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Old 04-05-2012, 11:07 AM
javelin377 javelin377 is offline
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walk behind opinions

I am a small part time operator, I run a 61" Grasshopper as my only mower. I do have some small areas, and areas with flower beds or gated parts of the lawn, that I end up using a pushmower or weedeater. Thinking about a walk behind mower. I didnt realize they are faily inexpensive as far as mowers go.

My questions are

What are they good for? Besides small areas.
Hills/steep slopes?
What about those ride on deals?
I do know there is hydro and belt driven. Is that the deck or the wheels?
What kind of price am I looking at.
Im not opposed to a used mower. I might use it 2 hours a month. Unless it is something I get used to or something.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:09 PM
OmegaRed OmegaRed is offline
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I was in a similar situation. .well they are obviously lighter, so less turfing. They can get into places that ztr's cant. Belts can slip when they get wet, that's why lots of ppl have hydros. But those are about double the cost. Price, it really depends on deck / motor / drive configuration. 1000 for used - 5000 for lightly used hydro
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:51 PM
thielkinglawn thielkinglawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javelin377 View Post
I am a small part time operator, I run a 61" Grasshopper as my only mower. I do have some small areas, and areas with flower beds or gated parts of the lawn, that I end up using a pushmower or weedeater. Thinking about a walk behind mower. I didnt realize they are faily inexpensive as far as mowers go.

My questions are

What are they good for? Besides small areas.
Hills/steep slopes?
What about those ride on deals?
I do know there is hydro and belt driven. Is that the deck or the wheels?
What kind of price am I looking at.
Im not opposed to a used mower. I might use it 2 hours a month. Unless it is something I get used to or something.

Javelin,
I have run 2 different 36" snapper hydro walk behinds a 48" bobcat belt walk behind. They were both great mowers and did a good job.

What are they good for? one they don't have the weight of the other mowers. Many of my customers go with me for that reason. I also have the sulky attached which makes it go quicker as well.

The ride on mowers, I picked up a 36' wright stander last season and it works great. While it does have some weight, it is way faster than a walk behind, but also ~1500-2000 more. I am currently pricing a larger walk behind.

Is that the deck or the wheels? In my experience, the blades have always been belt driven. The wheels are run by the hydro. The hydro is good for backing up and in wet/damp situation. The belts can slip, and will need to be replaced on a belt driven machine. You will also have to shift or should I say put into different gears on the belt machine.

I priced out a hydro bobcat with the local dealer and it ranged from $4000 for the 36" and $5000 for the 54".

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:12 PM
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brc1989 brc1989 is offline
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Best option would be to look for a used hydro walk behind. Belt drives are awful on anything but flat open turf. If you pick up a sulky (stand on) for it you can ride behind it and it can be just as efficient as a ZTR with the same deck width because they manuever and turn around a lot quicker.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:32 AM
OnaLawn OnaLawn is offline
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Agree best thing ever once you use a hydro never want to mess with a belt driven ....stay within your budget
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:53 AM
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lawns Etc lawns Etc is offline
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Location: Elmer NJ
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You see very very few hydros in my area. Can't even find invest a dealer for sale. Belts are most popular here. Belts slipping have never been a issue for me and I'm 250 and use a sulkie
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:59 AM
JCLM Canada JCLM Canada is offline
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Location: London, Canada
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I have been using a belt-driven (t-bar control) toro 32" as my main mower for the last few years. As long as it isn't really raining, belt slippage isn't a major concern. As belts stretch, there are adjustments to be made to maintain tension. A light spray with belt dressing helps to keep the belts tacky and supple.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:18 AM
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TriCountyLawn TriCountyLawn is offline
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Location: NW Indiana
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I have alot of hours on toro 44 & 52" belt drives. If maintained belt drives can do pretty good in the rain. These mowers IMO are the best bang for the buck. That said hydro is very nice but at a cost. I went Exmark then finally Hustler. Depends on what your needs are and your budget.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:45 AM
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OakNut OakNut is online now
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I've never used one before I picked up my Ferris 36" a few weeks ago, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I know nothing about how a belt/gear drive operates. I don't know HOW you back up with them, or how you control the forward speed, but a few people mentioned that a hydro is "slightly easier" to operate. I'm all for anything that makes my life easier when I'm busting my rump all day, so that sounded good to me.
I also recall reading/hearing of mowers with "reverse assist". HUH? You mean I gotta manhandle this thing to back up, but it's going to be nice enough to help me just a little? Ummm... no thanks.


I've only mowed about 7 lawns with my new Ferris and I can't believe how easy it is to operate. I've used it on a pretty good slope and have maneuvered it effortlessly around trees and protruding roots. Backing up is as easy as lightly squeezing a lever(s) to go as slowly, or as quickly as you want, and independent, dual hyrdo drives make steering just as effortless in reverse as when going forward.

I'm SO happy I bought this machine. I mowed a jungle with it around 5pm today and I still have an erection.
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