I'm a real newbie to this. I have inherited a Hydrostatic 318 Mower with an 18 horse engine. It takes 5 hours to mow my large property. Should I only do two hours a day so the mower doesn't get too hot, or can I do the whole 5 hours?
||Don - If the shrouds are in place, and if the fins on the engine block are clean, and if you run at full throttle, and the if fuel/air mix is not running lean (lean running generates more heat), and if it's not in the mid-90s or more, and the if oil is the right viscosity and not over used, you should be fine. A lot of "ifs", but if you are concerned, take a break once in awhile. - Dave
||I have a 316 and back in the day when I cut a lot of lawns, I could do 5 acres in under 4 hours although it was mostly wide open land with little trimming or obstacles. It's an interesting question you brought up as I don't know if even the 4+ gallon tank on these will allow 5 hours of constant running time. Following Dave's cautions, I wouldn't think there would be any problem, but I'm also thinking that after 2 hours or more you are gonna want to take a "potty" break or something.
||I've sat on my 318 and mowed for over 4 hours at a time non-stop, in blistering Kansas August 95 degree heat under full sun with no breeze, mowing long grass, short grass, wet grass, doing a lot of slowing and reversing to get around trees and obstacles, up and down hills, basically abusing the tractor. I've never had even a hint of a problem (at least with overheating) in 10 years of use and abuse. I'm no expert by any stretch, but the way I see it, after 20 minutes of mowing, let alone 2 hours, the tractor is about as hot as it's going to get. I still do three hours at a time every week in the summer with no breaks and it's never a problem.