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Which Tractor??

BC Lawns

LawnSite Member
Fairly new to the green biz. I'm now in the process of purchasing a tractor.

What is a good brand ZTR?
Do all have grass collection systems available (for additional $)?
Do all have additional accessories available (i.e. core aerator)?
I do need an aeraor accessory deck.
What are my options?

I really would like the Walker. I like its grass handling system, front mount deck, and aerator adaptor deck.... Price is holding me back.

Is it worth paying the extra for the walker?

Thanks to all---


LawnSite Fanatic
N.E. Wisconsin
You are quite lucky to have found Lawnsite, welcome. Now before I say to go and search the hundreds of thousands of threads I will address your question.
I started out 9 years ago, which is about 4 years B.L. (before Lawnsite) I didn't know JACK about the business except that I knew how to work hard. I knew that commercial equipment was expensive but it looked like it was neat stuff. I had no mentors telling me how to succeed in this business so I did what I thought was right and bought a Toro Lawn Tractor like the homeowners would use. I corralled about 13 customers and worked like crazy for them. Word got around and I got more work.
It took longer and longer for me to do the work and the Toro was taking a beating. Eventually I had a breakdown and went to a Walker dealer to talk. He said that I could demo a Walker for a week and see what I thought.
After that week I almost cried when I had to go back to the tractor. In fact I made a deal and ordered a Walker, That was in 1997 and I have had one ever since. I paid it off in the spring of 1998 by doing dethatching and spring cleans. I am now on my second Walker and I will just tell you that if you are serious about the business, get commercial equipment. I will continue to say that you should DEMO many different brands because they all mow lawns but some have different features.
Most of my lawns are great for a Walker, they are residential and small commercials. If I had many big jobs I would need a faster mower but the Walker is great for what I do. You will be different. You probably will not find one mower that will do it all for you. You have to find the one that does the most.
Now since you are shining towards a Walker, I will tell you that I love the out front deck and grass/debris handling capabilities but I do not bag grass in the regular season. What is nice is that I have the 52"SD deck which is a workhorse and fits on all my properties. It is great for grass and leaves in the fall. I use the collection deck for spring dethatchings and any special jobs that may need grass bagged for a premium price. I do not own the Perfarator or a Millcreek aerator that are used on the Walker. You will have to get those opinions from others but I do have the dethatcher and I made my own sprayer for the machine.
SO that is a small starter for you. I can go on for chapters but they are already written and in the Search feature. There are many good guys here that may help you, some have Walkers and others have different equipment that they like.
Bottom line is that you have to spend the money to get commercial equipment, it costs almost as much as a car. You have to DEMO first. Also remember that when you run your business as a legit business, you have expenses (insurance, replacement cost, gas, repairs, taxes, liscenses, ect) there are some tax incentives and depreciation that you take at the end of the year. On the other hand you have to charge accordingly, otherwise you are just wasting your time and money.
Now since I think I gave you my opinion plus some I really can tell you to use the Search feature here too. It is loaded with years of information. Good Luck.;


LawnSite Bronze Member
I love my walker. It's alot of money, but resale is also very high, when you trade them up. I have many that wait for me to sell mine. I love the collectoin system, as I do some lakeside properties, as well as some with pools, so use the ghs alot. A second walker dose the spring/fall clean up, and get's the 74" deck for the huge lots. It's not the fastest, but is the most practical for all that I do. Do demo one, and check used ones too, if you can find any, as they are built to last, as any commercial mower. Good luck !!