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sulky problems

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Detroitdan, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Did I get screwed? I bought a heavy duty sulky on ebay, was built by a metal fab guy as opposed to a mower manufacturer. I assumed he copied the design or something, but it looked real good. Anyway, here's the problem-I can't make it work. I've adjusted on it and have it set nice and level, tightened up the pivot and axles, but what it does is fishtail back and forth wildly. It seems like every bump or clump of grass one wheel hits makes it turn, then overcorrect back the other way, and I'm not talking super rough terrain, just regular lawn grass. It works okay on hot top where nothing hits the tires at all. Tightening made it a little better but still not useable. I haven't changed air pressure yet because they are full now, I think I could only go lower and make them softer, which should make the problem worse. I've tried bending my knees, leaning back or forward, nothing helps. I figured it would take some practice getting used to it, but I just can't use it. I have never used one before, so I don't even know what it's supposed to be like.
    It has two wheel barrow type tires on it with a platform between. The side to side pivot is mounted on top of the platform, and the up and down pivot is on the mower end. It's on a Ferris 54" wb that apparently had a sulky before, holes are all there.
    I know this isn't rocket science, it oughta be able to tow me around without trying to throw me off. Appreciate any pointers.
  2. Matts lawn care

    Matts lawn care LawnSite Senior Member
    from MD
    Messages: 829

    I was thinking about getting the one you are talking about. May be I wont now.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Best I can tell you is I buy my 1-wheelers from J-Thomas, they're cheap and they work good, but no 2-wheelers for me.
    Now if it's a 1-wheeler you bought then I don't know what could be the deal, I've never had a 1-wheeler do it.

    But if it's a 2-wheeler they all do that, and it's the reason I buy only 1-wheel velkies. Only way the 2-wheelers don't do it is at slow speed, and they still do it some, at high speed they're dang near impossible, my OLD 52" 4-speed used to have one, worst thing I ever owned and mine was made by Velke...

    My old 52" (I sold it) was a 1995 model, it never made much past 4mph if it moved that fast, but probably close, certainly not 5-7 thou.
    You kinda sorta get used to the fishtailing, but not quite, it still annoys some, it's awrite at slow speeds, for those lazy days.

    This piece of crap, and it's a true Velke, looks old but it's got all new bushings and bearings for the same reason...
    Yup, fishtailed like crazy, you can't see it but that's a 4-speed tranny (all newer ones are 5), 4 speeds are a lot slower...

    Picture 19b.jpg
  4. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    that one in the pic looks quite a bit like mine. Pivots a bit different. I wish I had known the 2 wheelers were known for this. I figured they would be better, easier to balance anyway. What a waste of money. If I return it I'll be out $35 shipping each way. Sucks to spend $70 to get $133 back, but that's probably what I'm going to have to do. I emailed them a week ago and haven't heard back yet.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I have a two-wheeled BullRider and have never had a fishtail problem. I really don't know what is meant by that description.

    No one-wheeled sulky for me any more, ... I had one for a couple of years and could not stand the stripe down the middle. I walked many lawns so that the stripe would not appear.

    How about posting a pic of the one you bought off e-bay?

    BTW, nobody can just "copy another design" of this kind of equipment. Patents protect others from using the same design.
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Sounds like the caster is not right. If the pivot pin is not angled it would likely wander. Sounds to me like he has the vertical pin straight up and down opposed to angled to allow the wheel to track straight.

  7. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,711

    you get what you pay for! this saying was never more true than in this biz

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