Question for guys who have used both riders and walk behinds

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by BLC1, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. BLC1

    BLC1 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 718

    I have been debating on what to set up my crews with next year. I currently have all 60" riders and 36" wb going out. I was thinking on most properties (less than 15000 sq/ft) I could get a set up with something like 2 52" or 2 48" wb and a 36" for inside gates. If the trim guy gets done before mowing guy he can jump on the other wb and finish up.

    I know that the labor is the biggest expense and that is why I'm on here asking the question. Is there a certain cut off on a lawn size where the rider would just blow away the wb or wb's. I can probably get the 3 wb's for around the same price as the rider. This would keep the hours down on my riders, be a little more fuel effeciant and hopefully increase productivity a little bit when guys aren't on and off the mowers all day.

    Please point me in the right direction.
  2. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    For me it depends on the route for the day. I have a 52" ztr a 60ztr a 48wb a 36 wb and a 21" push. When we are mowing average sized lots, 10k-15k i will load the trailer with the 52, 48, and push. and i use it exactly the way you said. trim guy can continue to cut when the mower guy isnt finished. If I need to i just add the 36 to the trailer.

    Then on big property days its the 2 z's and the 48, small property days its the 36 and 2 21's on a smaller trailer.
  3. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,049

    It depends on my route for the day and if I am solo or with a helper. If solo I have my 52" ZTR or my 48" along with my 36" WB. The 21" pushmower stays in the back of the truck. If I am doing larger properties with a helper I have the 52" ZTR and the 48" WB.
  4. BLC1

    BLC1 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 718

    I was also thinking with the lighter mowers it would make for better fuel efficiency in the truck as well.

    We all have those customers that don't want that big machine on their lawn too.

    Has anybody really looked hard into this?
  5. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,049

    This is the reason I always have the 36" WB(450lbs) on the trailer.I have some yards that have sprinkler systems in them and the ground stays soft. I keep the push mower in the back of the truck so it is out of the way and I don't have to find a place to park it when getting the bigger mowers off the trailer. There was a thread where someone made a Landscape bed out of the pickup and added a dovetail. You couldn't pull a trailer with it on.
    Here is the thread for it.
  6. mslawn

    mslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from LA
    Messages: 483

    I switched to mainly 60" turf tracers a few years ago and it works excellent on small to medium size yards. We still have four riders and they still have their purpose but for crews on residentials the 60" tracers are the way to go. The complaints of speeding thru the yard and turf tearing days are over. The tracer seems to leave a nicer cut than the Z's for some reason too. I would assume the wheels are closer to the deck making it hug the ground better thus causing it to appear to have a better cut.
  7. BLC1

    BLC1 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 718

    One concern I had other than the biggest factor of higher employee cost was fall clean ups. I was worried the baggers on the walk behinds would really slow us down when doing leaves.

    I guess I will still have the riders and could always throw a rider on for leaf season.
  8. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,049

    I use my Vac/bagger on my ZTR with gator blades to do cleanups with and it works great.
  9. EverestLandscape

    EverestLandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    I have my 52" wb, 36"wb and 54" z-turn in the trailer all cutting season. Some yards only the 36" and 52" get used and some only the 54" and 52". Whoever finishes fist starts line trimming and then the last guy to finish does blowing. It really depends on what houses need what mowers. I only have 7 house that I really need the 36" for gates instead of a 21" push but its nice to have in the trailer so on the house where you can't use the z-turn, nobody has to stand around and scratch their nuts because there is another mower for that property
  10. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Messages: 1,956

    The ultimate trailer setup for me includes a 52" WB, and a 36" WB as my sole mowers.

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