Which 21" Lawn Boy (or other brand) for Hills

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by smooth cut, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. smooth cut

    smooth cut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I have a small part-time lawn business. I have a big Skag, plus an old 21" 2 cycle self-propelled Lawn Boy trim mower that I love. The LB finally wore out. I'm really partial to Lawn Boys, so if possible I want get another. New 2 cycle mowers, as I'm sure most now, are hard to come by. I managed to find a dealer with a new 10550 (aluminum deck) 2 cycle self-propelled. It's not the commercial model, but my old one wasn't either and it lasted for years.
    I talked to several seasoned lawn mower mechanics about the 10550. I was told to steer clear of any 2 cycle Lawn Boy made in their last couple of production years. They said the EPA requirements resulted in LB using carb jets that were way too small and clogged regularly, along with some overheating problems. One mechanic/dealer said the last 2 cycles Lawn Boy made were absolute junk. He didn't mention any acceptable modifications. He suggested I move to the new style self-propelled 4 cycle Lawn Boy model 10695 (steel deck) with the Honda GCV 160 engine. I have a couple of accounts with small hills-say 20 degree inclines. I was told the Honda 4 cycle engine had a capable enough lubrication system that these hills wouldn't pose a problem. I'm not as sure, which is why I kept my old 2 cycle going as long as possible.
    Has anyone tried either the 10550 or the 10695, or another Honda GCV 160 equipped SP mower with moderate hills? Were the last 2 cycle Lawn Boy engines made as bad as these mechanics are telling me? Is there any other 21" SP trim mower I should be considering? I love Lawn Boys, but perhaps I need to consider others as well. I'd appreciate any input on this. Thanks.
  2. mowergal

    mowergal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I would stick with the Honda engine on the Lawn boys better than the Tec. engine. Honda will hold up and the rep told me that it can do hills better because it has a belt inside the engine to take oil to the top of it not like the sling in the tec.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Well, here is my dollar and 2 cents on this....

    First, you really ought to pick up a slope meter and check the steeper places you mow for actual degrees. Then reference the engine MFG in order to find out what is the maximum degree of incline the engine can be continously operated on.

    The most I have ever seen on a 4 cycle is 25 degrees. You can also trust me when I say that these 4 cycles will not last being operated on the steeper stuff. They starve for oil and eventually go down.

    Now, being that you love the Lawnboy's you may want to seek out an out of the way dealer or two in search of that left-over late model brand new Lawnboy. With enough checking you can probably locate what you are looking for. (thinking of doing the same to replace my 2 cycle Toro)

    If not, I think you should get a Honda or Kawasaki powered 21" mower.

    As for this particular Honda engine you are asking about... the 'belt' is an INTERNAL timing belt. Can't say if that is good or bad. The lubrication is forced splash. Others have full pressure lube with a filter.

    I'm not sure what I'd do. Can't say because I'm not sure what I will do eventually. To be honest, I'm strongly thinking about getting whatever I like, 4 cycle or not, and if it happens to be 4 cycle.... running quality lean 2 cycle mix gas in it for protection when the engine oil ain't getting there. Either Opti-2 like I run in everything, or amsoil synthetic 100:1.

    I believe it will work, quality oil and clean mix being the key to any chance at success... Sure maybe eventually something will plug up, gum up, or maybe it will go through more plugs. But I still thing it will live a longer life for me than it would ordinarily.
  4. mowergal

    mowergal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    Contact Fluegel Equipment 573-584-3456 ( hwy 50 west of Jefferson City) he is located in CenterTown Missouri. Last fall he had 2 OEM commercial lawn boys still in box, these are TRUE LAWN BOYS built before Toro brought Lawn boy out. There have the big orange gas tank and the orange metal wheels. Ask for keith
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    See... there you go...
  6. extoro

    extoro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    I think mowergal meant OMC. They were they original Lawn-Boy builders - heck of a lawnmower - light weight, lots of power.
  7. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    I have been running the Honda HR216s for years on slopes that you cant hardly walk on. Never had a engine failure. The Honda HRC is one of the best for using on hills because it drives both rear tires, unlike most of the other brands.
  8. smooth cut

    smooth cut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    This afternoon I went by the lots with hills and measured the angle of the slopes. They average 20-22 degrees. From feedback so far it sounds like a mower with the Honda HRC engine, or the commercial Lawn Boy (if still available) may be the way to go instead of the LB 10550. I'll do a search on the commercial Lawn Boy Mowergal mentioned as well as the Honda mowers too. Keep the ideas coming everyone. This thread is very helpful.
  9. robertsturf

    robertsturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    I use a John Deere with a pressure lubricated Kawasaki engine. I has not failed me for the last 3 years. Granted I only use it occasionaly but it stays lubed and starts on the first pull every time.
  10. ITL

    ITL LawnSite Member
    from SW OH
    Messages: 188


    IIRC the 21 inch Toro Commercial with the 6/6.5 HP Kawasaki engine can be used on 40 percent grade (20 degrees) continuous per the engine owner manual. The Kawasaki engine has full pressure lubrication with an oil filter. We have 3 Toro commercials and one residential model(2 with 2 cycle Suzukies, 1 residential with 4 cycle Suzuki, and the newest 2004 model with the 4 cycle Kawasaki) all with 3 speed rear wheel drive. They all handle landscaping hills,ditches, and one small back yard almost to steep to walk but to large to line trim. No engine issues and the rear wheel drive keeps pulling. We only use one now that we use the stander for the small residentials.


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