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Old 02-09-2015, 09:48 AM
zspeed130 zspeed130 is offline
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Need walk behind advice from solos who do small difficult yards

I have never really run a walk behind. I do some mid size commercial and about 35 residentials, most of my residentials are older homes with big yards that a 60" rider does in 10-15 minutes. I have a handful of smaller residentials and a few have areas I can only use a wb/ push mower and a few lakesides at my commercials that are treacherous with a ztr.

I have been using a push mower (actually my brother has ) in the difficult areas. The push mower is simply an Achilles heel and an all around pita. In spring growth we have to cut 2-3 times and use a blower and I still don't like the results.

My question is threefold. On smaller yard will a decent hydro, or even belt drive cut nice and not spray everything with clippings? I don't have any experience running one especially on smaller yards. Second, a couple of my yards have a very steep hill, how will the wb do on this? And third, if I get a commercial wb like an exmark, huntin or the like can I depend on this not to get beat to death on my lakesides?

I want to spare my brother and possibly a new employee this year the push mower, and have something to use on the lakesides.

Thanks for any advice.
Z
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:57 AM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zspeed130 View Post
I have never really run a walk behind. I do some mid size commercial and about 35 residentials, most of my residentials are older homes with big yards that a 60" rider does in 10-15 minutes. I have a handful of smaller residentials and a few have areas I can only use a wb/ push mower and a few lakesides at my commercials that are treacherous with a ztr.

I have been using a push mower (actually my brother has ) in the difficult areas. The push mower is simply an Achilles heel and an all around pita. In spring growth we have to cut 2-3 times and use a blower and I still don't like the results.

My question is threefold. On smaller yard will a decent hydro, or even belt drive cut nice and not spray everything with clippings? I don't have any experience running one especially on smaller yards. Second, a couple of my yards have a very steep hill, how will the wb do on this? And third, if I get a commercial wb like an exmark, huntin or the like can I depend on this not to get beat to death on my lakesides?

I want to spare my brother and possibly a new employee this year the push mower, and have something to use on the lakesides.

Thanks for any advice.
Z
I agree with you on the push mower….

The walk behind deck is going to work in almost every way as a smaller version of the ZTR deck.

So if the bigger machine sprays grass on bigger yards, the smaller machine sprays grass on smaller yards.
Will it get into the beds?
That's more about the operator than the machine.

Also consider using an OCDC or Grass flap attachment, and there is always a side catcher as an option as well.

You can also get a walk behind with a mulching kit if desired.

Ive also found, when side discharging, that grass DOES get in the beds, even with a good operator…. and blowing them out afterwards is still faster and leaves a better job than the push mower.


Belt drive v. Hydro, depends on how much you will use the machine and how much reverse is necessary.
A hydro works in most ways like a ZTR, so HOW to use it is much more intuitive to someone who is already familiar with a ZTR…the belt drive has other techniques not similar to a ZTR…. Most people struggle with it or think it's a bad/limited mower, because they aren't experience with how to operate it.
So hydros tend to be far more popular, due to ease of use/limited training time.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:22 PM
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ilike2mow ilike2mow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by zspeed130 View Post
I have never really run a walk behind. I do some mid size commercial and about 35 residentials, most of my residentials are older homes with big yards that a 60" rider does in 10-15 minutes. I have a handful of smaller residentials and a few have areas I can only use a wb/ push mower and a few lakesides at my commercials that are treacherous with a ztr.

I have been using a push mower (actually my brother has ) in the difficult areas. The push mower is simply an Achilles heel and an all around pita. In spring growth we have to cut 2-3 times and use a blower and I still don't like the results.

My question is threefold. On smaller yard will a decent hydro, or even belt drive cut nice and not spray everything with clippings? I don't have any experience running one especially on smaller yards. Second, a couple of my yards have a very steep hill, how will the wb do on this? And third, if I get a commercial wb like an exmark, huntin or the like can I depend on this not to get beat to death on my lakesides?

I want to spare my brother and possibly a new employee this year the push mower, and have something to use on the lakesides.

Thanks for any advice.
Z
I agree with you on the push mower….

The walk behind deck is going to work in almost every way as a smaller version of the ZTR deck.

So if the bigger machine sprays grass on bigger yards, the smaller machine sprays grass on smaller yards.
Will it get into the beds?
That's more about the operator than the machine.

Also consider using an OCDC or Grass flap attachment, and there is always a side catcher as an option as well.

You can also get a walk behind with a mulching kit if desired.

Ive also found, when side discharging, that grass DOES get in the beds, even with a good operator…. and blowing them out afterwards is still faster and leaves a better job than the push mower.


Belt drive v. Hydro, depends on how much you will use the machine and how much reverse is necessary.
A hydro works in most ways like a ZTR, so HOW to use it is much more intuitive to someone who is already familiar with a ZTR…the belt drive has other techniques not similar to a ZTR…. Most people struggle with it or think it's a bad/limited mower, because they aren't experience with how to operate it.
So hydros tend to be far more popular, due to ease of use/limited training time.
A hydro is definitely easier to use.

You may want to even look at the toro 30 inch time master
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:43 PM
sehitchman sehitchman is online now
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Get a good dual hydro walk behind. They will climb out of the erosion gullly's along the water with their larger tires. The Exmark 30's are great mowers, but if you have rough terrain, a real walkbehind with the larger tires will power over and through the wash out areas and live to be productive another day. I run one with a mulch kit and one with side discharge. Depends on the day and if I'm doing pools and beds. A quiver of equipment for the job makes life much easier.
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  #5  
Old 02-09-2015, 07:45 PM
zspeed130 zspeed130 is offline
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Thanks gents. That's what I was thinking, a hydro with bigger tires. In your alls experience will a 36 really fit through "most gates"?
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2015, 07:47 PM
larryinalabama larryinalabama is online now
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Look at one of the new Dixie chopper duel hydros.
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2015, 09:06 PM
ReRide ReRide is offline
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We used to do quite a few lawns with a walk behind. We used a Snapper and an Ariens walk behind. To mulch in almost any condition with excellent results I put a blade on that was one inch shorter, so I used a 20 inch blade on the 21 inch mowers. The clippings were mulched, and there was also a small discharge all the way around the deck, and left a very nice look, even with somewhat heavy growth. The lawn we got the most compliments for was done this way, and several people used that lawn as their goal for what to make a lawn look like. But I agree with you, I'd rather use a ztr.
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2015, 09:28 PM
PenningsLandscaping PenningsLandscaping is online now
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A 36" walk behind will get into most gates. There is the 32" option (not all brands make this, I only know bobcat and exmark for sure, maybe scag), but I've never seen one that was hydro.

I would seriously consider hydro, belt drives just aren't worth the hassle of wet belts that won't grip, worn out belts from steep hillsides, ect. I ran a belt drive walk behind solo for years. They're good mowers, but once they stop being a regular use mower and become a "only for stuff I don't want to do with a ztr" mower, you're better off with a hydro because the belts will take a brutal beating.
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2015, 03:25 AM
mattymax mattymax is online now
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Definetly consider a hydro if you have hills. The belt drive will just take off on the down hills where as the hydro will hold the hill. It's definetly worth the little bit of additional purchase price for ease of use and a real reverse !!!

Matt
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2015, 07:31 AM
Pressedun Pressedun is online now
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Hydro 36", there's really no point to a floating deck 36" in my opinion. Usually can find low hour used 36's for rather cheap.

The Toro and Exmark 30" will not impress you if you have a lot of hills so stay away from them.
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