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Walk behinds, who still uses them?

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by uncle kevin, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Seems like the typical setup here is a 60" ZTR and a 48" or 52" wb.
    At work we use 60's ZTR's. And the 52" turf tracer has a Trac vac system on it. We use that for lush tight commercial jobs. Like burger joints and stuff, it saves a lot of cleanup time.
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  2. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,543

    I only run walkbehinds-my custom trailer was built around 3 48" turf tracers. no sulkies, true walkbehinds.
  3. Illinoislandscaper

    Illinoislandscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Around here all of the residential properties are cut using 36" walk behind mowers. Clippings are all bagged. Some of the bigger companies who have commercial crews will send the commercial crews to cut the grass at their big properties, which then is usually just 48" standers, still all the grass is bagged. A lot of them are older machines 10+ years old. I have seen some running mowers close to 20 years old. They still run great.

    Think about the amount of money those ZTRs cost - most guys are spending $10k plus on them and half the time they only last 4 of 5 years before the cost to repair them gets to the point it makes more sense to buy a new machine. And I am not talking about owner/operators. I am talking about companies who have employees running the machines.
  4. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Messages: 1,024

    We have 11 Z's, 2 stand ons and two older walk behinds both Toro's a 52 and a 44. Two exmark 21's. Stand ons are way better for your back but when you come flying up to an obstacle there is no quick way to raise the deck like on a Z. Back in the day WB's were the only things out there, operators were in way better shape.
  5. mowerdude777

    mowerdude777 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,734

    I use walk behinds only. I currently have a Scag and Exmark but am looking to replace the Exmark before the season starts. I have demoed standers before and liked them but feel a Walk Behind with a Sulky fits my needs just as well for now. Most dealers here have Standers, Riders and Walk Behinds ready to go. However the Bobcat dealer does not. He only sells Ferris Walk Behinds and sells Bobcat riders almost exclusively. Although you can special order a Ferris rider or Bobcat Walk behind. The one thing I will say about walk behinds is go for a Hydro it is worth the extra cost.
  6. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,892

    I see plenty in FL. Just not a lot of new ones. They are used mainly as backup or gate mowers. This season all my trailers will have 36" Trimstars. A ztr is just overkill on 4k of turf which is 98% of my business. Tampa Bay is mostly planned community's, with 40" gated backyards. It's crazy hauling around and paying for a ztr to make 4 passes on the front yard. More time is wasted in changing out and reloading mowers every stop. Mini Ztr didn't impress me, too expensive, too heavy, narrow tires. I will keep a ZTR for the couple of large areas we do. It's like thinking you need the one ton dually diesel it's just a waste for hauling 16ft of lawn equipment.
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    ericg likes this.
  7. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 843

    Well, I HAD a 52 inch ZTR, nice new and shiny. That led to someone deciding it was worth stealing. So for the last two years, Ive had to look for and buy used equipment to rebuild. Started with a Metro 32 for 700 bucks, than I got a Viking 36 hydro for 1200 bucks. The most recent purchase was a scag 52 hydro WB for 800 bucks, but needs some work.

    Would I prefer to have my ZTR back..YEP. BUT, at the same time, the walk behinds get the job done, and I don't have the large capital investment in them, and they are easier to work on. That's my 2 cents.
  8. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Messages: 2,327

    I picked up a Gravely 48" hydro last summer. I must say, it's been an exceptional machine.....very overbuilt, but that's okay.
  9. Holland

    Holland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 748

    I just bought a used 2013 52 x series turf tracer. Also have a 2007 48 Turf Tracer and a 2004 36 Turf Tracer. I love using walk behinds with Velkie. I find it funny seeing guys mowing 5000 sqft lots with ZTR mowers.
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  10. KB Lawn Care

    KB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    I prefer my ztr and will use it whenever possible, but I have 36" Ferris Ultrabelt with a 12.5 Kawasaki that I use if it's wrt or for gates. I have a 22" Dixon push but I only have a handful of yards that I use it on.
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