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View Full Version : From Zt's To Wb's????


Coumbe
01-12-2007, 05:05 PM
Anyone moved from ZT'd to WB's? Did you regret it? Any observations from anyone who HAS DoNE IT would be depreciated.

carcrz
01-12-2007, 05:07 PM
I have used both, but at the same time. I actually am thinking about buying some Wright Standers & switching my residentials that I use the Z's on to them. I am hoping that it may help a little w/ soil compaction & customers seeing big equipment on their residential lawns.

Coumbe
01-12-2007, 06:16 PM
I thought about Wright also but are they that much lighter than a ZT? They look lighter to the customer. Is a stander tha much better than a Hydro WB with a sulky? I think they cost a lot more than the hydro wb's.

JRSlawn
01-12-2007, 06:20 PM
I feel the same way. I have allot of residential 70-80 year old ladies that freak out when they see me on even the 52 on thier front lawn. I have never had anyone question me with a walk behind. I also like the low center of gravity on the stander you can put it on some of your hills and not have to worry about rolling it.

ed2hess
01-12-2007, 06:37 PM
I thought about Wright also but are they that much lighter than a ZT? They look lighter to the customer. Is a stander tha much better than a Hydro WB with a sulky? I think they cost a lot more than the hydro wb's.

The stander 36" Sentar Sport is a little better than a Scag 36" ZTR but but there is still a lot of compaction. Got to use the WB without the sulky in a lot of wet situations. Customer do no like seeing a big unit running around o these small yard. We tried to use our 48" ZTR on front yards only and all hell broke out. The Stander is nice since it looks smaller than a WB....it is a good little unit. We got the one with the RH and that is very very important especially during leave cleanups.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
01-12-2007, 06:43 PM
I have had some customers that freaked with the zs, also on some turf the walkbehinds leave a nicer cut and stripe.

greenbronco
01-12-2007, 08:39 PM
i too am considering buying a smaller32-44" walkbehind. Most of my yards i do or would likely do are under 1//4acre with most around 4-6k. Only problem in my area is wb are unpopular and if i didnt like it the dealer said i'd prolly lose 50% taking it off showroom floor. Also looked into wright stander. drove a similar on th john deere quiktrak48 really did a number on my knees and back in just 5 min maybe i did something wrong but botherd me for like a week. Currently using walkers42 on larger yards and 21" johndeere14sb(talk about a real winner repairs constanly).

ed2hess
01-12-2007, 09:33 PM
i too am considering buying a smaller32-44" walkbehind. Most of my yards i do or would likely do are under 1//4acre with most around 4-6k. Only problem in my area is wb are unpopular and if i didnt like it the dealer said i'd prolly lose 50% taking it off showroom floor. Also looked into wright stander. drove a similar on th john deere quiktrak48 really did a number on my knees and back in just 5 min maybe i did something wrong but botherd me for like a week. Currently using walkers42 on larger yards and 21" johndeere14sb(talk about a real winner repairs constanly).

Don't want to sound like Sentar salesman but it has a seat in the event you want to sit down. And the dealer would argue that a ZTR will hold its price better than a WB....don't know about that?

Lynden-Jeff
01-12-2007, 09:36 PM
I can see my self going to all riders for sure. Neighbour does it but has a wright stander I think? for hills. He says it holds greats and has no reason for walk behind and I can see why, most of our properties are 1 acre +.

Cheers
Jeff

MTR
01-13-2007, 02:06 AM
Riders always the main mowers, wb is just for hill and slope. I will never ever go back and use wb all days cutting lawns, waste of time and energy.

lawnpro724
01-13-2007, 12:48 PM
I know most of you will not like what I'm saying but I'm saying it for a reason. Your long term business success depends on customer satifaction but everytime this topic is discussed all I hear is what you guys want. You all say walkbehinds or ztr for residential because you want it done faster and easier and you say better but I dont think so. Since when is it you who decides whats best for you customer? The 21" Toro proline or Honda commercial mower will give a far better cut on a residential yard than any walkbehind or ztr any day of the week and won't compact the soil or tear up the lawn. I'm saying this for a reason and a very good one. I have had more complaints in the last couple of years than I have since I have been in business. I see people all the time running around on their big Zs and large walkbehinds on small residential yards leaving ruts and rib rows and general damage for the sake of speed or lazyness. I hear it all the time from you guys I want to get it done faster than last year. Wake up and realize your customers want a quality job and they dont want those big machines tearing up there lawn after all they were intended for large properties anyway. My point, is that I have picked up so many residential yards in the last couple of years more than I really want and the #1 complaint from everyone is the same thing. Those DAMN BIG MOWERS are tearing up my yard!!!!!!! Everyone yard I picked up said they will pay me more if I don't use them!! You may like those big mower but your customer won't.

d&rlawncare
01-13-2007, 01:09 PM
LAWNPRO---so how much do you charge when you are using your 21"? It takes me just ove an hour to mow/trim/blow my own lawn with a 21". It would take 20 min for 2 guys to do it with a 48-52". One guy mow, the other trim/blow.

