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Walk behind vs ZTR for new LCO

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by aracad, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. aracad

    aracad LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    What is the best choice for your first mower and why? I am currently using a 48" scag WB. I have not been using a sulky, but I know that it would increase productivity once I got use it. My problem is that this mower is a loaner and I will need to purchase a mower for next season. Should I get the Scag Zcat 42"? I realize the type of yards I mow is a deciding factor. Most of them are small residential lots 1/3 - 1/2 acre. I plan to expand my business on the residential side first and then begin a few commercial accounts. I want to get the most for my money in terms of longevity of equipment vs price.
    Do walk behinds offer longer trouble free life vs small ZTR's?
  2. Tyler7692

    Tyler7692 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    I'd get a 48-52" ZTR.

    First off, ztr's are faster, and as long as you can learn to use it, you can do virtually any yard with it. Plus, having a ztr of this size will help you be more productive and efficient on any larger accounts you aquire. I do a whole slew of 1/2 acre yards with a 52 ztr and they look great. Either way, walk or ride, is the same as far as maintenance and downtime and such. I'd recommend a hydro walk if you go that route, but I'd get the ztr. Many will disagree with a ztr as a first mower, but I had one as my first mower. I was somewhat sloppy at first, but after getting to know the properties and the capabilites of the machine, I am a pro at it now. I suppose I would have been just the same with a walk behind too.
  3. lawnscapesLLC

    lawnscapesLLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

    Whatever you get make sure it fits into any gates on properties you already have.
  4. aracad

    aracad LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    How much harder are they to learn to use. I am still getting use to the WB.
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I'm going to play devil's advocate here:

    Walks have advantages to Z's, less fuel consumption, much less weight on the turf, less danger of turf tearing, ability to use on hills and under/around certain objects that you can't get a Z as close to.

    I would say that a Z is easier to drive than a walk simply due to the stick arrangement versus the pistol grips on the Scag.

    But, you also say you have many 1/2 and 1/3 acre properties. That is getting up there in size so that's also something to think about.

    If you've got some experience with the WB, I'd say go for the Z if it is within your budget.
  6. mower&more1986

    mower&more1986 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 524

    IMO a commercial zero ether 34"-48" would work great
    I had a troy built 50" zero turn but it had a too small gas tank and it was a homeowner zero turn. but it had the 23 hp briggs and stratton intek engine
    which is tons better than a kohler courage engine
    to answer the question if you can afford a zero turn go for it
  7. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    Not that hard as long as you understand how they work and focus on not tearing the lawn when turning
  8. aracad

    aracad LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Well I ran accross a good used mower from a guy on this site and went with it. 36" Exmark Turftracer. This mower is like brand new as he promised. I will use this and the 48" scag until I get more accounts to warrant the ZTR.
    Thanks for the input.

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