I went from walkbehind to rider to walkbehind. Now I run walkbehinds 90% of the time. I only have 2 lawns bigger than 2 acres and I put the riderr on the trailer for that day, one is 12 acres and other is 5 acres. The added speed is a plus for those. All mowers are 60"ers.
For the rest of my lawns, no way in hell am I only using a rider. They are either too small or too many islands. We can wait on rain days and watch the rain. As soon as it stops we're out mowing. Guys with ztrs have to wait for the water to soak in. I can even mow right over standing water. The walbehinds with the proslide sulkeys just slide right over. Plus all the other added benefits.
One thing no one else has mentioned. They are half the price! Well, maybe 90% the cost of a ztr. So you can practicly buy 2 walkbehinds for the price of one rider. And they dont fall apart near as much.
And are you seriously bitching about making employees use walkbehinds. Grow up man. I stand behind my walkbehinds all day, and so do my other employees. Walkbehinds are the only way to go for small-med yards. They will work great for some and not so much for other. If you would rather sit you fat butt on a rider and screw up your customers small lawn, be my guest.