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which walk behind?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by justin m, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. justin m

    justin m LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 5

    Looking to get a walk behind. I like the floating deck. I have only used pistol grips dont know how much different the t bar is. Not sure about getting a hydro or belt driven. Also am not sure if I should go with a 44in or 52in, looking at Toro. I have a 42 in walker and 44 in z master.
  2. 2k1yzfr1

    2k1yzfr1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    If you have used pistol grips you will probably not like the T-bar. The first mower I bought was a T-bar toro and thought it was the greatest thing. After 3 years behind it I bought an ECS exmark and just recently got my 36" toro back from my friend. I took it out one day and just hated it, it just felt so ackward. As far as floating deck I think it's a waste of money on anything 48" or below if you don't change your cutting height more than 1/2". Why are you needing another mower?? Seems like with your 42" walker and a 44" z turn you should have all your small yards covered.....and I wouldn't buy a walkbehind if you were wanting to get into larger yards. And as far as the hydro vs. belt debate if you were going to spend $4500 on a hydro walkbehind get a riding mower for a little bit more!
  3. JDeere Fan

    JDeere Fan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I just bought a new JD 7H17 Hydro Walk Behind. It has pistol grips and a free floating deck. I love it. I had used a HD 45 for a long time and was used to the grips. 7 Iron Deck has a great cut. I stick to small residentials so it works out perfect. May be something to check out for you!
  4. justin m

    justin m LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 5

    I was looking to getting some more yards and I dont use the walker very often because I dont really want to bag grass, I put a mulching kit on the z master and that is what I use 90 % of the time. I figure I can be on the z master someone else can be on the walk behind. Also the z master will put some ruts in the yard and a walk behind is lighter but it was just an idea. I figure a walk behind might save a little money, especially a gear driven one so all I have to mess with is belts not hydraulics. Hydraulics on the z master are 500 a piece if they go out.
  5. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    My God - Just get one that starts, and has dealer support. What is the deal with all these threads "What Walk-Behind" This redundancy sucks.
  6. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I have both the T bar and the pistol grips. I love the T bar. Easier to operate, easier to back up with a velke. It took me some getting used to because I had only used the pistol grip up until this year. But after a few yards it was a breeze. When I do get another 36" to replace mine now that is pistol grip the new one will be the T bar.

    BAYCARELAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    T bar is the only way to go, but gravely has a similar o.s. carpel tunnel syndrome fans can keep the pistol
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    For a first mower, a float deck with a T-bar is highly recommended.

    If you have at least a year or 1000 yards cut behind you, a fixed deck is a lighter machine: It is faster, considerably more accurate in the turns and built like a tank. It's easier to pull out of the mud when you get stuck, and jumps curbs without clatter or clank (and never springs or pieces come flying off it). Less moving parts means less stuff can break, and the blades are engaged manually which means you can finally have a mower that does not require you holding it for the blades to run. That having been said, the fixed deck has an attitude about mistakes, can be a very dangerous machine in the wrong hands and involves a learning curve of about a week or two, but once mastered I never went back to the heavy, slow, quirksome floats. Oh yes, as a bonus the fixed deck is cheaper thou honestly, I would pay the same and was ready to put out 4 grand when this bit of light news came my way.

    The float is a luxury machine likes to mosey around the yard, the fixed deck is the sports mower: Hard, rugged, fast and tough.

    Far as the T-bar vs. pistol-grips...
    All my machines have the T-bar.
    I never have sore wrists.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh, one more thing:

    I would say if you're planning on replacing a machine, consider the 44" some.

    If the new mower is an add-on to the collection, I'd get the 52" because that wide deck cuts some GRASS but...
    It can cut most of your props but probably not all.

    Keep in mind the 52" is really big and you will not be able to use it on:
    - Any yards with single gates 4 feet or less in width. As a rule, the 52" doesn't fit through single gates.
    - Ditches... The 52" handles inclines dandy, but it doesn't always fit inside the ditch, so to speak.
    - Small yards or yards with narrow spaces between beds / walkways.

    But for anything bigger, the 52" rules on acre lots and larger terrain, it really gets the job done. Not to say you should take on multi-acre props, but I've done 2 acres with a 52" before and would not hesitate to take on some more.

    On 1/4 acre lots or so, the 15% or so difference in deck size is doubtful to save enough time vs. the hassle of using a larger deck.
    The 52" is HEAVY - If you get it stuck in a ditch, you need a tow-rope or 2 guys (thou the 44" isn't exactly light in comparison).

    My first year, all I had were two 52"s... But now I have 48"s and I like the 48 a lot better.
    44? ahhh, maybe but I like wide decks. But yeah, I'd consider one in a heartbeat.
    Smaller than 44"? Never.
  10. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    Topsite I understand that big mowers = effientcy but how do you manage the gates? I can see even 32" decks having problems, I figured (once I get going) that I would always need 21" mowers handy.
    Do you just not take residentials or are you stictly commercial?

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