Which 36 to add to the fleet?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by jpotter0135, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,062

    you CAN get pistol grip you just have to ask for it.

    Scags the master when it comes to pistol grip mowers.
    But you should try ferris, it's like squeezing a jelly donut, soft and easy, it's almost weird.
  2. echo

    echo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    Unless one has used the Ferris or SnapperPro pistol grip setup with the cruise bar it would be hard to understand how easy and maneuverable it is to operate. Pushing down to lift the front end is easy. Add in the floating deck and electric start and I've yet to find a better WB.
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  3. redmax fan

    redmax fan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,526

    thanx 4 info pendagast
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I have an Exmark Viking, 36 wide, pistol grips. I posted a thread during the Winter, and this topic was discussed then. My machine has 18 seasons, probably well over 8,000 hours, two engines. It is pretty "tired," with the linkages all pretty loose. I had thought of an off-season replacement. But, I put a new spindle bearings on one side, changed hydro fluid, engine oil/filter, and it is ready to go. I am concerned about one of the hydro pumps. I am looking to get one more season from it.

    But, in my search, I have settled on a Ferris 36. If my machine goes belly-up, I will march right to the dealer and get/order one. I've done all the research, just didn't pull the trigger.

    I would buy another Exmark Viking, but all new ones come with ECS. I understand there is a conversion kit (thanks to a very helpful LS member), but that is more money, and working with something non-standard. Sorry, don't want to go there. I read many satisfied ESC owners above, but also read some throughts otherwise. I share the "otherwise" position. And, for the same reason, ... a pistol grip machine can be handled. The Viking is very light in the front -- easily picked up with one hand. This means that uphill travels sometimes require lots of up-pull on the pistol grips to keep the front down. Also, with the light front, the deck can easily be raised for roots, rocks, ridges, etc. I see ECS not working for these cases. If one was totally going to manage the machine with the hydro controls, then I can understand the ECS. But, when some portion of the control is through "muscle," ECS just isn't in the cards. The operator has no leverage for those maneuvers mentioned above.

    As for the fixed/floating deck, ... a topic that has been beaten to death. There are lots of posts, even in this thread, speaking of the difficulty of changing heights on a fixed deck. In all my 18 seasons, I've only used the caster spacers to manage height. I often change heights several times per day, sometimes twice on the same property. Only in extreme conditions of mowing a badly overgrown area do I move spindle washers. And, I have never moved the bolt-up, deck to frame. In other words, changing the height on a machine when the front can easily be lifted with one hand, is easy and quick -- two latch pins, not four pins holding up the floating deck. And, sorry, ... I don't buy into any assertion about quality of cut because of deck pitch change. It simply is a myth, IMO. I never see a loss of cut quality when moving the caster spacers. There are way too many other factors involved to think that the slight change in deck pitch is going to be noticed by me, or anybody else. I think those who continue to make assertions that "can't do that because the deck pitch is changed," have never tried these machines.

    I also agree with comments above -- 36" wide deck is not wide enough to warrant a floating deck. I do more scalping with my floating 48" deck on my ZTR, than my fixed 36" wide deck. The major scalping problem with the 36" fixed deck is front-to-back, not side-to side. These observations are relevant only for 36" wide machines.
  5. Larry57

    Larry57 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I be interested in opinions of the 36" Gravely Pro-Walk Hydro. I'm considering one with the Pro-Steer controls. What is the cut quality like? Will be mostly cutting st. augustine and bermuda.
  6. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 44,983

    You most certainly can "lift" the front of the mower with ECS, do it all the time. As for adjusting the front casters on a fixed deck, it's easy... Lift the front of the mower with the caster arm, pull it out, add/subtract a spacer... Done, been using ECS grips for over 10 years now, get used to em and you can do anything.
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  7. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,554

    I have no issues lifting an ecs mower up?
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  8. Holland

    Holland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 748

    I love the ecs controls. just like anything to each their own.
  9. DXN1EL

    DXN1EL LawnSite Senior Member
    from TEXAS
    Messages: 746

  10. jpotter0135

    jpotter0135 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Has anyone used the JD? Right now it comes down to the exmark and the Ferris. I really appreciate all the replies thus far its been helpful.

    Plus I just love talking mowers! Almost time for the first cut!

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