ZTR vs. Walk Behind(w/ velke)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by Lawnvision, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Lawnvision

    Lawnvision LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I've been in business 12 years and have always used ZTR's for all of my properties. I have about 8 of them. I use 36" walk behinds in fenced-in yards. Just curious if anyone has preferences...and I'm not talking about just comfort level. Please tell me your input or experiences on the following variables;
    1. Fuel Consumption
    2. Lawn Rut Marks
    3. Electrical/ Safety Sensor/ Battery issues
    4. Fatigue
    5. Cost

    I'm thinking of going to Walk behind mowers to save money and headaches for my mid-sized 4 crew company.
  2. AmericanEagleLawncare

    AmericanEagleLawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    First of all i own 1 ZTR 1 Stand on 1 hydro walk and 1 belt drive walk. The ztr will burn more fuel in the same running time frame just by being a higher rated horse power. But the other angle would be getting jobs done quicker so the engine is running for less time. I would say its very close to being a wash. The ztr will rut more and scuff the turf more on turns. Batteries will last a few years and are nice for cold days on starting hydro units. Fatigue is way more on the total body for the walk behind. The up front cost is more on the ztr, but will be recovered from increased productivity and higher resell value. My personal recommendation is to try out a stand on unit its the best of both worlds. The stand can put up productivity numbers that a ztr can while being a more compact package.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I too am kinda looking at this. I'm spending about $20 per month on fuel for each customer. That includes all fuel, mowers, trimmers and truck. I'd really, really like to get that down to about 1/2 of that. When I started it was about 1/3 of that. My problem is that I can't stand for more than about 10 minutes at a time due to some hip problems.
  4. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Charlestown, RI
    Messages: 1,041

    I use a Ferris 36 walk behind, if I was smarter I would have gotten the dual control, about $1000 more, BUT then I could have easily put a velke or sulke or what ever you want to call that thing that you can flip down and stand on.
    I say this because I am going to be 66 this year and the walking helps to keep my waist down and the pressure off my back from bouncing around on a sit down. It also weights several hundred pounds less and therefore, is not so prone to rutting.
  5. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,746

    1. ztr will use more fuel but it's faster so fuel usage will be close to the same either way you go.

    2. either one will rut and neither will if you drive it right.

    3. will be about the same

    4. walk behind/velkie will cause more fatigue. standing or walking all day versus sitting on a ztr and standing and walking while trimming and blowing giving a balance to your workday.

    5. ztr costs more
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    You didn't get the optional brakes?


  7. Realslowww

    Realslowww LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,527

    If you are doing small properties a WB can be more efficient as in lower fuel and overall exspense all the way around but on larger properties my 72 inch super is just plain $ for $ stomp a WB bad. The fuel cost is alot lower because it is so much faster. A high speed 72 in my opinion is the best money making mower I have ever owned by far for everyday cutting medium to big areas.

    Where I am a WB is a superior cut, my personnal opinion on ZTR's is they screw the properties up.
  8. ryde307

    ryde307 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    Read the end of proturfs picture thread. He has some good info on this and has a similiar size business I believe.

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