walk behind vs ZTR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jds720, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. jds720

    jds720 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    which is better?
  2. GPDesign1

    GPDesign1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    All I can say is that sales of our Quicks have sure gone up since gas hit 4 bucks a gallon. A number of our customers tell us they're ditching their Z for a walk-behind to save on fuel costs. Our mowers (rough and dirty) burn about a 1/2 gal/hr. Lot of the Z guys tell us they're burning ~2 gal/hr. After a while, that starts adding up.
  3. jds720

    jds720 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    wow and is it best to add a valkie?
  4. GPDesign1

    GPDesign1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    Just depends on the type of terrain you're mowing. Relatively flat, open stuff, the Step-Saver will save some wear and tear on your legs. Tight mowing with a lot of obstacles, you'll get it done faster by walking.

    Nice thing about our rider attachment is, put it on once and leave it. It folds up and down quick and easy.
  5. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Messages: 1,818

    These kind of questions have absolutely no correct answer....there are cases for both of them and its as simple or as that. And I only run a 48 ztr but there is no way on earth it burns 2 gallons an hour. You cant compare a big ztr to a single hydro small wb either, bc that just aint fair. JDS, if you have lawns that are open and you are not worried about putting a 48-52 ztr on it, go with the rider. If you have lawns that are small and require alot of turning around, get a nice wb because a ztr might be overkill. It all depends on the lawns you have.
  6. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    Well lets do alittle math 1/2 gal per hour but you can only mow what 4acre an hour with the 44 wideopen maybe? a60inch ztr wide open gonna cut a bunch more right. Not knocking just saying now my 48 hydro walkbehind sips gas so its very nice. but there is times it might be nice to sitting on my butt insted of getting my insides rattled on a sulky
  7. david shumaker

    david shumaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 721

    In some cases you need both. I use the Quick 32 and Toro ZTR. Also have a 36" Exmark belt Metro walk behind. On some gates,I can only get the Quick 32 through them. Depends on your situation and types of yards.
  8. coolluv

    coolluv Banned
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 4,514

    When I was thinking about starting in this line of work, I read and read and researched and researched on what would be a good setup. My neighbor is an LCO and he runs nothing but John Deere belt drive walk behinds. Anyway when I told him what I was thinking about buying he laughed. I ended up buying a Hustler Super Z 44" and a 21" inch John Deere. I purchased the 21" for gated back yards because at the time I could not afford to buy a 36" walk behind.

    Well let me tell you buying that 44" was the best thing I could have done. My thinking was that I would be working solo and I wanted to be able to get as much work as possible finished with the Z and then if I had to use the 21" oh well. I didn't' want to walk all of the properties as they are rarely flat here in north Georgia. I was concerned that I would not be able to use it on hills.

    Well I took one for a Demo and used it on the few properties that I had at the time but it was enough for me to know that I was making the right choice. Well here it is 2 years later and I just love my Z and I could not live without it. I have a very diverse customer base that ranges from 1/4 acre to 1 acre. Some are really nice lawns and some are not so nice lawns. What I'm trying to say is I can cut just about any type of lawn with this machine because it is not to big for small properties and its not to small for big properties.

    I can cut a 1/4 acre in 4-5 mins and be out of there in 12-15 mins working by myself. I purchased a Hustler Trimstar 36" my second season and it is great also, but I hardly ever use it. My 21" doesn't' even get loaded anymore. If I can't do it with the 36" then I don't want it. Let someone else have it.

    What I'm trying to say is get a smaller Z. The type you get is your choice,as long as it is commercial grade. A small Z is very versatile and can be used almost all the time. Some of the properties I do are full of landscape beds and are not flat and I have no problems with the Z sticking to hills and working around obstacle's. Some Zs are good on hills and some are not. You have to demo some and see what is best for you.

    My neighbor the LCO told me that I would be using the walk behind more than the Z because the walk behind will go where a Z won't and I won't be able to mow hills ETC... Well that is a bunch of bull. Anyone who tells you they can mow faster with a walk behind on a smaller property is full of Sh@@. I will go against anyone with my Z. It took me some time to learn how to operate it without tearing things up, and knowing what it could handle as far as hills.

    You have to know a machines limits and you have to give equipment respect. Meaning you can get yourself in trouble really quick or even killed. But once you become proficient on one, theirs nothing like it. And by the way my Z uses about 1 gal. per hour. Another thing you have to consider is bigger is not necessarily better,sure someone with a 60" can cut my acre lots faster than I can but they can't put that same machine on a 1/4 acre without tearing things up. I was even looking at the Z Cat from Scag at the time. Which by the way are very good machines. I went with the Hustler Z because it was kinda the middle of the road. Small enough to get into those smaller yards but big enough to tackle the bigger ones.

    The type of lawns you will be cutting, the type of grass you will be cutting, the terrain,all plays a factor in what type and size mower you decide to get. Look at your market and demo, demo,demo. The decision you make now will either put a smile on your face when you go to work, or will make you hate life.

    Just my opinion, Dave....
  9. Dunlaps LawnCare

    Dunlaps LawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    ztr i think
  10. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    One is not better than the other. It all depends on the type of lawns you take care of. If you can easily run a ZTR on most of your lawns then the ZTR is a better choice. If they are small and tight then a walkbehind would be the better choice. On our lawns we use nothing but ZTR's. A ZTR will run circles around any walkbehind.

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