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View Full Version : Choosing the Best Commercial Walk Behind


AvaScapes
12-08-2012, 10:21 PM
Hey Guys,

Relatively new to the site, and finding good info all the time! I have not seen a great deal of discussion around choosing the best ZT mower, or Commercial walk behind. (am I just missing it?)

To date I have only utilized Honda Commercial Walk Behind Mowers, which do great, but I am signing up more and more larger properties, and will need to pull the trigger on a larger mower soon.

I'm all over the place on this one, there are several good ones out there, with new stuff coming out all the time!

I'm not trying to start a debate, I realize everyone has their own opinion...Just looking for any insight you all might have. When one is about to write a check for between 5 and 7k......it would be nice to have as much info as possible! :)

On a side note....if any one out there is in the Seattle area, it would be great to network with a few more local folks.

Thanks in advance for reading, and sharing!

orangemower
12-09-2012, 07:50 AM
Hey Guys,

Relatively new to the site, and finding good info all the time! I have not seen a great deal of discussion around choosing the best ZT mower, or Commercial walk behind. (am I just missing it?)

To date I have only utilized Honda Commercial Walk Behind Mowers, which do great, but I am signing up more and more larger properties, and will need to pull the trigger on a larger mower soon.

I'm all over the place on this one, there are several good ones out there, with new stuff coming out all the time!

I'm not trying to start a debate, I realize everyone has their own opinion...Just looking for any insight you all might have. When one is about to write a check for between 5 and 7k......it would be nice to have as much info as possible! :)

On a side note....if any one out there is in the Seattle area, it would be great to network with a few more local folks.

Thanks in advance for reading, and sharing!

I won't get into all the different brands. The bottom line is, you need to go to each manufacturers website and read everything about the mower brand and the size YOU think you'll need. Then when you have specific questions about a brand then ask away. As it is right now, we don't have a clue how big any properties "might" be. We don't know what type of grass, how difficult the terrain is to maneuver a ztr or WB. All these and a ton of more info would make helping you a little easier.

metro36
12-09-2012, 12:52 PM
Go to each fo your local dealers, get a feel for the sales and service departments. A good dealer is a very valuable tool. You need one who can get you up and running fast in the event of a breakdown. They should have a good parts inventory and a good service department. That way if its something you cant fix yourself, they can get it done for you. Talk to the salesman. If they are a good salesman and know their product, they will know what works in your area.

Once you find a good dealer and a model that you think will work for you, its time to demo. Try the machine on your properties for at least a full day. Then try some other machines. Once you have tried a few, you will get a feel about which model is best. Then you can make your decision.

No one can tell you exactly what works for you. You need find that out on your own as what works for someone else might not be the best fit your you. It all depends on your operating conditions.

KS_Grasscutter
12-09-2012, 01:29 PM
I'd look for a floating deck, hydro drive,and controls that aren't pistol grip style. Aside from that i'd determine brand by first finding a good dealer and then buying what they sell.
Posted via Mobile Device

CowboysLawnCareDelaware
12-09-2012, 06:50 PM
Demo a bunch of machines from your local dealers.

You have to big decisions to make:
1. Which were your favorite mowers?
2. Which dealer stocks the most parts and is the best to work with?

-Michael

ed2hess
12-09-2012, 07:51 PM
I'd look for a floating deck, hydro drive,and controls that aren't pistol grip style. Aside from that i'd determine brand by first finding a good dealer and then buying what they sell.
Posted via Mobile Device

That will narrow it down:dizzy: That eliminates Scag and Snapper and Ferris I think. Mostof that isn't important the thing you should focus on is getting a unit that gives a good cut on the grasses in your area. So look around and see what people are using. You aren't likely to wear any unit out. Oh unless you can fix em get a good dealer. And don't be a sissy the pistol units are some of the best. If you can't run a pistol snapper than you wouldn't be able to run a trimmer.

Darryl G
12-09-2012, 08:19 PM
That will narrow it down:dizzy: That eliminates Scag and Snapper and Ferris I think. Mostof that isn't important the thing you should focus on is getting a unit that gives a good cut on the grasses in your area. So look around and see what people are using. You aren't likely to wear any unit out. Oh unless you can fix em get a good dealer. And don't be a sissy the pistol units are some of the best. If you can't run a pistol snapper than you wouldn't be able to run a trimmer.

