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Two gripes about some stuff here I see over and over

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Rons Rightway Lawncare, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. Rons Rightway Lawncare

    Rons Rightway Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    First thing....

    People who try out or use Stihl 4 stroke blowers, why can't they understand that these blowers are NOT going to sound the same as a typical 2 stroke model from Redmax, Echo, or even the older Stihls??? I keep reading posts where people who have used these blowers get the idea that the blowers aren't revving fast enough, or sound slow, etc....

    Folks, these blowers fire every OTHER revolution! Two strokes fire EVERY revolution. Because of this, a four stroke SHOULD sound slower than the two stroke, but in fact the crankshaft is turning at nearly the same speed. The fan in the blower is bolted right to the crankshaft, so no matter how fast it sounds like it is revving.... all that matters is how fast that fan is turning.

    The four strokes with half as many power pulses, are better on gas and less noise at the same RPM's and this is where most of the benifits to four strokes comes from.

    I just can't understand how some people can try these units out and come away with a bias against them due to the fact that they don't sound as "strong" or sound like there "Revving fast enough"

    Second gripe....

    What is everyones hang up with horsepower on their mowers?

    I read comments posted here such as a 36inch walkbehind may not have enough power to mow and pull a velkie.... or just reading the endless comments that you need 27-30+ horsepower on ZTR's with 52 inch decks, etc... etc....

    I have never had a engine on a mower that gave me the impression it was not enough power. Sure in tall wet grass, that hasn't been mowed in two months I have had the engine to slow down and bog, but how often do we cut in those conditions?

    I have never had a engine bog down a noticeable amount going up a hill, or pulling a velkie, etc....

    My first mowers were a 36 and 48 inch walkbehinds, the 36 incher had a 12.5 horse Kawasaki and it never had a problem with mowing and pulling my 200 lbs around yards on a velkie!!! The 48 incher had a 14 horse Kawasaki, again no problems.

    My third mower was a 60 inch hydro WB with a velkie and it had a 18 horse vanguard, again.... no problems whatsoever!

    My first ZTR was a 61 inch Bobcat and it only had a 20 horse Kohler, again no problems...

    Each year the mowers seem to come from the manufactors with more and more standard power... My current 36 inch belt drive has a 15 horse Kohler, and my ZTR has 27 horses, more than either needs in my opinion.

    There is a slew of comments from people that jump in discussions and tell people this mower or that mower needs more power. And you read all the hoopla over these 30+ horse engines people are ordering on their big riders. Makes me wonder how many of these people throwing their two cents into the discussion have used the mowers that were popular 10-15 years ago, when Riders only had 18-20 horsepower and that was more than enough...

    Anyway, just a gripe, nothing special! :dizzy:
  2. smcunningham

    smcunningham LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 775

    Ron, everything stated makes complete sense to me, I can not be opinionaited on the topic,because I've never had a ztr or w/b w/ more than 24 hp or 18 hp or 22hp.....all the ones I ever owned seemed like they have plenty of power....Of course going threw two /three weeks in the prime growing season is going to bog any mower down...but like you stated how often does that happen...lco's should not get 2/3 weeks behind.....it does happen though i guess......

    not enough for me to want to spend extra buchs on more hp
  3. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,848

    For me the Stihl 4mix just lacked power compared to the RM 8000. I really liked the quieter sound and also a great little blower. As far as the horsepower issue you are right on the money. It's just like people demanding an 8 cyl. gas guzzler in there compact car. It makes feel tougher, more powerful, I don't know? Our avg car today gets less fuel economy than 20 yrs ago. Two word are needed: Research and Design. Not just more horsepower.
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    I dont know anything about the Sthil blower but your second "gripe" about hp on mowers, I have a 48" w/b with a 14hp Kawi and this thing is grossly under powered! My buddy's 48" Exmark Lazer is powered by a 19hp Kawi and it also is under powered IMO. It boggs down in taller dry grass all the time. You figure a hydro mower robbs a few ponies right there so if you have a 19hp, you only end up with a 15 or 16hp mower.
  5. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,848

    Tall grass and slamming the sticks forward will bog down even a 40hp motor. Slowing down in tall thick grass and gently steering is the way to go. I had a coworker who would slam the sticks forward on a Lazer Z like the machine took his first born son. What an idiot I was glad to see him get canned. I think there should be a class "How to Operate Commercial Mowers" I really think it's needed.
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Actually the Stihl 4 Mix uses a ignition system type called "Wasted Spark". It does fire on every crank rotation. Most small single cylinder 4 stroke engines use this type of ignition because it's simple and easy to service. It does have a "Power" stroke on every other rotation where 2 strokes have one on every rotation.

    I'm not being critical, just clarifying for the record.

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    Horsepower=speed. Speed=money.:)
  8. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    Oh I agree with ya Henry, There should be a class. But unfortunately its our responsibility to teach these guys/girls on the "how to's". When we demoed a mower last year the dealer went over this thing with a fine tooth comb so -to -speak and made sure I had a clue as to what I was doing with their 15k mower. Glad he did'nt come along to mow with us:laugh:
  9. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 450

    I'm not familiar with the Stihl blowers, but mowers being underpowered is a very real problem.

    Does a small horsepowered mower get the job done?? Absolutely. But, how efficient is that underpowered mower? Turflord said it well: "Horsepower=speed. Speed=money." When running any business, a successful business is always trying to become more efficient to keep the bottom line profitable.
    These larger horsepowered machines allow for more efficient mowing, thereby, more opportunity for earning profit. And, yes, many people do mow a significant amount of taller and/or wet grass where the extra horsepower is essential. So, I guess what I'm saying is, I disagree with your opinion.
  10. steve45

    steve45 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    At my elevation (2800 feet) on a 100 degree summer day, my 21 HP Kawasaki is actually putting out about 15 HP. Driving my 48" deck and a blower for the grass catcher, it is NOT adequate in the tall grass over my septic system. I have to raise the deck up all the way and go slow, then lower the deck and make a second pass.

    I'm glad my mower has the 'big' engine!

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