Going from a 52" deck to a 60" deck


LawnSite Bronze Member
I mainly have residential accounts that are about 5k-10k in size. I have some bids out for larger commercial properties. I use my 52" walk-behind and never had a problem with the deck being to big. The engine is a 19hp exmark hydro. My question is will I regret getting a 60" exmark 23 hp? I worry that the strip will look to "big" on some of my smaller residential lawns, or scalping may actually become an issue? Also, if I get these bigger commercial properties an employee will be doing most of the mowing so is a less experienced operator going to struggle more with a 60" walk behind compared to the 52"? I would still have the 52" and run the 60" along with it.


LawnSite Senior Member
honestly besides visually measuring undulations in the ground a 60" mower isnt going to be any harder for a new guy to learn then learning on a 32 inch.. Its actually probably better to learn on such a big machine, because there will never be a learning curve in the future for whatever you put the guy on..For a walkbehind the footprint isnt much bigger then a 52 so it will go in most the same places.. i use a 60' on real tiny stuff like 500- 1000sf and never had a problem


LawnSite Silver Member
Garner, NC
Being a walk-behind, it might be OK. I assume in Mo. things are fairly flat?

I have nothing but zero-turns: one 60", two 52"s, and a 48". My small frame 52" (Gravely 152) is by far the best, most productive residential mower I could use. The big 260 is just too cumbersome and prone to scalping for a residential property. If you mow much bermuda or other warm-season turf, you're asking for trouble with a larger deck.


LawnSite Fanatic
I once went from a 52" ztr to a 60" ztr and didn't particularly care for the increase in size. I have since, gone back down to a 54" ztr. For me, I find that the 54" (or 52") ztrs are able to fit the most variety of properties. And since I don't have tons of large properties so I just don't see the increase in productivity with a 60" over a 54".


Milwaukee, WI
I like hearing that other lawn services are using walkbehinds...It seems as if they are losing traction in the industry. I kinda scratch my head why so many are abandoning them. It is one of the most versatile pieces you can own! Ive got a Toro Proline with a sitdown sulky and boy does it make work easy! There are areas where a conventional ztr cannot get into. For some, they will have to go back to the trailer and pick up the walkbehind...For me, I hope off the seat, disconnect, and walk. Simple as that!

As far as the stripes are concerned: my residential's don't really care how big the deck size is, nor do they notice. I've run 36" to 60". As long as the grass is cut and lines are straight, they are happy (easy, low maintenance). However! if you are considering a stripe kit on there, I feel as if you should charge extra for that. YOU are taking more time, more effort, and using more capital at that property to enhance its image. That's my 2 cents


LawnSite Fanatic
Knoxville, Tn
Have been using 60" Turf tracers for 8 years. No one has ever said the stripes were too big. No one has ever asked me to use a smaller mower. Locally there are more and more crews going to this mower because of its versatility. The 52 and 60 tracers use the same tractor so the overhang is greater on the 60. Can be more side to side scalping on hills.

Having said that, you may decide the 52" is the better choice for your properties.