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Move from WB's to ZTR?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by f50lvr2, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. lawns Etc

    lawns Etc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,277

    I feel the same way last year my Z was down and we had to use the 2 48 wbs on aday route you wouldnt believe how many customers asked later what we did different as they liked the cut better. I have 3 acres and will never put a Z on it to mow. A 48 WB with a Velkie can do wonders.
  2. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,067

    I have never had a complaint about my 66 lazer z. Only a few fussy customers ever ask anything about the cut or equipment. Most would never have machine weight even enter their minds.
  3. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    ok how many? 2? 3? out of how many? i agree with delphied, i dont think most customers ever give a thought about weight or even cut. they just want it to look good when you drive by and not have to do it themselves
  4. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,719

    Is a ZTR faster than a walkbehind? To me the answer is yes, no and maybe. Just for example, if we take the same 52" deck and put it on a WB and ZTR and the lawn is tight with 3mph being normal speed, I say go for the WB. Same set up with some areas being 4mph and some 7mph, then maybe a ZTR if there isn't big slopes or ditches. Same set up with 8-10mph average speed, then a ZTR for sure.
    It really boils down to what type properties you are cutting and personal performance. IMO
  5. Lawn Shark prop mgmt LLC

    Lawn Shark prop mgmt LLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    I guess it depends on the area you work in. My customers don't give a flip about a walker, or ztr, all they care about is that the yard gets cut. I guess that trend isn't growing everywhere.
  6. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    When I started out, I changed to ztrs my only complaint was you are going to fast. I slowed down on the smaller lawns but have not lost any in 18 yrs. Now if they wanted me to mow with a walk behind time is money, so I would charge a lot more. You youngsters can use walk behinds while your knees are holding up etc, but make sure you use that as a selling point and charge more than the guy using a ZTR. Most of my customers had a choice walk behind for $$$$$$ or ztr for $$. They all are cheap when it comes down to it so why break your body down with a walk behind if you can use a ztr.

    Eventually you'll get tired and need to make the switch , but do what you like now, just charge more for it.

    I will point out I went from a 36" Scag walk behind to a 42" Walker. I went from working 8 hrs with the Scag to 4 hrs with the Walker. I doubled my income by making the switch, now I've gone from Walker to 60"ZTRs and doubled my income again by being more productive. Food for thought!
  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    If you're completing the yards in under 20 min a rider may be a little big for the jobs. Small means constant turning and with riders that can mean more turf wear and damage. On the other hand, walk behinds with sulkies are not great in tight areas either, so you may be walking these lawns. Doing 10-12 a day that can get old fast. They do probably give less turf damage, depending on conditions.

    I would definitely consider the stand-on mowers for that reason. They are better in tight areas, yet able to handle some wide open lawns as well.

    Maybe pick up a 48" stand on and keep a 36" wb around for gates. The wb is also useful in soft ground conditions where rutting or damage is a concern. But I just can't imagine walk mowing 12 a day, day after day, is going to be much fun. And with time, that wear/tear on the bod does catch up to you. The Toro/Exmark may be good for you as it will also go into walk behind mode as needed.

    Videos I've seen indicate to me that standers turn easier, especially when pointed downhill, than midmount ZTRs. You might also toss the Walker out-front mowers into the mix, especially as they have a nice 42" deck that might be the ideal size for your lawns, and the GHS abilities with leaves/debris could come in handy.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  8. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    exactly! i dont even own a walkbehind and wouldnt be in this business if i had to use one.
  9. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    kinda just browsed through the posts......

    depending on the size of lawns you have depends on what you use.

    for the first season i was using a 36" wb and a 21 incher. second season i added a 52" wb. and 3/4 of the way through my third season i traded the 52" wb for a 52" toro grandstand.

    for me i can see purchasing a sit down ztr because the sizes of my lawns. it seems like manuvering a sit down would take more time. i also like the idea that the toro grandstand is smaller in size than a sit down. you can either haul a smaller trailer or fit more equipment on your current trailer.

    after reading the spec's and the claims from both sit down ztr's and standers i think standers are the way to go. they are more manuverable. you can better avoid obsticals such as low hanging branches. you can mow hills saver (in my opinion anyway). and if you've ever had client concerned about having large pieces of equipment on there lawn they don't seem to mind the standers vs. the sit down ztr's.
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    These are not mutually exclusive. Good cut ---> looks good.

    When I moved from a w/b to a ZTR for some properties a few years ago, I was told "your new mower does a nicer job." I tended to keep using the w/b on more than half the properties, and only used the ZTR on bigger, more open properties.

    My w/b is a 36" Exmark fixed deck. I always thought it did a nice job. However, after I bought my John Deere Z-track, 48" 7 Iron II deck, the quality of cut was better. My point is that size of deck does not imply "better" or "worse" cut. Clearly, my JD deck does a better job of cutting than my Exmark, and the customers did notice.

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