Advantages of a walk behind?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Turf Helpers, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,917

    A significant missing piece of information in the question of OP: The size and nature of the properties to be worked.

    If they are mostly 2A parcels, that is one situation. If they are 10,000 sq ft urban lots with lots of obstacles and fences, that is another situation. If they are 0.5A properties that are open, but steep, that is something else.

    Use the equipment that best fits the requirements.
     
  2. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    I feel like there is some really bad advice being thrown on this thread. A true walk behind is really only made for 1/4 or less of lawn. If you get a 52 or a 60 inch walk behind what's the point on that small of lawn? Then if you buy a 48 or bigger walk behind your going to get a sulky to mow 1 acre or bigger lawns. Really most guys who use walk behind are really trying to use it in place of a ZTR. Then you will get fenced in back yard that is a 36in gate where their walk behind are to big. So here is the bottom line if your pulling 2 roles with a walk behind know that its going to be slower and less productive than a normal commercial ztr, know your either going to have to have a push or a 32inch walk behind on top of your bigger walk behind to do to fit all needs, and know a walk behind with a sulky is not the most comfortable thing in the world. As far as hills go it depends on the ztr. I do hills with my kubota ztr you would have a hard time mowing with a push mower. So all that said my personal recommendation of equipment for 0-3 acre lawns would be neither a stander, ferris evolution, or a zrt either 52inch or 60 inch and a 32inch cheaper walk behind because you won't use it much, that or a push mower. Now if must of your lawn are under an acre get a walk behind, your costs will be cheaper but your not now going to be mowing and bigger lawns day in and day out without complaining how miserable it is, especially solo.
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  3. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,101

    i'm solo i just use a 54" ztr and a 21" pushmower. the pushmower i only use on 2 customers in small areas for less than 15min each property.

    the ztr can handle really steep hills. i mow some that are very steep with it. if you can walk on the side of a hill without slipping and falling then the ztr mower will mow the hill. i guess it depends on what kind of ztr you have. i have a john deere z920a. it sticks to hills like glue.

    i mow yards from 1/4 of an acre all the way up to 2 1/2 acres. i don't really see a need for a walkbehind mower.

    if i lived where all the yards were postage stamp sized i would prolly get a stander before a walkbehind. especially since now they make them where you can walk behind them as well as stand on them.
     
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,453

    weeze did you get to work today?

    Ive got too many mowers to list and they all seem to get used.
    48" toro grandstand
    21" snapper
    44" bop duelly
    36" bop single hydro
    36" ferris single hydro
    26" giant vack brush nower single hydro
     
  5. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    Has bop been easy to get parts for in the last year?
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  6. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,101


    yeah i only had 2 yards to mow today. i waited until afternoon to mow them. it was still a little wet in some areas but i did ok. :laugh:

    i've been getting calls lately from people i used to mow for a few years ago. 1 of them the owner had let a guy borrow money so he was mowing their yard as repayment but his mower broke down so they called me. that is a good one since they pay $100 a cut.

    the other is someone i mowed for when the guy had some surgery done. he is painting the house on the inside so they called me to mow the yard.
     
  7. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 713

    I have a 36in walk behind for hills, tight spots, and gated back yards that my 52in ztr can't fit. They both get used and I agree don't get rid of the 36in mower because it can really help out when it comes to fitting in small gates, hills, and them tight spots you can't get with a bigger ztr.
     
  8. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,453

    So far you can order parts from the website, my last order was late last year and Im planning another real soon. Dont bother calling because no one will answer the phone. The website says suppliers and part #s will be made avaiblle when needed. Im guessing they will sell out their parts first.
     
  9. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    One or 2 guys on here have had gear box issues. My guess is they don't change the oil in it when they should, or he is not greasing the drive shaft/the gear box pully as he should. I have 750 hrs and no issues. I've asked both my dealers if they have heard about that issue or one guy was complaining about a seal on the 331. Both dealers have never had to deal with either. Its just like a tractor, its only as good as you maintain it. If I opted for 4 year unlimited hour waranty on my machine ill have 2000-3000 hrs on it before its out of waranty. Can't complain about that. I agree with what you said about the walkbehind and its what I was trying to say, your doing 2 roles with it, its not going to be the best at productivity because its not what its made for, but it will do the job. If you have 36inch gates you still need another mower for that. It all depends on the lots sizes and how much you want to invest.
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  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,453

    I had to change my scedule, but i had a pretty decient day for me anyway. I somehow have to fit a all day job into the next 4 days and Im covered up the next 4 days. Thats better than years past when making up a day was not a problem.
     

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