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Mower question answered

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mow"N"Bud, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. Mow"N"Bud

    Mow"N"Bud LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    After my thread called "My take on it", several have asked my advice concerning which mower is the best to start with. In my opinion, and if I had to strat over tomorrow, I would start with a walk-behind rather than a ZTR, and here is why.

    1 Price. A good hydro walk-behind is about half the price of a ZTR.

    2. Manuvarability. Personally I am more effective in a residential lawn under 1 acre than on a ZTR.

    3. Walks don't tear up the turf like a heavy ZTR will.

    4. I think they are easier to work on because of how everything is oriented.

    5. Less weight to carry on a trailer.

    6. Maybe slower, but still able to handle even semi large properties.

    7. You can put on a velke/sulke etc, and ride them too.

    8. They look cool and my chick digs them ha ha.

    9. Price. Part for part the parts are usually cheaper than ZTR parts.

    10. Size. You can carry a walk in the bed of a pick up unless you have one of the super sized walks.

    Good luck and Merry Christmas
  2. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    Wow, Can you really produce more with a walk behind over a ztr? I have both and I find the walkbehind seriously more labor intensive over the ztr but I need to bag all my lawns I stop every 50 feet with the walk behind to empty the bags with the ztr I can mow a 1500 feet before stoping.
  3. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,251

    I disagree. I have a wb and 2 z's, and the wb is a total PITA compared to the z. Whether it is a 50x90 or 100x200 size lot the z wins hands down every time. The only time the wb comes off the trailer is for a yard that has a gate and the z wont fit.

    True the z does cost more, but the money you dump into a hydro wb is still a large chunk of change. If I had $4500 to drop on a hydro wb, I would put it towards the Z and finance the rest. Unless of course all you mow is steep slopes and mow stuff that cannot be used with a z.

    Buy a new Z, and maintenence will be a thing of the past. I am going on my 4th year with my lazer hp and besides oil and blades there is no maintenence.

    Working in the sun gets old after a while and while you are laboring behind the wb for X number of yards a day, it gets old real quick.

    just my $0.02.....
  4. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    I don't agree with the productivity issue of getting more work done with a walkbind over a Z just isn't going to happen. I will agree that a walkbehind is more productive on smaller lawns or over crowded lawns but thats about it. I do however agree about Zs doing more damage especially if you don't know how to use them correctly. Walkbehinds are heavy especially the hydros but weigh alot less than Zs, if you know how to use a Z correctly the other issue that comes to mind is that using a Z will in short time start to leave rib rows in the yard and your customer will be getting mad.
  5. stumpslawncare

    stumpslawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 153

    I agree, I started my business with a walk behind. They can climb hills that make being on a ztr scary. (not manufacturer recommended)
  6. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,512

    I started my Business with a Walk-Behind and I also have ZTR's and I still use the WB on alot of jobs and use the ZTR's for larger scale jobs
  7. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Hill-sticking ability is the best argument for a WB over a Z.

    On most properties the z wins, but there are those that a WB would do the job faster.
  8. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,512

    Having a Z pays off big time when you got alot of jobs that are acre and up. I did my share of doing them with a WB when i first started out but won't do it anymore. I'm riding for acre and up
  9. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    a commercial walk behind is way better then any residential z,.... but a commrcial z tops my list.... as long as your using professional equipment, your on the right track..... the z and walk behind are both good tools under the proper situation......
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    I totally disagree with this, mowing is production without production you fail the amount of time and energy expended all day long on a walk behind is costly, sure the walk behind is much cheaper but for me the saved energy alone is worth the extra several thousand spent, what Is you time worth? also I bag most of my lawns and grass clippings can be carried in the bagger from the lawns where I can't dump to the lawns where I can, with a walk behind baggers are small and heavy and have to be removed to trailer and dumped in the truck. With just using my walk behind I end up with a truck full of grass that has to come home with me, when using the ztr where the bagger stays secured on the mower I go home with no clippings. That also alone is reason enough. With skill you can mow even the most fragile lawn with a ztr without damage. Using a ztr saves me time during the week allowing me to do other things with higher profit margins
    Any one of these reasons alone is enough reason and justification for even a very expensive ztr that can be paid for in full in less than 1 season.

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