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Questions about hydro 36" walk behind

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AAR Lawn Services, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. AAR Lawn Services

    AAR Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    I'm just looking to get started in the mowing business in the Riverview, FL area. It was suggested that I should look into a walk behind with a sulky because they are lighter and less likely to track up lawns and easier to fit through gates. So I went to an Exmark dealer today and I like the Turf Tracer HP 36". My only concern is that it might be too low of a productivity mower with smaller deck and 6.2mph speed. Primarily I want to target residential lots, most around here are subdivisions with postage stamp lots, 1/8 or 1/4 acre usually. I'm going to be working with one other guy and we hope to build about 100 clients with these type of lots. Is this mower fast enough to put out that kind of productivity? This area has alot of highly populated subdivisions in one area so we're hoping that everything will be on really tight routes and driving time will be minimal. For reference how fast could I cut a 1/4 acre with this mower?

  2. AAR Lawn Services

    AAR Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Basically I'm trying to figure out if I should get the 48" even though it won't fit through some gated backyards. I have a 21" I could use in those, but would the increased productivity of the 48" in the more open areas offset having to use a 21" in a few backyards? Anyone have suggestions?
  3. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,157

    A 36 is not to low of a production mower for 1/4 acre lots. Especially if thats the biggest you can get to fit through the gate. Nothing wrong with a 36TT. Great Mower. Iwould not want to cut all day with a 21er.The 48 would be much nicer. But on 1/4 acre property's you wont be saving tons of time .
  4. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    Those are my main lot sizes to but I also have some bigger ones.

    Now this is my first year with a 36 so I'm still learning AND mine is a Belt drive but I don't see much time saved in small yards. If they have a large corner lot then yes you save some time. If you can get it into the gate (Half my gates won't allow a 36 in) then you can save some time maybe..

    The large yards its working well but I've actually gone back to the 21's for small yards.. front and back sometimes. I find it harder to make a yard look good with a 36 unless it is wide open and flat.

    Plus you'll need a trailer which is also more expensive and sometimes limits where you can park.

    I don't have a sulky but there are only a few times, and all in yards larger then your 10k max, that I think they would come in handy for me.

    I also had a problem, or rather my customers had a problem, with side discharge. I bought a mulch kit and it is very good now.
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    I have a 36" Turf Tracer HP. I mainly use it for gated backyards. I've never used it on a WHOLE 1/4 acre lot, but I'm guessing it might take me 5 minutes longer with the smaller mower.

    You're best off to get the 36" if you have a fair amount of gates. The productivity lost by having the smaller mower is MORE than offset by the fact that you don't have to push a 21" around in the gated backyards.
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,937

    Quarter acre lots are only about 11K sq ft. The concern about 6.7mph is a moot point.

    I have a 36" Exmark Viking hydro. This is the tenth season. I either walk, or use a BullRider sulky. On lots so small as 11K sq ft, I doubt I would want to use a sulky. I cut lots much bigger without a sulky (e.g. cut seven properties today, all half acre or more, used the sulky on part of one of them -- walked all the rest). Productivity is better while walking because of ease of handling. I sometimes use a one-wheeled Velke. It is easier to maneuver, but I don't like the line down the middle. A ProSlide will not work either (tried it -- gave up after two weeks); the machine is too light, too small.

    I think you are selling the 36" hydro machine short with regard to mowing productivity. Remember the trimming, edging, and blowing all take time -- the same time, no matter what mower is on your trailer. For lots that small, the mowing will probably take less than half your time on the property.

    Others may have differing experiences. For me, the simpler the equipment, the better. And, what combination of equipment will produce the best result?

    BTW, for the couple of 10K sq ft turf area properties I have on my list, my 36" remains on the trailer. Only the 21" hand mower comes off for use. I have too much terrain change, necks, and areas that are not well suited for a wider mower.
  7. D & J Lawn Care

    D & J Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    the 36 speed is fine for them lots going faster you'll scalp and run heads over I 'm in tampa and the mowing is the least time comsuming and some lots i just use my honda 21 and i have a 46triton exmark z rider and a 32 toro walk behind
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,274

    Get the Wright Sentar Sport 36"....and don't target the larger lots. This machine will be faster than using two mowers of different sizes on some lots. WE have used 36" Hydro Scag and Snappers on this size lot for years and not with riding units.
  9. lawnsbytim

    lawnsbytim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I have been using the 36" Viking the last three years and it sure gives a nice cut. Unless you have a lot of small berms, the fixed deck is fine. The floating deck on the Tracer will add a cost that you need to decide whether it is worth it.
  10. AAR Lawn Services

    AAR Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

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