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Walk behind or rider

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by swalsh, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. swalsh

    swalsh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    We are buying a lawn care company. Some what new to the industry. I have a rookie question. The company has 3 walk behinds and one rider. Several of the contracts are not real tight mowing. It seems to me the walk behind makes more ruts than is wanted. Could someone explain the pro's and con's of each set-up?
    Thanks in advance
  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Weight is what causes ruts. But not the only reason. Operator error. Mowing when lawn is to wet.

    There are riders that weigh 500 lbs and 1,500 lbs.

    I know 36 WB are in the 300 lb range. Larger ones will be more.
  3. swalsh

    swalsh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I should of mentioned we are in Florida, the grass always seems to wet to mow. The crew does mow to fast and we are going to work on that ASAP. As far as weight, not one of the crew weighs more than 180. Thanks for the input. In a perfect world, what are the reasons for using one or the other?
  4. alexschultz1

    alexschultz1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,579

    The walk behinds have a much lighter footprint and are better on hills and ditches. They leave a better cut but they cut slower. Ztr's are much more heavy but they cut a lot faster and the operator isn't beat up at the end of the day.

    You say that the walk behinds leave more ruts? Do you mean that they scalp more?
  5. swalsh

    swalsh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    The ruts are caused by the one wheel sulkey
  6. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,160

    Get a wright stander. Especially the ZK 13.5 mph and you can do any hill. The best of both worlds. I don't have the ZK yet but I have a regular stander. 52 inch at 900 lbs. it cuts really nice and you can't see any clippings
  7. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    Weight, operator error and not changing mowing direction or pattern.

    How does a 1 wheel velkie cause ruts?
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,937

    Bearing pressure on the soil, ... no more complex, no simpler.

    I have a 36" Exmark Viking.

    I have a one-wheeled Velke sitting idle because of the heavy tracking. I didn't like the single line down the middle, but, more importantly, didn't like the heavy tracking.

    I moved to a two wheeled BullRider. The wheels track behind the mower wheels. This is what I wanted -- no additional lines from equipment wheels. However, I see the distinct difference of BR on, or off. Even with the two wheels, the tracking is significant. I rarely use it any longer for a variety of reasons, but one is leaving a heavy track. I can tell when I return in a week, ... did I use the BR, or just walk?

    I also have a JD 717A, 48" small-frame ZTR. Despite the heavier machine, the negative impact on tracking is no different than the w/b. It has a much wider tire.

    Often, my Honda hand mower is more difficult to manage in terms of tracking -- small footprint.

    As others have said, how you mow with regard to direction of travel, repeated passes in the same place, etc. has a great influence on the tracking.
  9. swalsh

    swalsh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Very good info from everyone. Starting to see the difference between the 2 set-ups. Is it possible to get a 2 wheel sulkey for our exmark walk behinds? Also looking at the Wright pictures, it appears they have a platform, opposed to a sulkey. Are there other brands that do this?
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,937

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