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WB changes for 2003????

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by Doc Pete, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    An OK WB owners, now is the time to voice exactly what you’d like to have in a WB. I understand Hustler is becoming interested in making their WB's as successfull as their Z riders, and wants our input.
    I installed a 23 Kaw on my 54 WB. I’m also running a Bullrider. I’ve installed new tires and rims. The rims are smaller than stock and the tires are larger than stock. They are 20x8x8 turfmate tires. What this adds up to is a larger tire with a giant sideway giving a very forgiving ride and allows actually mowing at about 10 mph. This also lets you mow bumpy lawns at a pretty fast pace, and still get a very smooth cut at the same time.
    I’ve cut down the H bar itself a bit in width to allow more clearance when mowing in tight spots. Next, for those of you running the linkage in the “fast” position, which is probably “not” very many, you should notice that it becomes a bit hard to squeeze the bar and turn to full speed for long periods of time (only with the linkage in the fast position). With this in mind, I’ve redesigned my grips with additional “paddles” that allow you use your fingers to “push” on the bar to turn it, instead of actually gripping and twisting it. The paddles kind of act like a lever to assist in twisting the bar. Along with this, I’ve changed the length of the lever arm that attaches from the H bar to the pump linkage. This mod allows approximately 10 mph forward and 5 mph backwards. 5 mph backwards lets you mow a lawn keeping the chute of the mower facing one direction, and that lets you “mow and blow” the lawn as if it were bagged. This works best with doubles, and of course, 23 horsepower.
    Well that’s about it. I truly believe I’ve covered just about every base to make the Hustler WB Perfect. In fact, other than moving the handle assembly closer to the deck, I don’t think anything else needs improving. FWIW, I “would not” want the front of the machine shorter, like other WB’s. The longer front end makes the Hustler track terrific, of which is “mainly” from the longer “castor” that adds to turning and keeps the front wheels from “wobbling” at real 10 mph.
    Please let me know if you have any questions, or other suggestions. “Very possibly”, these mods may show up on next season’s machines.
  2. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Messages: 467

    I would agree with many of the things said above. While I haven't modified mine to get there, I would like to see more horsepower (23 horse Kawasaki or preferably Kohler). This is because many times my machine, a 17 horse with 54" deck, simply doesn't have the power to run hills with a sulky. I use a proslide which may require more power than a castered sulky. Many times I have to get off the slider and walk to keep blade speed up.

    I'd also be interested in a 60" deck as well, for reasons I'll list below.

    I agree that the controls are simply the best, hands down compared to the pistol grip machines I've tried. My guys can run the machine well in short order too. The movements just make sense.

    I'd like to get to the point where I'm using walkbehinds for everything except the largest properties. This would allow me to trade off my Super Z 60" for a Super Z 72" as soon as Hustler has enough horsepower (read diesel power) to run it without bogging.

    Hustler has a great product, backed by great customer service. I hope you seriously consider these upgrades as it will only better your offerings.
  3. chariot

    chariot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    More power, bigger wheels... I'm ready to buy. Where do I send the money. Or will it be sent somewhere else before this is available. I realize new ideas and models have to be revealed at certain times, but can you say when new things for next year will be revealed? Basically, since you can't tell us anything, can you tell us when you will be able to tell us? Thanks and I look forward to see where things go from here.
  4. Artman

    Artman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    How much demand is there for 54" and 60", 23 hp, hydro walk-behind? We are not seeing a very large demand for such a product. It seems the bulk of walk-behind sales is 48", 17 hp. We can build it, but we have to be able to make money doing so.

    Please, enlighten us.
  5. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Messages: 467

    I can't speak for others, I would just say that for the work I do the above mentioned machine would work quite well. I'd rather have two walkbehinds that can keep pretty close pace with a 60" Z than one Z for the same or close money. As I see new Z's optioned the way I would want one for 10-12k, I would sooner have two big walkbehinds for close to the same money. This way I've got another machine to keep me cutting in the event of downtime. Myself and my employees spent a good amount of hours cutting with the walkbehind this year and the only complaint was the power. Give me 23 or so horsepower and a 60" deck option and that should be enough for me. I know you'd sell me 2 machines. I don't have a lot of lawns that need anything smaller and the perception of a walkbehind, even if it cuts as wide as a Z, looks better to my customers.

    There has got to be some sort of demand for these machines because several other manufacturers have walkbehinds in these size offerings. I'm just not willing to give up my H-bar steering to get one of them. I'll be patient for Hustler to make the machine.
  6. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Yeah, you and Paul M., too;)

    Look at it this way, the most popular Z in our area, whether it be Hustler, or exmark, or toro, is the 52". The 61" is just a bit too big for home owner lots. SO...... the choice is the 54". The 54 cuts better and throws the grass much better than the 48, because of the faster tip speed. the difference is obvious...Believe me, I have both. The 54" also is much heavier up front, and the deck stays glued to the ground no matter how fast you go, the 48 starts to bounce when going faster. Also, the 54 has a "wee bit" more overhang on the deck, and doesn't demand a "perfect zeroturn", to turn around and start the next pass.
  7. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    Switchless, I would bet the blade tip speed on the 48 and the 52 or 54 is the same - most mower companies use different size pulleys to keep the tip speed efficient.

    Thanks Brad
  8. chariot

    chariot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    How much more trouble is it for you to make another engine available? Like a 23HP Kohler. You are already making a 54" model now if you could just put another engine on it. Or sell it without a engine and we can get our own. As for a 60" model I don't currently have the need for one but I can see where one would be great, but if you do decide to offer one make sure it has plenty of power. How many times do you hear comments from someone saying they have to much power? Thanks for listening.

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