View Full Version : Is it really worth it?....

Joel B.
12-13-2002, 12:00 AM
As you might know, I am considering a new hydro WB for next year to use instead of the JD tractor and am having a hard time convincing myself that buying a WB would really be that much better.

I am seriously considering a Snapper 52", 17hp hydro WB (manual start). I know Snapper isn't widely used but I like the loop handles and the dealer is right next to my JD and Echo dealer and both are about 20 minutes from my house. For about $4200 I would gain 14" in cutting width, and get a real commercial mower. However I would loose the electric start and have to walk. I could get a sulky but I am still not sitting.

Do I really want to stand or walk all day after shelling out $4000+? I could get a seat option but then I'm looking at an additional $400-$450 over the price of the mower. I would have to spend about $5000 to be able to sit behind the WB but I still loose the electric start (compared to the tractor). How many of you stand on sulkies all day? How's your back?

Is a WB really that much better than the tractor?


Joel B.

bubble boy
12-13-2002, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by Joel B.

Is a WB really that much better than the tractor?

yes. other that the lack of sitting.

12-13-2002, 12:07 AM
I have a Scag 52inch with a vielke and its WAY quicker than the garden tractor, i've even tested it side byside with a tractor lawn mower and me just walking it was way faster.
It isnt that bad standing on the thing all day. Yeah gets alittle sore at times but its not bad at all. Fun also. You will get used to standing. Pull start isnt a problem, so dont worry about not getting the electric start, only if your getting a bigger motor, thats what my dealer told me.

12-13-2002, 12:15 AM
Pull start is no big deal.. The electric start adds expense to the mower, is more pieces that can break and possibly contacts to get wet in bad weather, etc.. Pull start is no biggie. I've found that the mower is still warm from job to job in the summer so starting it is usually a 1/2 to 3/4 pull with no choke cause the engine is still so warm..

I had a small 30" JD RX-75 rider and went to a 32" Exmark Metro walk behind with a pro-slide (no-wheels sulky)

The time increase for me gaining 2 (TWO) inches and the ability to turn around was substantial..

Now I'd love to get a 48 or a 52 Hydro wb for the larger props, but just the added manueverability of a wb is worth it for you.

After all if lawn tractors were so good, they would make them in all SORTS of styles from Exmark, Hustler, Ferris, Dixie Chopper, etc..

But they don't.
It's either a WB (many choices) or a ZTR (again, many expensive choices).

No one on here compares their sears crasftman 44" tractor to the 48" Exmark Turf Tracer with good reason. <G>


12-13-2002, 12:18 AM
It all depends on the size lawns u service. when i first started my father and i had two farm tractors with finish mowers on them. well those days are long gone and i would never go back. unless your cutting 5 acre lawns i can't see a tractor being more practical than a WB. not to mention the cut on a WB is far superior. most of the time i'm on a lawn for an hour at the most. plus the walking keeps u in good shape.

The Mowerdude
12-13-2002, 12:26 AM
Does the phrase "Quantum Leap" mean anything to you?

Keep the engine in good tune and you won't miss the electric starter. A velke or jungle wheels is relatively cheap and riding standing up is much easier than you might at first think. And the versatility compared to anything in the homeowner's market will amaze you.

Make the jump!!

Randy Scott
12-13-2002, 12:36 AM
Actually, the physical activity of walking all day is good for the heart. Seems like more and more people have heartattacks nowadays. Although this business is tough somedays, you are still better off than sitting behind a desk. We basically get paid to excercise, and I'm not giving some health club my money.

Turf Technologies
12-13-2002, 12:37 AM
Joel I stand all day, but when you think about ti (depending on how big the lawn is) It really not much time on the mower. Besides in a year you can move into a ZTR. My back is fine.Ive been doing this 5yrs now and only use WB and have no problems.Why not look at Lesco, 52/19 kaw with the ES a stand up war chariot for 4000$. What I just bought.

12-13-2002, 01:10 PM

Check with your dealer but I think you can get that 52 with 20-21?hp kohler with electric start. I dodn't know the price difference. You will be happier with the extra HP and you get the ES you like. Then ad a Stand up sulky. You pic ythe brand/type. they are almost all better than waklking.

