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View Full Version : some walkbehind advice/info, please


tranum
01-16-2002, 06:20 PM
have a new commercial property that i mowed today for the 1st time. it has some pretty serious hills, slopes, embankments or however you choose to describe.
i need to know about w/b vs. ZTR performance on hillsides. i've never owned or operated a w/b so i have no experience to compare. some of the hills i could keep the Z on but the fear factor was about to overtake me. after looking at some of the other hills, i didn't even try.
my question is, will a w/b operate (safely) on a steeper hill than a Z? i'm not talking about a vertical wall, but if a Z is on a slope and is just starting to loose it's grip, do you think a w/b would stick?
i kinda sorta added the cost of a w/b in my bid, so i don't mind purchasing if it will do the job.
P.S. demoing on this prop is probably out of the question. it's 80 miles to the nearest dealer & i have not found one that would bring a machine that far for a demo.
sorry about the long post. thanks

Green Care
01-16-2002, 06:31 PM
IF your are afraid or if the hill is real steep I prefer to use a W/B
only.

Now if the W/B doesn't hold you might want to try the daul wheel set up

65hoss
01-16-2002, 08:21 PM
A hydro w/b would do better. You have more control also on the hills if you get to sliding. Do you have any friend in the area with a w/b that could let you try theirs?

rodney
01-16-2002, 08:33 PM
do a search for the mowerconsultant at the top right of this forum
any way he travels around so people can demo hustler mowers.
he could get you a demo .

BWSCAPE
01-16-2002, 08:39 PM
The walk behind will defenitely out perform the rider on the side of a hill.You may still have some slipping especially under wet conditions.I would recommend a hydro over a belt drive.They are more money but its all we use because they can out handle a belt drive in all situations and the extra cost will be recovered in productivity.

AltaLawnCare
01-16-2002, 08:45 PM
My Toro 52" sticks like glue to the hills (really banks) I've used it on. It's a T-Bar belt drive........
like said before - get a hydro. :rolleyes:

rodfather
01-17-2002, 08:09 AM
By the sound of it, you need a good hydro WB instead of a Z. I've been using Ferris for the past 7 or 8 years and have been very happy with them. Toro makes a good WB as well, but you have to get used to the way they turn.

Ed Hedrick
01-17-2002, 08:28 AM
another choice is a 3 wheel such as a Scag STHM. Because you
can change weight distribution, also you ride behind the mower
rather than on top. I own a 99 Sthm .

awm
01-17-2002, 08:30 AM
hill problems depend somewhat on the operator. u already have a z , and seem leery of trying them with it. believe id listen to my
gut feelings if i were u. at least with a walk behind u can turn it loose if u have to.im wondering if u bid these problems in your bid to get the job.if not u better bite the bullet now and go to the management for an adjustment ,or u will probably be losing money on it.i always hated it when my hardest job was the one i made the least money on,an dreaded the most. imho. later now

tranum
01-17-2002, 03:07 PM
thanks for the comments.
awm..i was reasonably sure i would need a w/b when i bid the property, and as i said, i included that in my bid. having never actually operated one i was unsure of the capabilties, but with the comments i've read, it seems a w/b will perform on a hillside better than a Z. think i'll take your advice & go with my gut feeling.......

shawn'slawns
01-18-2002, 11:12 PM
I ALSO HAVE SEVERAL HILLSIDE ACCOUNTS. I HAVE A STEINER ZTM325 THAT GOES UP ANYTHING BUT SIDEWAYS AND COMING DOWN IS SCARY. SO I GRAB MY MTD 48' AND RIDE SIDEWAYS WITH THE SULKY. NEVER HAVE A PROBLEM. I WOULD ONLY SUGGEST YOU ALSO GET A HYDRO AND I PREFER THE PISTOL GRIP CONTROLS RATHER THAN THE T-BAR SEEM TO HANG ON ALOT BETTER.

BRIAN GALLO
01-19-2002, 12:06 AM
Definately a walk-behind! I cut so many steep hilly properties I have'nt got a zrt yet because I don't know how much use it would get. If a wb starts sliding on a hill, most times you can apply counter-acting forces to the bars and muscle it back in direction. I have gear drives, but I agree that the hydro's would do a better job with less operator fatigue.