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WB vs. Rider

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Scraper, Apr 25, 2000.

  1. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    I have noticed that a lot of you guys are using riders to service residentials. Have you ever had comments from clients regarding the use of a rider on their property? Just wondering since I have many customers who just don't approve of the &quot;big&quot; machines on their lawn. Are there any factors that go into you decision on whether to use a WB or rider? I have noticed quite a few landscapers in my area that have 2 riders on their trailer and nothing else, so it seems to me that whatever they don't cut with the rider they get with the weedeater. Thoughts?<br>
  2. AGG Lawn Maintenance

    AGG Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    from Elberon
    Posts: 422

    Scraper,<br>The ZTR's seem to work well. They can be put on alot of lawns and take up limitted trailer space. The down side is :<br>1. If the lawn is wet you have to watch your turns grass can rip up very easy.<br>2. ZTR's are about $8,000 without a collection system. About $10,000 with.<br>3. If you don't have a back up mower your in trouble.<br>The good things are:<br>1. ZTR's are like a man and a half.<br>2. Good for wide open large scale areas.<br>3. With a colletion unit good for clean ups.<p>You really have to evaluate your lawns to see if is worth it. If you can put in on most of them get it if not don't. As for the customers we all have one the don't like be machinces on their lawns. Raise the price if you use a smaller mower on their lawn. <br>And make sure you do all your research.<br>Look at my advice under Best Equiptment?<br>Started by David <br>Good Luck :) Travis AG&G Lawn Maintenance
  3. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    scraper--good question about heavy machines on residential lawns. but it doesn't start with big riders. I used to have a little old lady that hated my 48 inch WB on her lawn. she was a real nit picker. a former secretary to a county agent for about 40 years. she used to answer all the lawn calls that came in to the agent!<p>anyway, the first time I cut her lawn I used her push mower. that was the last time I did that. then several times I did it my way with my machine and I knew she wasn't happy. finally she really complained about my big ole mower laying her grass over so I cut it double and it looked great. well...she fired me.<p>that fall after paying someone else to cut her grass all summer, she called me and asked me if I'd like to &quot;come pick up her leaves&quot;.<p>my response, very courteous of course: &quot;sorry MS.Soandso, I only pick up leaves for the people that I mow for&quot;.<p>YESSSSSSSS!!!!!<p>good luck<p>GEO<br>
  4. AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 585

    I use 3 mowers.1 a Walker with 54'' deck 2 a Scag 36'' dual hydro walk-behind and a 21'' mower.I started out from the beginning useing my walkers.I use to only use my push-mower when I could not cut with the Walker(small gates hills ect.)I had a couple of old ladys the like you guys said not to use the rider.I use to use the push mower when they said that.Of course I changed the price.But I still hated to cut those places.Last year I bought my 36'' scag and I love it!We now do about 1/3 of the push mowing that we did in our pre scag years.Many times we would have a lawn that have a large back yard and a small gate.Now we can cut at 2 or more times faster than the push-mower and not feel quite as dead at the end of the day.I allways use the Walker on the lawns when I start out unless it is too small or we are told not to.I am thinking of down the road ridding myself of many of the push-mower jobs.I am planning on asking some of my jobs if they would consider putting in larger gates.I know that I will probablly never totally get rid of all my push-mower jobs but I do want to limit the number.In some cases I make good money on them.I had a small hilly lawn that I under bid the first year and I had to raise the price this year by near 1/2 I now make good money on it and as long as that is happening I will not really mind the pain of push-mowing it.Also Scraper said that guys in his area when around with only riders a trimmers on their trailers.In my area most guys own a 61'' rider and a 21'' mower.Now that I own my scag I will never get rid of my walk-behind.I may in the future have sevral crews with diffrent sized mowers on each.But for now I am cutting my spending down.I think anyonre you cuts residential lawns,has or will have this problem!It is a tough one to get around.All I can say is to rid yourself of this problem have a versatile crew or crews!<p>from:Adam<p>AB Lawn Care
  5. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    AGG response was accurate.<p>But, my Z-Master 60's were $1,000 less than an my Exmark 60&quot; Walk-behinds, so that made the decision easier.<p>A Z with the big tires has greater flotation than a large WB. Turning on those large tires is where the problem come in.<p>If your customers complain, perhaps you'll need to change mowers or change customers. I know which one I'd rather switch.
  6. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 627

    hey scraper-<br>please read my post on lawnstar's post &quot;residential customers&quot;. It'll explain volumes.<br>I guess it depends on how bad you want their biz-I tell them I'm in business to earn a living, & that means using the best equip. I can afford that does the best job. I can't make $$ by push mowing everybody's lawn. I am not the 14 yr old neighborhood boy. If you want it push mowed, I'll give you a push mower price for a bid. <br>You don't see American airlines flying people around in 6-seater Cessna's. They got the biggest people movers available to get as much done in one flight as possible. If no comprende', ADIOS MUCHACHOS! Period.<br>Give them the name of your competitor as a reference as to who they might call next. That way they'll be tied up with that customer (hopefully) while you pursue more worthwile lawns.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>
  7. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    When I bought my first walkbehind, a 54 Bobcat, some of my customers freaked. Why, because they were getting it mowed with a 21&quot; before and everybody likes to see ya &quot;earn&quot; your money. Others were not so much against the concept, they thought it was just too big. Others could care less.<p>But since buying a ZTR rider, most seem to accept it without question. Some who complained about the walkbehind, actually like the ZTR and enjoy watching them at work, and see the large investment. And the ones that want to see ya &quot;earn&quot; the money have been filtered out between the 21&quot; and mid size walk.<p>If you have twenty picky customers who you have mowed for with a 21&quot;, expect to find twenty new customers when you show up with a 72&quot; rider :)
  8. Gus

    Gus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    I`ve used a Z on every sized lawn you can think of so it can be done but there are a few downsides to a rider. One is the weight as<br>most weigh around 1000 lbs. This time of year the ground can be a little soft so there is the possibilty of rutting. Its also easier to scalp with a rider unless you learn how to lift up on the deck as you reach a high spot just like you do with a wb.You also have to learn how to do a true zero turn to avoid tire marks in the lawn and I still prefer to turn around on pavement where possible. As for people who dont like big machines, if they cant see the major difference in cut between a commercial machine and a push mower<br>who needs `em. I refuse to argue this point<br>because the push mower only comes of the trailer at triple the regular rate.
  9. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    I see people are going to the push mower side...I was not referring to a push mower, but rather a walk behind like 36-52&quot;. All your posts make sense. Thanks!
  10. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    I use my 60&quot; Lazer if it fits. 5000 sq or 5 acres. Cut is great. Learn to operate the machine and it won't tear the turf. GUS..what kind of Z do you use that you have to lift the deck??? I mow over berms, bumps or ?? without scalping.

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