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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnprosteveo, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    I saw a crew cutting a right of way using walkbehinds without sulkies....this right of way was about a couple of blocks long and about 20 ft or so wide...

    My question is this: what is the reason guys dont use sulkies with their wb's? Most lco's around here have them, but some dont.... just curious why some opt out on the sulky?:confused:
  2. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    Three reasons come to my mind instatanly, especially in the situation you describe.

    1. Maybe the guys like the excercise???
    2. Could be a safety issue.. Being next to the road, it is a bit easier to control the machine if you are not on a sulkie. Personnal preferrence I guess.
    3. Rough ride. I if it was a roadside right of way, without curbing, then it is posible that the ground if very rough and creates alot of control issues with the machine as well as a very rough ride...

    Without knowing exactly, these would be my best guesses...
  3. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    I would walk all day long before getting on one. I hate them!!!!! Ask Wriken, he feels the same way.
  4. 2menandamower

    2menandamower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 247

    I only use the sulky on wide open properties if one of my worker's is on the Z. I very rarley get it out of the truck...
  5. robby

    robby LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    I didnt use a sulky for many years when I was getting started in the biz. I guess I've been using the sulky now for the past 4 years or so. I now wonder how I ever survived walking all those miles. My sulky just happen to break down last week and I had to walk 16 yards that day, after already cutting 10 before the sulky broke. I was seriously dragging @$$ at the end of that day.
    The only way I survived walking before I got the sulky was that I was younger and cut fewer yards per day. A full day back then was probably around 15 yards. Now I can do 25+ yards in a day with the sulky. Just the fact that I could increase my mower speed and cut 50% more yards with the sulky made it so valuable. I'd be curious to know from those who still walk, how many yards they can cut per day?
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I leave mine on the trailer sometimes when the terrain is difficult, or the spaces are small. I have timed myself, two yards side by side, about 15K sq ft each, both with some trees, and one with some sloping terrain. I can walk them both in less time than when riding the sulky. Sometimes I use the sulky to save some energy, but most of the time, I leave it on the trailer for those yards. Also, I have others that have short turns, steep areas, etc. Handling the hydro mower without the sulky is so much quicker and easier.

    The sulky has its place, and sometimes it is behind the mower and other times, it is best left on the trailer.
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,449

    The reason we don't get them for the crews is because most of the guys you see using sulky are whipping around the yards very fast. That bothers most customers a LOT. Can't tell them to use it some time and not others so we don't use them at all. I would say most full time cutters don't use them and that includes the bigger guys like Trugreen.
  8. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    Man, thats pretty good...my Toro has 1st thru 5th gears....if I were to take off the sulky and use it in 5th gear, I would be jogging behind the mower...otherwise I'd have to stay in 4th. I just cant jog 20 plus yards per day in the heat..
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    lawnprosteveo ... Yes, in open spaces I can move faster with the sulky. But, when working around obstacles, slopes, tight places, I cannot stand on the sulky, so it is just in the way. The machine is more maneuverable without the sulky. I use a BullRider on an Exmark Viking, 36" wide, hydro drive, trailer mode.

    Even in more open places, I can rarely go much faster than a walk anyway -- lawns are too rough and I cannot control the machine like I wish.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No doubt, I agree with you because I'm a velke guy myself.

    But Wb's were never really designed to pull us on a riding attachment, and some older models have the fine-spline couplings and the riding will wear out those couplings in a year or so and it's always good times replacing them since one has to pull the transmission axle meaning at least the trans cover has to come off (translation: a good afternoon, at least 3-4 hours).

    Now if they have the 9-spline here again, owner-operators tend to be more conscientious than employees, thus they know all too well that velkes breed carelessness and lackadaisical attitudes.

    That and the workout of walking the Wb really is good for you.

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