My lawn would be $28 (lowest LCO in area) to $35 (average LCO) per week.

lawnpro724
01-13-2007, 01:32 PM
LAWNPRO---so how much do you charge when you are using your 21"? It takes me just ove an hour to mow/trim/blow my own lawn with a 21". It would take 20 min for 2 guys to do it with a 48-52". One guy mow, the other trim/blow.

My lawn would be $28 (lowest LCO in area) to $35 (average LCO) per week.

I get on average $30-$40 for an average size residential yard and it takes about 20-35 minutes with two guys and 21" mowers. We have a very satisfied customer base and they don't mind paying a little extra. I explain the advantages of using a 21" over larger mowers like Zs or big walkbehinds. My customers understand that using a 21" takes more time and they are willing to pay more. You have to work a little harder but its worth it in the end if the customer is happy and you will be healthier by getting some excercise. It used to be everyone in this industry was in great shape but ever since the ztrs and walkbehinds w/sulky's came about I see more and more people mowing that probably couldn't even walk a small residential yard these day's.

02DURAMAX
01-13-2007, 03:29 PM
I have a stander 52"/23hp and I like It better than a walk behind and sulke....much faster and very good on hills..

Envy Lawn Service
01-13-2007, 10:59 PM
Well, I'm going to put it like this....

If I were in a better health condition, I would certainly be experimenting with wide area walks and stander-type mowers. But not for any other reason than the sheer simplicity.

They are light and easy to transport in all sorts of ways... and with no need for big trucks, ect.... and the versatility, lack of worries on slopes, lower fuel consumption, lower price... and the fact they are so simple mechanically.

However, this business as a whole seems to be going nowhere but down financially speaking when it comes to market rates, ect... and every year the game gets to be more and more about productivity.... and you just can't argue with the big rider productivity and the reduction in labor they provide... and with the climbing prices on the nice hydro walkbehinds... they have became less cost-effective over the long haul too.

Back when I ran tractors exclusively, yes I took a lot of lawns from ZTR guys at higher rates. Except for the ones with torn up slopes and really shady lawns.... most of the rest of the damaged lawns were from guys running really heavy 60's 72's and some smaller Z's with skinny tires... and most of the damage was from mowing the exact same way every time.... causing turning damage in the same areas over and over, and causing tracks to get burnt into the lawns from traveling them the same every time. A 500 lb lawn tractor will track too if used that way.

Today, my big 60" Z only exerts 9 PSI of ground pressure on all 4 and I always alternate patterns. Plus, on occasion I have mowed marshy area with smaller ZTR's that I couldn't walk on and cut with a trimmer.

So anyways, I say do what you like and what works for you... and if ZTR's are what you have/want.... learn technique to avoid problems.

********************

As for you people with customers having a cow.... I've ran ZTR's 4 full seasons now, and so far I've only had one damage complaint out of all the particular customers I have.

The lawn was steep, shady and had thin fragile turf growing in soft soil... and a steep mossy area the complaint was about. You could twist your foot like most smokers will stomp out a cigarette and tear a bare spot in the lawn.

I would have had to be careful of the front tires on a lawn tractor, had I been willing to bring one on that route to cut the lawn with. And frankly I didn't want to haul a lawn tractor out on that route. I would have had to deal with loading it for that, towing it 30 miles round trip, the expense involved, and the change-up of everything. PLUS of course the homeowner would have wanted it done at the same price... AND there were 3 lawns there in one drop-spot and I didn't want to get into that whole ordeal... as to customers this appears to be special treatment and they'd all expect it.

So I told the customer I wouldn't do it because I'd have to charge him about double to come out... which put a friendly end to that demand, and caused me the loss of all 3 accounts.

As it would turn out, the customer already had a lawn tractor lowballer lined up for the job anyways and wanted to part ways. I'm sure he got a special deal on his lawn for getting the other guy's foot in the door on all 3 lawns....

The customer's have regretted making the change and have called me for several jobs the lowballer can't or won't do.... and my response is that... "I'm booked up and I have too many loyal full-service customers expecting work from me to put them aside for one-time jobs. Sorry I just won't have time to get to you this year."

