Effectiveness of Running All Walk Behinds

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by Church2224, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. Church2224

    Church2224 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 511

    So I talked to a crew from a local LCO today and they said that they use to run Zs in addition to Walk Behinds, and now they run standers and walk behinds and are switching to all walk behinds next year because it is just cheaper and they work just as well apparently. They run Exmark Vantage 52s, Viking 48s, and Turf Tracer S series 48s and X Series 60

    Does anyone else do this? How has this worked out for you? I love my Turf Tracer and maybe running just a couple of those might be effective enough for what I am doing since I mostly do smaller lawns and only a few bigger properties.
     
  2. Deererunner

    Deererunner LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 319

    I only run Hydro Walk Behinds, I love it. When I worked for a company previously, they ran all zero turns and it was nice sitting all day but was so much easier to tear up properties and make mistakes. Granted you still able to do it with walk behinds but is harder to do. Also walk behinds are able to get into tighter areas so if you cut on the smaller Ed of property size, they work awesome. My are 52's and and I know I wouldn't dare to put a 52" zero turn on some of my properties but don't hesitate with the WB.

    Hope this helps, have any other questions, feel free to PM me.
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  3. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    If all you are mowing are really small lots then yea, but around here it would be highly unproductive. I think a 36 hydro WB and a 48 or 52 ztr are the way to go. I have yet to see a place a 48 stander or WB would go that a 48 ZTR wouldn't, save for a few steep hills.
     
  4. Deererunner

    Deererunner LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 319

    If your cutting multiple acres a property, yes zero turn will save you a lot of time but even on my acre properties I save time and money using walk behinds.

    For my company, walk behinds work and will always be the mower of choice, for others including yours, that may not be the case.
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  5. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,232

    Wrights make ruts very easy.
     
  6. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,647

    I run all walk behinds, only cuz I don't have the use for a ztr.... yet!
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  7. jaybow

    jaybow LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mi
    Posts: 1,083

    I run 52" Hyrdo walk behinds. Ive had 3 riders, 2 60" riders, and 1 52" rider. The riders leave ruts no matter how you slice it. It feels funny to me to aerate a property, and then immediately start running 1000 pound machines over it, it kinda defeats the purpose. The riders do have their place though. I can kick some but with a hydro walk behind, and a set of jungle wheels. But I certainly wouldnt be walking all of the properties. The sulky feels awkward only for a very short time, and then it becomes easier to control the hydro on the sulky then when your walking. If you plan on being big, then get a hydro from the get go.
     
  8. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,468

    I've thought about doing all walk behinds.

    We currently run a 2 man crew with a 60" ztr. I could add 2 wb and let them go. My thought was it would decrease ruts and divots but not sure if it would take longer than ztr. We teach guys to pick up pine cones and sticks with the grabber on the ztr. With a wb they would have to walk the property first.

    I don't have many commercial and might turn away any large job. Although I would keep a rider for some properties we currently run. We also use a walker for leaves.
     
  9. mowcrazy

    mowcrazy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 872

    Something to think about. We ran all walk behinds. All exmarks at one time actually. We had on a crew 2 60" exmark turf tracers and a 48" metro on the trailer. Both 60's had the jungle wheel sulkys. What I can tell you is if you do a lot of large places where you don't give yourself some "off the sulky" time, riding behind a WB can really do a number on your KNEES AND ANKLES!!!!! I at the time was 5'6" tall and about 145lbs. My help at the time was young guys around 20 years old and all of us were feeling it badly in our knees after a 10 hour day. I mean it was terrible!!! Now with that being said, I live in southern ohio. People build houses in a freaking field and throw down seed and straw most times so the properties are normally pretty rough so maybe that had a lot to do with it. We switched over to the scag tiger cats with the suspension seats and problem solved. Not saying every once in a while bouncing around on the ztr does our back get a little soar but nothing like riding a sulkys all day. Just my .02............. We still have the 48 metro walk behinds for ditches and hillsides though.......

    NOW, with all this being said, it seems like the handful of BIG successful businesses in my area have gone all walk behinds for cost reasons...... Brickman has been darn near entirely WB's for as long as I can remember?? If I weren't an operator and didn't give a snot about my employees you best believe there would be all red walk behinds on our rigs.
     
  10. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    IMO it all depends on your properties. For large areas you cant beat a ZTR for efficiency. On small properties and hills you cant beat a WB. And now with Standers dominating mid sized properties its a tough call. I ran just a Scag 52" WB with a velke for a couple years and it was just to slow on 1/2 acre and up properties. I have seen some larger LCO's running just WB's but were running 2 or 3 of them per property.
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