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Lawn tractor vs "Pro" walk behind for Home owner...

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Jeffjob, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Jeffjob

    Jeffjob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hi All;

    I have 3/4 acre to mow and it takes me about 80 minutes with my 21" mower.

    I like to walk when I mow, (and I have limited storage space for lawn equipment) but I am looking for something to both make the job faster AND do a better job than my current mower.

    Two of my neighbors have larger, (32" or larger) walk behinds, (Toro & Ariens) and get done faster than me, they are able to cut when the the grass may be a little wet and have an easier time if the grass got long on them.

    However, most of my neighbors have a lawn or garden tractor. Most get pretty good results and they seem to have the power to cut longer grass.

    I have been looking at BOP's line of walk behinds but last night found myself looking at Sears lawn tractors, (about half the price) and started to wonder.

    How are the BOP, (or others of equal quality) mowers better than the consumer grade tractors? Is it speed, quality of cut?

    I know I don't see the landscapers in the area using the tractors. Is that because of build quality and intended work load?

    There may come a day when I wont want to walk, but I am only 50 now and I don't see that to be any time soon.

    My neighbor with the Toro gets the best cut in the neighborhood IMHO.

    So, what should a home owner with 3/4 acre to cut, wanting to get it done in under an hour, wanting to keep the storage requirements down, and wants a very nice cut get for a mower?

    What type I mean?
  2. jkason

    jkason LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    Ask your neighbor which model he has - then go get one as similar as possible.
    Add a proslide for a sulky, and you're all set. (The proslide tucks up under the handles when you step off of it - no extra storage space needed.)
  3. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Lawn tractors are great for home owners. You will have many attachments and the machine will be more universal. I would never suggest it if you were going to use it to make money however.
  4. karlgrooms

    karlgrooms LawnSite Member
    Messages: 140

    Lawn tractors are great and have a wide array of options available for them. I mow on the side but have a similar sized lot as your. I own both but cannot us my riding mower on my new yard because of slipping and sliding even when dry. You do not mention the type of lot you have flat, hilly etc. I love my walk behind and use it for all my mowing. Like you I enjoy walking but on days that I'm pressed for time etc.. I have a stand on attachment that I put on and can mow faster than I can walk or even use my tractor. Walk behinds are very versatile and capable in most all situations. I own a Ferris 48" and don't have to use the John Deere rider and use my 21" very little.

    The 36" walk behind is going to take up just a little more space than a 21" mower.

    Ferris makes a really nice 32" and 36" and larger walk behind I choose Ferris because of the quick adjust deck heights and dependability of their mowers. Check for local dealers and talk to them. They will be your allies when and if a problem pops up or if you need simple maintenance... I don't know much about BOP.

    Good luck.
  5. Jeffjob

    Jeffjob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17


    My yard is pretty flat.

    Does your lawn tractor give as good results as your walk behind?

    Does the lawn tractor have multiple blades?

    Is your lawn tractor a consumer or pro grade?

    Thanks, Jeff
  6. karlgrooms

    karlgrooms LawnSite Member
    Messages: 140

    My tractor is a home owner grade 42" that I bought in 1999 for my old yard. The results are similar and both units use three blades. My w/behind is so much quicker when needed with 0 turn option and in tight spaces. You might want to check on home owner Z turns. Toro and Cub Cadet and even John Deere make very nice cutting home owner machines.

    Just a thought.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  7. jkason

    jkason LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    Unless you spend more than $5000.00, all tractors are homeowner models.
    A tractor (unless it is 1960's vintage) is going to have 2 or 3 blades.
    A tractor will typically give a better cut because you are going slower over the ground, cutting a particular area of grass more.

    A flat yard is good. A commercial walk-behind will out-mow a homeowner (box store) tractor any day.
  8. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    I couldn't agree more. Using a local dealer is 99% of your concern when buying a new mower no matter what the brand. You'll get much better service than if you buy at a big box store.

    You will get a much better cut as well as better maneuverability with a wb than a tractor. I like Toro's and Exmark's (made by Toro) myself. Good luck.

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