Ditto that. Different mowers shine more in different conditions.

A good dealer is also very important. In my immediate area you will see a lot of Bob-Cat mowers because the dealer is excellent. There are Hustler, JD, Exmark and Scag dealers as well but the Bob-Cat dealer will do whatever it takes to keep you up and running, up to and including pulling a motor off of one of their floor units.

AvaScapes
12-09-2012, 09:03 PM
Thanx guys, that is some good stuff! Sounds like my biggest challenge around here is going to be the dealer. I have had some pretty crappy experiences and for the most part, try to stay away from them and handle things myself. That will not be as do-able in these larger mowers. I see a ton of ExMark around here, so sounds like I should track down that dealer and do some more legwork. Thanx again!

Darryl G
12-09-2012, 09:51 PM
The Exmark Turf Tracers are good machines but I'm not sure the deck would be the greatest where you are...wet a lot right? I hear good things about the new Scags decks not clumping in wet condtions.

You have Exmark dealers nearby and one of them is also a Husqvarna dealer too...Steel Street Power Equipment in Lakewood. You also have Scag dealers in Edgewood and Sumner. You've got John Deere dealers in Tacoma and Olympia. Not sure how far any of those places are to you time wise and I don't know how current it is or exactly what they all sell and service. You might also consider Ferris and Snapper Pro.

AvaScapes
12-09-2012, 09:55 PM
Thank You Darryl. Your right....a lot of clumping in these wet conditions. We are based in Gig Harbor/Tacoma, so all these dealerships are accessible and will be checking them out. I liked the Ferris when I looked at it, but am hearing that I should stay away from pistol grips. Not sure why....maybe a durability issue? The John Deere Dealership in Tacoma is not very good....and will check out the Scaggs dealerships in Edgewood and Auburn/Sumner.

Really appreciate all your input!

Darryl G
12-09-2012, 10:22 PM
If you're on a sulky being pulled by a walk behind the pistol grips can be a bit low and some are hard to squeeze. Your hands are also in a vulnerable position for banging into stuff like fences and building corners etc. The Exmark ECS controls are up higher and keep your hands in and protected so they don't get beat up. I've got 11 seasons on my Turf Tracer HP, which is equivalent to the S series now. Reverse is a pretty stiff squeeze and difficult to do for any length of time and going forward can get tiring on challenging terrain. The do have control systems that there's no squeezing (Hustler) and Toro has one out that's similar to a zero turn control.

AvaScapes
12-09-2012, 10:25 PM
Good Stuff! Thanx!

orangemower
12-10-2012, 07:57 AM
What type of terrain would you consider the majority of your work? This can also dictate what the best choice will be. Scag is coming out with a newly designed WB that uses the same or similar type of controls as the V ride uses. Scags cut great in wet grass. Yes they will leave clumps too but not near as bad and any mower will leave clumps once the paint is worn off the deck.

LawnMan19
12-10-2012, 09:20 AM
Thank You Darryl. Your right....a lot of clumping in these wet conditions. We are based in Gig Harbor/Tacoma, so all these dealerships are accessible and will be checking them out. I liked the Ferris when I looked at it, but am hearing that I should stay away from pistol grips. Not sure why....maybe a durability issue? The John Deere Dealership in Tacoma is not very good....and will check out the Scaggs dealerships in Edgewood and Auburn/Sumner.

Really appreciate all your input!

I would still check Ferris out they are by far the easiest to change the deck height, and I wasn't sure about pistol grips at first until I got the Ferris and they're no problem at all.

GritCity_Nick
12-13-2012, 08:49 PM
@avascapes

I have seen your trailer and looked you guys up....very professional looking set-up all-around (logo, trailer, website). We'd be happy to work with you! I own a growing dealership in Lakewood right off of 512/I-5 on the Steele Street Exit.

We focus mainly on pro landscape equipment and have had success adding the brands I've wanted to the store. We added Wright Stander this Summer and last month we took over Exmark for the area. We will have a good selection of demo/zero-downtime Exmark/Wright units for 2013 for whenever you'd like to try some out. Right now in Exmark I have a 36" Turf Tracer Demo and 36" Vantage Demo and next month I'll have a 36" Wright Velke Hydro Walk Behind Demo along with a 36" Fixed Deck Stander Demo. Give me a call! Nick 531.1664

AvaScapes
12-13-2012, 11:36 PM
Thanks for the nice comments Nick, we appreciate it! What is the name of your dealership? I'll stop in and chat with you when I have a moment.

