Knee problems might be a problem - need advice on mower to help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CoachLinz, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. CoachLinz

    CoachLinz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    Well, I had surgery to repair my left knee and it turns out it was worse than expected. Doc says I have to stop running and lifting weights (legs at least) which I normally do 3-4 days a week. Have to do some biking instead and stick to upper body weight lifting only. If I don't, he says I will need a full knee replacement in 3 years. As it is I have almost no cartilage left in my knee.

    Now, the real problem. He suggested ditching the 48" w/b mower for a rider of some sort. I know a ZTR would be the ideal, but I can't afford one this year or next. I mow and landscape part-time in order for my wife to stay home with our 2 boys. I'm a teacher full time. I know I could go with a sulky, but I do mostly small yards (1/4 acre or so) and the engine on my Bobcat w/b is only a 13 hp Honda. Cuts great, but I'm a 230 pound weight lifter. I don't think it's going to be pulling me around and up and down hills all that great. If I'm wrong on that, let me know. So, I figure the only other option is to sell the w/b. I could get about $1200 for it. What could I get that would allow me to sit or stand for that money. Only thing I see is a regular old rider. Anything esle? How much slower will I be with a rider compared to the w/b?

    I intend to stay in business one way or another so please make any suggestions that you think may help. Thanks guys.
  2. gpriddy

    gpriddy LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Messages: 36

    We're in the same boat; I teach as well so my wife can stay home w/ our kids; and I couldn't do all my accounts with a w-b, I was carrying a ztr and 36" wb for 1/2 the season; then decided to sell the wb and get a good trim mower and rely on teh ztr for the bulk of the work. I pick up a helper a couple of days a week and just go through them.

    My opinion:

    ztr would be required for the medical reason - then use it to let yourself put on a few new accounts to justify. Remember if the knee goes out, teh rehab-surgery-rehab will be a year or more...then what. Invest in the ztr now so that your career is extended.
  3. CoachLinz

    CoachLinz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    Thanks for the reply. Only problem is I don't have the money for a ZTR until after next season most likely. Unless there are some lower cost options out there in the ZTR realm. Any ideas?
  4. gunputt

    gunputt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I am also in this boat, except i work for Pepsi fulltime. I also have a bad left knee. The thing is my knee feels best when I am walking on a lawn. I would ask the doc how he thinks the knee would do with no running or squats, but keeping the mower.
  5. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    you might be ok with a sulky. I had one on a 14 hp kaw 52" scag and it worked fine and I "was" a bigger man back then beating you by several lbs. Steep hills would the biggest problem but you can jump off and walk up the hill and ride it back down if needed.
  6. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Coach.. I also think you'ld be okay with a sulky. I used to use one with a 36" Toro 12hp Kawi. I still have the sulky and have no need for it at this time. It's in good shape but the underside of the seat is a little rusty. You can have it (free) if you would like it. You would need to buy a hitch to mount to your Bobcat.

    Is a velke out of the question?
  7. CoachLinz

    CoachLinz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    Is the Velke to stand on and the sulky to sit? For some reason I thought they were basically the same thing. What I meant was something to stand on, but I guess sitting could work to. Which still allows the best maneuverability? At least one of my lawns has alot of landscaping to go around and between.
  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Whatever you do, dont get a stand on mower like a wright or dane, not good on bad knees. What about one of those homeowner toro ztr's. I know it may not last long, but if your only doing lawns part time, maybe it will work for the time being for you. Maybe not, just a thought.
  9. hortboy

    hortboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170


    Drop me an e-mail, I've been buying nearly new mowers at used prices off a guy in PA. He buys them from where he can and has a mechanic go through every one before it's sold. This guy is great!
    I am just hesitant about putting his e-mail or phone# for the general public , don't want to mess up my relation w/ him. I know he's got a few ztr's now and he's always getting more in.

    Good luck
  10. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    Hortboy - I'm looking for a used hydro W/B and would like to contact you but can't get to your email via your profile. Please contact me @


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