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Walk behind or push???

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by chefcam864, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,440

    Let us know how you like it. Sounds like GF's pop thinks your ok. Hope the new machine makes it easy to pay the man back. Very generous indeed.
  2. chefcam864

    chefcam864 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    It was raining yesterday, so I couldn't mow my customers' yards. However, I did mow my yard, and the machine left a fantastic cut, and was very gentle on the turf. It left a better cut and less mess in the wet than my Toro does in The dry. I'm impressed! It will take some getting used to. I was having a tough time mowing a straight line at first, but by the time I finished my yard I pretty much had it. I can see how a hydro would be much easier and less fatiguing to operate, buti didn't want to have to replace pumps and wheel motors. I have a few jobs lined up for the afternoon, so I'll have a better idea of how to operate it by the end of the day.
    I painted the beltway cover last night , and I need to paint the deck as well. (It had a bag of fertilizer left on it.)
  3. chefcam864

    chefcam864 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    After using the machine a good bit I really like it. It's not perfect, but it's a good compromise. It really leaves a fantastic w cut, and stripes pretty well to boot. I really think hydro is the way to go, but I went with belt drive because I was afraid of having to replace pumps and wheel motors. I may learn the tricks to running a gear driven WB and then a hydro might not be an advantage. I'm used to being able to slow down going into a zero turn, but that's a bit tricky with the metro. I have been getting better at slowing down with the brakes. ( I may need to adjust the brakes. They feel like an on/off switch.) It sooooo much gentler on the turf than my ZTR. I have yet to damage turf (even wet turf) with it, which is pretty impressive considering the ham-fisted operator. I'm happy I stepped up to a commercial machine. It gives my customers a more polished look, and that's what they deserve.(most of them anyways...)
  4. TML

    TML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    I thought the same thing after I got my 36 Metro. I said this is not going to work I need a hydro or a ZTR. After a couple of months I'm now saying just the opposite. I can turn it no problem w/ out having to slow way down and w/ out damaging any turf. I have not experienced any slipping on hills or in the wet like everyone says belt drives will do. I just try to mow all my lawns keeping the machine going forward, making passes to avoid having to go in reverse. I feel I have a very reliable, easy to work on machine that keeps the overhead way down. I need to add a 48" mower next year and I'm seriously thinking about a 48" Metro, but I don't see too many, if any, full time quality LCO's on here that just run WB belt drive so I'm questioning myself. But a 10K machine is allot of lawn mowing to break back even.
  5. chefcam864

    chefcam864 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    Yeah, I'm thinking I'll get better at running it as I get used to it and learn the ins and outs. The good thing is that it's a LOT gentler on turf than a ZTR, so my mistakes haven't left any boo boos on customer's yards. Like I said, I am very impressed with the cut it leaves.
  6. JimsLocalLawn

    JimsLocalLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 877

    Your spoiled now! ESC controls on that machine... for a first commercial mower you got the Rolls Royce.

    I really think you made a great decision on going commercial. Lots go with residential machines for the price but the quality of cut just isn't there. I lost good clients my first year using residential machines that didn't bag, now I have a commercial walk behind I would NEVER go back. Durability aside, you just can't beat the cut quality of a commercial mower....what I like is the fact that you can adjust everything as it wears, so belts / brakes are tight just like the day you brought it home. I suggest you learn more about the machine so you can maintenance and adjust everything properly. Keeping them belts / brakes tight make a world of difference!!!

    Grats and good luck
  7. chefcam864

    chefcam864 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    I'll tell you what, I've never used a WB with pistol grips, but after using the ECS I don't think I ever care to. ECS is a FANTASTIC setup! Very comfortable, and my forearms only took about 3 days of work to stop getting sore from squeezing the brakes. I'm sure the T-Bar is pretty awesome too...

    As for the decision to go commercial, I agree with what you said 100%. The quality of cut is head and shoulders above what my Toro Timecutter Z420 could deliver. The eXmark leaves a better cut on wet turf than the Toro did on dry. That's not a rub on Toro, as they make great equipment. I'm just pointing out the difference between residential and commercial mowers. I think it is a poor investment to purchase a residential machine for commercial use. They simply do not stand up well to the abuse, don't cut as well, aren't made to be serviced like commercial units, and kind of make a fella look hackish when that's all that is on his trailer.
    (Not that that last bit matters too much, as a person's work ethic and attention to detail can easily overcome most equipment deficiencies... After all, I kept my customers happy for 2 years with a Timecutter and a Ryobi trimmer W/a Poulan Pro edger attatchment. I still use the Ryobi powerhead and Poulan edger attatchment, and will until it dies, but I did upgrade to a Redmax BCZ2460 trimmer.)
    I don't think I would hesitate to tell someone just getting started to buy a commercial WB over a high end residential ZTR. I'm 6'6", and I love the commanding view I have from the Velke. If I get big enough to warrant and pay for it, I think I'd like a Wright Stander X or a Toro Grandstand. I can't express how much I like the view I have standing up. Hell, I never even thought of it before! However, I have 4 more semesters of books and tuition to go yet, so I'll probably just end up loving what I have and continue poor-mouthing...

    P.S. I saw your trailer setup on another page, and really like it. I have a really nice steel trailer, that was not meant for light duty stuff like hauling mowers, but it does a far better job than any of the smaller trailers I've pulled. It was my dad's, and I got it when he passed. I'm having a buddy of mine that is a recently unemployed welder make a hinged ramp for the back, trimmer racks, and some storage for fuel and other nick nacks. It should be nice when he's done.

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