Trying to get used to SD walkbehind

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Cut 2 Please, Jul 19, 2002.

  1. Cut 2 Please

    Cut 2 Please LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    Yesterday I ran across what I felt was an awesome deal on a new Ferris 48" SD. The guy bought it brand new in April 2002. He only used it 5 or 6 times. He said he bought it to do this one property but does not do that property anymore. I feel because he was an older gentleman he just did not feel comfortable with the machine. Looking at the machine it looked to have less than 10 hours on it. It had a velke and a mulch kit and I was able to buy it for $1700.
    Now the problem that I am having is I am use to a DD snapper. Trying to remember to use the brakes to turn is dealing me fits. I keep trying to use the thumb levers or grab the wrong brake. Is this something that I will get use to after a week or so. Any suggestions as to what will help me adapt more quickly. I am using this as my trim mower so learning to control it more efficiently is very important. Do I need to make any adjustments to the controls as to make it easier. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Charles
  2. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,093

    Practice, Practice, Practice....You will get used to it in time. Practice on your own yard first.

    I don't know much about that brand but a good 48" WB with Velke, and mulch kit and low hours for $1700.00 You made out like a bandit!

    Is it Hydro or belt drive? If hydro Im going to cry.

    Anyone know what these go for new?
  3. Cut 2 Please

    Cut 2 Please LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    Yes it is a hydro.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    You will never get used to it. Bring it to me and I will take it off of your hands for $1000.00. :dizzy:

    All kidding aside you will get used to it in a hurry. You didn't say whether it was single or dual hydro. It makes a difference in the way you operate it and the cost. The single hydro runs around $3,500 to $4,000 and the dual hydro is around $800 more. I personally prefer the single hydro.
  5. Cut 2 Please

    Cut 2 Please LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    The SD stands for single drive. That is what is giving me all the trouble. Up until May of this year I had a dual drive Snapper walkbehind. I had to sell it because I broke my wrist very bad last November and after being in and out of a cast till May of this year I did not have the strength to work the levers in my left hand. Also the pain was intolerable. I have been rehabing everyday and am about 80% back to normal. I kick my self on a regular basis for selling the walkbehind that I had because I would be able to use it now. At the time I sold it I had just bought a Ferris 1000z and never thought I would need it again. Guess what? I was wrong. I see now both machines are needed and I had been looking around for a good deal on a WB.
    Now back to my problem. After driving a dual drive WB for so long I am use to steering it with the hydros. (piece of cake) With the single drive you steer with another set of leavers that controls brakes on each wheel. My instinct has me still trying to steer with the foward and reverse leavers and that is not working to well. I find myself trying to muscle this thing around and that just wears me out, especially in this heat. What I am wondering is if anyone else has ever had this problem and how did you overcome it. I have to find a solution. Last night and early this morning liked to wore me out.
  6. 2tall

    2tall LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    It does take some time to get used to it. I have a 36" & 48" SD Ferris. The only problem you will have is that after you use it a while the brakes will tend to lose some grip, that's when arm strength comes into play. I've never owned a DD so I don't know any better. The thing that turned me on to the SD was the thumb fwd- rev, and hands never left the grips. You got a HELL of price on that machine. New they are around $3500. If you don't like it you can always sell it and make a couple of bucks off of it.
  7. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    can u give examples of what u can do with the wb that u cant w the z. just curious.
  8. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    if you're not, try 3 point turn.

    using this won't be as easy as a dual, but you will be quite happy, esp at that price
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    You don't really need to muscle the machine. As you start to turn slow down a little and push on the opposite handle from the way you want to turn. I bought mine used and it didn't have any brakes at all. I had no choice but to learn how to turn it.
  10. Cut 2 Please

    Cut 2 Please LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    You asked for examples of what I can do with a WB that I can't with a Z.
    1) I can turn it around in a tighter area. I have one commercial property with a large parking lot that has long grass islands. In these islands they have lamp posts (about 3 per island). The island are only ablout 7' wide. To big to get with one pass of the Z but to small to turn the Z around on when cars are parked around them. Instead of having to get down off the curb when I get to a lamp, I can turn the WB around and not worry about hitting a car.
    2) Trimming with the WB is much easier due to the outfront deck. I can trim under low hanging tree limbs much easier than with the Z. I don't have to worry about getting scratched up by tree limbs. My time using the string trimmer is greatly reduced.
    3) Cutting steep hills. Stopping at the bottom of a steep hill is much easier than with my Z. The WB is much easier to cotrol. My 3000 with the rear suspension does hold hills very well but I feal much more comfortable using the WB to cut a boarder around the bottom and sides of the hill before using the Z on it.
    4) Faster than 21" push. I use to use my 21" push to do my trim work and now I can do 95% of what I did with my 21" with my 48" WB.

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