Z or walk behind?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bigjeeping, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    When mowing resis... Do you prefer one over the other?
    I have never used a walk-behind, how effective are they compared to a Z?

    - Cut quality
    - Manueverability
    - Speed
    - Efficiency
    - Major problems?

    Are walk behinds better for small lawns?

    List your fav. walk behind mowers!
  2. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    IMO, I believe on a residential, atleast anything under 20k sq. ft., looks better cut with a walk behind. I believe you have more control over the mower. You can definately handle inclines or declines better. There is less chance of a "turn around mark" (depends on the operator).

    As for favorites, it has to be between Exmark and Scags hands down.
  3. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,656

    You may want to consider a Stander. From my experience, they work well in most applications. In residential yards that I've done, they work better than a walkbehind. They are more maneuverable than a walkbehind.
  4. BufalinoLand

    BufalinoLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    You should have both if youre serious.

    I run the 61 Turf Tiger by Scag

    48 belt Scag

    52 Hydro Scag

    Walk behind is better looking cut, but you cant cut 10 acres effectively with one

    I would suggest scag you get more for your money, tiger has 1000 hours on her just oil and gas.

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    This thread is gonna get scary real fast.:)
  6. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    A few of you have said the w/b will give a better cut than the Z...... how so? I figured with how much Z's cost they give the best cut!?
  7. crzymow

    crzymow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 378

    I think smaller lawns dont look as good mowed with a Z, plus some people freak out when they see a big rider on them. Most residential costomers i mow, i use a 36" hydro. id say most of the residential lawns i mow though are under 8,000 sqft. I am looking at buying a walker mower though, but will still keep my wb.
  8. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    1. Cut quality, pretty much the same cut, but the Z is little bit nicer.
    2. Manunerability, if you cut flat or smooth lawn, the Z eat you alive, but if you do hills and slope WB is king, especially on hill, Z WILL leave tire rut on lawn and it is ugly to see ruts after 2-3 months from its 1000+ lbs, cause Z can not cut differently on hill otherwise it will lose traction.
    3 Speed, Z is king, wb sucks at 6 mph...
    4. efficiency...it depends where you cut, but Z is always more efficient.
    5. problems? hah...always with the Z....especially pulley and BELTS...WB has none if you do oil change, air filter, basic maintenance, and replacing hydro fluid every year with new filter. When WB breaks down in the mid of customer lawn, it is lot easier to push (relieving hydro valve) to trailer for repair...try that with a Z?
  9. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    Around here a Z is the only way to go b/c everything is 1/4, and most of the small lawns are open enough to fit any mower you want. the W/b sits on the trailer 98% of the day.
  10. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    In most instances, what you pay for a "Z" you could have almost bought two walkbehinds (depending on size and make). For all intense purposes, I believe that WB's are the way to go for residentials. And let's be frank, on an average residential (10,000 sq.ft.) how much time is it going to save you? I won't be 15 minutes or more..... more like 2-5. So..... $4-5k investment or $8-10k? Hmmmm?

    As for your cut, IMO a 36" pattern or a 48" pattern looks better and can strip better than a 60" (atleast from the curb appeal stand point). But there are definately people out there that won't cut a yard unless they can "Ride" it. But hey, I come from the Old School where we used to "Walk" everything, and only use 21" for years. We were never allowed to use 36" or bigger on a property, so my appreciation and viewpoint is slightly altered and favors that look.

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