Best zero turn mower?

Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: SMITTY On: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:53 am

I thought about mulching, but I know with the mulching push-mower I use for in between the blueberry bushes, it ends up throwing clumps out all over the place if the grass is just SLIGHTLY damp .... and over there gets flooded during seasons like we've been having so far. Needless to say, it's almost always wet there - I end up just throwing the bag on. I was concerned about a mulching mower doing the same thing. I could've saved $800 by NOT getting the powerflo system on my J/D, but I like to mow when the grass is a foot high ... so don't think mulching is a good choice for me ..... :gee:

LOL Dcrane ... what you described is EXACTLY what I go through every time I've mowed for the past 10 years. :lol: Green hands, arms, pants, and all! Even with the Powerflow, it will still plug up ......especially when you try to make just ONE more pass when the bags are full. My reaction time is pretty good hitting the PTO button when I hear SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH & see smoke billowing from the deck. :D

The Bad Boy I had my eye on just got sold on me. Should've jumped. :x
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: SMITTY On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:53 am

OK you talked me into it Dcrane! :lol:

I found a Walker ... but she's got 2700 hours .... and is still squeezing the budget. :shock: It's also EFI, which I really DO NOT want. 26HP. With that many hours I'm sure the engine is due to grenade any minute now anyway, so I COULD part out the EFI system ... :idea:
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: dcrane On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:05 am

SMITTY wrote:OK you talked me into it Dcrane! :lol:

I found a Walker ... but she's got 2700 hours .... and is still squeezing the budget. :shock: It's also EFI, which I really DO NOT want. 26HP. With that many hours I'm sure the engine is due to grenade any minute now anyway, so I COULD part out the EFI system ... :idea:


They do make some damb good China knockoff engines for this if money is tight, but honestly Smitty... your a gearhead!!!.... Get the machine that has an old engine, mail order your new engine and swap it out (I don't think you would have to pay more then $2k for the best one possible) and you can make at least $500 back on the old one you pull out! hopefully you can test drive the machine you buy to make sure the hydraulics & the evacuation system or whatever you call it (the system that sucks up and chops anything as its thrown under the deck) is working well.

If I were wealthy and could hire a landscaper to mow my lawn every week I assure you he would have a Walker Mower or I would not be hiring him!

Also... You will know exactly when you need to shut off your blades when the catch is full with a Walker because it sounds like a turbine (the system these type of mowers use makes the sound change dramatically and instantly the second its full) its like having the most powerful vacuum cleaner you can imagine (if you take a shop vac and it gets full or clogged you know it because the sound change is so dramatic, this mower makes exactly that some same sound change)... only difference being that you also have a steel propeller at the very front of the hose on the shop vac that can chew up a 2x4 into sawdust :lol: .

Best advise I can give is to make sure you keep the metal mesh screen at the top of the grass catch clean (after about 10 mows i take my power washer and powerwash the inside of the plastic catcher to clear that screen because it has a direct relation to the suction power of the vacuum (I guess it works like draft in a chimney... If your house is totally sealed with plastic around it, no matter how good your chimney is it will not draft) :lol:
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404


Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: gaw On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:18 am

If I were seriously thinking about a used Walker I would go to their website and download the owner’s manual for the machine I was looking into. They used to be available for download.

Walkers are used mostly by lawn service companies so look out for used and abused. If the company was good about maintenance then the machine should go another 2700 hours, but I doubt on that engine.

When you open the back of the grass catcher bin you will see the discharge chute. Turn the key on (don’t start the engine) and engage the mower, the discharge chute should oscillate. It is driven by a little electric motor. You will see a little flapper on a spring mounted to the discharge. Move it with your hand and a warning siren should sound, 5that is to let you know the bin is full. When you mow and it sounds NEVER TRY JUST ONE MORE PASS, empty immediately.

When you drive a Walker the lever on the right is the forward speed control. The tractor should move forward in a STRAIGHT line. The farther you move the lever the faster you go. If it does not go straight then the drives are out of sync and need adjustment. The center levers are for turning and reverse. They are operated by the fingers of your left hand. Remember a Walker drives a lot like a forklift; you have an ass end that comes around to be aware of, unlike more conventional ZTRs.

I would also avoid any machine that had oil leaks at the drives or the mower gear boxes. The newer Walkers had plastic oil reservoirs on top of the drives kind of like a master cylinder reservoir. From the factory they had a tape seal on them warning you not to remove. If those seals are still in place that would be a good thing, but I don’t know what year they started to do that, 2006 and newer would have definitely been sealed.

If you choose to go the Walker route good luck, just check out the machine completely so that your experience is a good one.
gaw
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County

Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: gaw On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:08 am

gaw wrote:I don’t remember if the hydro drives are made by Eaton or Spicer

OK, just to clear up some things. I can’t find the manufacturer of Walkers hydrostatic drives. I thought I saw it at some time but I can’t confirm anything now so I have to take that back.
gaw wrote:The newer Walkers had plastic oil reservoirs on top of the drives kind of like a master cylinder reservoir. From the factory they had a tape seal on them warning you not to remove.

The seals on the hydrostatic reservoirs state that the warranty is void if removed before 500 hours. At 2700 hours this is not very important.
gaw
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County

Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: dcrane On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:19 am

My Bobcat Z100 had that alarm thingie inside the grass catch (lil' arm that somehow compacts or evenly distributes the clippings and stuff), A great feature for sure but mine was broke when I bought my machine and its something I never fixed, so I simply listen for the sound change. I can cut a little bit past the point of full because after the "dump" anything in the shoot is then forced into the grass catch the second I start the blades (but if im mowing really wet grass after the point of "full" I would inevitably come down with a case of Green hand Syndrome :lol:)
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: SMITTY On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:51 am

Awesome guys - I appreciate it. 8-)

Well this guy hasn't got back to me, so that means he ain't moving on his price. $3,600.

