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Thoughts on a Walkbehind

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LazyWeekends, Feb 8, 2002.

  1. LazyWeekends

    LazyWeekends LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I currently have about 40 residential customers, averaging about 5000 sq. ft., and I use my Toro Z Master 44" for all of them. I have a concern with the quality of cut and also where I am tearing up the turf with the wheels on the turns. No matter how easy and slow I take it I always seem to "leave my mark", especially in the areas where repeated turns are necessary and in wet conditions.

    So as a way of improving the quality of cut and to try and eliminate or reduce turf damage from turning, I am considering buying a Walkbehind, specifically a new model Gravely 48" Hydro or a Toro Proline 44".

    My questions is:
    Will I be buying the W/B for the right reasons, in other words, will a walkbehind cut better and not tear up the turf as bad?
  2. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    I do not feel like a walkbehind will sove your problems at all. The problem is with the operator, not the mower. You need to learn to make a careful 3 point turn and keep all tires moving when making a change in direction. A hydro walkbehind will steer just the same as your rider only youll be walking behind it!
  3. slplow

    slplow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    Evan is right. even a walk behind will scuff a lawn when turning.

    BRIAN GALLO LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    How's your tire pressure? If you have too much psi that will cause you to scuff up the turf. If you get a walk-behind you'll just be getting a smaller tire (which should actually be worse!) I would stick with the Z, you will be going backwards in productivity with a wb.
  5. LazyWeekends

    LazyWeekends LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Thanks for your input guys, got me thinking again. Probably won't get the W/B now.
  6. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    3 point turns are the key. You may also need to slow down some. What I was doing was pivoting the inside wheel in place when turning, or spinning it because I didn't slow down. Both tore up lawns.
  7. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    I did get a WB for this exact reason, and I have seen positive results. Places that I used to 'leave my mark' are now filling in nicely and the cut is excellent. I guess since I'm chasing the thing, I'm a lot easier in the turns than I was with the Z, even though I am very careful with the Z. The particular customer that I had the problem with is now thrilled with her yard. Plus I increased my versatility by purchasing the WB. I say go for it.
  8. Both mower types turn in the same aspect.

    But a WB will tread lighter on wet turf, and in some cases leave less damage.

    All are correct in technique as the answer.

    As what CSRA said for versitillity a WB will fill that well.

    Now as far as productivity how much faster will a larger WB do than a smaller ZTR?

    Unless you get the same size in a WB on the lawn sizes you specified how much faster will a ZTR be? Not much to make that big of a difference.
  9. ealbertson

    ealbertson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256


    Do you still have and use the ZTR? I have all walk behinds right now but am very seriously considering a ZTR. The main reason is increased productivity. I now have a 48" eXmark WB, a 50" Gravely WB and a 60" tricycle Yazoo ( old as the hills and needs to be sent out to pasture). I am thinking that my ideal setup would be a 36" WB (access fenced areas), a ~48" WB and about a 60" ZTR. Anybody have any thoughts on this.


  10. RB

    RB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    Get a wb and for the z on 5,000 sq. ft. lawns. I bet you will mow faster with a 48" wb than you can w/44" z. A three point turn -- that will take forever. That Toro 44" will turf a lawn even when it's dry.

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