark Viking (hydro fixed deck) with a 15hp V twin Kawasaki and a Flex Deck attachment. This gives you 50” of mowing swath that will get through 99” of the gates out there (I’ve seen one or two that only a 21” would fit). The Flex Deck folds up to go through the gate then it flips down and adds 18” to your cutting width. It’s powered by the main mower (15hp V twin Kaw should power the 50” fine if you are walking not riding on sulky) and you can take it off of the mower in about a minute if you want to mow with just the main mower. The Flex Deck adds a lot of trimability also (gets into places you can’t get the whole mower into). I used to have a 14hp single cylinder Kawasaki on a 52” hydro walk behind and used with a sulky it did ok, had to slow down in thicker stuff but if you were just walking it was enough power, and a 15hp V twin would have a lot more torque than a single cylinder. Also the only downside to the 32” Viking is the tires are a bit skinny which isn’t a good thing on soft ground but this shouldn’t be too big of an issue for you I don’t think. I am thinking that is the only (or one of the few) 32” hydro walks out there (Ferris makes a single drive 32” hydro but I don’t think it would handle the Flex Deck because of it’s drive and steering system).
    Good luck.
  5. wojo23323

    wojo23323 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 608

    We use a 36" Wright Stander. It works great.
  6. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    We have a 36".It doesn't get used much,but it sure beats a 21".
    If you need to get through gates go with the 36 if it will work.
  7. Sam-Ohio

    Sam-Ohio LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 304

    Gravely is making a new Z rider for 2004 that has a 34 inch mower deck. This unit was designed specifically for your type of situation. It's price is $3995.

    Gravely had this unit at the Louisville Show in October. Its engine is a 15hp Kawasaki. The mower is very deep - 5 1/2 inches I think. If you have ever seen the quality of cut from the new er 36 inch Gravely, this mower should be its equal, and the Gravely decks have a superb quality of cut.

    Since Gravely is a sponser here, just click on their above button and see it. It's called the 34Z.
  8. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    $4000 for a 34 inch mower is a little steep, imho.

  9. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,732

    that's a ZTR 34" that will go thru all but a garden gate (those little bitty ones). not but about 500 or so more than a hydro 36" WB.
  10. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    What's the point in having a riding mower that's only 34 inches? Most fenced in yards aren't large enough to need a riding mower anyway. And that's about $500 more than I paid for my 52 inch wb when I started. If you're going to buy a rider, get one that's going to cover some ground and save you time. I wouldn't buy a rider that was smaller than 48 inches. That's an awful lot of money to have tied up into a machine that you basically is only efficient on mowing gated yards, a specialized piece of equipment.

    I think this just demonstrates the problem that exists for people who have gated yards. I have several yards that I couldn't get even a 32 inch mower back in to mow. There needs to be a solution for folks that have these smaller gates. Personally, I wish people would think about these things before they got their yard fenced in with dinky little gates, save me a lot of trouble. I get lots of calls from people with gates that are older and smaller, and I'd need to mow with a 21 incher. Mostly I turn them down.

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