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need some advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Boycea, Nov 6, 2002.

  1. Boycea

    Boycea LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 451

    I am currently a college student who maintains 40 properties on the weekend with one other worker. Right now i am using a 36" Gravely belt drive, and a 48" Lesco Hydro with a sulky. We are able to get all 40 lawns done on the weekend without a problem. Next year my employee will be moving and i dont feel like going through training someone else. I was thinking of cutting back to about 30 or so properties and selling the gravely and lesco to purchase a used walker. My lawns are average sized lawns with two big commercial properties. Do you think a walker would be able to handle this amount of jobs in a weekend with one operator, moreso than just the lesco and gravely?Is their anything I should look out for if buying a used walker? I am attracted towards a walker because of all the great feedback i am hearing when doing a search on them. I also do many fall cleanups, and it seems like a walker would aid in doing these a little faster and better. Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Going from 2 mowers running to 1 is going to slow you down some. Then on top of that a Walker is slow. Walkers are good mowers, but with the kind of production you need you may want to demo the walker and a few midmount Z's before you decide.
  3. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    I agree with Hoss. If you need something fast, go with a midmount ztr. Walkers are great mowers, but for smaller places that need detail.
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    It all depends on how you use the Walker. If you have alot of big properties with long straightaway mowing the Walker will get it done but obviously not as fast as a Z. Now if you have properties with hills, trees, beds ect that dont require you to go 10mph bouncing up and down the lawn a Walker will save you time over the WB's you are using. I have used Big Z's, Yazoo, Exmark. Great mowers for Production mowing. I own a Walker 26EFI that I have a 52SD deck for mowing and a 42GHS deck for spring and fall clean as well as the capability to bag if and when I want to without hanging another motor/hose/garbage can on my mower.

    Walkers can mow at a top speed of 6.5 when conditions are right. More importantly, they can get in many places that the mid mount deck cant. In the end the Walker will reduce much of the walking around with the string trimmer that is usually required with a mid mount deck. I have used a Homelite trimmer for 5 years now and am waiting to burn it up to buy another. There is less trimming. So the time you may save on a Z is made up by time you are walking with the stick.
    My wife and I maintain a mix of small commercial to mid size residential. Properties range in size from 3000 sq ft to an acre. We use a Walker and a Toro 44" 15hp hydro. Admittedly, we are slow but we do manage to do these 22 properties with no problem.
    I do not know your particulars as far as proximity of jobs and complexity of the sites but I have a tight route and we can start at 8 and be done by 1:30-2:00 in the busy spring. In the hot summer it is possible for us to get all of them done in about 8 hours but we are not rushed.
    Like I said, we aren't looking for blazing speed but we are productive and do make money with our set up.
    I was given 2 accounts from a guy that owns 2 60"Lazers and a WB because it was too difficult for him to do the hills with the WB. He could pop the flats out in 15 minutes but he would spend 40 walking as the Lazers couldn't do the hills. We spend 40 doing the property and I sit on the Walker on the hills and my wife does the flats with the WB.
    I'm not gonna bash the midmounts too much because I would be able to use one but you have to remember that there isn't one mower that will be right for EVERY lawn. You have to get the one that is right for MOST of your lawns, keeping in mind the future.

    Find your Area Rep for Walker and ask to demo whatever set-up you would like. I bought mine and its paid for itself 4x over so far and I will never be without one. If you want more info, give me an e-mail.
  5. skrats

    skrats LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    well you could hire an extra person to go along with you and pay him a minimun until he gets the hang of all of the lawns then you can start him up full time when the other guy has to leave
  6. dr grass

    dr grass Banned
    Messages: 242

    boycea - how do you do all these fall cleanups on the weekends???

    shep :confused:
  7. Bill Davis

    Bill Davis LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Give the Exmark a spin before you buy anything. My Lazer has drastically improved my speed and of course fatigue and my lawns look better. I will say that i have gained a few pounds from sitting so much:D
  8. Boycea

    Boycea LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 451

    Thank you for all the advice so far. I was contemplating the purchase of a walker, or a lesco Z with the peco vac on it. A local lco has this unit for sale and it has a brand new 8hp engine on the vac system. I jsut dont want to rush into anything and am planning on demoing a walker. The unit has a little under 1000 hours on it and the lco is asking around $5000 for it, but that price is flexible. To answer Dr. Grass' question, i did about 65 fall cleanups last year and am hoping to break a hundered this year. I hire part time help to do the work with me on the weekends, and also have some local firefighters and police officers doing some work during the week. I also drive home from school on days when I dont have afternoon classes and try to knock off a few cleanups. Thanks again for everyone's advice, its much appreciated.

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