Ransomes Bob Cat T3100

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by DEEJ, Jun 22, 2001.

  1. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230


    I have been hanging around reading with interest for a while. I am not an LOC but you have sparked my interest with this site. You have answered many questions. Great job!

    I have a Ransomes Bob Cat T3100 that I cut with. The property is under development. I could have anywhere from 4-6 acres of cutting to do once the new seed takes. The decision on how much to cut nice, and how much to Bush Hog a few times a year will depend on the cutting time. I have better things to do than ride the mower every night!! I want a large beautiful lawn (in the middle of this bush!)but the tradeoff is time.

    The mower is a 61" Ransomes (owned by Textron now), 18HP Kohler, looks like a WB but has a seat and single turf tire under the seat. It will spin around trees with ease with the single back wheel.

    My comments: Runs well, works great, but doesn't cut as fast as I would have expected. As speed goes up, cut quality goes down.

    Two questions today:

    Q1. I rarely see any Ransomes equipment discussed here on the site. Is it not that popular? Does anyone have any? Thoughts. My machine is older but seems to be a good machine so far for my single home purpose.

    Q2. The seat is not the most comfortable. Typical riding tractor seat. Has anyone added something cushier to save the old bones? Auto bucket seat, seat from another mower, seat from a DC (that looks comfy!!)? Thoughts.


  2. Dave

    Dave LawnSite Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 315

    I do not know to much about your bobcat as I am a fairly new dealer for them, I feel that there newer machines stand up as good as any of the others,They don,t seem to push there products as some of the other manufactuers,why I don,t know,In my area the dist.and the salesman care only about numbers,not careing about the product they sell.If I can help you out in anyway,you can email me,I would be very leary about the kohler engine
  3. Finecut

    Finecut LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 177


    Just certain years of the 25hp Kohler motors were troublesome. The mower Deej talks about might be somewhat under powered at 18 hp. I just bought a 61" Bob Cat walk behind (hydro) and it has a 20hp Kohler and does a real nice job.
  4. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    The LCO that I bought this unit from had two Bob Cat T3100 riders and some WBs. Both riders are powered by the original 18HP Kohlers. They both seem to run well and don't burn any oil. Mine has 2200 hours on it. They were fanatical about oil changes so I suspect this machine will last forever doing just my lawn, or until I win the lottery and get that diesel DC! :D

    The cut quality is excellent as long as I keep the ground speed reasonable (equivalent to a fast paced walk). The reason the LCO is switching to walk behinds is the guys were tending to cruise too fast on the riders, leaving a poor cut.

    As for power, the 18HP Kohler seems OK. It doesn't seem to bog down.

    I have no idea what the age of this unit is. Does the serial number of the unit indicate the year somehow? How can I tell the year from the Kohler engine serial number or model number? Are they like Briggs with the year build into the serial number?

    I do know it seems well built. Grease fittings everywhere. Easy access to the lube drain points and filters. No stamped deck here!

    The unit came with a factory built leaf shredder/bagger. It attaches to the right side using 2 hitch pins and 2 bolts (at the chute). It is powered by a 6HP Briggs engine and feeds leaves into an oversized plastic garbage pail beside the driver. I guess I will see how this unit works in the fall! For now I disconnected it and put it in the shed.

    I would like to find a service manual for the Bob Cat that has wiring diagrams and shows lubrications points (to make sure I am getting them all).

    What do you guys use for fluid in the hydro unit (in general, not just Bob Cat)? I notice that exMark recommends Mobil 1 15W50 full synthetic. This unit currently has 30 weight oil in the hydro unit.

    What do you guys use for engine oil? The engine currently has 30 weight oil in it.

    Thanks for the responses so far! Much appreciated.

  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,555

    DEEJ,I have seen some of those Bobcats around,they are good machines,and there WB's cut great.It will likely last a long time cutting your 6 acres.If I were you,make sure the deck is kept clean,scrape all build up regularly,and sharpen the blades every 4-6 cutting hours,if you arent hitting rocks or scalping,sharpen nore often if you are.Also make sure the tips of your blades are square,and not rounded on the corners,this will make a huge difference in the cut quality and the speed you will be able to mow at.The 18hp Kohler ,is probably a Magnum side valve.They are a good engine with lots of torque,so i dont think you'll have a problem mowing with it.One other thing,have your dealer,or you check your engine RPM's at full throttle against what they are supposed to be,if your engine is running to slow,that will keep it from cutting good at speed.Your engine speed should be in the area or 3300-3500 ,with the blades on,but check with your Ransomes dealer to be sure.I do notice the guys that use them,while the cut is good and the stripe is there,the cut isnt in the same league as my Dixie's.But that could also be neglect of blade sharpening too.
  6. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230


    Thanks for the reply.

    I have been scraping with each use and it does seem to help. One area has a lot of clover coming up. This seems to pack up a lot under the mower. The clover stalks don't cut well.

    I will check the blades for rounded ends. I believe they are OK. I will keep them sharp.

    Funny you mention the rounded tips. On the 5 foot Bush Hog (behind farm tractor) rounded blades are the nature of the beast!! The Bobcat gets cleaner cutting areas!!

    I am trying to find documentation for this mower. So far I have guessed at lubrication points and fluids, and wiring issues. Once I get some documentation I will spend some quality time on maintenance.

    Appreciate the help,

  7. Vandora Lawn & Landscape

    Vandora Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    Contact a local bobcat dealer about the manual. Or better yet talk to him an ask him what needs to be greased. As for the clover, its never going to cut well. Additionally, the clippings won't fall back into the grass when there is clover abounding.

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