Joel B.
12-13-2002, 08:19 PM

Are you referring to a Snapper 52" w 20-21hp Kohler? My dealer didn't know of any larger motors for the 52". Have you seen one?


Joel B.

Shady Brook
12-13-2002, 10:43 PM
Do it, and don't look back!

If money is a concern, get a belt drive, you are still going to be way faster and more efficient.

I saw a brand new 2001 Snapper 52 with 17 kaw hydro for $2995, brand spankin new! The dealer is an hour away, I did not get it, but boy that was a killer deal. You could pick up a used 52 or 48 for about the price of a new hydro with velke. Some of the companys have specials on 48's like dane and Scag, in the spring they are new near $5,000.

You will not be sorry you made the move.


12-14-2002, 12:16 AM
i almost bought a snapper hydro . i think they are a good mower but i went with a scag instead . i love the controls on the snapper.it would be a good choice . get all the horsepower you can afford . a man doesn,t need an electric start . the pull start on these things are great , one pull and " It is on " . i would try a " bullrider " sulky .:cool:

12-29-2002, 04:16 PM
I have the exact Snapper with key start...Sometimes when it is moist/high humidity the key won't start, and manual we go. I picked up mine used at my dealer for 3500+/- with jungle wheels. The controls are so much better on your hands - no carpel tunnel

lee b
12-29-2002, 09:37 PM
$5000.00 for a walk-behind and sulky, I'd spend another $1000.00, get a ztr which has electric start and a seat and will mow way more than a walk-behind. If you've been getting by with a tractor mower, step up to a z and never look back. If you buy a walk-behind for the price you've stated, you'll be kicking yourself for not spending just alittle more and getting alot more bang for your buck.

12-29-2002, 09:45 PM
ZTR is the only!!! way to go. Dont but a walkbehind, I can outmow (3) dudes on walkbehindes with one ztr

12-29-2002, 10:55 PM
I have a 48" snapper wb with a 14hp kawi. But, I'd rather have a 17 or 20 hp because when u get in 2 the wet grass it needs a lot more power and I got it used and it runs like a dream! I wouldn't spend too much lets say over $4500 for a new one when you can get a used for pretty close to $3000- and I would NEVER trade in my wb for a tractor they take too long and you have to reverse. Try L********** S***** and they have some i saw for $3500 they go 8.5 mph sounds like some z's. GOOD LUCK :blob3:

12-29-2002, 11:26 PM
well joel i walk most days behind a mower. two prolines don't have sulky's and one does. but whats the big deal you get to sit in the truck when you drive to the next job, you get to sit when you get home, you get to laydown all night, and you have to walk to trim anyway. and after you mower for a while with the walkbehind people wont mind if you charge more then the other guy, they like to see people sweat for the money they pay you.

12-30-2002, 12:56 AM
I think it depends on where you live that will determine if you get pull or electric start . not price . ever try to pull start a mower in 30 degree weather not fun :mad:

12-30-2002, 01:36 AM
Well, at the risk of sounding just like everyone else that has posted, get a WB. They are FAR better than ANY lawn tractor, and the standing isnt all that bad. Also, these high dollar commercial machines are actually fun to use.
Go with the WB, its worth the money.


12-30-2002, 11:02 AM
Snapper was sold and some have a hard time getting parts. Find the extra $ get a Z.

12-30-2002, 11:23 AM
A ZTR is the only way for me.....I'll save my energy for the rest of the day. I like to work smart....not hard...lol

12-30-2002, 12:01 PM
This is my opinion only, and a relatively uneducated opinion at that, since I own neither a Z or a commercial mower larger than a Toro 21". However, I have done some thinking when it comes to my business plan about this exact same thing. My first larger mower will be a 32" (either a belt or hydro...dunno yet). But, when it is time to go up to a 52", I plan to look hard at, and demo, the smaller framed Z's in addition to the walk behind. From what I have read on here from Hoss, Switchless and others is that these compact machines will be able to fit anywhere a walkbehind with a comparable sized deck can go. Hills are not a problem in my area, so the debate about a walkbehinds vs Z's on hills does not even come into play. Around here, I see mostly walkbehinds on trailers. Usually a combo of a 32 or 26 and a 48 or 52. But, I am seeing more and more smaller framed Z's replacing the larger walk behinds on trailers.

Just my $.02