zero turns/walk behind

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by louislawncare, May 31, 2003.

  1. louislawncare

    louislawncare LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 10


    What is the major differences between walk behinds and zero turns? Are Zero turns faster? Go through wetter areas better? Work on hills better? More comfortable?

    Are Hydros quicker than belt drives cuz my belt drive seems slow compared to some that I see?

  2. a1 lawncare

    a1 lawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 153

    you sit on one (z) and you stand behind the other (w/b), j/k most people, me included will tell you the best things for hilly terrain is a w/b, the z is more comfortable for me, but i use the w/b when needed, i like a hydro there smoother for me and i like the feel better, also you'll see post of people complaining of belts slipping in moist weather.. i think most like hydro's better.

    good luck and welcome to lawnsite
  3. LawnMower

    LawnMower LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 653

    Zero Turns, or ZTR’s are faster, and usually have more horsepower, and are more comfortable. Also they leave a wide tire track. I don’t like the smaller wheel marks the walk behinds leave. I find that my Bobcat with the 25-horse power can cut through high grass and spread it out very nicely. However ZTR’s don’t do hills. Because the front wheels go in the direction that the machine wants to go in, it can be very dangerous. Yesterday I was going down a slope at an angle. It started heading toward a drop off where there were prickers. Well I tried to change the direction of the machine, or just stop. I pulled back on the levers and tried to turn left to avoid the drop off. No way in heck was the machine going to stop moving. I jumped off and tried pulling the front end with my hands as the engine shut off. No way was I going to change the direction that way. It went right off the end, and down into the prickers. There my Zero Turn was. Sideways down off the end of the cliff in the prickers. Luckily I was able to pull it out with my F350 4+4 and a chain. The Zero turns don’t like mud or very wet ground. I got mine stuck bad about a month ago. I was mowing along, and all of the sudden, it stopped and the back end sunk. I tried to rock it out, but dug my self deeper. That 4+4 of mine is very handy.

    I like the fact that I can change the deck height in 2 seconds on the Zero turn. If I do leave clumps with it, I raise the deck up a little and go back over the yard ones or twice, and it looks great. Under a lot of conditions, I can cut close to full speed. Not high thick grass, however. Then I slow down just a little. I listen to the engine and blades. If they don’t sound like there at full speed, then I slow down .

    On the other hand I have a BobCat walk behind, with the ProSlide. I wouldn’t be with out the machine. They do hills with out a problem. It’s very easy to change direction, and to avoid a dangerous situation. I have the hydro, so I can back it up with out a problem. I do almost all my trim with it. It has a 17-horse Kawasaki, and I feel it’s very underpowered. I feel the engine lugging, when I go through the thick grass that’s growing right now. The Zero goes right through the same grass with out even lugging a little.
    . The walk behind doesn’t disperse the grass as nice as the Zero Turn. If I could afford only one mower, I would go with the walk behind with as much horsepower as I could get. Also get a sulky like a Proslide. I like the Proslide because it pops up out of the way when you get off of it. I had the Velky wheel, and I loved that. It doesn’t drag the mower down the way the proSlide dose. But it was harder to back up with the wheel, and it was in the way a lot.

    Hope this helps
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    WB's are less money and can go places a Z can't. Ground speed is higher on Z's (10 - 15 mph) vs. a WB around 6 mph or so.
  5. louislawncare

    louislawncare LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 10

    Thanks a lot guys the info really helped and you told me a lot i didn't know about zero turns:)
  6. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    A ZTR can only be a rider and those times when you need a WB you are out of luck. However, a WB can a walk behind or a rider, when used with a sulky. The standard WB is much cheaper than a Rider. For the “Average” home owner lawn, the cutting speed is usually no faster than 6 mph, so the WB can hold it’s own in that department. A WB, depending on the type, will change direction for “mowing”, faster than a ZTR, which must be Z, H, or K turned.
  7. wmsland

    wmsland LawnSite Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 127

    What your real question should be is what is the difference between a riding mower and a walk behind. The reason I say this is because many walk behinds are ZTR mowers. ZTR stands for zero turning radius. So most mowers, walk behind and riders are ZTR mowers its just for some reason riders have become known as ZTRs.
  8. lawncare3

    lawncare3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,981

    What about one of those convertible mowers that can be a walk-behind and a ztr?

    I have been wondering what they run for. Anyone? :confused:
  9. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812


    convertible mower.jpg
  10. fatboy5803

    fatboy5803 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 330

    John Gamba,
    What make of ZTR, W/B is that picture of ?? Never seen one of those before. Pretty neat looking.... Thanks.

    Lou :cool:

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