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Mower Purchase: Z vs. Walker

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by NEUSWEDE, Jan 22, 2006.


    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,150

    I am in the market for a mower. Second season solo, I ran a Exmark TTHP 48" last season. I am keeping it on for certain accounts that it will work for.

    My current dilemma is between getting a Z or a walker. I have used both, I like the Z because it is faster easier to use more versatile and and can bag with 52" where as a walker can only bag with 48". Walkers are great on leaves and have a great bagging system.

    I will be using the new mower for condos and other larger yards and for leaf clean-ups.
    Any opinions?
  2. lawnmasters2004

    lawnmasters2004 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    I would go with the Z... I currently own 2 Z's and 1 Walker, and I would say the Z is the route to go. The walker works great in leaves, probably better than each of my Z's, but other than that I would go with the Z just because of speed.

    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,150

    Yea I am leaning towards the Z for the speed and that I can pull off the bagger and do side discharge.

    How are the Z with leaves? Do you get blow out of the leaves when bagging?

  4. lawnmasters2004

    lawnmasters2004 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    My Z's are great with leaves... They dont fill the bags as good as the Walker fills the hopper, but they are still great with leaves. I have taken my Z's and my Walker through 2 and 3 foot leave drifts, they both do great with sucking it all up and not blowing out. I think the Z's are just a more versitile mower when all is said and done. I am very pleased with both of them, but it seems that my Z's are just more handy.
  5. LLandscaping

    LLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,016

    I think it depends on the type of properties that you will be maintaining. We have two ZTR's right now and will be adding a Walker this Spring for the small to medium high end residential yards. I think in your situation a ZTR would be best for cutting larger properties, because Walker are designed to mow small to medium sodded yards.

    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,150

    Well the thing that turns me off about a walker is 48" is the biggest deck you can bag with and how slow it is. My walk behind is a 48" for the smaller properties and has a trac vac set-up. So the Z would be good for the larger lawns and I could do leaves.

    Thanks for the input.
  7. 3Bladz

    3Bladz LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 166

    48 inch deck is not a limiting factor on leaf clean up. Emptying the hopper takes up most of the time. With my walker I back on the trailer and into the dump truck and hit the switch and it's ready to go again. The baggers on the mid mounts don't pack in nearly as much material so you have to dump more than twice as often. But I guess the real question is how much bagging are you going to do? The mid mount will out mow the walker on larger properties, but on condos the walker really shines. If you had a walker why would you need a 48 tt? Also a 48 mid mount may something to look at. The lazer hp is a really productive mower until you get over 3 acres. Another consideration is cost. A mid is way less money and less maintenance. Maybe a 48 mid w/ a bagger would do it all for you.

    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,150

    I need the 48" TTHP for properties that have steep hills. I just got a contrat for a neighborhood and all the common areas have to be mowed with a walk behind there is no way you could mow it with a ZTR or a walker.

    I am in Walker Country up here in Maine but the Z I am interested in because of how fast it is. I know a lot of people who have walkers and do what you do by backing into the dump bed. Unfortunatly I don't have that yet. Also bagging with a bigger deck would be great cut down on time.
  9. lawnrangeralaska

    lawnrangeralaska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 433

    What you should do is purchase the new walker. I believe it mows at 7mph now. Which is 2 mph faster then the 04's. Next make it a 26efi or 31efi. Last buy the 62 or 72" side discharge deck. Also they might make a speed up kit for these new units to go even faster but i dont know. But buying the Walker 48ghs deck and the 72'' deck will be the cheapest way. My first year i bought the ztr for speed and then the walker the second year. Now i am selling my z to buy another walker. Also since your lawns are hilly the walkers out front floating deck works better then a z with the same size cut. Also since the 72" deck weighs in alot more you should have no problem getting trackion on hills. thats my .o2

    CHRIS MELROSE LawnSite Member
    from MIDWEST
    Messages: 170

    Walker's are meant to bag....they have never boasted high mph because you can only go so fast when bagging...not to mention the laws of physics makes it a real rough ride. You can get an extra sd deck and switch them out on non-bagging properties but your limited by its lack of mph and the fact that you wouldn't want to go 9mph even if it had the ability...So you need to figure out what you will be doing the most....Bagging or side discharging. If bagging go with the Walker. Z baggers are bulky, cumbersome, and aren't real efficient. But if your side discharging go with a Z. Not only will they go 9+mph but you can actually do it w/o shaking your teeth loose.

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