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cutting time with a walk behind

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HLM86, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. HLM86

    HLM86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    Is it possible to cut out some mowing time using a walk behind, compared to a tractor? Say the w/b is a 36", has a sulky on it, and it has zero turning capabilities, could it cut a yard quicker than say a 42" lawn tractor?
  2. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    If your just mowing a big open field then a garden tractor should be faster. But if its a yard with many obstacles to negotiate and you have to make a lot of turns, then the wb will be faster due to better turning radius.
  3. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    That's what really kills your time if you have a lot to maneuver around. If we
    have a large open area we use our 44" 18hp tractor and it works well but anything else gets the 34" Z turn.
  4. HLM86

    HLM86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    I'm mostly just talking about cutting average yards. Some have a few trees, mulch beds, ect., while others are wide open. I have a few large yards, some average size, and one or two small yards. I'm looking at a new Toro mower, and I want to cut my mowing time down some. I really can't decide between a 36" walk behind, and that be my main mower, or a 48" Z with a push mower, and I hate using push mowers. I am leaning towards the 36" w/b but if it does not cut down on much time, I might consider the Z. What do yall think? Thanks for the help.
  5. HLM86

    HLM86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    Can anybody else give any input? Thanks.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    If the wb is commercial grade and the tractor is home-owner equipment, then as a general rule the wb will always outperform the tractor... In addition, the tractor usually can't turn as tight, leaving more uncut areas.

    However, I don't understand WHY everybody except a few people on this whole forum continue to purchase such SMALL wb's! I would NEVER buy anything less than a 44" and really, 48" is the best all-around size there is. Now with a 48" you can outrun ZTR's in anything under an acre AND for every 12 passes you make with the 36", the 48" gets it done in 9 passes - Time is money, stop wasting time with undersized equipment and f*k the 3-foot gate, the 48" fits 4-foot gates and double gates, and if they HAVE a 3-foot gate then let someone else take it because it takes TOO LONG to cut with those small mowers.
  7. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    pound to pound, dollar per dollar, I don't see how a 48" walk can outrun a 48" Z anything under an acre. That operator of 48 walk must be very experienced to outrun a Z, and that Z operator must be sleeping. I 'd say at best match not outrun. 6.5 mph VS 8-10 mph, that is quite a difference.
    Just my 2 cents.
  8. Jordan River

    Jordan River LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    My partner has a 48" ZTR and a commercial 21" push. I have a 36" wb, hydro, sulky, etc. On some accounts I am faster than he is. On some accts, I take the sulky up and, oh my gosh, walk. (rather quickly though). My wb is fast, it has a 15hp kaw. I see where his set up has an advantage on some places, and where mine has the upper hand on other lawns. Right now, I am thinking I want a 48" ZTR, a 44" wb with a floating deck, and, I hate to say it, a decent 21" push. If my customers have gates I can't get to with the bigger mowers, I offer them a bid to enlarge their gate, or price accordingly if I have to use the smaller mowers.
  9. hamsey

    hamsey LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 123

    I just purchased an Exmark 48" TTHP prior I was using a JD 325 tractor. It is saving me time, better cut, easier to maneuver, cut down on trimming time. I was going back and forth for about a year about buying one only regret is that I waited soo long.

  10. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    If you are putting your lawn tractor in reverse more than 2-3 times per lawn.... then I would say you will probably cut down your time with the w/b just because it is easier to maneuver. However, on wide open areas, the larger deck will be more of an advantage.

    I have used a 48" and 36" deck on my lawns, and for the most part the 36" is the same or quicker up to about 20K sq ft. Then the 48" starts pulling away timewise.


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