Mower Recommendations for Home Owner

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Jackinkc, May 5, 2013.

  1. Jackinkc

    Jackinkc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hello all. New here. Great Forum. I've been reading the post over the last few days and most is geared towards commercial. So any help would be appreciated.

    I moved into a new home last year, and have a larger backyard. Between 1/3 to 1/2 acre. I bought a honda mover, I believe it was a 160cc? Just sold it to a friend yesterday. I am looking for a replacement. Here is my problem. My grass in the backyard is awfully thick and I always seem to get bogged down. I think part of the problem is the back 1/4 of my backyard is always damp too. I mostly mulch and don't pick up. I am looking for a walk behind.

    I thought maybe the Timemaster would be ok, but from what I have read here it seams to be a bit underpowered. I am fortunate enough to have lot's of dealers here, where almost anything is available. I would like to stay below 1500, and less than that would be even better.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
  2. crazyson2001

    crazyson2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I am in exactly the same boat as you are. My 21" Toro just can't handle the long thick grass, and I just don't have time to be cutting every 3 days.

    I went into a commercial lawn mower shop and they recommended the Timemaster. I kept trying to tell the guy my 21" mower with a 5hp doesn't have enough umph, how will a 30" with a 6hp be any better?
  3. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    I can't quite find the specs to back this up or help on it, but most 21" mowers have the blade connected directly to the crankshaft which means the blade RPM is directly dependant on the engine RPM which most range from 2900-3300RPM. With the 30" TimeMaster being a two blade belt driven deck, the RPM of the blades themselves could be much faster depending on the drive pulley setup of the deck, thereby providing a much different result in the cut in taller grass.
  4. crazyson2001

    crazyson2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Very interesting. I never thought of that, and the salesman didn't mention that either.
  5. macgyver_GA

    macgyver_GA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 826

    Look for a used commercial walk behind mower a 36 or 48 should suffice. It will leave far superior of a cut, go much faster, and shouldn't bog down in the heavy stuff compared to a 21". Plus it will last a very long time with proper maintenance. You should be able to find plenty for under $1500. Since you're only doing your property, a belt drive/gear drive should be fine. For those of us who use them commercially, we prefer a hydro drive because it causes less fatigue when using it for hours at a time.
  6. Reed Valve

    Reed Valve LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hi everyone. I'm in a similar situation to the first two guys on this thread. I'm working a 21" push mower kinda hard on a relatively flat, 3/4 acre lawn. A walk-behind is preferable for fitness reasons, but saving a few steps by mowing a wider swath is what I'm looking for. It's obvious the commercial units are better, and I have the mechanical skills to maintain and repair a used one, but it's not something I look forward to doing.
    Some dealers recommended the Toro Timemaster, but a number of online reviews turned me off to it. I'm interested in the Billy Goat HP3400, but dealers invariably steer me away, toward higher-end commercial models or the Cub Cadet 760 walk-behind (not a consideration).
    Are there any HP3400 owners here, or anyone who owns an alternative? Thanks in advance for any advice.
  7. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    All mowers are not supposed to exceed 19,000 feet/min blade tip speed. So, a smaller blade is definitely turning a higher RPM than a longer blade...but they're basically rotating at the same speed measured at the bladetip.

    Mulching thick/lush Spring grass is a real chore...even if you're mowing every 4th-5th day. There's always bagging, but side-discharging is a true blessing IMHO if your lawn is expansive. Fertilizing in the Spring is entirely unnecessary if done in the late Fall (late Oct). If you're putting down a pre-emergent (in March/April) - they can be purchased W/O fertilizer added...same with broadleaf weed control (mid-May).
  8. crazyson2001

    crazyson2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Looking at a couple of used walk behinds. Can you tell me which is preferable. Both are the same price.

    Option 1: 48" Exmark Turf Tracer, Hydro Drive. 500 Hrs. Has the old style pistol grips so I am guessing it is a little older.

    Option 2: 36" Exmark Metro, Belt Drive. Unknown hours but looks very clean. Has ECS controls.
  9. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    Belt drives do not readily back up/reverse like a hydro can.
    500 hours on a commercial machine that you intend to use residentially is not really a big deal. However, will you be able to use a 48 on your in getting it thru any gates you may have?
  10. crazyson2001

    crazyson2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    No gates to worry about. My biggest concern was going with an older unit with more hours and pistol grips vs the newer belt with ECS.

    I don't really pull my current mower backwards ever, but I can see why that would be nice to have a hydro unit.

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