From his ad:

Used 2005 Walker. Machine was purchased in 2006. Machine is in good working condition and has been recently tuned up and is ready to be put into use.

26hp Kohler EFI - runs great, does not smoke
2599 hours
48" Mower deck
New Blades
Recently Serviced
Hydro motors do not slip
Tires are in good condition
Hopper is in good condition
Deck does not have any holes in it
Gearboxes do not leak
This has the same specs as the current 26hp Walkers
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: dcrane On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:20 pm

I paid 4k for my 2000 Bobcat Smit :shock: so this does not sound like a bad deal, especially if he is local to you! go to him with cash in your pocket... if it checks out good... offer him $3,500 cash! Its a great deal as these machines hold their value and cost like $11,000k new

you could use that machine for 5 years and it would still be worth $3500!!!
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: franco b On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:20 pm

I don't understand the need to bag clippings. Cut the grass once a week only when it is dry.

Zero turn will not cut any faster except when there are a lot of obstacles. How fast you can cut is a function of blade speed, the decks are similar, only heavier on the commercial models.

Keep the machine out of the weather and service it and the Home Depot Ariens will last ten years. Look for refurbished at the end of season for great buys. I paid $600 for 42 inch with auto transmission. Runs great and cuts even better. This will be the third season.
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Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: dcrane On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:25 pm

franco b wrote:I don't understand the need to bag clippings. Cut the grass once a week only when it is dry.

Zero turn will not cut any faster except when there are a lot of obstacles. How fast you can cut is a function of blade speed, the decks are similar, only heavier on the commercial models.

Keep the machine out of the weather and service it and the Home Depot Ariens will last ten years. Look for refurbished at the end of season for great buys. I paid $600 for 42 inch with auto transmission. Runs great and cuts even better. This will be the third season.


I can respect the craftsmen and ariens and scotts type ride on mowers have their place for grandpa or the newlyweds with a 10k sq' lot.
Mulching is not a bad thing as long as your very understanding of the fact that people and pets will get green shoe syndrome and you will be dethatching and spring/fall clean ups just cant happen without a lot of hand effort, also when mulching its hard to cut in the morning until the dew is dry, its impossible to cut wet grass and mulch, and obtaining the clean look of a bagged lawn just cant be obtained by mulching. If you have an area where you can dump clippings or if you have a wet lawn typically or if you have a pool then bagging is a must.

in terms of speed I cannot stress enough how much faster a Walker can do a lawn then anything else, I know you think its all about blade speed and maybe it is (if that's the case the Walkers blade speed is 10x faster then a Craftsmen) :lol: I know mulching slows down the job because you need to ensure all that crap is reduced to fines, I know clogging side exit baggers slow down the job because even the best clog up like the hoover dam, I know that the Walker cures all those main issues and the ease and speed it can cut a lawn is second to none (which is why any pro landscape company has Walkers in their inventory).

Even if you spent the $2k for a cyclone rake or something for those homeowner models it can NEVER do what a Walker can (the power unit is near the end of the hose, not the front of it so the clogging still occurs), and god forbid if your trying to pick up inch sticks and branches because you would hear very bad noises and shut down fast where the Walker with chew em up and spit out sawdusk (even if you have a 10' long branch with lil' branches attached I just roll over it and take of 3' of it and then on my next pass take 3' more, etc. without so much getting out of the seat or interrupting my passes :D ) ... Ive spent the $1k for Scotts/Craftsmen/Etc plus the $1k for what I thought was a good bagger before but after Smitty buys this Walker he will never have to buy another mower or attachment, he could start landscaping plus it will always be worth what he payed for it!
Last edited by dcrane on Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: freetown fred On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:32 pm

I'm with you Richard, my Cub Cadet 2065--16 horse, 48" deck cuts around 2 1/2 acres every week to 10 days--no bagging, no mulching-cost me $800.00 4 yrs ago, just had to replace PTO clutch on her----holy crap my 1 ton dump/ plow truck AND my 1/2 ton street truck--both 1990 4X4's didn't cost $3000.00 combined---WTF---- Fk all this keepin up with the idiot Jonse's. :nana: toothy Walker--Smalker :woot:
freetown fred
 
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Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: dcrane On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:40 pm

I had a Cub Cadet!!! It was pretty reliable machine but it was $2k :shock: Trust me guys... a Walker would chew up and spit out 10 of those types of mowers and not even slow down while its zipping its paths through the lawn :lol:
There is simply NO comparison here and the price is about the same (an extra $1k is nothing compared to the clogging and time saved over a LIFETIME). Walkers are made to run 24/7 365! Even a beat one would serve a homeowner with one lot for decades.
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: freetown fred On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:54 pm

Trust you??? Really Doug, you're a friggin Realtor :clap: toothy Sorry my friend, you left that one WAY WIDE open ;)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
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Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:58 pm

freetown fred wrote:Trust you??? Really Doug, you're a friggin Realtor :clap: toothy Sorry my friend, you left that one WAY WIDE open ;)





:D toothy
Flyer5
 
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Re: Best zero turn mower?

PostBy: dcrane On: Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:03 pm

:rambo2:
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404