cost more or less? walk or ride

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by smarino21, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. smarino21

    smarino21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    i was thinking of how much time does it take say your cutting mostly all 1/4 acre lots. If you use a 48 walkbehind or 48 rider. Is it cheaper to use the walkbehind because of gass prices or the labor will hit you harder? I dont own a walk so i cant figure out the math yet?
  2. jameson

    jameson LawnSite Fanatic
    from PNW
    Messages: 7,468

    I demoed a few mowers during the months of September and October. I was looking at hydro wb's/standers: 44" - "48 - 52" - most of these machines are powered by 17hp or 19hp KAWs.

    Most of the wb's are comparable in weight - with the Standers on the heavy side. After researching various machines regardless of whether the company had any presence in my area - 600 pounds give or take was my target - for the machine (48").

    Price was also a factor - after adding the necessary extras to a machine - mulching blades/kit - catcher - sulky attachment (wb's) - you name it - $6000.00 give or take (more give :laugh:) was the target price.

    Unfortunately - the Stander was out - its weight and price betrayed it. Had a nice demo - actually too nice - the conditions perfect - the grass was dry.

    The Huslter Trimstar 48" w/17hp KAW was the wb demo - mainly due to the H-bar - new (for me) and innovative - and the XR-7 deck. We had perfect demo conditions - wet grass! It gave a very nice cut - however midway thru the deck began leaving clumps and droning - yep - packed with grass. No biggie for me - I do not expect miracles from any decks. The H-bar was nice - and I could see how we could all become adept at using it - but after the demo - none of my guys were very enthusiastic about it - the unanimous verdict was that the handling felt squirrelly and too detached.

    The last demo was an eXmark Phazer 44" w/19hp KAW - small compact ztr - Trivantage deck (tried and true) - this mower was not initially in the cards - however it met my criteria - and despite its toyish appearance (these compact ztr's are a bit unsettling at first glance) - it is a commercial unit. We had a good demo - wet grass again - the machine was outfitted with the extreme blades - it gave a nice cut - packed the catcher solid - and yes after a bit - the deck also. The guys loved the machine - better than the previous ones. Felt solid even on the incline we took it on - my steepest.

    The prices/weight/power plant of these small ztr's - eXmark Phazer and Hustler Mini Z - are comparable to a similarly equipped wb - minus sulky attachment.

    Maintenance and operational costs - should be very similar. As to operator fatigue - for the size lawns your talking about - I think it may be a toss up. Somone else will be better equipped to answer that.
  3. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    here we go again.......

    if you do a search for this, ther are countless threads. those that ride will swear by rideing and those who walk will swear by walking.

    IMO...riding is the way to can cut faster and be more productive in a given period of time. Fatigue is a factor that is hard to quantify.... Repair cost will have a negligible difference, fuel with be th eonly cunsumable, other than price wich will result in big ## diferences. but think about this a 48" scag Wb can cut 12.8 acres in an eight hour day. a rider of the same size can cut 18.6 thats 30% more grass... every the end of a year thatr 1/3 less hours on a rider....or 1/3 more time to squeeze in more work...

    ofcoruse you'll have hemoroids that 1/3 larger as well. :)

    When I got my riders, my 36" saw very little use..., to the point of it staying in the shed.....
  4. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 554

    what about who makes the better blower stihl..............
    or what about who makes the better trimmer...........
    and who makes the best truck...........
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    For lawns that small... you should personally DEMO all 3 types.
    (walks, standers, riders)

    I think what you choose will end up being more centered on what you prefer than anything else.
  6. Idealtim

    Idealtim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 939

    This may be the only time I ever say this, but topsites is right on this subject. I have read in his previous posts that he says his 48 wb will out cut the 60 ztr. Due to the time it takes to get the machine up to speed and back down, then turning, the productivity is lost even with higher ground speeds on smaller lots. I thought he was nuts untill my wb was in the shop and I used a friends lazer 60 for all my accounts. I have hundreds of hours under my belt of ztr mowing but I could still go faster with the wb. But, keep in mind that these accounts were 1/2 acre or below. Anything bigger and the 60 blew it away, just as planed. You also have to consiter if it is erogonomically correct for you to sit or walk. There are a lot of factors for you to decide-bottom line, it's up to you.
  7. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    way to thwo fuel ont he fire Noseha....:)

    ideal tim....comparing a 48 to a 60 is apples and oranges... though... I think you need to compare same size first and then figure out if larger decks woudl hinder or help. again, all based on your route.....on my resi's I did in florida a 60 was way to big, but my 52 ZTR rocked....
  8. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 554

  9. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    way to throw fuel on the fire noseha...:) sorry I just work at at University..:) doesn't mean I can actually spell...
  10. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 554

    o,lol but why ask a open question, you'll get the answer you got.

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