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Standers and hills - need experienced help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BestImpressions99, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. BestImpressions99

    BestImpressions99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 491

    Hi everyone,

    We're wanting to try a stander for our next mower... most likely Wright or Gravely unless JD or Great Dane have hands down better handling... The problem is hills around here. I've gotten to where I can manuever most hills comfortably with a rider, but I'm wondering (prefer experience, not just "seeing what some other guy did on a you tube video", etc.) about hills with the standing mowers. My brother works for a guy in the LC biz (around here... East Tennessee) and he uses standers. He told me that they have issues on hills. I don't know if that's due to smaller deck sizes meaning narrower wheel stance or too big of a deck size, and gravity doing it's thing.

    To explain just a little... When we were looking for a new mower this last year we talked to a Great Dane dealer and talked about the stander they offer. He said that with the smaller deck sizes, the mower is lighter and it gets top heavy. He reasoned with me with the following example: Let's say you have a 38" deck, the frame is physically smaller than what would be used for a 52" deck. He recommended no more than a 52 because the larger you go the heavier the deck becomes (no duh) and with that happening you have to worry about gravity doing it's thing, no matter what the stance.

    Any experience would be helpful.

  2. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,067

    I use a 66 Exmark Lazer and replaced a 48 TTHP WB with a Toro 48 Grandstand. The TTHP or any WB is the best mower for ditches and steep slopes. Thats all they are good for after having owned the Grandstand. The Grandstand is good on hills especially after a few hours of experience with the touchy controls. Its like a fighter jet compared to a conventionial Zturn. IMHO, A sit down Z is too dangerous to be on on a steep slope. I am happy with the slope performance of the Grandstand. As long as you stay on the platform to keep weight on the back tires, it holds the slope like a billy goat. On hills and slopes all mowers handle differently than on flat ground. That includes the way walk behinds and conventional Zturns handle on slopes as well. All mowers have idiosyncracys that you learn how to deal with. The Grandstand handles slopes well and I will never own another WB. Ever. I have test driven Wrights and they are my second choice. I like the mower deck and cut of the Toro better. The JD, Gravely, Great Dane family of stand ons are my last choice. If anyone tells you that any mower handles the same on the side of a slope as it does on flat ground they are lying.
  3. Lazer Cut

    Lazer Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    I also own a Grandstand 52hp 23hp. Great on hills is all I can. I have had no problems with the handling of the stander on the hills. It sticks to the hills where as a walk behind may slide or ztr may slide a little the grandstand does not. I do not like the Wright stander due to the platform... also the grandstand's platform allows you to lean to the right or left when on hills causing the machine to stick even better.

    Great machine hands down to the Grandstand... The thing about don't go bigger than 52" is true but the 60" grandstand with 26hp I demo'd and it was a great piece of equipment on the hills. the deck was not bad, because toro has put a spring on the side to help assist with the gas shocks that help pull the deck up... pretty good ground speed also... reverse sucks and I recommended that reverse should be improved... when both controls are put together the mower goes back great when you need to try to move left or right in reverse it sucks...

    just my thoughts hope it helps.
  4. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    we own wrights and have 4 48in cut and 1 36in cut. the 36 is ok, but the 48 is great, i know 52 is from other oberators.

    i mow all kinds of crazy things with our 48 standers. very steep hills and crazy berms. it handles those odd situations well, but i understand the grandstand is nice after driving one a bit myself. we chose to buy another new 48 this last week and it is going to be great. we got a 19 hp kaw 48in redesigned stander. it is going to be awesome no question.
  5. BestImpressions99

    BestImpressions99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 491

    So it seems like the Toro would be the way to go then. By the time we actually will need one (probably a few more years) the Grandstand'll have the kinks worked out of it and most likely Exmark and Scag'll have one out to. LOL

    Thanks alot you guys.

    Curious Grassman... If you liked the Grandstand from driving it, what made you decide on the Wright again?
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I have demo'ed wright and deere standers and here is what I found....

    One of the wright's that I demo'ed was the newer ZK, 61" if I remember correctly. That thing was amazing on hills. I took it places that would have flipped my ztr's and I felt perfectly safe on the ZK. It was just as fast as almost any ztr on the market at 13mph, so it was ideal on medium to large properties. And if you are going to be mowing some serious hills, this zk is the best thing on the market for hills, and there is no question about it either. This thing will hold a hill better than any other mower on the market and its available in 52" and 61" right now.

    I also demo'ed a 48" wright RH. This was okay on a hill, not nearly as good as the ZK. It was kind of cool that when you changed the deck height the whole control tower and engine platform would lower as well, thus lowering the whole unit's center of gravity. But even with that, it still liked to spin a wheel every so often. But this mower was definately better on a hill than a traditional ztr.

    And the last stand-on mower I demo'ed was the John Deere Quik-Trak. It was a 60" deck on it with the 23hp engine. I would say it was a little better than the wright RH but not as good as the ZK. The quik trak comes with a 48", 54" or 60" cutting deck and they are all mounted on the same frame, just a different deck. It was probably the most comfortable unit for me and the controls I felt were located better. It still would go places that I wouldn't take my ztrs. The quik trak has been out for a number of years, so it really has proven itself.

    And after demoing all three mowers I made my decision on the john deere quik-trak as one of my next mowers.
  7. BestImpressions99

    BestImpressions99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 491

    Thanks Brad.

    Keep it coming guys.
  8. BestImpressions99

    BestImpressions99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 491


    Kinda the same question I had for Grassman. If the ZK was the superior piece of equipment, why are you going to go with the JD?
  9. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,067

    I gave you a good answer that was time consuming to write and I find out a few threads later that you dont even need a mower for a few years. These same answers have already been posted on other threads as well. You just didnt search. Rather than Bestimpression for a moniker, I suggest Simpleminded.
  10. BestImpressions99

    BestImpressions99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 491

    Wow, that was pretty jerkish delphied. I don't know you or the way you work. I wouldn't be so closeminded and aggressive as to make assumptions like you are.

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