MTR
01-14-2007, 03:06 AM
I know most of you will not like what I'm saying but I'm saying it for a reason. Your long term business success depends on customer satifaction but everytime this topic is discussed all I hear is what you guys want. You all say walkbehinds or ztr for residential because you want it done faster and easier and you say better but I dont think so. Since when is it you who decides whats best for you customer? The 21" Toro proline or Honda commercial mower will give a far better cut on a residential yard than any walkbehind or ztr any day of the week and won't compact the soil or tear up the lawn. I'm saying this for a reason and a very good one. I have had more complaints in the last couple of years than I have since I have been in business. I see people all the time running around on their big Zs and large walkbehinds on small residential yards leaving ruts and rib rows and general damage for the sake of speed or lazyness. I hear it all the time from you guys I want to get it done faster than last year. Wake up and realize your customers want a quality job and they dont want those big machines tearing up there lawn after all they were intended for large properties anyway. My point, is that I have picked up so many residential yards in the last couple of years more than I really want and the #1 complaint from everyone is the same thing. Those DAMN BIG MOWERS are tearing up my yard!!!!!!! Everyone yard I picked up said they will pay me more if I don't use them!! You may like those big mower but your customer won't.

IL, yeh, you may do successfully with 21" cause you are not cutting St. Augustine. In FL, all lawns are St. augustine which will bog and kill your 21" every pass and turn, leaving stringers there and here. Also, 90* degree in summer or mid Spring will kill your legs by 2 pm. The Z is the ticket for survival here, no joke, there is no way to do 50 yards or more a week with 21er even your whole crew running only 21", they will quit by April or June when you sweat your balls by 9.30 am till 6 pm or eve 7 pm. The humidity alone will kill your body and legs by using 21er.

newbomb
01-14-2007, 10:17 AM
Experience of the operator plays a big part in this debate. I only use a 21 where necessary. At 42 I'm not walking behind a 21 all day thats dumb. I get plenty of exercise trimming with the 21 and string trimmers. 30 minutes in an eliptical beats a day of mowing in 90+ heat any way. I have a great idea, lets all go back to reel mowers and hand edgers. Hooray!!!

PS Lawn pro I have an Edsel I'd love to sell you and I'll throw in a victrola free.

lawnprosteveo
01-17-2007, 12:18 AM
I am making this same decision right now. Out of about 40 yards, I only have 3 or 4 that are over that 1/4 acre city lot size. And most of them have a gate only a 36 or 32 could get in.

My decision is to sell the Z...pocket the money, mow with my 36...Right or wrong I gotta try it and see how it works out. I bet I dont notice alot of difference.

clay duncan
01-17-2007, 02:13 AM
i went from a zt to a walkbehind and never looked back. i still use my zt (walker) some, but the wb are more productive, easier to maintain, tough as a pine knot, go anywhere, walk or ride and ALOT cheaper to buy and operate. i am sold on the wright velke mower and another 48 is in my near future.....clay

rodfather
01-17-2007, 09:15 AM
WB's are a necessity...Z's are a luxory.

lawnpro724
01-17-2007, 02:15 PM
IL, yeh, you may do successfully with 21" cause you are not cutting St. Augustine. In FL, all lawns are St. augustine which will bog and kill your 21" every pass and turn, leaving stringers there and here. Also, 90* degree in summer or mid Spring will kill your legs by 2 pm. The Z is the ticket for survival here, no joke, there is no way to do 50 yards or more a week with 21er even your whole crew running only 21", they will quit by April or June when you sweat your balls by 9.30 am till 6 pm or eve 7 pm. The humidity alone will kill your body and legs by using 21er.

Why is it that everyone assumes AKA( ASS of yourself ) that if you use a 21" at all you must be using it for everything you do?? The average neighborhoods around here have yards that measure out to 50' x 100' or a little bigger say around 75' x 150' and there is a house on these lots as well so the yard doesn't require anything but a 21". Oh and who said I was doing 50 small yards a day with a 21"?????? I never said that. We take 2 21" Toro's with us everyday we go out as well as 48" & 52" walkbehinds for residentials. I have more large commercial accounts than I do residential and we use a 60" Zmaster and 50" tractor along with 21" around building where you can't get anything else. By the way we do over a 100 mowings a week and have more than 200 customers we do work for at any given time. How many do you have?

MTR
01-18-2007, 12:17 PM
Why is it that everyone assumes AKA( ASS of yourself ) that if you use a 21" at all you must be using it for everything you do?? The average neighborhoods around here have yards that measure out to 50' x 100' or a little bigger say around 75' x 150' and there is a house on these lots as well so the yard doesn't require anything but a 21". Oh and who said I was doing 50 small yards a day with a 21"?????? I never said that. We take 2 21" Toro's with us everyday we go out as well as 48" & 52" walkbehinds for residentials. I have more large commercial accounts than I do residential and we use a 60" Zmaster and 50" tractor along with 21" around building where you can't get anything else. By the way we do over a 100 mowings a week and have more than 200 customers we do work for at any given time. How many do you have?


You dont need to use expletive word like that, I dont appreciate. It seems like we dont see eyes, that is fine. There is no point of taking it further. As for question, I do about 60 yards per week by myself and 1 partner who only work on mondays and wednesdays. Just use what ever you like to do, it is all your business. no point of arguing for nothing.