View Full Version : fastest walk behind mower

12-01-2001, 03:42 AM
just came across this site tonight, Fri. 11:30 pm calif. Very cool and full of great info. I'm an official horticulturalist and have a small maintenance and installation business in Malibu. I just picked up a new acct. that's got a huge lawn!I have one single speed honda and one three speed honda and it takes close to two hours to complete the lawns! my big question is if i were to purchase a commercial mower, which has the fastest walk behind speed? and what would be my next step up as far as buying equipement to get through this job faster? I can't afford these 5000 rigs, but would spend around 1500 if something had a bigger deck and cut my time down.

12-01-2001, 03:58 AM
Welcome to Lawn Site.

You are not going to be able to buy a fast WB for $1500 even used.

Fastest one I can think of off the top of my head is a Lesco wb. 8mph $4300 new, in order to use it at 8mph you will have to buy a velke $300.

I would recomend finding a use Exmark WB, make sure it's a hydro. You will be looking to spend around $2500 + Velke.

6.2 mph is fast enough, also sound like you use push mowers most of the time, This mower will replace the push mower on any lawn it will fit on. Then it will cut your time on each job down. Less time = more money in your pocket. I would suggest buying one new but if you can'tget a good used one in great condition.

You could find a used belt driven one for under $1500. Or could buy a new one Exmark metro for about $2400 new 48" will do you nicly from what little info you gave.

Well good luck and use the search to try and find any info before you ask. we probably discussed it before.

12-01-2001, 04:14 AM
Don't bother. Just send an address where I can keep my equipment, and I have walkbehinds and riders you can operate till your hearts content. I'll just come work for you, and you can ride a Gravely or an Exmark. Will work cheap! Wecome to Lawnsite!

12-01-2001, 05:22 AM
Lawngodfather gave some good advice. Let me add to it, this site is FULL of info on equipment and size of lawns. Use the search feature at the top and start reading all the info. Since you just found this site, you haven't had time yet to see all the mounds of info. Most good shops that sell comm'l equipment will demo the unit for you. When you narrow your choices down, get a few and try them out.

Eng Mwr Guy
12-01-2001, 12:20 PM
If you will not choose a commercial Z then a hydro walk would be the next choice. If the price is the biggest consideration I would reccomend a 48" walk behind.

Scag and Gravely make 7mph gear drive walk behinds.

At these speeds however you will need to have a smoothe property to maintain speed.

I would suggest demoing the Scag and the new Gravely if ground speed and price are the prime factors.

The price of a gear/belt drive is double what you stated you wanted to spend.....happy hunting.

Gravely Guy

12-01-2001, 12:49 PM

You may as well bite the bullet and get a new hydro. Your productivity/dependability will be what you need it to be. If you do this, you can pick up a few extra lawns and pay it off that much easier.


You could buy a duckmaster mower for 1500, have it not run right or even break and be pissed off. It's your dinero, just my input. Good luck.

12-01-2001, 03:53 PM
Just curious, how big is a really big lawn square foot wise? I have been to Malibu many times and most of the lawns there seemed to be very small in comparasion to other parts of the country. Even large lawns seemed very cut-up and mostly narrow strips. Make sure you try one of these larger units before you buy one. Best of luck.

bubble boy
12-01-2001, 04:15 PM
don't be too concerned with ground speed, but speed overall. 48" deck travelling at the same speed as your hondas will increase your speed on the prop. due to cutting width. and a faster ground speed may compromise cut quality.

and you can only walk so fast!

12-01-2001, 08:23 PM
well now i'm completely confused. here's the low down on what is happening with this on job. 700 bucks very four weeks so 175 a vistit. It takes my guys three hours to mow and clean the beds. this is using the too hondas. 118 is the profit. for my three hours. all the other jobs i do have relatively small lawns that need one w.b. these mowers mentioned, are they shaped like my honda or are these much larger. i would love to have a bigger , faster mower for this one acct but it would take for ever to pay for itself. what i want to know is what 21" or so w.b. has the fastest ground speed. probably between honda and toro or snapper. where can i find the comparissons?