GritCity_Nick
12-14-2012, 04:00 PM
Thanks for the nice comments Nick, we appreciate it! What is the name of your dealership? I'll stop in and chat with you when I have a moment.

I'll PM you.

GritCity_Nick
12-14-2012, 04:07 PM
The Exmark Turf Tracers are good machines but I'm not sure the deck would be the greatest where you are...wet a lot right? I hear good things about the new Scags decks not clumping in wet condtions.

You have Exmark dealers nearby and one of them is also a Husqvarna dealer too...Steel Street Power Equipment in Lakewood.

That's us. And honestly, given that we bag everything 24/7, I've never had a Landscaper complain about clumping issues ever about any brand. Who cares if it clumps if it's just being thrown into an Accelerator/Gobbler?? :)

We don't even get complaints about older Wright decks that get thrashed on here from folks in some areas for quality of cut issues. Wright and Exmark and number one around and two around here and I'm happy to have them both!

To us it's all about making sure you have the "Super" High Lift blades. We used to be a Scag dealer a while back and Scag does make an extremely good bagging blade for 36" mowers. However, we just sell now sell the aftermarket version that will fit. We don't ever even let new Wrights/Exmarks leave with the OEM blades.

Darryl G
12-14-2012, 04:37 PM
Well, yeah, if you're bagging then that's different. As far as blades, I put a set of Gator G6s on my Turf Tracer this fall and it's the best blade I've ever used...about of perfect balance of cut quality, mulching and clipping dispersal....no clumping like I always got with the old Gators...for those of us who don't bag unless it's absolutely necessary.

I'm a new convert to Husqvarna power equipment. I've had a chain saw since 1998 but I recently started replacing my Shindaiwa stuff with Husqvarna and am very happy with it thus far (323 trimmer and 580 blower).

Church2224
12-16-2012, 04:54 PM
Pretty much what everyone has said.

Toro and Exmark make great hydro walk behinds and have a lot of dealers around. I honesty like the Toro a little bit more for the controls and over strength of the machine. I would also recommended the Gravely Pro Walk, which is the same as the newer John Deere mowers just different paint. I got the 48 inch after demoing it and the Exmark and Hustler. It is very easy to get use to and cuts great. I plan on getting the 36 inch model and maybe the 52 Pro walk or Pro Stance in the future too.

Darryl G
12-16-2012, 05:08 PM
Pretty much what everyone has said.

Toro and Exmark make great hydro walk behinds and have a lot of dealers around. I honesty like the Toro a little bit more for the controls and over strength of the machine. I would also recommended the Gravely Pro Walk, which is the same as the newer John Deere mowers just different paint. I got the 48 inch after demoing it and the Exmark and Hustler. It is very easy to get use to and cuts great. I plan on getting the 36 inch model and maybe the 52 Pro walk or Pro Stance in the future too.

I'm just curious if you priced the Gravely and it's JD counterpart and if so what the difference was. In my experience (and maybe it's just my dealer) that green paint must be really expensive because anything that color sure seems to be. Actually I've bought touch-up paint for my JD landscape tractor and it was expensive...like $10 a can.

Church2224
12-16-2012, 05:44 PM
I'm just curious if you priced the Gravely and it's JD counterpart and if so what the difference was. In my experience (and maybe it's just my dealer) that green paint must be really expensive because anything that color sure seems to be. Actually I've bought touch-up paint for my JD landscape tractor and it was expensive...like $10 a can.

I know that the current (2013) Gravely 48 inch hydro price is $6800.00 MSRP, while the 52 is 7100.00 and the 61 is 7500.00, slightly cheaper or the same as Toro and Exmark prices. When I went to check out the John Deere version a few months ago it was 6500.00 for the 48 and I think 6900.00 for the 52. I am not sure if they raised the prices on the Deere units or not.

d.klas
12-17-2012, 08:58 PM
Ferris Comfort Control DD.... it hydro driven.. built like a tank... not much maintenance at all.. and cuts like a champ. Best Walkbehind out there. Ive been using one for 2 years now and its taken the abuse and its holding up great. put a sulky on and you re going 6 mph. it handles better than the exmark Turftracer

d.klas
12-17-2012, 09:00 PM
the 48'' version is roughly 6000$