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Which size engine to have

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by chris638, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. chris638

    chris638 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    I'm getting ready to buy a 48" walk behind, but I don't know which size engine to get a 15 HP or 17 HP. Both are Kawasaki engines. The 17 HP is about $500.00 more than the 15 HP. Is the 15 HP going to be enough or I am better off going with the 17 HP? It is a Snapper Pro, hydro drive if that helps.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    Get the 17, are you running a sulky you will need the extra power.
  3. Lynden-Jeff

    Lynden-Jeff LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,405

    15 has been good for me but if I did it again I would get the 17 for the electric start.


    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,259

    i have a 52 with a kaw 17 great power for mowing weekly . but it will bog with really high and wet grass.
  5. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    On, a hydro I would go 17 on a 48" machine. Gear drive 48" a 15 would be ok.
  6. lawn guy1350

    lawn guy1350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 214

    definately 17 hp
  7. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    the bigger the better.
  8. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 541

    I agree with Pugs. And horsepower is good.

    What are your reasons for getting the hydro? And how much are you going to pay for it?

    I have 2 walk-behinds that are gear-drives. I don't use them a whole lot. But the gear drives perform fine. I just use them for small areas and hills that I can't hit with a rider.

    I do think a hydro walk-behind would increase efficiency compared to a gear-drive, and they are a lot easier to back-up. You can also mow in the rain with a hydro, while the belts can slip on a gear-drive.

    For new guys starting out, I think a gear drive can be sufficient while you build up savings for a rider. The rider makes things much easier, especially with your hands. (Pistol grips cause hand pain.)
  9. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I have the Toro 48" w/15hp kaw belt drive and it does fine so unless you have the hydro go with the 15hp you won't notice much of a difference in power w/ the 17hp their the same engine with bigger carbs for the additional 2hp.
  10. chris638

    chris638 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    Thanks for all the great input. I'm definitely getting the hydro. Most of the yards we will be doing are going to be less that half acre, almost all residental. Therefore I don't have a great need for a rider, plus it seems like to me that most walk behinds are just as effecient as riders without doubling in price. Especially in the size yards were doing. Appreciate all the good info.

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