Help! Walk behind vs. ZTR rider. What would you do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KB, Aug 18, 2000.

  1. KB

    KB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    I have always enjoyed mowing since I was a kid and started cutting part time this spring (about 12 residentials). I wanted a rider but did not know how well I would do so I bought an Exmark 48" Turf Tracer HP w/ 19HP Kaw. instead. I love the mower, but miss riding (I used to help an uncle who had a Scag Turf Tiger). With most of my jobs taking only about 45 min. (for everything), I do not think that I could really knock off that much time (I would buy an Exmark 48" Lazer HP). I think that it would be "a big toy" unless someone can tell me advantages that I have not thought of. Riding as opposed to standing cannot be considered because it is only for 2-3 hours each day. What would you do? If you can think of advantages of the walk behind over the rider, I would be interested in those too. Thanks!

    Also, all equipment is paid for. My local Exmark dealer does not trade. The only local guy who will has Toro and Scag so it may have to be one of those.
  2. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    Advantages of a ZTR:
    When it's 100 degrees, dew point of 75, 95% humidity, you could help prevent a heat stroke. You will have more energy to do the trimming and blowing.

    I feel you can get a lot more production from a ZTR than a W/B do to the speed of them. If you plan to do this for several years, get the widest cut mower you can use with the biggest motor, because you may want to get into bigger commercial lawns later on. When grass is growing an inch a day, power (arrr arrr) is a wonderful thing. :)

    If you step in a hole and sprain or break an ankle, you could still mow with a ZTR.

    If your old and grey like me, you can still mow with a ZTR. :)

    If you really want the Exmark, sell your mower yourself. You usually get more than you would from the dealer, same way with a car or truck.
  3. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,262

    A rider will cut faster than a walk behind, even with a sulky. On a sulky, your still standing up , your knees take all the bumps. Also with a rider you won't be as tired at the end of each day. Your production rate will go up with a rider. Get at least a 60" deck. It's also nice when there are puddles to go through, your feet don't get wet. You won't wear out boots as fast either! I'm so lazy now from my riders, I don't even like using the 21" mower.(I'm down to 2-21" lawns.) :D
  4. dhicks

    dhicks Member
    Messages: 770

    Eric and other that may reply to your post have more experience than I do.

    I started this year with a new Toro Z-Master 62” deck and 25 hp Kohler. As my accounts started to grow, including smaller properties ½ acre or less, I bought a Hustler Hydro 48” W/B with a 19 hp Kawasaki and Pro-Slide.

    On big turf the Z is the way to go. However, and this is my opinion only, I like using the Hustler on smaller properties. The Hustler is easier for me to navigate b/w pines, trees, pools, and the garden area plus I do much less trim work using the W/B. I believe that I am actually faster using the Hustler v. Toro on my smaller accounts. If you have the money and if you are committed to this business I recommend that you have both machines in your arsenal. --David
  5. sunrise

    sunrise Banned
    Messages: 246

    we carry both a ztr and a wb on all of are crews ssometime 2 wb and the ztr.

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