Bradley mower experience

Bradley mower experience
0

#1

Just started mowing with one of these, a 48" dual hydro walk behind. Have several acres to mow and the old 22" walk behind was getting to be too much for me at my age. It’s quite a difference when you move up from 22" to 48"; you mow so much more grass with each step! And the zero turn is also very cool.

OK, so why Bradley? Well, I shopped extensively, looking at all the expensive name brands costing roughly double what I ended up paying. Bradley was well spoken of on the internet so I decided to take a chance. No dealers where I live so the mower arrived by Fedex Freight on a tractor trailer. Shipping weight was circa 700 pounds with the steel crate. The mower itself weighs roughly 600 pounds, built like a tank.

Took me almost a day to uncrate the thing and boy was I tired at the end. The negative on the Bradley is lack of ease changing the cut height. That’s not an issue for me using this commercial mower in a residential setting. But I did have to change the setting one time. It took everything I had to loosen the three bolts. Thank goodness I’m equipped with a 3/4" socket set having good, long, breaker bars. Eventually got 'er done.

Anyway I like the mower a lot so far, especially considering what I paid for it. With its 25hp Briggs commercial two cylinder engine and all that weight, this baby is easily capable of pulling a stand-on sulky should I ever become unable to walk. For now, though, she’s good to go as is.

For anyone interested in more detail, here is a link to the mower. You can see there the sale price I paid:

Link to Bradley 48" mower

Shipping cost varies depending upon where you live. I am roughly 600 miles distant from IL and paid a bit less than $300 for home delivery.

Ended up putting the entire purchase on my Alliant CC with a consequent saving of $90+, and I don’t live in Illinois so Bradley did not charge sales tax. All in all a pretty rugged mowing machine at a good price.


#2

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#3

That’s a lot of mower for the money. Should last you a long time, congrats.


#4

Do you prefer the walk behind for exercise reasons? That seems exhausting with multiple acres!


#5

What would be the cost of hiring a mowing service?


#6

Holy $%*! Are you training for triathlons? Congratulations dude, on the new kit, the time/energy to cut that much acreage walking, and what appears to be a good deal.

I cut a little over a half-acre (level) with a 22" self-prop for 4 years, and cannot image doing it for multiple acres. I wouldn’t want to do multiple acres even with a 48", unless it had a sulky. Of course, I smoked for 40 years. :frowning_face:

It looks like a pretty nice piece of equipment. My only suggestion is to strictly follow the maintenance schedule for the tranny. Also, be careful with the turns, especially on fescue. I mowed five acres for a friend using his zero turn rider. The turns tended to chew up the ground of the fixed wheel, and it ended up better to cut through the row and make a gradual turn. But could that thing cut. At first, I thought the seat-belt was a joke. Once I found the ripples in his yard, the seat-belt made a lot more sense. :slight_smile:

Again, congrats on what seems like a pretty decent deal.


#7

Hey, wow, thank you everyone for your very kind responses. Much appreciated!

While searching yesterday for something else I ran across the FedEx shipping document for the Bradley mower. It says shipping weight is 830 pounds, a bit more that I stated in the OP. I really dunno. If correct, a lot of that would have to be the steel crate. The mower itself AFAIK still only comes in at 600 pounds. The steel crate was a handful during the uncrating, but I would have guessed no more than 150 pounds.

As for the mower, moving it about unpowered can take a bit of tugging, even though it is on wheels. Like a total idiot, during my early mowing forays, I accidentally ran one wheel into a groundhog hole. Let me tell you I was uncertain of my ability to extricate the mower, it is so heavy. It took everything I had to roll/lift it out to where I could power it the rest of the way out. I will, of and by necessity, be MUCH, MUCH more careful about such things going forward.

Yes, I have been walking and not riding when mowing for many years because the exercise seems to make me feel better. My two best boyhood (and later life long) friends, both my age, have already passed, one in 2015 and the other in 2016. My oldest sister is 92, though, so maybe I will do better than my friends.

My Poulan Pro 22" mower, also with a Briggs and Stratton American engine, lasted me from 2006 until this year, and it still works though not to where I can rely on it any more to mow several acres as in past years. It no longer pulls hard enough on the multiple hills and I have to push quite a bit going up. But the mower owes me absolutely nothing having given me well more than my money’s worth.

Possibly worth a mention is that the Bradley mower has no transmission. Instead it has a single, belt-driven, pump and two hydro motors, one for each drive wheel. Some of the more expensive mowers I looked at (e.g., Ferris) have integrated hydro pump/motors, one for each wheel. Said another way, each hydro motor has its own (dedicated) pump. Frankly, I liked more the reduced complexity of Bradley’s approach. I mean, I can lose for example either hydro motor without having to trash (or repair) my pump at the same time. Ditto with my (single) pump. If it dies it does not take a motor with it.

But pros are running these Bradleys for hundreds and hundreds of hours with no such negative outcomes as that. I probably won’t put much more than 100 hours on the mower in a single season, it mows so fast. And the three year warranty for residential use is there if I encounter infant mortality with a component.

Bottom line I continue to like the Bradley. But do not buy one if you need to change your cut height frequently. For that you must spend more money. Myself? I set the cut height to 5" and that is where it will remain.


#8

I really have no idea, Argyll. I did have a mowing service fellow stop by a few years ago when I was out mowing. He was younger. I guess he saw my white hair and figured I needed help of some sort . . . maybe a sanity check up. Anyway, I think he quoted me forty or fifty bucks without seeing the back yard, where there is more to mow than in the front.

I did not pay him a lot of attention. Besides, he had a sit-down riding mower on his work trailer which seemed inappropriate for a person so young. The serious pro mowers today either walk or else they mow standing up with a sulky or with a stand-on mower like this one:

Bradley 48" stand-on mower

You can see that mower is quite a lot more mower than mine, but it also costs an additional $1000. Many of the pros like stand-ons, though.


#9

When i did lawns professionally. Read min wage job for somebody else. We would go around the outside once so then we could turn it without burning the tires into the grass.
Not sure if its an idea u might like to try. Tho i suspect u might have to around the outside edge twice sou can make gentle turns.


#10

Or, you could hire a herd of cows to cut the grass.


#11

This is entirely within the realm of possibility where I live. We have a great many cows here, mostly dairy. And they do work for cheap. However:

Cleanup could be a problem.:grinning:

Perhaps I should have considered this alternative instead of going out and spending three thousand bucks. I’ve always been a huge bovine fan. It’s one reason I moved here years ago. Cows are wonderful animals!


#12

You might want to go for sheep. They are lighter and do less damage. In some places, you can rent sheep for lawn mowing.


#13

What cleanup? The fertilizer is free!


#14

Or you could compost it and sell it.

Or get an anaerobic digester and make your own power1