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Effectiveness of Running All Walk Behinds

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

  1. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    I think we have hammered home a great deal of "anecdotal" benefits of walkbehinds--but let's face it we all run businesses and it is our goal to be profitable. How does making this switch make us more profitable? What type of company/crew setup will gain the most benefit from this switch? At what point in account mix do you decide to purchase a zero turn? What do those properties look like?

    Walkbehind--52" TT X 21 EFI vs. 52" Z of X series quality--meaning not entry or mid level

    Purchase price
    Cost to operate--fuel, blades, belts, consumables
    Operating lifetime in machine hours
    Residual value

    Other $$ factors to consider:
    What else is on the trailer--what is the supporting cast?
    What is the business model--mow,blow, go or full service detail oriented
    How many on the crew
    What types of grass--cool or warm season
    What are your fall clean-up requirements
    Commercial, residential, or both--subdivisions or country homes

    We have done the analysis on all these points and found the walkbehinds are better for us--I understand that there are other benefits, but we made the choice purely on financial reasons and it works very well for us and the clients are loving it
  2. Exmarkboy13

    Exmarkboy13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 507

  3. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,548

  4. lawnsaspire

    lawnsaspire LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,595

    Some say factor in knee surgery later in life, but that's bogus. I'd rather walk all day on the usually soft earth than on a concrete factory floor. I've just gotten spoiled withy stander.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Posts: 3,329

    ericg likes this.
  6. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    I think we are still missing the forest for the trees--I know from historical data (gathered from another company) that you can run a walkbehind with few hiccups for 10 seasons and up to 4000 hrs. This is in a large company setting with a maintenance program, but abusive and multiple users.

    What does your entire mowing setup cost---meaning the entire trailer, all mowers, handhelds, pushmowers, sprayers etc. Who cares if the walkbehind only costs $7--if you have to have it for one lawn and you have Z then it will artificially raise your costs up--to a point where I would get rid of the walkbehind and the account that calls for it. What does everything cost as a group. We use all walkbehinds and they roll at every account--nothing sits--so we don't have to charge extra for equipment that isn't fully utilized. Remember if it is on your trailer at an account whether used or unused it cannot be making money anywhere else and so that account needs to be picking up the tab of having that machine there. We have a fleet of walkbehinds and a big crew so that there isn't a lawn we can't do with our machines--they all run--banks, ditches, wide open, tight landscaped lawns etc. Everything needs to be accounted for and billed for accordingly
  7. Exmarkboy13

    Exmarkboy13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 507

    The only thing I'm still stuck on is a walkbehind (I have 2 hydros) vs. a light weight Wright stander. The stander weights 200 pounds more, but is a whole lot shorter, has bigger tires to lessen the load on the turf, is easier to teach people, and is faster/more comfortable. It uses about the same in gas, and has the same amount of stuff to go wrong. What am I missing?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Posts: 3,329

    The only things I could add to what you stated is the stander weighs 200 pounds more plus your weight. Walk behinds are the most versatile mower but a stander could be a good addition to your fleet.
    ericg likes this.
  9. Mow Mony

    Mow Mony LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Posts: 229

    stander will leave more ruts when turning around while striping, especially when wet. Then you have to remember its 200lbs plus the rider so probably 380lbs extra. Also ours will scalp much easier than a same size turf tracer.
    I disagree its easier to train someone on a wright stander than a walkbehind, all of our employees can use the turf tracers, not all are allowed to use the stander. For larger properties it will save some time, smaller ones it does not.

    It does leave a nice cut and will mow through just about anything though, and it is much faster than the walkbehind on large properties, so we keep it on the one crew that mows the larger stuff.
    Id like to try an exmark vantage to compare it to the stander in terms of controls.
  10. Exmarkboy13

    Exmarkboy13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 507

    How do employees handle learning to maneuver/ back up the sulkys??

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