12-01-2001, 08:57 PM
I have an hrc216. It's a hydrostatic honda. You can adjust them to go about as fast as you can walk. I haven't had any problems from doing this. As for the walkbehinds everyone has posted about, they are a little different than your honda. Checkout toro or exmark's website and you'll see what we're talking about. They may be expensive but you can do at least twice as much work with one. You would no longer need as many employees or you could do more work in the same amount of time and make more money. If you aren't ready to spend the big bucks I would stick with what you've got and save up for a 36" or 48" walkbehind. It doesn't take long to pay for one with the extra work you can accomplish.

12-02-2001, 01:10 PM
i don't know much about the other brands, but i've got a honda hrc216 hydro, and a honda hrc216 manual, my manual in high goes faster then the hydro, but when you engage the drive wheels, on high they spin too fast and leave skid marks, that is until all the tread wears off and then it will go much slower due to loss of traction. however with a hydro you can make some slight modifications to the drive clutch cable and put more tension on it, then when you engage the drive clutch it will go much much faster, however if you do this for any long periods of time you will damage the drive clutch and your mower will no longer be able to roll backwards.. the drive clutch will stick and will require lubrication frequently.. also i've used a hrc215 manual and it moves quicker then either of my hrc216's. i think it goes a little faster because it's a little lighter.


12-02-2001, 04:38 PM
I've only had one problem with the mower not wanting to go backwards after making these adjustments. That mower was my main one for two years and all I had to do was clean and lube everything once. The time it saved me was worth more than the few minutes it took for maintenance. Maybe I just got lucky, but a friend of mine has done the same and he hasn't had a problem in six years and it is his main mower. I still say get a larger walkbehind though, it saves tons of time.

If your honda goes faster than mine does, I feel sorry for you! There is no way I would want to walk that fast! Bet your in pretty good shape though.

12-02-2001, 07:36 PM
just saw a snapper 36 for sale with trailer for 1500 bucks. about 4 years old. what about this? the sq footage of the lawn is about 35000. also are some of these walk behind really good enough not to use the catcher and just mulch it in? Are my fescue lawns allot diff. than what i hear the rest of you guys are doing as far as mulching. Maybe its just my weak non-commercial hondas that dont mulch to good.

12-02-2001, 07:45 PM
Honda will no longer be making commercial lawn equipment.

What we are talking about is commercial Walk behinds not push mowers self prepelled.

Try this site www.exmark.com

Then you might see what we are telling you.

Also we are saying 48" not 21"

12-02-2001, 08:07 PM
i finally caught on. i do want to know what the fastest 21 inch is . but the more i read about bigger mowers the more i want one. i wish i had more accts with huge lawns but most of my accts have small lawns with gatrdens that need allot of detail. thanks

12-02-2001, 08:13 PM
I think most 21"ers are going to be very close in speed...my deere goes 4.1mph in 5th gear

Eng Mwr Guy
12-02-2001, 09:02 PM
Ariens unit goes approx. 4.5mph.


12-02-2001, 09:45 PM

12-03-2001, 01:33 AM
how the heck do i raise the rpm on a honda?

Paradise Yard Service
12-03-2001, 01:37 AM
Yes, go for the 48 exmark even if you ONLY have one account that merits the larger deck size/ground speed. I hope your account is reasonably smooth as ground speed does little good if your deck is bouncing all over the place from ruts and such. Oh yea, I forgot your in Malibu no such things as ruts in lawns there!

Just another thought, since deck size itself rather than faster ground speed will increase productivity, you could save much money and use two 21s simultaniously and have essentially the equivalent of a 42 in. on premisis to do the work.

Just a thought.



12-03-2001, 01:54 AM
this exmark 48 sounds great but what could i expect to pay for a used one. is financing easy ona new one?

12-03-2001, 02:16 AM
Mike check for a dealer around you. If you don't know of any then click the Exmark link at the top of the page, I think they have a dealer locator on their site.

Good Luck LGF

12-04-2001, 01:03 PM
I was in your same position last year i just kept looking in the paper finally i saw a 1992 scag 32" $600 from another landscape co. If you do that check out the spindles see if shake a little if they do not a good deal. If you want new buy a scag 36" or 48" they have 3mph reverse 7mph foward for your basic deck and gear drive it"ll run ya around $2500- $3000 check out www.scag.com

12-04-2001, 02:34 PM
Mike, you owe it to your self to ck out the Hustler Walkbehind. Its built like a tank, by far the most user friendly walkbehind and will go as fast as you care to walk. Hustler has a spot here on this site and a link to their mower site also. Good luck!