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Walk behind question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WarEagleCRL, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. WarEagleCRL

    WarEagleCRL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I'm considering getting a walk behind, but I'm not sure if it fits my needs or not. I currently have 2 walkers and a 52" grasshopper and a couple push mowers. I was thinking that I could use a walkbehind on the yards when the big mowers would mud it up if its wet or/and use it on some of the yards getting ruts from cutting so often with the heavier mowers. Do the walkbehinds cut wet grass very well? And would it be worth the additional cost to avoid leaving ruts on most of my weekly's (most of mine are every 2 wks or 10 days)? Are they any faster? The dealers I have around here are Ferris, John Deere, and Toro. I haven't priced any but I was thinking probably under $2500. Any input from people with riders and walkbehinds is greatly appreciated.
  2. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 976

    Rutting is always going to be an issue with any commercial mower. The walk behinds take longer to rut due to them being so much lighter, but that's also why you should constantly change the angle of the cut from week to week. The only time it's not going to be an issue is if the soil is already compacted. In either case it creates a perfect opportunity to sell fall aerations.

    As for when the turf is too wet to cut...I don't mow. I contact my clients and inform them of the situation and possible damage to the turf and soil. From there I give them the option of either signing a waver of liability (if they insist in me mowing) or skipping a week and paying 1 1/2 times their regular price the following week.
  3. lawnfreak

    lawnfreak LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I use my 52 in 17hp toro walk-behind mower just as much as i use my 52in 27hp toro z master. The walk-behind mowers are great for lawns that the z will leave ruts in. It also allows you to start mowing earlier after it rains because it doesnt weigh as much. However, i do have a slight problem with cutting thick wet grass, but that may be b/c i have a mulch kit on mine. Personally, i think that the walk-behind makes the lawns look much better that the z. I am thinking about buying another one this season due to how much i use mine. Out of 50 lawns that i take care of weekly, i use it on about 20 of them. Any lawn that has soft ground, severe slope, or a lot of trees i just hop on the walk-behind and go. To me, it is worth just as much as the z.
  4. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    These are good responses. You are going to have a problem with thick wet grass no matter what type of mower you have. The WB is definitely a good investment IMO. I have lawns that I can not use my ztr on because of the rutting issue.
  5. OnMyOwn

    OnMyOwn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I'm surprised by this question. Most commercial cutters graduated to ZTR's because they had WB's to start, but you must have gotten right to it. I agree with the other guys...a WB is an invaluable tool for your arsenal. It meets different applications and different conditions. Buy it...you will not be sorry.

    Think about it. Why do tree trimmers have multiple saws. One large enough for the trunk, one for heavy branches, a small saw for shaping and a clean-up saw. When you load yourself for all situations, you can handle your jobs better.

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