walk behind questions...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by rbljack, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 702

    If you look at my signature block below, you can see my current mowers im using. I just picked up a few lawns that are bigger than the majority of the lawns ive been cutting with my 30 inch exmark. The 34 inch ZTR isn't working yet, but my next step is to get it going.

    Now on too my question....to round out my mower fleet, and increase productivity as a solo, im considering a walk behind. I am looking at a turf tracer 48 with the key start, bagger, and a sulky . My question is how well do these mowers work on uneven terrain that ISNT perfect grass. one customer im starting to mow has very bumpy yard that is more like the natural grasses in the area, and the property has many mesquite trees on it. How well will a walk behind do in conditions like those? obviously I don't want to tear up a new mower like that too bad.

    I am open to considering a 48" stander also, and am curious to know what yall think. My problem with the standers is that they are about 300 pounds heavier than a comparable walk behind, and also about 2-3000 bucks more than the turf tracer. I was quoted a price for a new 48 inch turf tracer with key start for 6600 bucks....is that on par? Should I move up to the stander instead?

    Looking for your inputs as Ive reached a point where I will need to expand and want to get the right equipment for it to increase my productivity. My thoughts are that I can use the 48 for the front lawns even on the smaller yards with gates (in addition to the bigger yards), and hit the backs with the 30 or 21 inch when needed. Some lawns must be bagged by customer request, so I will still need the ability to switch from mulch to bag, and have the ability to make quick height adjustsments from yard to yard.

    Decisions, decisions....but I must admit, the funnest part of this business for me is the toys (new equipment) we get to buy and use....LOL Im looking for your inputs on which type of mower, but I don't want this post to be a Exmark is better, or Wright, or whatever. this isn't meant to be a comparison of Brand, so id like to keep the discussion related to Stander, or walk behind, and will they fit my needs to increase productivity...thanks a bunch in advance. I should also mention that I have no experience with the walk behinds or standers yet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    I would not of bought a mower that was not in working order. I would of not bought a 34" when I already had a 30" because there is not enough difference in size to make an efficiency improvement.

    I can see wanting to have a 20" SP for the tight spots.

    36" WB for small gates and hills.

    48" - 60" ZTR or rider for the open props and large props.
     
  3. GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,437

    One thing I've learned around this site is to pay attention to what guys in your region are using and seem to like. Some machines are better suited to a given terrain and even turf type. What works for east coasters may not work as well out west (or vice versa). Some mowers hold hills very well Hustler comes to mind. Others cut wet grass well like Scag.

    I'm guessing your in the southwest from the mesquite reference. What are the natives running?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. rockycrab

    rockycrab LawnSite Member
    from oregon
    Posts: 160

    We use 21".36",and 48" walk behinds with no little rider trailer things. Then I have a 72" Reel mower and a 72" Groundmaster. We mow over 43 acres every week with these.
    All the 36 and 48" machines are Viking fixed decks. Found the floater(Tracers) to be less likely to provide even cut on rough terrain than the fixed decks.
     
  5. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 702

    thanks for the inputs. I bought the ztr to do a specific property which fell through. I was only out 200 bucks for it, and when I get it operational, it will be a worthwhile investment. It was actually bought last year, before I bought the exmark. The exmark 30 purchased early this year, and the 34 inch ZTR wont fit through 3 specific gates of customers that I have, but the 30 inch will and a 32 inch walk behind would not unfortunately (which is exactly what led me to choosing that mower). In the near future, I hope to have the ZTR going, and then I can focus on my next mower purchase which will either be the stander or a walk behind, just have to give it some thought and do some more reading. Keep the inputs coming, im taking all this in. The "bigger" mowing service in town uses ZTR's, but they are about the only bigger service. Additionally, some customers that I have picked up complained about the ruts they were leaving in the yard.

    Im quickly trying to work up an arsenal of mowers so I can compete with them, and have a mower for each type of property that will increase my efficiencies. They have large crews, and all jump out and handle the property. As a solo, I have to remain very efficient to compete with them, but I don't have to pay employees either. Having the right mowers is one of the KEYS in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  6. Tunica

    Tunica LawnSite Member
    Posts: 124

    Not trying to be a jerk but you list a 5x10 trailer. Which makes me wonder are you going back to the shop/house and reloading for every customer? Seems to Me your in the "if I pack everything" syndrome, buying equipment because you landed one account is setting you up for HUGE overhead and major headaches.

    I'm solo and I dont try and compete with the large LCO's I can't you can't win a foot race with a relay team nor can a solo expect to compete with a 3 or 4 man crew. Do what you do the best you can do and let the quality compete with others not your mower or your speed.
     
  7. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Yes having a good mix of mowers will better match you to the properties letting get your work done faster. I have had people complain about big mowers damaging their lawn as well.
     
  8. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Not a question about competing with multi men crews. About improving production capability so a solo man can do more lawns in a day. Making more money.

    Also where is it written in stone that some one must bring all his mowers with him every day?

    Many a Poster here have suggested building a route based on the machine that you need. Such as small gate small mower's on Monday and Tuesday. Large open props large mower's on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Sometimes a trailer up grade is needed before new mower's can be bought. One of the reasons that I hope to be buying a new trailer soon.
     
  9. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 702

    I guess I should have mentioned that im also considering a trailer upgrade also. Good point on the trailer size though, there is no way I could carry everything on the current trailer.

    If I do get the larger mower, im switching to a 7 x 12 or 7 x 14 enclosed.
     
  10. GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,437

    Unless you have a side gate carrying all your mowers solo will quickly become a pain. I can promise you loading and unloading the trailer will become the biggest job of the day.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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