Effectiveness of Running All Walk Behinds

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

  1. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,357

    Hey there SD.... When you were running Walkers did you go to Small Engine in Colchester? I am in Plattsburgh and your name has come up when looking through Walker archives and I always wondered who you used for a dealer....
     
  2. mowcrazy

    mowcrazy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 873

    See that may work for some but not all. first off not all folks are cutting cookie cutter yards. The majority of my places are over 2 acres AND the most important part of mowing is MAKING MONEY...... I wouldn't get half of my yards done at the end of the week walking behind a mower. I will tell you this though, I have thought about taking the salky and throwing it in the garage for some of my smaller properties so I can get some exercise......

    I ran the 60" turf tracers on our big properties and for the most part we ran the wide open since we double cut most properties anyways. We ran sulkys behind them and no matter how good the bearings were and how low of tire pressures were the bumpy yards left us with ankles and knees killing us. We went to ztr's with suspension seats and no more problems. Everyone is different though I understand that. Wish sometimes I wasn't so busy so I could "walk" behind my mowers for excersise while making money but Making money is outweighing exercise...... That's why im a fat ass I guess.:laugh:
     
  3. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    mowcrazy--are you solo, do you run with the crew, or do you have multiple crews?
     
  4. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,357

    Hey, don't get me wrong I run a Walker about 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time I run a Scag walk behind. That post was in response to a gentleman saying that running walk behinds was more wear and tear on a body. My point was just that ANY type of walking is good for you. Whether it be walking to work or walking around a pond, or walking behind a mower.....
     
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    I'm here smack dab in the middle of Walker Mower country. I bag as little as possible and during the Spring growth burst it is difficult to not collect clippings. HUGE clipping piles are common here in the front of trailers or a dedicated truck dump bed.

    If I don't have a sulky hitched up I literally run/jog behind my mowers. Unless you're solo and you only hire athletic people and you only operate on tiny lawns. 1/3 acre or less you might have a tough time finding help....with the walk or run behind only business model.

    Just saying.
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  6. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,711

    If cutting juicy/tall Spring growth at a greater than walking speed...I would think one would have to double cut every lawn = even if side-discharging?

    Granted that in my transition zone we don't support BG very well throughout our entire season...and/but it most certainly presents the biggest challenge during Apr/May/early-June IME.

    I'm down to one BG lawn = a dyed-in-the-wool Pennsylvania transplant who insists on BG to the point of reseeding pure BG (w/ NO added fescue) nearly every Fall for the last 35+ years. If I could only get him to NOT fertilize in March...I think the Spring mowing's would be a lot easier. No luck with this yet. He enjoys all the articles I forward him about NOT fertilizing in early Spring...but does it anyway. :laugh: :dizzy:
     
  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    Valk,

    I pretty much double cut most of my lawns anyhow if I use my BOP mowers. The beauty of using the TimeMaster is you can get an acceptable cut quality and bag with just one pass much of the time.

    The other key issue is to get in control of the fert and irrigation program to reduce mowing hassles during the entire season. I'm really pushing hard for this in 2014. If they insist in creating mowing hassles...it will cost them.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. Mow Mony

    Mow Mony LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Posts: 229

    We have run exclusively exmark walkbehinds since 2005. 85% of are properties are less than 1/3 acre, and we have no residentials over an acre.

    First exmark we purchased was a new metro w/b which cut nice and we loved it, coming from using push mowers only. Then we tried a hydro viking and were amazed at how much more efficient it was on our properties, and the reverse was awesome. Since then we have only purchased Exmark Vikings and turf tracers.

    All of ours have been purchased used, and some of the Vikings were priced really well. Fixed deck isn't as much of an issue on a 36" as it is a 48" If an engine goes down on a TT you can swap the entire deck pretty quick. The tallest setting is higher than you can cut with a Viking, which is helpful in spring growth, and the turf tracers usually have a little higher HP engine as well which is noticeable going from 15hp to 17 or 19hp. So the turf tracer has plenty of advantages, but he Vikings still cut well and are cheaper.

    our Monday-Friday mow crew has 1 21" mower 1 36" TT and 1 48" tt

    other crew has the exact same setup, plus a 52" wright stander. If its wet, the stander stays home, its just too heavy. Stander definitely leaves ruts much easier than the exmarks, especially on smaller lawns or poorly drained areas. We picked it up for real cheap with only 200 hours on it, so we figured we could use it for a year or two and see if it was something we wanted to transition to, since we have been curious how they cut in different conditions. I will say we wont be going to a fleet of standers. Maybe the grandstand is better, but haven't used one so I cant comment. I couldn't say for certain until owning a stander that they rut less, and leave less of an impact, but they definitely do. We have some commercials and some bigger residential lawns where the stander is nice, but if it was replaced with a 60" turf tracer, we would be even more efficient, so we may do that....then we also don't have to leave it behind on wet mowing days.

    So for our use, exmark hydro WB's have been the core of our business and have served us very well. We also have a backup 36" TT and two backup 48" TT ready to go as well as a couple of broken ones that have saved us hundreds in small repair items. I think they are overpriced new for what they are, but then again they are very well built and should last around 2000 hours if well maintained, some even longer than that. We have purchased exclusively low hour well maintained used ones.
    With these two crews we peaked at 250 lawns last summer, and the second crew doesn't mow on Fridays, only Mon-Thurs. So I would say if you are doing mainly suburb/residentials, walkbehinds are still very viable. they also lay down very nice stripes, even without a striping kit.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Nate'sLawnCare

    Nate'sLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,001

    Most of our properties are relatively small, but we picked up one estate last year that's 8-1/2 acres, so we have to use a ztr on that. I'd love to get by with just walk behinds due to the quality of cut, but don't have that option.
     
  10. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    @Nate's

    Why don't you buy a large TT and some sulkies--you can still use it on your other properties and you won't have purchased a mower that will just sit after it completes its one account for the week
     

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